Harvey, the continuously delayed restaurant at the Williamsburg Hotel, has hit another roadblock — its opening chef Adam Leonti is no longer a part of the project. The baker and chef left his job at acclaimed Philadelphia restaurant Vetri back in May 2015 to be the opening executive chef at Harvey. The hotel — which got press for wanting to open a bar in a fake water tower — opened in December 2016, but the restaurant has yet to debut. A spokesperson for the restaurant confirms that Leonti is out as the opening chef at Harvey.
At the hotel, Brooklyn Bread Lab’s head baker Josh Pickens will continue to be in charge of breakfast and afternoon tea service at the hotel. The Harvey team chef de cuisine David Ladner, who worked at the now-shuttered Cambridge, Massachusetts fixture Rialto, will remain on board at the restaurant. Harvey is now slated for a “spring” opening, though the team declined to say more about a more exact date or the reason behind the hold up.
Leonti’s role as Harvey’s opening chef was a big deal when it was announced. He was credited with playing a major role in turning Vetri into one of the country’s most esteemed tasting-menu restaurants. The work earned him a spot on the inaugural Eater Young Guns and a Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2012. At Harvey, he was planning to serve Italian-influenced American food with pastas and breads.
Eater has reached out to Leonti to see what he’s up to next and will update with further information.