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The Four Seasons Reboot Is the Best Kind of Restaurant Story

The Grill opens, plus more news, in this weekly roundup from the editor

the grill
The Grill
Gary He

This post originally appeared in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of her favorite food and restaurant stories — both on and off Eater — each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.

The big news this week, in my opinion, is the opening of The Grill (see below). Also, all those restaurant Beards! Congrats to everyone who won. I agree with many of the decisions!

Finally, a plug: Next month I’m participating in a very cool, intense, and inspiring new workshop-centric conference for women in the restaurant industry called FAB. I have never said yes to an event that has asked so much of its many speakers, which I say with admiration. Panels/workshops are long and require a lot of prep work, which means the attendees are (hopefully!) going to get a lot out of them. The two tracks cater to women who a) hope to someday own a business and/or run shit, and b) women who already run shit but need an extra push. At night, speakers will host dinners around Charleston, so there are a lot of opportunities for intimate connection. I can’t wait to see how it goes. (Tickets are here.)

Opening of the Week: The Grill

Who is behind it? Major Food Group — chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi and operations/money man Jeff Zalaznick — and, to a lesser degree, its landlord, New York City real estate world supervillain Aby Rosen.

What is it? The Grill (formerly known as The Landmark Rooms) is the replacement for the Four Seasons, the iconic power lunch destination opened by restaurateur Joe Baum in the 1950s that closed last summer after Rosen evicted its owners. He chose the MFG team to bring a younger, cooler set of monied diners to the space while serving actually delicious food. To be more specific, The Grill is half of the replacement for the Four Seasons and occupies the former Grill Room. The former Pool Room will reopen as a seafood spot called The Pool this fall.

Where is it? Midtown Manhattan.

When did it open? Thursday night (when an Eater spy spotted Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, George Stephanopoulos, Seth Meyers, and some industry folk like David Chang and Kate Krader).

Why should I care? If you don’t care about this opening, I don’t know what you’re doing here. It has all the elements of the best kind of restaurant story: a historic space (with an interior landmark to boot), a landlord you love to hate, a spurned (and criminal) restaurateur being shown the door, young chefs on a hot streak with ego and ambition to spare, a lawsuit over the name, $92 lobster Newberg, desserts set on fire tableside, and a chef’s hat that deserves its own Twitter feed. In an age where a quinoa automat and a salad-in-a-jar startup are making headlines, this is what I live for.

On Eater

Off Eater

  • Thomas Keller is either dying or going through a late midlife crisis. Read all of the quotes he gives Kim Severson in her recent piece on him and try not to be sad. #takroom [NYT]
  • A compelling piece from on how immigrants must spin their stories different ways for different people, and how the stories we tell about immigrants are all stories about class. [Vox]
  • A+ piece on how the head of a business improvement district understood the power of bringing in hot restaurants to revitalize the neighborhood. Also just this lede: “If power in L.A. can be measured by the ability to cut the line at Howlin' Ray's, then George Yu is our city's sovereign.” [LA Weekly]
  • Speaking of killer ledes, how about this to entice you to read a very long story about abuse and exploitation? “By late afternoon, the smell from the Case Farms chicken plant in Canton, Ohio, is like a pungent fog, drifting over a highway lined with dollar stores and auto-parts shops.” [New Yorker]