‘Speedy’ Wayne Nish Remakes Varietal in One Week FlatGiven that Wayne Nish transformed March into Nish just three months ago, we were surprised when we learned last week that he’d been assigned the task of creating a new menu at Varietal in the wake of chefs Ed Witt and Jordan Kahn exiting. Capable dude that he is, Nish started serving his dishes over the weekend. He even took some time to hook us up with said menu and explain where Witt and Kahn had gone wrong.
Sam Mason on the Sexiness of Japanese SteelWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
Back of the House
Varietal Finds Its Man: Wayne NishWayne Nish, who already has a namesake venue with Nish, will now take over the kitchen at Varietal, too, replacing Ed Witt. Varietal owner Greg Hockenberry implied earlier that he’d fired Witt; Witt informs us that he left of his own accord — because the restaurant was going more “mainstream.” (Avant-garde dessert chef Jordan Kahn also quit, presumably under similar pressure. He declined to comment when we spoke with him.) Restaurant Girl, who broke news of the hire, reports that Nish will implement a $48 prix fixe menu — and serve as his own dessert maker. That sounds more mainstream to us, but the imaginative Nish no doubt has his own ambitions. Find out April 6, when he steps up to the plates.
Varietal - Bruni Aftershocks [Restaurant Girl]
Varietal’s Ed Witt Pink-slipped; Jordan Kahn Apparently on the Way OutEater reports that Ed Witt, Varietal’s head chef, is leaving. The restaurant’s critical reception has been less than absolutely stellar, with Adam Platt giving it two stars and Frank Bruni awarding it one (out of four). “I think it would be silly to say that [the reviews] didn’t play a part,” owner Greg Hockenberry tells us, confirming the departure. Was Witt fired? “We’ve been looking to make a change for a while.” Okay. What about Jordan Kahn, the postmodern dessert whiz Eater earlier claimed is on the way out? “We’ll be making an announcement about that, too,” Hockenberry says. Uh-oh. Best of luck to both of the chefs, then.
EaterWire: Ed Witt Leaving Varietal [Eater]
Related: Varietal’s ‘Meditation in Purple’: Need We Say More?
Village Rats Also Eat VegetarianChelsea: Varietal pastry chef Jordan Kahn, famous for his abstract desserts and now a slam from Frank Bruni, may resign. [Eater]
Greenpoint: Unidentified soon-to-open restaurants spotted on both Greenpoint Avenue and Franklin Street. [Gowanus Lounge]
Greenwich Village: Health-food mecca Gobo contributes to the rat-video craze. [NewYorkology]
Lower East Side: Chickie Pig’s will open soon, but they may never have wine. [NYO]
Midwood: DiFara hopes to reopen Saturday; stop in, if only to confirm that Dom DeMarco will be wearing a hat. [NewYorkology]
Murray Hill: Wild Edibles now has a restaurant arm. [Gothamist]
The Other Critics
Dueling Views on Morandi; Varietal Taken to TaskMorandi gets absolutely slaughtered by Steve Cuozzo. Keith McNally has hardly received a bad review yet. [NYP]
Meanwhile, Moira Hodgson loves the place: “You’ll want to taste everything on this menu.” She seems to have liked all of it, with the possible exception of an overpriced veal chop. Did these two even go to the same restaurant? [NYO]
Bruni one-stars Varietal, calling the food creative but uneven and lambasting avant-garde dessert chef Jordan Kahn, who has enjoyed a lot of critical love. The desserts “don’t so much eschew convention as pummel and shatter it — literally, and often pointlessly.” [NYT]