When Jeff and I signed the contract on our apartment a few years ago, we knew exactly where we wanted to celebrate: Le Pescadou restaurant at Sixth Avenue and King Street. Now that we live within a few blocks, we’ll be regulars! I decided out loud. I loved the French seafood fare. Plus, Chuck, the eccentric owner, welcomed his patrons as if they were old friends. In fact, he once smacked my conservative Le-Pescadou-first-timer brother-in-law with a fat, wet hello kiss. Even on that busy corner of big-bad New York City, his warmth and wackiness cried neighborhood (in an only in New York way, granted, but even better).
Only, by the time we moved in a few months later, it was gone.
Yesterday, on the walk home from my latest consulting project, I noticed Chuck in front of a recently vacated restaurant space on the east side of charming Thompson Street just north of Spring Street in Soho.
As two plus two equaled four, it didn’t even occur to me to say hi and introduce myself:
”You’re opening a new restaurant?” I exclaimed.
”Well, I used to own a place on King Street at…”
I cut him off excitedly: ”Yeah, I know that! Are you opening another one?”
”Well, yes, young lady. This is Le Pescadeux!”
I laughed at the play on words and asked for a tour.
”We’re redoing the floors, but you can see where we’re going with those. And we just brought in these banquettes…”
”Ooh, I love the light fixtures,” I chimed in. “Same chef?”
”No, actually. That’s Matt Ridgway, right there behind you, sitting at the bar,” he announced and made the introduction. Chuck turned to me and whispered Ridgway’s pedigree: “…from the Oak Room. Plaza Hotel.”
According to Chuck, they’re just waiting for their liquor license; he expects Le Pescadeux to open by the end of this month. And the menu will be similar to that at Le Pescadou, but with smaller, tapas-like plates for easier sampling.
”See you soon, Chuck!” I shouted as I pulled my cell phone from my wallet to tell Jeff. And see him soon—and often—I will.