Chicago restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff may have just opened his first New York restaurant last week, but he’s already looking for locations for a new outpost of his most nationally recognized restaurant, Au Cheval. The Midwestern hitmaker tells Crain’s Chicago that he’s scouting spaces in New York City to open a version of the upscale diner. The restaurant’s burger has been named the best in the country, an accolade that’s led to hours long waits in Chicago. It also serves killer cocktails and fancy takes on classic diner dishes, including honey-fried chicken with chili, a potato hash with duck heart gravy, and foie gras with scrambled eggs and toast.
Besides a new Au Cheval, Sodikoff and his restaurant group Hogsalt plan to open two other restaurants in New York, in collaboration with furniture company Restoration Hardware, according to Crain’s Chicago. One will be in a furniture store, similar to the beautifully-designed brunch destination one in Chicago. The other will be an all-day restaurant below a 12-room guesthouse.
The restaurateur’s first NYC restaurant 4 Charles Prime Rib opened in the West Village last Tuesday. The 36-seat restaurant with vintage decor serves fare like raw seafood, steak tartare, and dry aged bone-in rib steak. It also offers a diner-style cheeseburger that early reviews say is similar to the famed Au Cheval burger, but Sodikoff and his team say that it is definitely not the same one. The restaurant is still in "friends, family, and regulars" mode, which means hours are limited to Tuesday through Saturday, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Anybody can walk in.
Sodikoff and his team have opened more than a dozen restaurants and bars in Chicago, many of them huge hits. Several of them have spent time on the Chicago 38. His entrance into New York has been fairly quiet — word is that 4 Charles had zero wait at primetime last Friday — but if his New York restaurants gain as much of a following as his Chicago ones, they won’t be quiet for long. Stay tuned for more details on Sodikoff’s projects as they become available.