Joël Antunes Splits With Oak Room

Photo: Hannah Whitaker

A rep for the Oak Room tells us that, just days ago, the restaurant parted ways with Joël Antunes, the Atlanta star chef who was brought on to restore the refurbished dining room to its former glory. “The chef and the ownership had differences about direction,” says the rep, who believes the higher-ups wanted more traditionally American food and Antunes wasn’t willing to compromise. The restaurant, fresh off a pan from Platt (who called the menu “a slightly ham-fisted compendium of the kind of luxury-hotel grub savvy New Yorkers don’t much eat anymore”), is currently hiring. In the meantime, the kitchen is in the hands of chef de cuisine Matt Ridgeway.