It’s official: Kwame Onwuachi is back in New York. The Bronx native, a Top Chef star who went on to open and close two fine dining establishments in Washington D.C., is giving it another go with Tatiana, his highly anticipated Afro Caribbean restaurant opening at Lincoln Center, at 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, near Columbus Avenue. The restaurant, Onwuachi’s first in New York, is an homage to the chef’s roots in Nigeria, Jamaica, Trinidad, New Orleans, and his upbringing in the five boroughs. It opens for dinner on November 1 amid a $550 million overhaul at the center’s David Geffen Hall.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for the celebrity chef, who grew up on Burnside Avenue in the Bronx but has spent recent years away from home. After working in some of New York City’s top kitchens, including the Michelin-starred Per Se and Eleven Madison Park, Onwuachi vaulted to prominence as a 25-year-old contestant on Top Chef. He followed up with two restaurants in Washington D.C.: the Shaw Bijou, a fine dining spot that closed after less than three months of service, and Kith and Kin, where Onwuachi nabbed a James Beard award in 2019 — and resigned roughly a year later.
Now in Manhattan, Onwuachi wants Tatiana to be the kind of place where “people just feel comfortable, man,” he says, while fidgeting with an app on his phone that allows him to change the color of the custom cloud lights on the restaurant’s ceiling. (He chooses purple, his favorite.) The dining room, designed by the same architecture firm behind Michelin-starred restaurants Al Coro and Cote, is outfitted with green booths, floor-to-ceiling gold chain, and a 14-seat communal table for a relaxed, upscale vibe. A playlist with Erykah Badu and Rick Ross that spills out into the concert hall lobby, next door, completes the scene.
Read on for more about Tatiana and take a look at the menu below.
Tatiana is open Tuesday to Wednesday, from 5 to 9 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. The entrance to the restaurant is located on the south side of David Geffen Hall at 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, at West 65th Street.