The Master of New York Restaurants "Keith McNally," forget it Drew "You Are Way Behind Keith," (Drew Nierporent), Mr. McNally will for the first time be shuttering a restaurant. Word has it that Keith McNally will be closing his Pizza Inspire Restaurant on the corner of Bowery and Houston "Pulino's" this January. McNally who has been a hugely sucessful restuarantuer since his opening of The ODEON in 1981, along with Cafe Luxenbourg, Nell's, Lucky Strike, Pravda, Balthazar, Schiller's, Pastis, Morandi, Minetta Tavern (my favorite for the past 3 years), and now we guess the unsucessful Pulino. Hey Keith, we love you, and I have been one of your biggest advocates, "Your a Genius" of the business, but lets face it, despite Morandi (which I never go to unless dragged there), "Italian Is Not Your Bag." Yes, Morandi is highly sucessful, but for me, a Italian-AMerican and someone who has been to Italy some 14 times, Morandi reminds me of a Italian Restaurant that would be in Disneyland, in-other-words, "Fake Faux Italian," and for me or anyone to say that about a Kieth McNally Restaurant, is not good. Morandi is for "non-Italian" Folllowers, and so too was and is "Pulino's." Lets get back to what mr. McNally is "Great" at, and that is French Bistros, which he does so well, brillantly in fact. From the Grand Bistro Brasserie Balthazar, to Pastis, and Luck Strike and soon to be Cherche Midi which we are sure will be wonderfu. "We're hoping anyway."
I's like to just mention someone who helped Keith McNally become the famed restaurantuer he is today. Let's remeber the Great Patrick Clarke who in my opinion was one of the Greates Chefs to ever don a Toque (Chefs Hat) in the great city of New York. Patrick Clarke was Keith McNally's first chef at his first restaurant The Odeon down on West Broadway in Tribeca. His food was marvelous, I know, I worked at Odeon and Luxenbourg for the man when I was a cook just starting out, a few years before I became a chef myself. Patrick was a black kid from Brooklyn who followed in hsi fathers and uncles footsteps as a chef. He attended New york Technical College Food & Restaurant program (as did I .. His uncle was 1 of my professors and cosuin one of my classmates). Patrick went on to study and work with Michel Guerard. Patrick came back to New York and was the Chef at the famed nightclub Regine's before being scoffed-up by McNally to head the kitchen at Odeon. He was one of the Greatest Chefs in the history of New York, noone ever talks about him, so just wanted to give one of my idols a nod that he way more than deserves. Patrick Clarke passed away a few years ago at the age of 42 .. R.I.P. For those who really know about food and aren't one of the followers who go to places like Morandi, or watch thos "Horrible Food Host on The Aweful Food Network," they know of the Great Patrick Clarke, a "Real Chef" in every sense of the word.
So, yes Keith McNally is a master of the restaurant business and especially at creating wonderful French Bistros in New York. H e has great concepts, picks great locations, he actually creates neighborhoods like Tribeca and The Meatpacking District which were both dessolate and not very cool neighborhoods until McNally opened restaurants in Tribecca and the Meatpacking District. We look foward to Mr. McNally's Cherche Midi and wish him well. Bravo Keith!