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Hoffman definitely deserves a break. It appears to be harder and harder for restaurants w/o a great "backstory," or a chef w/o a lot of tattoos, to stay in biz.

 

Thing is - Savoy and Hoffman had a pretty good backstory.

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Savoy was open for more than 20 years, a longevity that puts it in the upper 0.1%, maybe even the upper 0.01%. He has nothing to be ashamed of. When it closed, Hoffman's explanation was that the neigh

But all of them could, and probably would, maintain the same going-out lifestyle on a lower income, either through parental help or credit card debt. I know plenty of people who work in PR/Marketing

Hoffman definitely deserves a break. It appears to be harder and harder for restaurants w/o a great "backstory," or a chef w/o a lot of tattoos, to stay in biz.

 

Thing is - Savoy and Hoffman had a pretty good backstory.

 

Savoy was open for more than 20 years, a longevity that puts it in the upper 0.1%, maybe even the upper 0.01%. He has nothing to be ashamed of. When it closed, Hoffman's explanation was that the neighborhood had changed, and it was no longer suitable for that sort of restaurant. (Of course, chefs' explanations for their own closures are always at least somewhat self-serving.)

 

But Savoy had something unique. Once he turned it into Back Forty, it was just one of many restaurants of that particular type, and with none of the history or built-up goodwill with Savoy's customer base. And yeah, as good as he was at what he did, there was nothing cool about Peter Hoffman anymore.

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Peter has never had to be cool. He's always had integrity. (And the smarts to not hire me after I massacred a bunch of rouget when I tried out at Savoy.)

 

Is coolness really a factor in long-term success in NYC restaurants? If so, it's up to customers to decide what's cool (Tao?!?!?) and what has lost its coolth.

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Hoffman definitely deserves a break. It appears to be harder and harder for restaurants w/o a great "backstory," or a chef w/o a lot of tattoos, to stay in biz.

 

Thing is - Savoy and Hoffman had a pretty good backstory.

 

Restaurants need a backstory because The Food Channel etc. created a new mass food audience that thinks it knows and cares about food but doesn't really, and so needs a backstory to entice it, because stories it can understand. I wonder when it will pass.

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That's a 26 year run coming to a close, so I'd just wish him all the best for the future. Of course, Alfred Portale is probably still the champion--31 years and counting in the same kitchen--but I'm not surprised if Hoffman wants to do something else.

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To move a discussion here that arose on the Le Coucou thread, don't you guys see that the current new (small "n") American/haute barnyard/farm-to-table/American bistro style started in New York at Savoy, which did not at all descend from the '80s New American places like Quilted Giraffe?

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Now it is, now that restaurants have become nightlife and now that Young People have become the main target audience for even most of the more expensive restaurants. (This is NOT a good development, IMO.)

But how can most "young people," especially those who aren't living on their parent's dime, continue to afford places like Le Coucou, which is not a moderately priced restaurant, in my opinion?

 

I can see that crowd going once or twice, to get their photos in, and to say they've been, but then re-decamping to the places like Wildair.

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