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Q & A With Josh Eden

Chef/owner Josh Eden has fully embraced the nickname given to him when he worked at upscale French eatery, Jojo.  After twelve years of diligent service in Jean-Georges’ artillery of kitchens, Eden ambitiously launched his first restaurant in SoHo.  Though his training may be in fine French cuisine, his menu is packed with inventive spins on comfort food fare.  He douses codfish and caramelized onions with a rich, gruyere broth, evoking a “French onion soup” twist.  There’s also an outstanding roast chicken with garlicky green beans and mashed potatoes.



What did you want to
be when you grew up?


How did you get into

My mother was
phys-ed teacher, and she worked three jobs to support us, so she used to fill
the freezer at home. I used to come home
from school and defrost everything I could find, including pork and lamb chops,
and that is when I started to love to cook.

What was your first
job in food?

I was a dishwasher
at the Side Walk cafe on the
Lower East Side
when I was 16 years-old.

You worked in Jean
Georges’ arsenal of high-end kitchens for over twelve years. What was the most important thing you

Do anything for your
customer, no matter what they ask, I’ll do it!

What inspired you to
go off on your own and open Shorty’s.32?

I have wanted to
open my own restaurant for years, but restaurants are a lot like girlfriends;
they come around when you least expect it…
The space for
Shorty’s was great and it was available; the whole thing just felt right.

With extensive
training in French cuisine, why open a straightforward New American nook that
many are labeling comfort food?

People like
accessible food, so I wanted to take a simple idea and clean it up. Classic French training taught me techniques
that I apply in my restaurant every day.

People label my food
as comfort food? I don’t care what they
call it; so long as they like it!

Were you ever
reluctant to take on a space with a bad luck stigma attached to it?

Even the Red Sox won a World Series.

Are you surprised by
the attention you’ve received and the popularity of the restaurant?


Rumor has it you’ve
just launched lunch. Do tell…

It’s true, we’ve
opened for lunch and we’re doing a shortened menu. We’re working on building out a larger menu
and prix fixe in March.

What’s your favorite
dish on the menu right now?

The bass with
pickled beets and quinoa.

What’s your least
favorite dish (and yes, you must pick one)?

The skate.

What is your junk
food of choice?

Bacon lardons. If
they could package them, I’d eat them every day.
  I also love
strawberry pop tarts with vanilla frosting and colored sprinkles.

Other than your own,
what’s your favorite restaurant in NYC?

Salt, around the corner
from my restaurant and WD-50.

What culinary trend
do you most embrace?


What trend do you
wish would die already? 


What’s next on the
horizon for you? Any new ventures or
restaurants in the works? Spill the

I have no other
projects on the burner; my hands are full enough.


199 Prince St. btwn Sullivan & MacDougal Sts.

Until we eat again,
Restaurant Girl
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