Human ashes in the mimosas

I also had to laugh at the notion that Chanterelle bit the big one because of its location in the wake of 9/11. Right after that horrible day I walked around Tribeca reporting for the NYTimes how restaurants were doing, and never in six lifetimes would I have imagined it would even come back, let alone be transformed into a vibrant residential neighborhood. Nobu and the Harrison do not appear to be crying the blues, either. The sad truth is that if Chanterelle could be what it was 30 years ago it would probably be doing fine; it actually was the very model of a modern restaurant, with stripped-down decor and a focus on food. Instead, it reaped the Wall Street whirlwind. Leave it to the incomparable Seymour Britchky to sum it up best, in 1991: The original started life on a budget and showed austere restraint; when it moved from SoHo to larger quarters it became “one luxuriously appointed dining room among New York’s many.” He still gave the place four stars, and apologists might want to ponder which others with that ranking survive: Aquavit and Le Bernardin. The other dead are Lafayette, Jean-Georges’ launching pad, and Lutece. Somehow I think it would be better to blame the rise of Chilewich than an unlucky location.