In a saw-dusted, self-depreciating interview with the Times, Taavo Somer — of the Freemans empire, Rusty Knot, Gemma, Peels, the brand-new Isa, and more — says he just wants to build things, avoid the taxidermy trend that he guiltily started, and hang with his baby and wife upstate. He openly admits that he is enjoying becoming just like his Estonian father, who raised Taavo in Detroit with homemade hippie jam and solar panels ("I am my dad. I even look like him"), much more than New York's emblem of a work-obsessed, cool-as-hell restaurateur ("In New York, it's like you are lucky if you can be creative for three hours a week"). Almost all of Williambsurg's Isa, with chef Ignacio Mattos, was built by him, "down to the door closer of the bathroom," and his construction-fever is still ablaze. Just don't expect more of it in your 'hood, unless you live in Berlin for real or Darien as a joke. [NYT]
Most Viewed Stories
Black Customers Sue Denny’s for Asking Them to Prepay for Their Meal
Why Do Starbucks’s Valentine’s Drinks Contain Something Called ‘Chocolatey’ Chips?
Judy Greer Loves Leftovers and ‘Toast Situations’
One of Brooklyn’s Favorite Chefs Is Headed to a Meal-Delivery Start-up
Meet the People Working to Improve the Lives of Restaurant Employees
Latest News from Grub StreetTop Chef Recap: Champagne Salads and Strawberry Dreams
“Do you want to put, like, salt on these onions?”Whole Foods Debates Adding In-Store Tattoo Parlors to Its New Chain
It's the grocery giant's latest attempt to be "hip."Judy Greer Loves Leftovers and ‘Toast Situations’
"I feel like I eat like a college student."One of Brooklyn’s Favorite Chefs Is Headed to a Meal-Delivery Start-up
Johnathan Adler will leave Franny's at the end of March to take over as the culinary manager of Blue Apron.Why Do Starbucks’s Valentine’s Drinks Contain Something Called ‘Chocolatey’ Chips?
Turns out the FDA doesn't recognize the ingredient as "chocolate."Is New York Still America’s Most Important Restaurant City?
That's the question Adam Platt and Alan Sytsma debate in the newest episode of the Grub Street Podcast.Craft Breweries Mailed Peyton Manning Beer That Isn’t Budweiser
The Brewers Association is staging an intervention over his subpar beer preferences.Brooklyn Will Get Its Own Breaking Bad Coffee Shop This Year
" ... This isn't a theme park, but a unique coffee shop with just hints of the TV show."Someone Paid $96,000 for a Bottle of McDonald’s Special Sauce
The only bottle available to the public in the U.K., or something.11 Last-Minute Valentine’s Gifts for NYC Food-Lovers
Halva worth splurging on, American charcuterie, wine to celebrate with, and more inspired options.
Seems a little incongruous.Misguided Maker of Skittles and M&Ms Swears Off Artificial Dye
What would Willy Wonka think?There’s a Subway Sandwich Shop Every 5 Frickin’ Blocks in Manhattan
That's probably too many.What Went Wrong at Bark Hot Dogs?
The popular Park Slope spot surprised everyone when it closed this month. Owner Joshua Sharkey explains what happened and why he made the decision.The Dumpling Emoji Is Under Official Consideration
Potatoes, avocados, pancakes, and even whiskey are in there, too.Watch April Bloomfield Charm America With Her Burger-Making Mastery
"This is like beef-on-beef."Mission Chinese Food’s Lunar New Year Party Featured a Small Army of Chefs
Chad Robertson and Jessica Koslow, among others, collaborated for the potluck dinner.Semilla to Serve Pop-up Pizza One Night Only
There will also be rare Spanish natural wines.New Report Accuses Restaurants of Passing Off Cheaper Fish As Lobster
A report found that 35 percent of dishes include inferior seafood.Some Dude Threw an Alligator Into a Wendy’s Drive-Through
In Florida, of course.