Can someone find the right restaurant for Floyd Cardoz? Perhaps White Street is the one, but I am not so sure.
Cardoz first came to widespread acclaim with Tabla, the modern Indian restaurant he opened with Danny Meyer in 1998. It got three stars from Ruch Reichl right out of the gate. We thought it was still in top form the first time we tried it, in 2006.
But by then, Tabla had fallen off the city’s culinary radar. Meyer and Cardoz must have recognized that: by 2009, the formal dining room menu was discontinued, which only put off the inevitable. Tabla closed in late 2010.
Just over a year later, Cardoz re-appeared in another Meyer place, North End Grill in Battery Park City. We liked it, and so did most critics, but it built up a reputation as an expensive cafeteria for Goldman Sachs next door. Once again, the chef was doing respectable work, totally off the culinary radar.
Cardoz left North End Grill in April 2014, saying that he wanted to open another Indian restaurant in New York. By July he’d changed his mind, or perhaps had it changed for him by investors who couldn’t make the numbers work. So White Street was announced, promising “American [cuisine] with global touches.” Those investors include Dan Abrams and Dave Zinczenko, backers of John DeLucie’s The Lion, a precedent that hardly inspires much confidence.