The Observer chats with Keith McNally, who will take a little longer than Daniel Boulud to open his “pizzeria — one without a twist” on the corner of Houston and Bowery — a location he’s been pursuing for four years because it’s a “gritty, ungentrifiable” crossroads that lends itself to “a big, busy, inexpensive pizzeria” (the landlord only caved to his inquiries when after three years, McNally finally revealed that he owned Balthazar). McNally sees the place opening a year from now after slow, expensive construction. As for his other project, Minetta Tavern, he reveals that he has tossed a lot of the junk out. (“One has to be careful about not turning it into a museum piece. There’s enough of that with me around.”) So why is he working on two places at once? “I didn’t plan to open another restaurant after Morandi,” he says. “But The Times and New York magazine reviews for Morandi were so awful I didn’t want to bow out with a whimper. I’ve already done that with my love life.” So, we have Platt to thank for all this!
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