The word means together in Italian, but operating partners Marco Canora and Paul Grieco have split with Insieme, the restaurant owned by the Michelangelo Hotel that they created two years ago. The official statement is below, but for further explanation, we turned to chef Canora himself, who told us the restaurant was down by about 30 percent after the recession dampened its private-party business. The biggest factor in the midtown hotel world is the banquet business, Canora says. Its a big piece of what makes operations in hotels function well. We took a beating and it in turn affected our operation, so we decided to walk away from it. Canora also says that working in midtown was a challenge: Everyone wants to come to lunch between 12:15 and 1:30 and they want to eat in 45 minutes, which makes it tough, especially for a chef-driven restaurant with a guy who wants to push the envelope. You have one hand tied behind your back. The good news is this: Canora reveals to us that he has signed a lease at 24 Harrison Street, near Greenwich St. in Tribeca, and will open another, slightly larger Terroir there. About two-thirds of the menu will be the same as that of the East Village location, but new dishes are also planned. No opening date is set yet, but well keep you posted as the project unfolds. Meanwhile, here's the official statement, including news of Insieme's future.
In 2007, Marco Canora and Paul Grieco opened Insieme in the theater districts Michelangelo Hotel, earning the restaurant one Michelin star and a glowing two-star review from The New York Times. With Insiemes solid foundation established, Canora and Grieco are moving on as of October 1 to focus on their first restaurant, Hearth, and their expanding wine bar, Terroir.
Ensuring a smooth transition, chef de cuisine Bryan Hunt continues to lead the kitchen at Insieme, maintaining the restaurants high standards and strong traditions of outstanding food, wine and service in an elegant setting.