I’ve never built or run a restaurant, but I’m gonna go out on a limb, and give some advice: don’t tell the press that you’re building a new Balthazar or Elaine’s. Those two places are too iconic – too legendary –to be copied. The attempt is bound to seem pale by comparison.
That’s exactly what Greg Hunt, owner of Cafe Tallulah on the Upper West Side, did. Florence Fabricant of The Times duly reported it. Hunt hired Roxanne Spruance, a sous chef from Blue Hill Stone Barns (and previously WD~50) to run the kitchen. An Employees Only alumnus was in charge of the cocktails. With that background, the critics were sure to turn up, right?
Except: five weeks later, Spruance was gone, replaced by one Patrick Farrell, who promptly got slammed by The Post’s Steve Cuozzo. According to the folks at Immaculate Infatuation, the place is now on its third chef in ten months.