Restaurant Vets Take Refuge in Chill New East Side Eatery
When Nish went under earlier this week, partner Joe Scalice didn’t have to look far for his next home: He simply walked two blocks over and took up residence as general manager at Solace, a one-week-old “American seasonal” restaurant created by David Regueiro of Aureole, Metrazur, and most recently the Water Club. (Given what Salice just went through at the late Nish, and Regueiro’s years under famously demanding taskmasters like Charlie Palmer and Michael “Buzzy” O’Keefe, Solace would seem to be just what the two men are seeking.) “We wanted to create a space where people would feel comfortable, with food they could understand,” the chef says. We can certainly see standards like salt cod and gnocchi ragout, butter braised lobster, and eggplant, goat cheese, and tomato terrine hitting the spot on a quiet night in the garden (open till 11 p.m.), with our own bottle in tow (Solace is still waiting on its liquor license).
Solace, 406 E. 64th St., at First Ave.; 212-750-0434.
Earlier: Nish, Felled by Its Own Best Efforts
America the BurgerfulBy a happy coincidence, two videos, both demonstrating the breadth of the human experience as encompassed by the mighty but still humble hamburger, have just turned up on the Web. In one, artist David Greg Harth stands in front of a Greenwich Village McDonald’s offering to buy random pedestrians a free meal. Banal performance “happening,” in which a trustafarian art student spends his grant money? Maybe. But a mere eleven minutes in, angry cops, sicced on the hapless Harth by the corporate behemoth he so obliquely critiques, rush the video to its disturbing but somehow inevitable dénouement. Meanwhile, Serious Eats is showing a clip from George Motz’s Hamburger America documentary, featuring a kindly old soul in Meers, Oklahoma, who lovingly raises heritage Texas longhorn cattle only to slaughter and then serve the beasts in his roadside restaurant. One video’s a portrait of a gentle man tending to a disappearing culture; the other, a gritty look at corporate culture’s hard, paradoxical realities. And yet neither would not have been possible without that patty-shaped embodiment of American culture. Another reason to love your hamburgers, America.
Free Burger! [Neatorama]
Hamburger America: The Meers Store [Serious Eats]