12 March 2008

Three Classic Eateries in the News

Two cherished old Manhattan restaurants and one cherished Brooklyn eatery made news today—bad for two, and potentially good for the other.

Florent, the cherished Meatpacking District late-night haunt that has a scummy, greedy landlord ("Me want 50 grand a month or I murderize you"), has named June 29 as its last day on Earth. I talked to my lawyer and [the restaurant] will stay open for two or three months. I'd like to end on a high note and I think Gay Pride Day would be perfect," Florent Morellet told the New York Post.

The restaurant that will supplant Brooklyn Heights mainstay Armando's has been revealed to be, uh, Spicy Pickle. This is apparently the unfortunate name of a Denver-based sandwich chain with franchises in 14 states. It's website says it's a leader in the "fast-casual" concept of dining, which is sort of like saying one's leader in the "good-bad" food movement.

Meanwhile, restauranteur Keith McNally's purchase of the immortal Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village has been confirmed. He appeared before Community Board 2 to outline his plans (that's him above), according to Eater:

The menu will be French, (shocker), but the interior will remain unchanged.
2) The plan is to have 83 seats, with a capacity of 95, but due to a technicality, only a 75 person capacity was approved as of last night.

There was some minor opposition from neighbors concerned about noise and the possibility of "idling limos," but in the end, the motion passed unanimously, and the license is off to the SLA.

Since he's respecting the interior of the place, I'm fairly content. The food could use a kick in the pants, so let him at it. And there's nothing wrong with drawing a new, fresh crowd to a great, historic address.


Unknown said...

"Meanwhile, restauranteur Keith McNally's"

That's restaurateur.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Both spellings are accepted, actually

Unknown said...

Actually no. Your misspelling comes from the mistaken notion that the word comes from restaurant. It comes from the French word restaurer, which means to restore. A male owner of a restaurant is an restaurateur; a female is a restauratrice.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary: "Restauratuer, also restauranteur: the operator or proprietor of a restaurant."

Unknown said...

If I were you I would look to better sources. Restauranteur is just plain wrong. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary merely lists it as a variant. Would you deem nuculer to be correct rather than nuclear simply because a lot of people, including the President of the United States, pronounce it that way? I don't think so.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I admire your purist sensibilities, but that argument just makes no sense. Webster's list variant spellings, because they are actually variants. Nuculer is not an accepted variant spelling of nuclear. And what do you mean "better sources"? It's the friggin' DICTIONARY!

Anonymous said...

This from http://www.bartleby.com/68/30/5130.html:

Edited English nearly always demands the older French restaurateur (pronounced RES-tuhr-ah-TUHR or -TOOR), but restauranteur (pronounced RES-tuhr-ahn-TUHR or -TOOR), by analogy with the fully anglicized restaurant, is commonly heard and seen, and most dictionaries consider it a Standard variant spelling and pronunciation. Restauranteur can still raise conservative eyebrows, however, even in some Semiformal and Conversational contexts, so know your audience and readers and their expectations.

I think that since the ending eur very strongly suggests the French origin of the word, it would be better to keep the French spelling, especially since of the two spellings it is the one that is universally accepted. As for most dictionaries considering it a "Standard variant," well, there are many who think that "most dictionaries" have gone from being excessively prescriptive to excessively permissive. Frankly, restauranteur is simply a mistake, and while eventually such mistakes can become standard usage if they become widespread enough—who treats agenda as a neuter plural anymore?—I don't think we're quite there yet, notwithstanding M-W. Besides, there's something to be said for retaining those things that strike us as distinctive or unusual, that require a little more effort and understanding to appreciate, as I should think readers of this blog would believe.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I have lost interest in this discussion. Hopefully, our readers have to. OK! Not tell me just what you think of my use of the word "hopefully," Junior Library League!

Anonymous said...

I done given up on "hopefully." Now, back to lintels!

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Me, I get upset when people use "over" and "under" when they should use "more than" and "less than," but I've learned to shut up about it, because people just don't care anymore. The only thing you can do is tend your own garden.

Larvik said...


Absurd prioritizing.

10 comments and all of them about spelling?

Seriously what the fuck.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Exactly, David, what the fuck? My point is that we're losing two classic restaurants.

MyMyMichl said...

Who cares about McNally's restaurant as long as they only allow superstars inside. We are living in a time where forty years ago a goon or two were posted outside of 54 to give the club an air of exclusivity. Not so any longer. Besides, I found the food there to be second rate.

Michael Safdiah, Chef, Restaurateur, (retired)