‘Speedy’ Wayne Nish Remakes Varietal in One Week Flat

Bam! Nish takes it up a notch: rabbit schnitzel (front) and sweet pea flan (back.)Photo: Melissa Hom

Given that Wayne Nish transformed March into Nish just three months ago, we were surprised when we learned last week that he’d been assigned the task of creating a new menu at Varietal in the wake of chefs Ed Witt and Jordan Kahn exiting. Capable dude that he is, Nish started serving his dishes over the weekend. He even took some time to hook us up with said menu and explain where Witt and Kahn had gone wrong.

“The dishes here weren’t accessible enough,” the chef tells us. “The direction, and dare I say it, the personal agendas of the chefs got in the way. By comparison with what some of the kids are doing today, my dishes will be fairly simple.” We feel him: Unlike the monkfish liver or tobacco-braised pork belly on the old menu, everything on the new one actually sounds good, from the semi-boned roast quail with faro to the sweet-pea flan with poached asparagus. Nish’s new compositions are less exotic than that of the globalist Nish, but as he says, “more sophisticated, more elegant, and taken up a notch” from the “purposely rustic” style of old. Nish, who will be splitting his time between his eponymous restaurant and Varietal, is also doing his own desserts. He’ll be hiring a pastry cook but takes pains to inform us “all culinary direction will be coming from me.” Duly noted, chef.

Varietal Menu [Menus]
Earlier: Varietal Finds Its Man: Wayne Nish