With this week’s Times takedown of Sam Talbot’s Imperial No. Nine coming so soon after Nikki Cascone suddenly packed her knives at Octavia’s Porch, we were starting to wonder if there might be an anti–Top Chef movement afoot in New York. But when we posited our theory to Social Eatz’ Angelo Sosa this afternoon, he said that isn’t the case. “I don’t think anybody has it out for Top Chefs,” Sosa told Grub Street. “Because we’re on TV and we’re a little bit more exposed, it doesn’t mean they’re out for us.” But do people look at a restaurant differently when its kitchen is run by a cheftestant? “I will say that there is a definite expectation,” he says. “But I also think there’s a fun element. I think when people see me [at Social Eatz] they’re definitely excited that I’m here.” So does Sosa think Sifton was correct in his assessment of Imperial No. Nine? Sosa says he can’t be sure — he hasn’t been yet.
Photo: Courtest of Bravo