Lauded chef Günter Seeger finally returns to action this week. The chef, who built a reputation for minimalistic and sophisticated new American food at Seeger's in Atlanta, will be debuting his new tasting menu-only restaurant Günter Seeger NY in the West Village on Friday. It's the first time Seeger will be cooking since his Atlanta restaurant closed back in 2007, a place where — as critic Bill Addison once noted — Seeger "single-handedly elevated the national culinary status of Atlanta."
Seeger will maintain his penchant for high-minded fine dining here in New York. The 34-seat restaurant at 641 Hudson St. will only offer a $185 tasting menu, which will include eight to ten courses. The offerings will change daily. Expect the dishes to focus on "the very best product," he says. The chef plans to walk through farmer's markets every weekend to determine the changing menus, he adds. "You leave the product as intact as possible. You do very little to it," Seeger says. "You want to really have every product stay as pure as possible."
It's taken a good three years for Seeger to build out the new restaurant, and word is that he looked at locations for about five years before finding it. The space itself, designed by London-based Alexander Waterworth Interiors, is intended to channel "an elegant townhouse," with inspiration from the West Village. Seeger's personal art collection even decorates the walls. It's a new home for the chef, who considered opening a restaurant here for so long. "New York, it's the food city of America. There is no other city than New York where it’s so concentrated," Seeger says. "You also have incredibly educated guests and visitors. For me, New York is the place."