Entries in Year in Review (5)


Top Ten New Restaurants of 2011

Yesterday, I posted my top ten restaurant disappointments of 2011. Today, here are my ten best.

It was not a great year. Most of my choices come with hedges and caveats. There was no consensus #1, and among my top ten there are very few that I am confident will still be open, and still be good, a year or two from now.

As usual, the list includes restaurants I reviewed in 2011 that opened this year or late last year. (Most critics who make such lists seem to operate the same way, given that the standard reviewing cycle for a new restaurant is anywhere from two to four months after the opening date.)

Let me first mention a few places that didn’t make the cut. The Dutch and Tertulia are on the top-ten lists of every critic in town (Sifton, Platt, Sutton). I consider them disappointments, rather than hits, for the reasons I gave yesterday. Multiple critics mentioned Ciano and Kin Shop, and deservedly so, but I reviewed them late last year, so they were on my 2010 list.

Empellón was on all three critics’ lists. I didn’t enjoy my visit, partly due to the punishing sound level. I understand it has improved, but I was disappointed. The Red Rooster is on two out of the three critics’ lists. I found it not bad at all, but I have no particular desire to return.

I considered including the first-class revamp of the Monkey Bar. But it’s not a new restaurant, just a new staff, so it’s not on my list. Finally, there are some possibly excellent places that I simply didn’t get to: Danji, Romera, and Isa.

Now, to the list:

10. Gastroarte. This place had a rough start, after the chef was forced to change the original name (Graffit) in a trademark dispute. On an earlier visit, the kitchen was inconsistent, and the critics weren’t kind. By October, I found it much improved. Though not to all tastes, chef Jesús Núñez is serving some of the cleverest, most original food in the city.

9. Hospoda. This “beer hall” dedicated to Czech cuisine, also got very little critic love, and it took them a while to figure out the right price point. (A $76 prix fixe was wisely abandoned early on.) As I wrote in my original review: “There’s always a place in my heart for restaurants that come out of nowhere—that neither set nor follow any discernable trend; that exist, for no other reason than someone believes in an idea.”

8. Rouge et Blanc. This much-overlooked Vietnamese restaurant with an excellent wine list is on none of the major critics’ lists, simply because none of them reviewed it. Eric Asimov finally did so a month ago, giving it two stars.

7. Boulud Sud. For his second Lincoln Center restaurant, Daniel Boulud swam against the tide, and opened a relatively formal place (by modern standards), tablecloths and all. He was rewarded with mostly rapturous reviews for his best new restaurant in years, and a place on all three critics’ best-of-2011 lists. My only visit was relatively early, and the menu structure has changed since then. I wonder if Boulud can maintain the early high standard, now that the review cycle is over and his attentions are fixed elsewhere.

6. Fatty ’Cue (West Village). Zak Pelaccio promised that the second outpost of Fatty ’Cue would be more “grown up,” and he delivered. No one would call any Pelaccio restaurant formal, but this is the most polished and the most enjoyable of the four “Fatties” to date.

5. Crown. I waited and waited to visit Crown, worried that it was just another of chef John DeLucie’s over-priced pseudo-clubs. It turns out Crown is wonderful, an hommage to old-fashioned formality that even downtown folk are flocking to. DeLucie himself is not a great talent, but he put Crown in the hands of good people, and they delivered.

4. Junoon and Tulsi (tie). This was the year for haute Indian cuisine, with Junoon and Tulsi both winning Michelin stars. I visited Junoon twice (it has the better room and superior wine service), though the food at Tulsi might be better. I’m calling it a tie. [Yes, I know that gives me eleven restaurants on the list, rather than ten.]

3. Ai Fiori. As chef Michael White syndicates his empire globally, you start to wonder if he’s just going through the motions, but my meal there was superb, and his butter-poached lobster was probably the single best dish I had all year. The restaurant has since lost its chef de cuisine (Sifton knocked Ai Fiori off his list for this reason), but I’m paying tribute to what was achieved at the time, not for what the future holds.

2. Brushstroke. David Bouley has screwed up so many restaurants that it was almost a surprise when he got one right. Japanese Kaiseki cuisine is a tough sell in New York (there are very few places that offer it), and Bouley isn’t making it any easier on himself with the world’s worst restaurant website. As of September there were month-long waits for reservations, but the happy hour menu recently announced could be a sign of trouble.

1. Jungsik. This was my last review of the year, and the best new restaurant of the year. Alas, the city’s critics have little patience for upscale prix fixe Korean cuisine. I worry they’ll be forced to dumb down the menu (prices have already been reduced), but for now it’s excellent.


Top Ten Restaurant Disappointments of 2011

It’s time once again for the annual wrap-up. I’ll talk about disappointments here, and favorites in a subsequent post.

Just a few ground rules: I only write about restaurants I visited. Does the “neurogastronomy” restaurant Romera belong in the top ten or the bottom ten? So far, I’ve not been tempted to drop $125 a head to find out.

Except for the bottom section below (“Sad Goodbyes”), every restaurant on the list opened in 2011 or late in 2010, and was first reviewed here in 2011.

My standards for this type of list are a bit different than other people’s. I didn’t have many actively bad meals in 2011, though I didn’t have many great ones either. It was a mediocre year for restaurants in New York. Unlike professional critics, I don’t visit places I know (or strongly believe) are bad, out of journalistic obligation to review them. Once I’ve had a bad meal, I seldom pay the second or third visit a professional critic would, before passing judgment.

So, the list below is not a list of ten bad restaurants, though there are a few of those. Instead, it’s a list of places that, in my judgment, missed an opportunity to be better, or are not as good as they ought to be. I’ve even included a couple of critical darlings that, as I see it, are resting on shaky laurels.

As a point of comparison, Lincoln was #1 on last year’s most-disappointing list. I did not dislike Lincoln: I had given it 2 stars and have gone back frequently. But in relation to what it could and should be, Lincoln was the most disappointing restaurant of 2010. (For the record, Lincoln is improving, though it’s not yet the three-star restaurant it aspires to be.)

On with the list:

Missed Opportunities:

10. Marble Lane. This was my worst meal of the year. With career mediocrity Manuel Treviño as chef in a clubby Meatpacking District hotel, why on earth did I go there? But it’s not merely my bad judgment that got Marble Lane on this list. I found the place empty, so apparently everyone else in town had figured out what I had not.

9. Left Bank. This was my second-worst meal of the year. It wasn’t really all that bad, and the problems are fixable, but other restaurants have failed in this location; most of the pro critics ignored it; and they chose a meaningless name that is too easily confused with other establishments.

8. Casa Nonna. Jimmy Haber broke up with Laurent Tourondel, so that he could do this? Why doesn’t he just open an Applebees?

7. WallE. We actually liked WallE, the unbuttoned spinoff of Chinese standard Chin Chin. But despite great opening press, it got very few reviews (Steve Cuozzo of The Post panned it), and the quasi-lounge ambiance is a real downer. These guys should have left the lounge business to those who know how to do it.

6. Duo. The folks from Duvet (the restaurant/lounge where guests dined on beds) opened Duo, a strangly posh restaurant with illuminated menus, footmen, and purse stools. We wouldn’t mind those things in the right place, but here it seemed silly. The opening chef was pretty good, but he was fired after two months, and there are no professional reviews to date.

5. Tenpenny. A lot of folks loved Tenpenny, a place that proved hotel restaurants don’t have to be bad. But just six months in, managing partner Jeff Tascarella left the restaurant to open the new Daniel Humm/Will Guidara place in the NoMad hotel. Chef Chris Cippollone followed him out the door two months later.

Not As Good As They Should Be

4. Fedora. Like most of Gabe Stulman’s growing clutch of West Village restaurants, Fedora is a solid neighborhood place. But with an alum of the sainted Montreal restaurant Au Pied de Cochon in the kitchen, some of us expected the fireworks generated by the short-lived M. Wells in Long Island City. What we got, instead, was forgettable and ordinary. Fedora isn’t struggling. Not one bit. If he actually cares, this is Stulman’s chance to do something better.

3. Tertulia. I was so surprised by the critical hype for Tertulia that I did something I rarely do: visited three times, to see if my first and second impressions were mistaken. Though not bad, the dishes I tried were hits and misses in equal measure. Having made it on just about every critic’s top-ten list, I realize that chef Seamus Mullen isn’t going to change a thing. Why should he?

2. The Dutch. Much like Fedora and Tertulia, The Dutch isn’t bad, but I think it is coasting, and the claims of some critics that it made Minetta Tavern “irrelevant” are just plain daft. Sam Sifton named The Dutch Restaurant of the Year, yet another absurd judgment from him that makes me happy he is no longer writing reviews.

Sad Goodbyes

1c. What Happens When. Dovetail chef John Fraser had a terrific, crazy idea: a restaurant that would change everything (menu, décor, cuisine) every month—but only for nine months, and then close for good. I’d hoped to go more often, but only made it there once. In the end, a stupid dispute over a liquor license forced him to close after just five months. Had it been a permanent restaurant, I likely would have given it 2½ stars.

1b. Daniel Angerer’s Empire. This chef had a pretty good thing going, with Klee Brasserie, Brats and the Little Cheese Pub in the heart of Chelsea. Within a matter of months, he closed Brats, announced plans to turn Klee into a wine bar, and then sold both remaining places outright. Angerer now runs the kitchens for the Dig Inn Seasonal Market chain.

1a. Alto and Convivio. If anyone had an annus horribilis in the NYC restaurant industry, it’s Chris Cannon. In January, he officially announced his break-up with the chef Michael White. In February, he announced new chefs at the two restaurants he retained, Alto and Convivio. And then, most mysteriously, Alto and Convivio closed a month later. On the same day. The simultaneous closure remains unexplained: neither restaurant was believed to be struggling. There are rumors, which I will not repeat; Cannon himself has been mum. In one day, two of the city’s best Italian restaurants, with nine Michelin and New York Times stars between them, were gone.


NYC's Top Ten Restaurant Trends in 2011

This is my third 2010 wrap-up piece: new or continuing trends for 2011. (See previously: NYC’s Top Ten New Restaurants of 2010 and NYC’s Ten Most Disappointing New Restaurants of 2010.)

1. Spend, spend, spend. Get ready to spend more money. Restaurant prices will rise beyond the pace of inflation. During the recession, chefs and restaurateurs held back, either by reducing their profit margins, or by using less expensive ingredients. As New York begins to recover, restaurants will raise prices. Entrées will test the $40 mark (and at some places, already have).

2. Eleven Madison Park/Del Posto copycats. During the recession, Eleven Madison Park and Del Posto bucked the economy, and actually got fancier. Eleven Madison is busier than ever, while Del Posto was rewarded with four stars. Restaurant owners will notice that this ploy worked, and will seek to copy it—not necessarily to four-star heights, which can happen only rarely, but at all levels of the dining spectrum.

3. Long-format fixed menus proliferate. Brooklyn Fare and Torrisi Italian Specialties have thrived with long-format menus that practically eliminate customer choice. Compose, which just opened in Tribeca, is another in this format. The idea isn’t new (Per Se, Masa, and Momofuku Ko had done the same) but at these newer places, the chefs had no track record that suggested they could get away with it. Given the success at Brooklyn Fare and Torrisi—Compose is too new to assess—we expect to see more of the same.

4. The small-plates format begins its overdue decline. The small-plates format is one of the many tricks that restaurants use to make themselves appear to be less expensive than they are. You might see a menu on which no individual dish is over $20, but you need to order four of them, so you wind up with a $60–80 food bill in the end. Although it will take more than a year to kill this format, you’ll see less of it in 2011, as chefs will not be tempted to make their menus seem cheaper.

5. Expect more “menus for many.” In his year-end rant, the Post’s Steve Cuozzo complained about “silly feasts,” like Má Pêche’s beef seven ways ($85pp; 6–10 people) and the Breslin’s suckling pig dinner ($65pp; 8–12 people). Get used to it, Steve: you’re going to see more of these. We disagree with Cuozzo that these feasts “exist mainly to feed chefs’ egos”: we loved the Bo Ssäm at Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and most reviews of “beef seven ways” have been positive. But I lament that the format is so inflexible. I would love to try the fried chicken dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar, but you need to coordinate schedules with half-a-dozen other people, and then if someone cancels you could be left holding the bag.

6. Wine lists become more elaborate. Wine has the widest price range of any product sold in restaurants. A bottle could cost as little $20 or as much as $20,000. Restaurant wine lists were understandably cautious during the recession: there is no reason to stock bottles in three figures if people aren’t buying them. As the economy recovers, wine lists will become more adventurous, but also more expensive. More restaurants will go the Bar Henry/Ciano route, and offer large sections of their wine lists by the half-bottle, a move that encourages diners to order more adventurously. Web gurus like Feast’s Gary Vaynerchuk and Eater/Winechap’s Talia Biaocchi will continue to bring wine education to a wider market. Oh, and we’ll probably see more iPad wine lists (of which we are not fans).

7. Burger craze is not over. Are you tired of seeing a $16–25 burger on every menu? Too bad: the designer burger craze isn’t over. Exhibit A: the heavy breathing for the recently introduced “White Label” burger at Michael White’s Ai Fiori. These burgers are like catnip for influential bloggers, and they’re a no-risk proposition for the restaurants. We strongly disagree with Feast’s Ben Leventhal that a burger can add a whole star to a restaurant’s Times rating; but they certainly can’t hurt. (For the record, we find this trend unobjectionable: Don’t like ’em? Don’t order ’em.)

8. The Italian segment consolidates. The Italian segment is overdue for consolidation. The last half of 2010 saw a slew of fancy new Italian restaurants, such as Lincoln, Ai Fiori, Ciano, Manzo, and Villa Pacri. In a perverse way, it was a flight to safety. The Zagat Guide lists more Italian restaurants in New York than any other ethnic cuisine, and the standard four-course format (antipasti, primi, secondi, dolci) tends to plump up the bill. But at this point, the market for upscale Italian is beyond saturation. There will be some losers, and chefs (if they have a choice) won’t choose Italian cuisine quite as readily. It’s perhaps notable that Ai Fiori, despite retaining its Italian name, is now described as Mediterranean cuisine, and we strongly suspect that Lincoln’s Jonathan Benno might be wishing he had done the same.

9. Chefs trade up. During the recession, classically-trained chefs opened things like meatball shops and hot dog stands. In 2011, chefs will trade up again. An early example is Zak Pellacio, who told the Times that he’s closing his casual goat-themed restaurant Cabrito, in favor of something “a little more studied” and “with a slightly more grown-up menu and service style.” Pelaccio is unlikely to open anything resembling a fine-dining restaurant, but when was the last time anyone actually closed a place so that he could make it “more grown-up”? As the recession eases, chefs will itch to return to the “more studied” food they were trained to cook, but have been avoiding.

10. The luxury segment is NOT back. If our trends have a theme, it’s that restaurants in 2011 will get fancier, more audacious, and more expensive. Despite those trends, there will be no new balls-to-the-walls luxury restaurants next year. I’m talking about places that are consensus four-star (or at least, “high three-star”) restaurants from the day they open, the way Per Se and Masa were in 2003–04. It’s not that there is no longer demand for those that already exist: just try getting a last-minute table at Le Bernardin, which is always full, despite its $112 sticker price. Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton reported this week that Masa’s menu is back up to $450 (it had gone down to $400), and that reservations at Per Se are becoming harder to come by. But that kind of restaurant has a much longer planning cycle. Investors will require confirmation that the economy has truly rebounded, and that when such a place comes along, there are critics capable of understanding them.

Overall, we expect 2011 to be a better year for dining out, but one in which we’ll have to be more selective. The fact that restaurants can get away with charging more, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be better.


NYC's Ten Most Disappointing New Restaurants of 2010

In a previous post, I listed my top ten new restaurants of 2010. Now, here are my top ten disappointments. The list ranges from those that were truly bad (Kenmare), to those that merely failed to live up to outsized expectations (Lincoln).

As before, the list is based on my actual experiences at the restaurants, not what others have said, what the chefs are theoretically capable of, or what may have changed since I visited. Some of these places will eventually earn return visits, but remember: I’m spending my own money. I usually wait a while before giving a second chance.

1. Lincoln. No restaurant opened with higher expectations than the new luxe Italian restaurant at Lincoln Center with former Per Se chef Jonathan Benno. I’ve read reports of some great meals here, but ours was mediocre, and most of the pro critics were unimpressed. The space is terrible, and that can’t be fixed, but Benno won’t go down without a fight. If Lincoln is the year’s biggest disappointment, it’s also the one most likely to improve.

2. Colicchio & Sons. Coming from a chef with Tom Colicchio’s pedigree, this place figured to be excellent. But Colicchio botched the roll-out, opening with an à la carte menu, switching to an expensive prix fixe after just a month in business, and then switching back less than a month later. Practically all the reviews were negative, except for a bizarre trifecta from Sam Sifton of the Times. The restaurant is now off the radar, and we’ve heard nothing that would justify a return visit.

3. John Dory Oyster Bar. The re-located April Bloomfield/Ken Friedman seafood place bears no comparison to the original John Dory, which was in a poor location, but was otherwise a very good restaurant. Our meal here wasn’t bad, but it’s nowhere near what this team is capable of. Let’s hope that April is able to find her mojo, as she has done at The Spotted Pig and The Breslin.

4. Kenmare. This Italian restaurant from chef Joey Campanaro was probably the worst new restaurant we visited in 2010. Given Campanaro’s track record (Little Owl, Market Table, and before that The Harrison and Pace), who would have expected it to be this bad? Was ever a “consulting” gig more phoned-in than this one?

5. Zengo. This restaurant, built on the site of four failed Jeffrey Chodorow places, is so comically bad that the critics couldn’t even bring themselves to review it. The Latin–Asian fusion concept is unfocused and poorly executed. The nominal chef, Richard Sandoval, has fifteen restaurants in five U. S. cities and three countries. This one never got the attention it needed.

6. Lotus of Siam. This is the New York branch of a legendary Las Vegas standout, which Gourmet critic Jonathan Gold anointed the “best Thai restaurant in North America.” But none of the Las Vegas staff moved to New York: the original chef spent just a few weeks training the New York staff, and then went back home. The result is a watered-down version of the original. It’s such a pity to see a great opportunity missed.

7. Bar Basque. I had high hopes for this place, despite the involvement of Jeffrey Chodorow, who builds failed restaurants at a prolific pace. There’s a serious chef here, and a number of critics have had better meals than we did. But there is no getting around the Chodorrific service and the irritating space. Over/under on a new chef or concept: 18 months.

8. The Lambs Club. This was supposed to be Geoffrey Zakarian’s big comeback, after his pair of three-star standouts, Town and Country, imploded after long declines. Our meal here did not live up to Zakarian’s talents, to the space, or to the excellent service team. On the first night of service, we saw Zakarian dining at Lincoln, which tells you how committed he is to the project. We’ll be giving a pass to his other new restaurant, The National.

9. Nuela. This pan-Latin restaurant was in gestation so long that the original chef, Douglas Rodriguez, gave up. With Adam Schop now in charge, we found an overly long menu (60+ items) with far too many duds, a horrific décor and an overly-loud sound track. This restaurant concept was sorely in need of an editor.

10. Plein Sud. Here’s another case of missing expectations. Plein Sud offers serviceable comfort food, but chef Ed Cotton (who made it to the finals of Top Chef Season 7) did far, far better work at Veritas and BLT Market.


NYC's Top Ten New Restaurants of 2010

’Tis the season when food writers sum up a year’s worth of dining, so here are my top ten new restaurants of 2010.

It was not a great year. No new restaurant earned three or four stars on our rating scale, although two came close: Millesime and Tamarind Tribeca. Sam Sifton of the Times awarded three stars to just one new place, Colicchio & Sons, but most critics (including me) found it disappointing. There is no “almost” in Timesspeak, but it did not appear that Sifton came even close to awarding three stars to any other new restaurant.

This does not mean that we ate badly, only that our best meals in new restaurants were at the lower end of the dining spectrum. This isn’t really surprising. Restaurants generally have six to eighteen-month planning cycles. If you’d been planning a new place in 2008 or 2009, how ambitious would you have been?

I’ve ordered the restaurants based on my dining experiences, which in most cases was one visit. Unlike the pro critics, I’m spending my own money. If I am disappointed, I’m not going to go back a second or third time, just to see if it was a fluke. Even when I like a place, I often don’t have the time or money to go back right away.

Some of the restaurants listed below actually opened in late 2009. I’ve included them if my first (or only) visit was in calendar year 2010.

1. Millesime. Chef Laurent Manrique returns to NYC (he was here in the ’90s), having won two Michelin stars in San Francisco. This classic French seafood brasserie doesn’t soar quite as high as that, but it was the best meal we had this year in a new restaurant. In our book, the food was three stars, though the service had some catching up to do. P.S. The downstairs “salon” is pretty good, too.

2. The Breslin. We adore the Breslin. Chef April Bloomfield’s fat-forward menu won’t be to all tastes, and it could be downright artery-clogging if we ate like this every day, but the chef doesn’t pander, and everything she does is impeccably prepared. They have a great lamb burger, and it’s great for breakfast too.

3. Tamarind Tribeca. This big-box Indian restaurant was the sleeper hit of 2010. We never imagined it would be this good. I gave it 2½ stars, but looking back, I am not sure why it didn’t get three. Of course, we sampled only a sliver of the menu, but what we had was flawless.

4. ABC Kitchen. Jean-Georges Vongerichten entered the farm-to-table game with a splash. Who’d have expected a restaurant in a home furnishings store to be this successful? JGV’s restaurants are notorious for quickly turning mediocre, after the attention-deficit chef wanders off to his next project. But if Chef Dan Kluger sticks around, ABC Kitchen could stay relevant for a long time. But good luck getting a last-minute reservation: the place is perpetually packed.

5. Ciano. Chef Shea Gallante (ex-Cru) returns to New York with a wonderful (if expensive) Italian restaurant, with a terrific wine list that allows most bottles to be ordered by the half. We would have rated this one higher, but one of our entrées was a dud (over-priced, under-cooked lamb chops).

6. Kin Shop. The year’s best Thai restaurant comes from an American, Top Chef alumnus Harold Dieterle. Not quite authentic, but clearly inspired by Thailand, the menu has both hits and misses, but the former are very good indeed.

7. Osteria Morini. Chef Michael White’s first casual Italian restaurant is dedicated to the hearty cuisine of Emilia-Romagna. Some of the dishes may seem over-bearing and unsubtle, but we liked just about everything we tried, even if the soundtrack is too loud and the paper napkins too cheap for the prices White is charging.

8. Manzo. If we were judging the food alone, we’d rate Mario Batali’s temple of Italian beef higher, but it’s smack dab in the middle of the city’s most crowded supermarket, Eataly. It is awfully expensive, for a space that is so unpleasant.

9. Riverpark. This is a “Tom Colicchio restaurant” that doesn’t charge Tom Colicchio prices. His former sandwich guy, Sisha Ortuzar, turns out to be a fine chef. But how many people will become regulars at a place that’s half-a-mile from the nearest subway station? We sure won’t.

10. Taureau. Chef Didier Pawlicki (of La Sirène) opened this all-fondue joint to very little critical notice. We loved our meal, but we’re not going to return regularly for such a limited menu. Still, we think it’s a great date place. There’s nothing like cooking raw meat in a shared pot of boiling oil to bring people closer.


Honorable Mentions: There are a few notable places that didn’t make our list, that nevertheless deserve a word or two.

1. Anfora. This quickly became my go-to wine bar after it opened in May. I probably visited fifteen or twenty times. But unlike some wine bars, the food menu here is too limited to qualify Anfora as a real restaurant. That’s why it didn’t make my top ten.

2. Maialino. Danny Meyer’s Roman Trattoria actually opened in late 2009, and we reviewed it in December, but most of the pro critics reviewed it this year, so you’ll probably see it on a lot of Top Ten lists. Our own meal there was slightly disappointing, but it was probably atypical, as Meyer’s restaurants tend to get better over time.

3. Má Pêche. You’ll definitely see David Chang’s first midtown restaurant on most critics’ top-ten lists, despite the fact that hardly anyone thought he had improved upon, or even equaled, what he’d achieved in the East Village. But in a bad year, Chang’s seconds are still pretty good. I dined here three times, and will again, but the review meal was not that great, although I hear the menu has changed a lot since then.

4. Recette. Jesse Schenker’s small-plates restaurant will also be on a lot of top-ten lists. I liked everything I tried; by the same token, I can’t actually remember any of it without re-reading my own review. It lacked (for me) any of the more memorable dishes from our top-ten list.

5. Terroir Tribeca. This was my other go-to wine bar, and unlike Anfora, it does have enough of a menu to qualify as a real restaurant. It doesn’t make the top ten because it’s practically the same as Terroir in the East Village, which opened in 2008. (Tamarind Tribeca, which does make our top ten, is quite a bit different from the original Tamarind in the Flatiron District.)