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Blanca, From Roberta’s, to Reopen With Chef Victoria Blamey

The once Michelin-starred Bushwick restaurant has been closed since the pandemic

A woman in a long, light grey shirt stands with her arms crossed against a wooden wall.
Victoria Blamey, previously of Mena, will reopen Blanca, a Roberta’s restaurant that’s been closed since the pandemic.
Daniel Krieger/Mena

Blanca, the once-Michelin-starred tasting menu restaurant from the team behind Roberta’s, is reopening. After closing at the start of the pandemic, owners Carlo Mirarchi and Brandon Hoy, announced this week that the restaurant will reopen in mid-January with Victoria Blamey in the kitchen, the New York Times reported.

Blanca opened in 2012 with a 12-seat counter inside a 1,000-square-foot space, tucked behind Roberta’s. The restaurant excelled both from a technical standpoint and managed to have more fun than the average fine-dining restaurant, initially with a lengthy 27 courses. It was one of the few restaurants to be reviewed twice by the Times critic Pete Wells: It was awarded three stars in 2015, up from two in 2012. Blanca’s kitchen was initially overseen by Hoy.

Blamey is taking over next month and confirms it will remain a tasting menu. She’s kept quiet about her next moves since the closing of Mena — at the time, her most personal restaurant yet, pulling from her Chilean roots. Despite the restaurant’s positive reception, the Walker Hotel spot closed in 2022 after five months — a decision made by ownership.

In 2019, Blamey became the chef at Gotham Bar & Grill, taking over from Alfred Portale, who had run the kitchen for years, rebuilding the menu in the hopes of luring younger customers. The Manhattan restaurant closed the following year, right before the pandemic lockdown, before being resurrected again in 2021 by chef Ron Paprocki, a decade-long Gotham member. Previously, Blamey received two stars from the Times in 2017, for relaunching the menu at the West Village hangout Chumley’s.

In the months following her Mena departure, Blamey has hosted pop-ups at Bushwick Vietnamese spot, Falansai, and nightlife venue Public Records.

The reopening of Blanca comes on the heels of the success of Mirarchi and Hoy’s Foul Witch, Roberta’s East Village restaurant that opened in early 2023.