The concept was always a tough sell: a foraged modernist $120 prix fixe-only tasting menu served around a 12-seat dining counter, served by a chef with impeccable credentials but no record of success.
Despite favorable reviews in other outlets, The Times could not be bothered to review it, sending Julia Moskin for a Dining Brief, no doubt while Sam Sifton snored his way through three visits to La Petite Maison.
Richard didn’t give up. She lured Matthew Lightner to New York, chef of the acclaimed Portland restaurant Castagna, closed for a renovation that stretched to nearly six months, and re-opened as Atera.
It had to have been a risk for Lightner: this city sometimes chews up and spits out chefs imported from elsewhere. Just ask Miguel Sanchez Romera.