Wacky French hotspot Le Turtle closed its doors on January 26 after a four-year run on the Lower East Side.
The restaurant — a project from Freemans’ Taavo Somer and the Smile’s Carlos Quirarte — garnered critical acclaim for its experimental French-American cuisine under former chef Greg Proechel, including two stars from Eater critic Ryan Sutton and one star from the Times. Le Turtle announced the closure on a post on Instagram, promising “more announcements soon,” the Lo-Down first reported.
A sign on the restaurant’s window suggests that a new restaurant is in the works. It reads: “Stay tuned for our next project.” Eater has reached out for more information.
Le Turtle opened in 2015 at 177 Chrystie St., between Rivington and Delancey Streets, with Proechel of Blanca originally running the kitchen. Sutton, Eater’s chief critic, called it one of the best new restaurants of 2016, especially digging the “holy” enflamed Sasso chicken for two.
But Proechel left in 2017 to open Ferris at Made hotel, and chef Victor Amarilla took the helm. Last year the group opened a private dining room called Subturtle, in which actor Justin Theroux helped promote.
The chef and general manager Tommy Obradovic posted their farewells on Instagram:
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This is Tommy; he’s a friend, a brother, a leader, a person you can count on for everything, this guy will go out of his way to make anything happen, even when he doesn’t want to (often ) day in and day out he’s there for you. You might have even eaten a sasso he personally carved for you, plated it and ran it to your table. In our industry, if there is no balance between FOH and BOH, it’s fckin hard and honestly almost impossible to survive. But with someone like Tommy, we all became more than coworkers, more than family. We became ONE team. We picked each other up, we pushed each other to our limits and beyond. We fckin did it bro!!! This is my guy. My friend. My brother. This is Le Boss. Enjoy your well deserved vacation bro! I love you @tommyinnewyork
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Dear @victor.m.amarilla, I woke up this morning thinking of you. It is the first time in two years that the first phone call in the morning wasn’t from you... and it felt empty.... Now, as I’m locking the door to “our restaurant” for the last time, I’m thinking of you again... Thinking of the things I never said out loud.... THANK YOU! Thank you for being my patner in crime for the last two years. Thank you for being a “good cop” to my “bad cop”... Thank you for the countless hours of brainstorming and creativity. Thank you for beliving in my vision and for trusting my insticts. Thank you for your positive attitude and good times.... Thank you... I will forever cherish our moments together... You rock, bro!