The restaurant will be in Danny Meyer’s former Tabla space on Madison Square Park (11 Madison Avenue, Tribeca) and is being designed by architect Stephanie Goto, whose portfolio includes Aldea, Corton, and Morimoto. The bi-level space is supposedly being designed with lots of color. La Mar San Francisco has one of the most expensive leases of any restaurant in the city, so expect this one to be going all out as Gaston has wanted to open in New York for a long, long time.
The General Manager of La Mar will be N.A. Nadir, formerly the General Manager of Japonais in New York and Las Vegas, Assistant General Manager of Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain, and General Manager and Managing Partner of Pico in New York. The chef, who was kind enough to grant New World Review an interview last week, will be Victoriano Lopez, who has been Gastón’s right hand man for nearly two decades.
The first La Mar opened on Avenida La Mar 770 in the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru in 2005. It was modeled after more rustic cebicherias (FYI: in Lima ceviche is called cebiche) such as Sonia in the district of Chorrillos, but added modern cooking styles and a lengthy menu of pisco based cocktails. Few will say it is or ever was the best cebicheria in Lima, nor on Avenida La Mar for that matter, though it’s reliable, not overly expensive, and Gaston’s teams of chefs and wait staff are always well trained. There’s much more than cebiche on the menu. This will no doubt be the best Peruvian restaurant in New York City when it opens. No question about it.
This will be Gastón Acurio’s first restaurant on the east coast of the United States, though a branch of La Mar opened in San Francisco in late 2008, as well as in Mexico City, Santiago, Sao Paolo, Panama City, and of course, Lima. Acurio’s Astrid & Gastón has branches in Lima, Caracas, Madrid, Santiago, Quito, Bogota, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires.
While there is no word on what other U.S. cities Acurio’s empire might spread, rumors have swirled around bring La Mar and T’anta to destinations such as Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Dallas, and Miami, as well as a second San Francisco location.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.