At this weekend’s Meatopia event — look for a full report later today — we caught up with Marea, Ai Fiori, and Osteria Morini chef Michael White, who was serving some porchetta. The 100-degree-plus temperatures were on everyone’s mind (“It’s hot as fuckin’ hell,” White pointed out, not inaccurately), but we wondered what was next for the expansion-minded chef. “I’ve looked at numerous spaces on the Upper West Side,” he conceded. Oh really?
He wouldn’t divulge details on the restaurant itself, but did mention that he’s concerned about drumming up enough business in the family-friendly neighborhood. “It’s hard to pay rent if you only have one turn,” he told us. “People have children and babysitter issues, or they take their children, and then they have to eat early and leave early — and you’re left with an empty restaurant. So it’s a challenge.” Even still, White tells Grub Street the area does appeal to him: “There’s a pretty good bet I’ll be up there before the end of this year. Absolutely.”