Tomorrow night with be Matthew Lightner's last behind the two Michelin-star tasting counter at Atera. Lightner, whose cooking also garnered him four stars from Ryan Sutton, told Eater last month that "It's time to move on and do my own thing...I have a few plans, but they are still under development." The Times reported that his next steps would include a high-end restaurant and "something casual and fun, comfort food." Whatever form the projects take, they will likely be in New York.
Lightner will be replaced by Danish chef Ronny Emborg, an El Bulli alum who earned a Michelin star at Restaurant AOC in Copenhagen, and worked as the private chef for the Queen of Denmark. Atera owner Jodi Richard told Eater that Emborg and Lightner share the same "culinary DNA." Still, Emborg will entirely rework the menu and retrain the staff (though the price of dinner remain the same). He will have about three weeks to do that. After Lightner's final meal tomorrow night, the restaurant will close for just over three weeks. Richard plans to remodel <strike>both the dining room and</strike> downstairs lounge space and reopen for dinner on April 21. Rumor has it that lounge, where Lightner has served a pretty stellar burger, may be converted into a space where diners at the tasting counter will start their evenings before moving upstairs. Stay tuned.
Update: Richard tells eater that Emborg will arrive in New York City tonight and start working on the menu with the kitchen staff on Saturday. As for construction, the dining room will remain the same, while the The Lounge and The Library, "may change a bit, we are still trying to determine how."