Nancy Silverton is looking to grow.
The chef, a multiple James Beard Award-winner and a titan of both baking and Italian cooking, took on a leadership role at the embattled Batali & Bastianich Hospitality group (B & B) in the wake of her former business partner Mario Batali’s departure. Following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct — including harassment of employees, groping fans, and sexual assault leading to a criminal investigation — Batali “stepped away” from day-to-day operations at the group, and is now in the process of divesting entirely. With Lidia Bastianich, Silverton has been taking lead in the months since.
Now, she is exploring opportunities to open outposts of her Los Angeles Mozza restaurants in New York City and London. “What’s great to see is that as a restaurateur I’m not static,” Silverton says. ”There is opportunity out there for myself and for the staff — and we want to take that opportunity and do some growth. That’s exciting for me.”
In a Washington Post piece checking in with prominent female chefs in the wake of the #MeToo movement, Silverton noted that she had plans for Mozzas in New York and London, as well as bringing Carnevino, B&B’s hit Las Vegas steakhouse that’s closing this summer, to Los Angeles. Silverton tells Eater that while not yet confirmed — there are no leases signed, or even preliminary timelines on New York or London — expansion is very much on her mind.
She says she is at the stage of ”being approached and visiting” when it comes to New York City and London. (Silverton did a pop-up in London earlier this year, and says “it went really well” and that “the staff loved being there.”) She does not plan on replicating any of her existing restaurants in New York or London; rather, she’s imagining borrowing from Pizzeria Mozza, the more upscale Osteria Mozza, and even her meat-focused Chi Spacca to create Mozza restaurants there.
It’s worth pointing out that this wouldn’t be the first time Silverton has expanded beyond Los Angeles. She opened a Pizzeria Mozza and an Osteria Mozza in Singapore — more true-to-form recreations of the LA originals — and she also has a Newport Beach restaurant, which she describes as a “hybrid” of the pizzeria and Osteria.
As far as bringing Carnevino to Los Angeles, Silverton says that it’s on the table, but would be named differently. “It’s the concept of an Italian steakhouse, but we wouldn’t bring it to LA with that name. Just like we’re bringing a Spanish concept to Los Angeles, but with a new name.” Silverton’s rep would not confirm the timing of a potential Spanish concept, presumably a riff on New York City’s Casa Mono, the one-Michelin-starred B&B small plates restaurant.
With all these opportunities in front of her, Silverton emphasizes that any growth happening on her watch will be slow. “It won’t be that tomorrow we’ll wake up and there’s a half-dozen new restaurants,” she says. She still likes how her Los Angeles empire is basically all on one corner. But when it comes to thinking about turning her attention away from Los Angeles, she feels like the team is ready, and the time is right.
“It’s not something that’s new,” she says. ”I’ve had a lot of requests over the years, and I haven’t quite felt ready to take the challenge. But I do now. We have a great staff.”
• In the Midst of Restaurants’ Me Too Reckoning, Female Chefs Grapple With What Comes Next [WaPo]
• Nancy Silverton and Lidia Bastianich Moving into Leadership Roles at Batali’s Restaurant Group [E]