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A Voce: How to Detonate a Restaurant


Update: Andrew Carmellini’s replacement has finally been named: Missy Robbins, formerly of Chicago’s Spiaggia. To learn more about the débacle that led up to this, read on.

The farce at A Voce is one of the sorriest spectacles we’ve seen in a long time.

After weeks of rumor-mongering, Grub Street reported yesterday that Manuel Treviño, a former Top Chef contestant, will temporarily replace Andrew Carmellini at A Voce. According to the report, “Treviño will oversee the expansion of A Voce to the Time Warner Center,” where it is replacing Café Gray, “but he is expected to make way for another big-name chef to be named (eventually) by A Voce’s owners.”

How many shades of stupidity can be painted in one sentence? Apparently, if Treviño does a good job at the Time Warner Center, he’ll get fired anyway. And if he does a bad job, the restaurant will have the mediocre reviews hanging like deadweights around its neck.

Remember: once the critics have reviewed a place, they seldom return. Why would anyone open the Time Warner branch with a transitional figure, get pummeled, and then bring in the chef they really want?

It gets worse. Today, Grub Street reports that pastry chef Josh Gripper has left the restaurant: “I’m not comfortable with [the ownership’s] direction, and I don’t think it would be a smart move to stay with them.” Ouch.

As a reader noted in the Eater comments section: “They might as well mail that 3rd star back to the Times right now.” We were never persuaded that A Voce was three-star material, but it’s still sad to see the owners squandering the good hand they were dealt.

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