So Charlie Trotter is coming to New York at long last. (Or so the New York Times says today, reporting that the celebrated Chicago chef has plans for a restaurant on East 22nd Street, at One Madison Park.) Our question is, what took him so long? Trotter has been considered one of the top chefs in America for years, but big names in second-rate food cities rarely make a big splash here. Paul Prudhomme, the pride of New Orleans, had only mixed success here, and in recent years Charles Ramseyer of Seattle (at Wild Salmon), and Fabio Trabocchi of Virginia (at Fiamma), both the toasts of their former towns, have received tepid responses here. (Tim Love, the pride of Texas, washed out completely with Lonesome Dove.)
We applaud Charlie Trotter for finally taking the big step. Having never eaten in his Chicago restaurant (yes, we admit it), we can’t say whether he’ll do better on 22nd Street than Rocco DiSpirito did (perhaps a reality show?), but maybe some of you can harbor a guess. Eaten Trotter’s food? Give us your critique in the comments.