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Varietal’s Last Breaths

Not really a shock to those that have followed the restaurant drama that is Varietal, it seems nearly lights out for owner Gregory Hockenberry’s oenophilic love song.  Nearly…as the front bar remains open for now.  “We’ll see how that goes for awhile,” Gregory comments.  Even Chef Wayne Nish’s menu overhaul can’t save this Chelsea spot from inevitable doom.  Opening a self-consciously sleek restaurant in a gastronomic ghost town isn’t exactly a foolproof formula for success.  The Eater Deathwatch Committee appears to be right on the mark when they called a spade a spade as Varietal’s bar hangs in the balance.

Let’s quickly review, shall we?  First, Varietal gets knocked around by New York Magazine’s Adam Platt, only to receive a restaurant-shattering blow from Frank Bruni.  The quick departure of both Chef Ed Witt (Il Buco) and pastry chef Jordan Kahn (French Laundry) quickly follows suit.  Wayne Nish then steps into the kitchen with an admirable new menu.  The official word today from the ladies of Bullfrog & Baum: “On June 18th, Varietal closed its dining room as the ownsers reexamine the direction of the restaurant.  In the meantime, Varietal will continue to welcome guests at its Tasting Bar Monday through Saturday, 5:00pm to Midnight.”

Phone: 212.633.1800
Address: 138 W. 25th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves.
Bar menu still available

Until we eat again,
Restaurant Girl
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