An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Mar 13, 2014
08:09 AMThe Connecticut Table
Mario Batali Plans New Haven Restaurant Like Tarry Lodge in Westport
Editor's note: The following is a modified version of a New Haven Register story.
Celebrity chef Mario Batali, known for his suite of restaurants and television presence, wants to open a restaurant on Park Street, near Elm Street and the Broadway district.
The 278 Park St. site was approved for a 54-seat restaurant in 2005, but it was never occupied.
The property is owned by the St. Thomas More Corp., but Yale University has a long-term lease.
Lauren Zucker, a spokesperson for Yale, said the restaurant, could open by the end of the summer, if city approvals fall into place.
She compared the proposal to Tarry Lodge, Batali's restaurant in Westport.
Batali's website describes Tarry Lodge like this:
Tarry Lodge in Westport provides a commodious environment for any gathering of friends or family. Be it a light meal at the bar, a festive celebration, or a lunch with clients and associates, you’ll be at home in the handsome wood and tile dining rooms. The private dining staff works to ensure your group is treated to a meal of classic and modern Italian dishes such as fresh mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes and Tuscan oil, bucatini all’Amatriciana, and sole alla francese. And if you’d rather not leave the comforts of home, we’ll deliver our wood-burning pizza to you.
Yale needs a special exception from the Board of Zoning Appeals to open a 74-seat restaurant on the site, where five additional parking spaces are needed. It has been referred to the City Plan Commission.
Joshua Cohen told the board Tuesday that there is plenty of parking on Park, Howe and Elm streets, as well as at the nearby LAZ operated parking lot at Broadway.
As the New Haven plans develop, read about another connection between Batali and Connecticut, his friend and fellow chef William Cosgrove of The Upper Crust Cucina Italiana in New Milford. Cosgrove and Batali were classmates at Rutgers University, and a few years ago, Batali invited his college friend to come and spend some time cooking with him.
In 1979, two young red-headed Rutgers University students met in the kitchen of a beer and stromboli eatery called Stuff Yer Face. Thirty years later, the same two men sat down for lunch in Manhattan as old friends and fellow chefs. Of the many friends who had started in the restaurant industry those three decades ago, only these two remained standing as veterans of Italian cuisine, the others having moved on or thrown in the kitchen towel. (Above, Cosgrove, left, serving Gov. Dannel Malloy at The Silo in New Milford in 2013.)
On one side of the table was Bill Cosgrove, head chef of The Upper Crust in New Milford. Across the table sat his old friend and colleague Mario Batali, celebrity chef and culinary emperor.