EXCLUSIVE: The Most Exciting Restaurant News of the Year

plein-sud-6-by-tribeca-citizenI hear from a very reputable source that the restaurant space at the Smyth hotel—formerly home to Plein Sud—is being taken over by none other than Andrew Carmellini. I’d imagine that Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom, his partners at Locanda Verde and the Dutch, are also involved.

It remains to be seen whether Carmellini will double down on Italian (Locanda Verde has been white-hot since it opened, and his Bar Primi opens soon on the Bowery), go for a third outpost of the new-new American menu of the Dutch (besides the one in Soho and another at a hotel in Miami Beach), return to France (as at Lafayette in Noho), or do something totally new. No matter what, it’s safe to say this is the most exciting news to happen on Chambers Street since, well, Racines NY.

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10 Comments

  1. excellent news. It’s a great space that’s had quite boring food and deserves something better.

    Speaking of spaces that now sing, we went to Terra last night, (222 West Broadway) and it was packed! A few restaurants sadly open and close in that space recently, but this looks like it is going to stay. (reasonably priced food, expensive drinks, or expensive once they start adding up!)

  2. I hope it’s A LOT quieter than Locanda Verde.

  3. I am probably in the minority here, but I refuse to eat at Locanda Verde anymore. This food and service are decent at this should-be neighborhood gem. However, the greeting and hostess experience sucks *everytime*. Want to walk in for lunch at 11:25 without a reservation? Lunch starts at 11:30 and the restaurant is empty. They’ll say something about being busy and ask you to wait 45 minutes for a table. Total BS. Even with a reservation, they can’t get the timing right. 9am on a weekday for breakfast with your kid? These brilliant ladies cannot figure out how to get a high chair to your table and will ask you and your toddler to wait at the BAR. I’ve had the hostesses give me a the-world-is-ending attitude about seating 5 out of 6 people in a party when we had 2 kids there already (so we could start ordering first for a dinner at 5:15pm, mind you, the place was NOT busy at all. She gave me some story about having to check with the manager (standing 5ft away). She didn’t. I asked him myself and he personally escorted us to our table with apologies. And this is Tribeca, so no lip about kids in restaurants please.

    • Have had the same experience and worse. I refuse to go in to the place and so do my friends that live in the neighborhood. Rude and alienating, they are geared to the transient tourists, celebrity seekers and folks from NJ who come into the neighborhood and have no stake in it. There is no reason it has to be that way. Witness The Harrison, Tamarind, Smith and Mills, Walkers, Bubbies, etc. They all attract diners from outside the neighborhood while still managing to recognize locals and make them welcome. Changing the affect of the front of the house would go some way toward fixing the problem — the vapid and indifferent staff is inexcusable. I don’t want to be coddled; but neither do I want to feel like an intruder in my own neighborhood (and I have have been here a lot longer than Andrew Carmellini).

      • The disorganized, ambivalent attitude at Locanda Verde also applies for guests of the Greenwich Hotel. My parents always stay there when visiting me, and we thought if we asked the hotel to book us a table that we’d get better service. It didn’t happen. They made us wait and then crammed us at one of the worst tables in the house–and when we asked to change tables, they said they didn’t have anything else for at least an hour! We walked out, and I haven’t been back since.

        • Really different attitude from when they opened when they specifically said they were going to be a neighborhood-friendly place and planned to keep open tables so that people could walk in and not be turned away.

      • Totally agree here. Its got to be the least local-friendly place in the ‘hood. No matter when you go, no matter how few tables are filled, there’s always a 30 minutes wait “at the bar.”

  4. Ditto. Terrible service, full of weddings from NJ. It is so over. Food is always fine but it’s just not worth the experience.

  5. Hey! My wedding was there!

    I had real issues with LV’s hosts when it opened, and I didn’t even try to go for a couple years. But I’ve found the restaurant to be more welcoming in recent times (then again, I’m only likely to go on quieter days), if still noisy (a risk with any popular establishment), and the food is still very good. (And everything at my wedding was handled perfectly.)

  6. We have a continual love/hate relationship with LV. We love the food, the service is terrific and the location can’t be beat. However, when dining with guests a reservation is preferred but nearly impossible to obtain. It doesn’t seem to matter the day or time, we are accustomed to hearing “for a party of your size we have nothing available”. We still drop in though, and always feel victorious when we can score a table without doing time at the bar.