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Acclaimed Chef Ignacio Mattos Is Strolling Away From His Hit N.Y.C. Restaurant

Acclaimed Chef Ignacio Mattos Is Strolling Away From His Hit N.Y.C. Restaurant

One of New York City’s most acclaimed chefs is scaling back his restaurant empire.

Ignacio Mattos is stepping away from Corner Bar, the Nine Orchard hotel restaurant that he opened in 2022 to rave reviews, New York magazine’s Grub Street reported on Wednesday. He’s also leaving Swan Room, the sister cocktail bar, and will apparently no longer open the fine-dining restaurant Amado Grill at the hotel. (Nine Orchard did not share future plans with the outlet.)

When Corner Bar opened, it was a return to form for Manhattan dining in a post-pandemic world. While the food isn’t particularly novel—classics like salad niçoise, shrimp cocktail, and steak au poivre grace the menu—it’s been well liked by diners and critics alike. A source told Eater NY that Mattos will stay on until March and his licensing deal with the hotel with last through the summer. After that, it’s unclear what the relationship between the two will become.

Both Corner Bar and Swan Room will remain open after Mattos leaves, and the restaurant will keep the chef’s recipes in place, Eater noted. Some employees might be offered roles at Mattos’s other spots (which include Estela, Lodi, and Altro Paradiso), while most will stay on under Nine Orchard’s operators. Amado Grill, billed by The Wall Street Journal as Mattos’s “first fine-dining restaurant,” will not open though, at least not in this form.

The upscale spot has faced an uncertain road over the years: Back in 2022, the WSJ said that it was set to open in 2023. In the spring of that year, the opening was called off, in favor of using the space as additional seating for Corner Bar. But in December, Mattos’s team said that Amado would finally be opening in early 2024.

The restaurant was meant to have an aquatic theme, with Mattos telling The Wall Street Journal that it was inspired by Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. With just 38 seats, it was going to serve a four-course tasting menu for $125 per person, Eater reported. Mattos had bemoaned lengthy tasting menus to the WSJ, saying, “After seven courses, I don’t think anything really matters any longer. The same thing after you have seven different wines. I think hedonism, it’s good. It’s good to treat ourselves, but at the same time we need to be smart about what we put into our bodies.”

For now, diners won’t be getting that sustenance from a Mattos-led restaurant at Nine Orchard.

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Source: Robb Report

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