Welcome to House Style, wherein Grub Street introduces you to the people who work at New York's scene-iest restaurants. First up: the staff at the Fat Radish. When the restaurant opened nine months ago, it was an instant hit, thanks in large part to the A-list parties being thrown by owners Ben Towill and Phil Winser, who also own events company Silkstone. But even though the restaurant's down-home, vegivore-friendly name might seem at odds with the the tucked-away Orchard Street location and fashion-forward clientele, the place has managed to keep its buzz going. The casual, comfortable vibe of the place and the admittedly attractive staff no doubt plays a part in keeping people coming back, ensuring that the dining room remains packed. So, what does it take to make sure the restaurant keeps feeling fresh?
The Fat Radish Gang
Phil Winser (left) and Ben Towill, Owners
You two kind of have a similar look going on.
Ben: You can do such an array of things in a restaurant day-to-day, so you want to be smart, but comfortable.
Phil: It fits into the clientele. No one comes in here in a suit and tie. That’s the whole feeling of the place ... We have young kids who live around to older couples who come in to eat. Forward-thinking people of all ages come here like it’s their home. Anyone from the designer of a cool tailor shop to young hoteliers — it’s a whole array. People tend to be creative, forward thinking, and like good food in an atmosphere that’s not pretentious.
Jamie DuMont, Events Director for Silkstone
How are Silkstone and the restaurant tied together?
I think the whole aesthetic of the company is it’s relaxed, it’s chic, it’s contemporary, but with elements that come from different time and space and generations. I feel like we do have a specific look, and I think it’s very classic and it’s very comfortable.
What about those white jeans – only after Memorial Day?
Absolutely. I do follow that crazy rule and I’m very strict about it. Some people think I’m silly. Some people say it doesn’t matter anymore, but I don’t know; I think that’s a rule that’s always made sense.
Is it hard to keep them clean?
[Laughs.] That’s the dry cleaner’s problem.
Robyn Kerr, Reservationist (left), and Dave Quon, Café/Boutique manager
Tell us a little bit about the clientele.
Dave: We're right in the middle of Chinatown, yet if you go up Orchard two or three blocks, it gets a lot more populated. There are a lot of galleries and artists, so I think that naturally it kind of attracts people in that vein.
Robyn: People that work here are artistic outside of here as well.
Dave: Yeah, there are a lot of people here who are musicians or actors; Ben and Phil really promote that.
From Left: Servers Ana Velazquez, Slavica Dragojevic, and Daryl Nuhn; Hostess Elsa Bloedon
How would you guys describe the space?
Daryl: I think it’s like someone who doesn’t know how cool it is. I think that’s what people in New York try to do: have their little secret, where they know they’re really cool, but they’re not trying to act like it. This place has its own style, it’s kind of beat-up ... there are weird things on the walls, but it’s not trying to be; it just is.
Everyone working here is so attractive ... Is there any pressure to be stylish?
Ana: It’s all about comfort and it’s super-casual, which I really like.
Slavica: What I really like about the style here is they give us a lot of freedom. They tell us about the uniform, but we’re still really free.
Daryl: We’re all very different personalities. I wear the same necklace and the same shoes and the same jeans, every day; that’s just my uniform. Ana always wears really cute Nikes, colorful ones. Everybody’s different and we all just happen to go well together.
Sae Joong Suh, Bartender
How do you think the restaurant fits into the neighborhood?
I would say if I was walking through this neighborhood, I’d be very surprised to see this place, but it’s a really, really nice surprise.
From Left: Office Manager Caroline Sheahan, General Manager Steven Bustos, and Executive Chef Nicholas Wilber
How would you describe your clientele's style?
Caroline: It’s funny, because I read all the pieces online about the fashionable clientele. It’s very true. I saw a woman in here who was straight out of the eighties. We have a lot of great PR companies that send a lot of their clients here, and a lot of that happens to be fashion industry. So it seems like somebody has some sort of tie. It’s fun to come down here and peek at what everybody’s wearing.
Most Viewed Stories
McDonald’s Figures Out That People Sort of Hate Going to McDonald’s
The Race to Create America’s Premier Carbonated Cold Brew
Above the Fray: How Restaurants Become Impervious to Criticism
World Decides Deep-Fried Candy Corn Is One Step Too Far
Burrata Everywhere: 24 Places to Eat Everyone’s Favorite Menu Item
What to Eat at Cotenna, the New Italian Restaurant Inside the ’ino SpaceAll openings »
Gordon Ramsay at the London Is Finally, Mercifully, ClosingAll closings »
Search by name
Or, search by
Latest News on Grub StreetGrindhaus Hits the Reset Button With a Brand-New Chef and Steak for 2
The Red Hook restaurant has put a giant sirloin on the menu. It costs $50 and feeds at least two people.See Eric Ripert’s Veggie Take on Peruvian Anticucho
Served at his new casual outpost, Aldo Sohm Wine Bar.Here Are the 2015 Michelin Stars for San Francisco; Benu and Saison Both Get Major Upgrades
Chefs Corey Lee and Joshua Skenes join the three-star club.Restaurant Posts Somber ‘Obituary’ After Upstairs Neighbor Kills the Business
"Cause of death: The HMO owner who did not fix a leak."McDonald’s Figures Out That People Sort of Hate Going to McDonald’s
The megachain's profits take a dive while Chipotle just keeps on killing it.A Man Claims His Golden Corral Chili Contained a Snaggletoothed Rat Head
"I was like, 'Maybe, you know, sometimes you get a hard bean inside.'"Burrata Everywhere: 24 Places to Eat Everyone’s Favorite Menu Item
It's the new bacon.Cappuccino Chips Are, Thankfully, No Longer Happening
Wasabi Ginger has won Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest in an apparent landslide, and no one is demanding a recall.L.A.’s Top Round Roast Beef Plans to Open in NYC, and Everywhere Else
Bring on the Beef on Wecks, Provel-topped steak sandwiches, and gravy-topped dirty fries.World Decides Deep-Fried Candy Corn Is One Step Too Far
"Those four words in THAT order? NAW."
To be above a certain threshold is to enter a kind of realm of immortality and myth, immune to the random quibbles of everyday life.Here’s an Entire Japanese New Year’s Feast That Comes in a Pokemon Ball
Choose this Poké Ball and get 26 traditional osechi dishes for $136.Brave Chili’s Cook Vows to Capitalize on Shirtless Viral Photo Shoot That Got Him Fired
"Trust and believe I'm capitalizing."First Look at Empellon al Pastor, Now Open in the East Village
Alex Stupak has flung open the doors of his much-anticipated bar-tortilleria in the East Village.Eataly’s Wine Shop Makes a Triumphant Return
The celebration includes free glasses of sparkling wine tonight.The Race to Create America’s Premier Carbonated Cold Brew
The Austin-based company Coffer has already attracted attention from coffee industry heavyweights.Ben & Jerry’s Defends Its ‘Hazed & Confused’ Ice Cream
The company told angry parents nothing about it "condoned hazing, supported hazing, or even inferred hazing."Yotam Ottolenghi on Instant Ramen, Plenty More, and His Secret Candy Stash
"People are becoming quite precious about what they eat."New York Taste Returns Next Month
Our annual culinary extravaganza happens November 10 with more than 40 of New York's best chefs and restaurants.The 10 Best Lines From Jay Rayner’s Brutal Steakhouse Takedown
"The most unintentionally funny restaurant to open in London in a very long time."
The Breuer building is closed, but the huckleberry pancakes will be back in May of 2015.The 12 Best Garlicky Dishes in New York Right Now
Now is not the time to worry about minty-fresh breath.A New Study Shows That Calorie Counts on Menus Don’t Do Much at All
"People don't really understand what it means to say a typical soda has 250 calories," says a researcher who thinks the number-board system of listing calorie counts is not effective.New York Attorney General Sues Papa John's Franchisee for Labor Violations
A franchisee with four Manhattan locations not only allegedly cheated its employees out of hourly wages, it forced them to pay for their own bicycles, helmets, safety gear.Some Poor Waitress Had to Tell President Obama That His Credit Card Was Declined
"Turns out I guess I don't use it enough."Starbucks Gets One Step Closer to Having Your Drinks Ready the Moment You Arrive
It won't be long before the Starbucks app knows everything about you, but at least your drink will be hot when you get these.Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Take Root, Marta, and More
Find out where to eat in Grub Street's weekly ranking of the city's most-buzzed-about restaurants.French Bakery Maman Sells NYC’s Most Impressive New Chocolate-Chip Cookie
It's made by a Michelin-starred chef.Garrett Oliver to David Chang: Shut Up About Crappy Beer Already
"Dear Dave, I'm a little worried about you."Kate Mara Grabs Coffee at La Colombe; Mindy Kaling and Malcolm Gladwell Party at the Standard
This week's Celebrity Settings.
The celebrity chef's team defends their decision, saying that David Mason served his time and deserves a shot at rehabilitating his life.Introducing Delancey & Co, London’s First Lower East SideThemed Takeout Shop
It may be British, but there is lox on the bagels.Chef Sean Brock Eats Bologna in Nashville and Blood Sausage in New York
"I got my regular order: meatloaf with Creole sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans, fried green tomatoes, white beans, corn pudding, and sweet tea."A Lot of People Were Outraged by Michael Ruhlman’s Response to a ‘Shrill’ Times Essay
"I like girls in kitchen a lot: it does bring that testosterone level down a little bit, it makes it not so aggressive," a British chef said recently.Pharrell Williams’s Ubiquity Now Extends to Fancy French Macarons
He and Ladurée have made peanut-butter and cola macarons.Eating Vegan Ice Cream With Jason Schwartzman and Director Alex Ross Perry
"It's hard for me to relate to people who don't have a huge sweet tooth."This Coffee-Making Robot Is the World's Worst Barista
It can whip up a Nespresso in about three minutes.Animal Rights Group Blasts Starbucks for Using Eggs From ‘Cruel Farms’
Despite claims that they're "ethically purchased and responsibly produced."Thug Kitchen Is Officially a Best Seller
It's also No. 1 on Amazon's best seller list of vegan cookbooks.11 Places to Find Fancy Hummus
Truffle hummus at Claudette, burnt-jalapeño hummus at Empéllon Cocina, and more.
He's holding "high-level meetings" on "the best way to reach that goal."See How 7 Fast-Food Burgers Rot (or Don’t) Over Time
The burgers all look pretty horrible to begin with; at least the month-old ones have penicillin.Saltie Stays Open Late to Morph Into Mr. Curry
Chips and curry sauce, naan, and rice and pickle are on the menu.Against All Reasonable Odds, a Man Insists This Giant Mouse Was in His McDonald’s Coffee
It was a total "surprise" when he took the lid off.19 Defining Moments in the History of Yogurt
Congratulations, New York, you have a new state snack.Here’s a Start-up That Promises to ‘Age’ Whiskey Instantly
Why put the whiskey into the barrel when you can put the barrel into the whiskey?‘Veggie-Forward’ Williamsburg Pop-Up Chez José Is Reborn As Brick-and-Mortar Semilla
Chef José Ramírez-Ruiz, who has worked at Per Se and Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, will serve a $75 prix-fixe at his restaurant's 18-seat U-shaped bar.Restaurant’s Waitstaff Quits Midday, Alleging Racism and Way Too Many Flying Bugs
He allegedly fired people for being black, old, or fat.Why James Oseland Left Saveur to Clean Chicken Coops
"I closed all the blinds in the apartment, turned off the TV, lit a couple candles ... "The NYPD Thinks a Yelper May Have Smoke-Bombed Bar Pitti
"They're looking for stuff like, 'This place sucks and I'm going to blow this f--king place up.'"