Thomas Carter and Ignacio Mattos, the duo behind one of Downtown Manhattan's best restaurants (and most popular food-world haunts), Estela, are headed uptown early next summer. The pair will open a restaurant tentatively called Estela Breuer at Met Breuer, the forthcoming modern art offshoot of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is taking over the old Whitney space.
Much like Untitled, Danny Meyer's restaurant at the new Whitney downtown, Carter and Mattos's restaurant will maintain its own hours and have a separate entrance, welcoming both museum goers and anyone in the neighborhood, which has long lacked a strong restaurant scene.
The Met's team "wanted something . . . very particular to New York," Carter tells the New York Times. "They want something more convivial and rustic and fun." So don't expect any white table cloths or stuffy service.
It's a move not entirely dissimilar from the one Eli Broad made when he hired Bill Chait and French Laundry alum Timothy Hollingsworth to open Otium next to The Broad museum in Downtown L.A., making the restaurant a destination in its own right. But, as the Times points out, there's more risk involved here, because Mattos and Carter don't have a prolific restaurateur behind them and they are already busy getting ready for their Italian restaurant, Café Altro Paradiso, to make its debut in the coming weeks.
Still, the thought of an Estela outpost—hopefully with its legendary beef tartare and endive salad—and a 500-bottle-long wine list uptown is more than enticing.
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