Welcome to House Style, wherein Grub Street introduces you to the people who work at New York's scene-iest restaurants. First up: the staff at the Fat Radish. When the restaurant opened nine months ago, it was an instant hit, thanks in large part to the A-list parties being thrown by owners Ben Towill and Phil Winser, who also own events company Silkstone. But even though the restaurant's down-home, vegivore-friendly name might seem at odds with the the tucked-away Orchard Street location and fashion-forward clientele, the place has managed to keep its buzz going. The casual, comfortable vibe of the place and the admittedly attractive staff no doubt plays a part in keeping people coming back, ensuring that the dining room remains packed. So, what does it take to make sure the restaurant keeps feeling fresh?
The Fat Radish Gang
Phil Winser (left) and Ben Towill, Owners
You two kind of have a similar look going on.
Ben: You can do such an array of things in a restaurant day-to-day, so you want to be smart, but comfortable.
Phil: It fits into the clientele. No one comes in here in a suit and tie. That’s the whole feeling of the place ... We have young kids who live around to older couples who come in to eat. Forward-thinking people of all ages come here like it’s their home. Anyone from the designer of a cool tailor shop to young hoteliers — it’s a whole array. People tend to be creative, forward thinking, and like good food in an atmosphere that’s not pretentious.
Jamie DuMont, Events Director for Silkstone
How are Silkstone and the restaurant tied together?
I think the whole aesthetic of the company is it’s relaxed, it’s chic, it’s contemporary, but with elements that come from different time and space and generations. I feel like we do have a specific look, and I think it’s very classic and it’s very comfortable.
What about those white jeans – only after Memorial Day?
Absolutely. I do follow that crazy rule and I’m very strict about it. Some people think I’m silly. Some people say it doesn’t matter anymore, but I don’t know; I think that’s a rule that’s always made sense.
Is it hard to keep them clean?
[Laughs.] That’s the dry cleaner’s problem.
Robyn Kerr, Reservationist (left), and Dave Quon, Café/Boutique manager
Tell us a little bit about the clientele.
Dave: We're right in the middle of Chinatown, yet if you go up Orchard two or three blocks, it gets a lot more populated. There are a lot of galleries and artists, so I think that naturally it kind of attracts people in that vein.
Robyn: People that work here are artistic outside of here as well.
Dave: Yeah, there are a lot of people here who are musicians or actors; Ben and Phil really promote that.
From Left: Servers Ana Velazquez, Slavica Dragojevic, and Daryl Nuhn; Hostess Elsa Bloedon
How would you guys describe the space?
Daryl: I think it’s like someone who doesn’t know how cool it is. I think that’s what people in New York try to do: have their little secret, where they know they’re really cool, but they’re not trying to act like it. This place has its own style, it’s kind of beat-up ... there are weird things on the walls, but it’s not trying to be; it just is.
Everyone working here is so attractive ... Is there any pressure to be stylish?
Ana: It’s all about comfort and it’s super-casual, which I really like.
Slavica: What I really like about the style here is they give us a lot of freedom. They tell us about the uniform, but we’re still really free.
Daryl: We’re all very different personalities. I wear the same necklace and the same shoes and the same jeans, every day; that’s just my uniform. Ana always wears really cute Nikes, colorful ones. Everybody’s different and we all just happen to go well together.
Sae Joong Suh, Bartender
How do you think the restaurant fits into the neighborhood?
I would say if I was walking through this neighborhood, I’d be very surprised to see this place, but it’s a really, really nice surprise.
From Left: Office Manager Caroline Sheahan, General Manager Steven Bustos, and Executive Chef Nicholas Wilber
How would you describe your clientele's style?
Caroline: It’s funny, because I read all the pieces online about the fashionable clientele. It’s very true. I saw a woman in here who was straight out of the eighties. We have a lot of great PR companies that send a lot of their clients here, and a lot of that happens to be fashion industry. So it seems like somebody has some sort of tie. It’s fun to come down here and peek at what everybody’s wearing.
Most Viewed Stories
Watch a Tokyo Chef Explain the Rules of Eating Sushi
36 New Restaurants Opening This Fall
The 20 Best Nightlife Picks for Fall
Poet Patricia Lockwood Dreams of Roasted Pturkeydactyls
The 101 Best (New) Cheap Eats, Ranked
Search by name
Or, search by
Latest News on Grub StreetRestaurant Review: At Nomad Bar and Bar Primi, Bar Food Gets Some Serious Upgrades—but Bring Earplugs
Two stars apiece for these high-decibel dining destinations.We’re Starting Our Last-Minute, Late-Summer Road Trip a Few Hours Early
Have a great Labor Day weekend.Food Event at Housing Works; FeelFood’s Fashion Week Special
Today's Leftovers.Someone Went on an Emoji-Themed Diet for a Week
Hope they like rice.Your Almond Consumption Is Killing California’s Salmon and Honeybees
The nut's unprecedented use has a few consequences.Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Berg’n, Bâtard, and Lots More
Find out where to eat in Grub Street's weekly ranking of the city's most-buzzed-about restaurants.On-Break EMTs Rescue Applebee’s Customers and Staff From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Restaurant had no sensor, despite a death at nearby Legal Seafoods earlier this year.Iconic Katz’s Deli Has Sold Air Rights, But the Pastrami Is Safe
"The most important thing is that the future of Katz’s is secure — at the end of the day, no developer can ever come in and knock us down to put in a high rise."Jared Leto Stops at Bar Primi; the Clintons Dine at Sotto Sopra
This week's Celebrity Settings.You Should Totally Apply to Become Noma’s Next Pastry Chef
"Expect lots of craziness, lots of action, and a trip to Japan," says Redzepi. Also, there's an eight-month training period.
For those customers begging for "a bolder flavor."Poet Patricia Lockwood Dreams of Roasted Pturkeydactyls
"Is the yogurt having sex, in my mouth, as I eat it? Is it some sort of dairy orgy?"Fair Folks Opens Coffee Bar in the East Village; Labor Day Parties
Today's Leftovers.Maryland Stadium Unveils 1-and-a-Half Pound Pretzel Smothered With Cheesy Crab Dip
It serves four, and at $17.50, that's a steal.Obamas’ Personal Chef Taking Over Stone Barns on Saturday for Giant Wedding
The so-called political "'It couple' of the year" are keeping it low-key.Ex Employee Sues Little Caesars for Denying Same-Sex Spouse Insurance Benefits
Spouses at Little Caesars are "the opposite gender from you."Magnolia Bakery Just Opened a Terribly Timed Moscow Location
The empire-building sweets chain is optimistic about locally sourced buttercream.Community Board Says Pranna’s Bottomless Brunch Has to Go
It's on a three-month probation after neighbors' complaints last night.Watch a Tokyo Chef Explain the Rules of Eating Sushi
Don't even think about putting that pickled ginger on the fish.Stephen Tanner on Being a Germophobe, Killer Boston Pizza, and Why He Hates ‘Munchies’
"That’s an abomination."
Finally, a flavor everyone can get behind.Labor Day at M. Wells; Erica Jong at Contrada
Today's Leftovers.There’s a Real Friends Central Perk Coming to Lower Manhattan
It's the perfect place to go if it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.You Can Now Get Mission Cantina’s Full Menu Delivered
Chicken wings and beef-tongue tacos and spare ribs.Subway Inn's Eviction Order Blocked Yet Again
Now head over there right now and get a celebratory beer.Cool New Restaurant Opens in Lower Manhattan This Weekend
Discerning patrons will want to try the $300 Dom-and-pancakes special.Dairy Queen Served a Chemical-Cleaner-Laced Milkshake to a Kid
The tainted drink made the 7-year-old's mouth start "bubbling."Corn Dogs and Peach Pie Concretes Return to Shake Shack This Weekend
Also, it's your last chance to get a pint of Shack X IPA.Brooklyn Fare Manhattan Is Two Light Fixtures Away From Opening After a Chef Shuffle
The original Brooklyn location will close while César Ramirez concentrates on the new location.New Report Finds 40% of Restaurant Workers Live in Near Poverty
Workers outside the industry make almost twice as much.
This week's roundup.Tim Hortons Rolls Out Monstrous ‘Buffalo Crunch’ Doughnut
The Canadian chain is serving a prototype doughnut with spicy crushed tortillas and a pool of Buffalo-wing sauce in the center.Curry Night at Achilles Heel; Special Coffee at Joe
Today's Leftovers.This? Just an Excellent Walter White Portrait Made With Ketchup
"Heinz-enberg."Dirty French Opens September 2
The tarte au citron will be made with preserved lemons.5 Things Alex Stupak Learned About Tacos al Pastor in Mexico
The biggest takeaways that the New York chef will apply to his own version of the iconic street food.Uber Begins Testing 10-Minute Food Delivery
Maybe prepare for $35 surge-priced chicken-noodle soup.Small Town Isn’t So Sure It Wants to Host Giant Party for 1,000 Bud Light Fans
They certainly don't want the beer company to paint all of its lampposts electric blue.French Chefs Launched a Petition to Ban Negative Online Reviews
More than 1,700 people have signed it.An All-Nutella Restaurant Will Open in Park Slope
It just has to outpace Nutella manufacturer Ferrero's spry legal team first.
And that figure isn't even in Canadian dollars.New York Now Has 3 Fewer Fro-Yo Places
It's a cold, cold world.Dough Doughnuts and Ample Hills Ice Cream at Murray’s Cheese; Friday Brunch at Bustan
Today's Leftovers.What to Eat at This Year’s U.S. Open
The concessions this year include the debut of the U.S. Open's first grounds-sanctioned food truck.Arby’s Latest Meat Monstrosity Is Aptly Named the ‘Meat Mountain’
Eight meats, two cheeses, no container large enough to hold it.Little Caesars Will Roll Out Pretzel-Crust Pizzas Nationwide Next Week
Pizza and pretzel, now in holy, fast-food union, for $6 a pop.Famous West Village Bar Chumley’s Should Be Reopening Any Month Now
It's been closed for seven years.Tiny Bistro Faces Backlash After Removing 'Insensitive' Bacon Sign
One guy's pretty sure "the First Amendment extends to bacon."Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich Will Take Over La Bottega in the Maritime Hotel
Let's all take a trip to "terraced hillsides of Positano."Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi Aim to Change the Fast-Food Game With Loco’l
A healthy alternative.