It's not a surprise, really, that Élan is closing, but it is kind of sad. Chefs and diners of a certain age have a lot of respect for David Waltuck and his partner George Stinson. The food appealed to an older palate than a lot of new restaurants in Manhattan these days, and some critics enjoyed the dishes that evoked Chanterelle, like the seafood sausage. But according to Waltuck, it was hard to develop a regular clientele.
The chef tells Flo Fab about his decision to close up shop: "I would say it’s mainly economics...The rent is high — not inappropriate. But we have a small restaurant, and it has not generated the level of business we had anticipated, and we don’t know what we can do to change this." Starting on Monday, the restaurant will offer a nightly three-course prix fixe for $40. The restaurant will close for good after service on February 29.
In his one-star review, Ryan Sutton noted: "If Chanterelle was a bellwether in loosening the strictures of fine dining, Waltuck's new hangout is a reminder not to take that loosening too far, even at casual spots."