A year ago, Keith McNally claimed Morandi would be his last restaurant, but he revealed at last night’s Community Board 2 meeting that Minetta Tavern will join his repertoire. McNally plans to keep the name and setup, but change the menu from Italian to French, in the vein of Balthazar. When community residents asked what sort of crowd McNally’s name may draw, he retorted, “They won’t be French,” and explained that his restaurants are “not the type of places where people spill out of white limos.” So he’s not expecting this to be the next Waverly Inn? “I’m lucky if I open the doors and people come,” McNally said. The board approved McNally’s bid.
La Esquina showed how it’s done when it pleaded for a liquor license for its sidewalk café. A large group of supporters attested that owners Derek Sanders and Serge Becker are “altruistic and very caring.” Said one resident: “I would personally be bothered if I couldn’t sit down and have a beer.” Word! And application approved. —Lucy Tang