Entries in Django (2)


Revolving Door

It has been a while since our last episode of Revolving Door—our periodic coverage of restaurant closings and chef departures.

At Fresh, former owner Eric Tevrow was found guilty of tax evasion in December 2007. In July, the new owners hired chef Michael Ferraro, replacing former chef Kento Komoto, who returned to Japan. Just two months later, Ferraro was out, and the restaurant was shuttered. It will become a Puerto Rican restaurant called Sazon, a sister to the uptown Sofrito on 57th & 1st. We liked Fresh, but it never seemed to be full when it needed to be.

Sheridan Square bit the dust. The cursed restaurant took forever to open. Gary Robins, the original chef, left after less than two months. His replacement, Franklin Becker, tried gamely to rescue the place, but it finally succumbed after its owners had lost $4 million. We had good first impressions, but it’s a bad sign when the chef is gone after six weeks. Some food board participants found the location problematic, but with tons of successful restaurants within a five-block radius, we find it remarkable that the right chef with the right menu couldn’t make it here.

Django, the midtown 300-seater, closed quietly. Was anyone paying attention? We liked our meal there (way back when), but not enough to consider visiting again. I guess we weren’t the only ones.




Note: Django closed in September 2008. It was replaced by At Vermilion, an Indian–Latin American fusion restaurant.


A friend and I had dinner at Django on a Saturday night. There were tons of empty tables, both downstairs in the bar/lounge and upstairs in the dining room. I’m assuming the restaurant caters primarily to a weekday business crowd, and its location in East Midtown is ideal for this.

Django is a very comfortable place. The downstairs lounge has huge armchairs, and there is a band playing light jazz in the background. The chairs in the upstairs dining room are equally comfy. This is a place where one can easily relax.

I started with a simple grilled asparagus appetizer, and my friend with a risotto, both of which were out-of-this-world. Neither one is listed on the currently posted, and I’m afraid I can’t report on the other ingredients.

My friend pronounced herself highly pleased with a bouillabase entrée ($29), which includes (per the website) “Yellowtail Snapper, Clams and Lobster Stew, Salsify and Baby Leeks, Spicy Rouille Croutons.”

I decided to try the Ribeye ($35), which is actually a double-entrée of ribeye slices and braised shortribs. Of the two, the shortribs were a bit more successful. The ribeye was fine, but didn’t erase the memory of the better steakhouse ribeyes I’ve tasted.

Our server earned plenty of brownie points early on. My friend likes sweet white wines. I had initially selected a $52 riesling. The server suggested that another bottle costing $2 less would be a lot better, and indeed it was. The $2 is obviously insignificant, but one grows so accustomed to “upselling” that it’s almost a shock when it doesn’t happen.

The setting at Django is romantic, comfortable, and highly recommended.

Django (480 Lexington Avenue at 46th Street, East Midtown)

Food: **
Service: ***
Ambiance: **½
Overall: **