“I saw that post on Eater busting on us for not being ready to open. That’s hilarious. But we’re not where we thought we would be. Ultimately I would like to drop under the radar a month before we open. It would be great to not have the doors kicked open on the first day. If you invite Bruni to a soft opening, he’ll write a review on you. He gives you no time. And it’s not just him; there are people walking around with cell-phone cameras. Sometimes they know more about the place than we do.
The bottom line is that it will be ready when it's ready. A delay can get to be a rather exorbitant expense. It’s not dire. Right now we have the rent and a small, small payroll. We can keep everything else at bay. Even insurance isn’t a cost that’s out of control.
Back at the restaurant, we’re leveling the floor in the basement. It was in bad shape and ended up being a much bigger project than we thought. You know, Spring Street has that name for a reason. It’s full of underground water. Where Broome Street meets Spring was a pond that was filled in. You go down three feet and there’s water. And water can be a big pain. But once that’s straightened out, the walls will go up and we can start putting the bar in. We’re also going to continue to do tastings. The one on Sunday was a big success, even with the difficulties that come from using [the test] kitchen. Wylie [Dufresne] really enjoyed the pretzel ice cream. [As did Food & Wine editor Nick Fauchald, who wrote a detailed post about the tasting on the magazine’s Mouthing Off blog.]
I’m getting ready for South by Southwest. We want to promote our TV show, Dinner With the Band. It’s an Internet show I’m doing where I cook with an indie-rock band, and then they play a set. It’s very cool. Things are going well.”