Tuesday, January 15, 2008

10 Arts to Rock and Reverberate the Ritz Rotunda With Ripert on the Wheels

Eric Ripert on the decks at his restaurant in New YorkWay back when, when we first told you about some forthcoming changes to the restaurant at the Ritz Carlton, we alleged that the change was to up the “cool” or “hip” factor of the restaurant. Think less Fountain at the Four Seasons and more Buddakan, if you will.

So now, almost a year and a half later, we’re finally learning some additional deets about the new project. And over at Foobooz, they’re not exactly ecstatic about the alleged name of the new restaurant that one Eric Ripert (of Le Bernardin fame) will bring to the Ritz Carlton later this year: 10 Arts, alluding to its address on the Avenue of the Arts, as first reported on Food and Drinq.

Meanwhile, over at the estimable Philadelphia Menupages Blog (god, they really could use a new name…), they’ve noted that Atlantic City may not be able to secure the same top-level star chefs as Vegas or New York. But in the article referenced, Mr. Ripert actually chimes in:
One chef who doesn't see his future in Atlantic City is Eric Ripert, the three-star Michelin chef of Le Bernardin in New York.

He has expanded to Washington and plans to open in Philadelphia this spring, but found Atlantic City a little tacky when he first visited in the early 1980s and hasn't returned. Ripert said was expecting an experience more like Monaco.

He said Vegas has been able to attract high-caliber chefs because casinos have been willing to invest a lot of money to bring them.

As for Atlantic City, restaurants, he said: "I'm sure they are successful and I'm sure they are enjoying their partnership over there and they have a good reason to be there. Myself, I haven't found a good reason."
Ok, so no A.C. for Mr. Ripert. It apparently is not up to the Frenchman’s standards. That’s pretty clear. We guess Philadelphia can kind of take that as a backhanded complement — i.e. Mr. Ripert won’t open a restaurant just anywhere and he’s doing one here so, evidently, we’re fairly attractive as a dining/restaurant/food destination/town. (Which is comforting to hear since we’ve known as much for, oh say, the past decade.)

So, ok — what kind of vibe is he going to bring to the majestic rotunda lobby of the Ritz Carlton??

Judging from the massive, six-foot speakers he sports in his living room and his self-professed partiality for beats…
"At one point I was a house and techno freak," [Ripert] said. "I actually cracked the walls of the house. I used to D.J. at the house and have these wild nights. Everyone wasn’t deaf at the end of the night, but ... affected. I used to dance so heavily that the floor is broken, too."
… we just may be OK to assume he’ll do just fine with the “hip” quotient… Yes? No? Maybe?

Perhaps we’ll see on the 22nd when the Ritz is supposed to unveil more info on the project. Stay tuned.

Possessed: Turn Down the Burner, Fire Up the Sound [ New York Times ]
Atlantic City Struggles for Celebrity Chefs [ Philadelphia Menupages Blog ]
Name Game [ Foobooz ]
Eric Ripert’s Restaurant’s Name Is… [ Food and Drinq ]

The Ritz Carlton Wants Some Hipster Too

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