Eater reported yesterday that there is a “Closed for Renovations” sign at the Tasting Room. In the Comments section, chef Colin Alevras confirmed that the restaurant is, indeed, just plain closed (see #16). (Update: It was later replaced by the restaurant Jo’s.)
The Tasting Room had a terrific cult following at their original location in the East Village. When they moved to Elizabeth Street in NoLIta, they tripled the size of the restaurant. We never visited the original Tasting Room, and so can’t make comparisons, but perhaps Alevras wasn’t able to scale the concept up to such a large space. Although we enjoyed the Tasting Room, the new space never quite attracted the rapturous reviews of the old.
When I stopped by recently to sample Alevras’s “Old McDonald’s Hamburger,” I noticed that the menu had been retooled; ironically, it no longer offered “tasting” portions, which of course was the original point of the restaurant. Business seemed to be slow.
There is no justice in the restaurant industry. The Tasting Room wasn’t perfect, but it was better and less expensive than plenty of places that are still open.
The Alevrases still have their original space on 1st Street between First & Second Avenues, which they transformed into a wine bar when the NoLIta location opened. What will they do now? We’ll have to wait and see.