Taavo Somer Says Peace Out, New York

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He thinks there was a hipster caveman. Photo: Chris Buck

In a saw-dusted, self-depreciating interview with the Times, Taavo Somer — of the Freemans empire, Rusty Knot, Gemma, Peels, the brand-new Isa, and more — says he just wants to build things, avoid the taxidermy trend that he guiltily started, and hang with his baby and wife upstate. He openly admits that he is enjoying becoming just like his Estonian father, who raised Taavo in Detroit with homemade hippie jam and solar panels ("I am my dad. I even look like him"), much more than New York's emblem of a work-obsessed, cool-as-hell restaurateur ("In New York, it's like you are lucky if you can be creative for three hours a week"). Almost all of Williambsurg's Isa, with chef Ignacio Mattos, was built by him, "down to the door closer of the bathroom," and his construction-fever is still ablaze. Just don't expect more of it in your 'hood, unless you live in Berlin for real or Darien as a joke. [NYT]

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