This intimate film about Danny Meyer, one of America’s preeminent restaurant owners, opens in the dining room of Eleven Madison Park in December, 2009. Meyer confides to the camera: “After Tabla and Eleven Madison Park opened, I was convinced I’d made one of the worst professional mistakes of my life.” Fade to a vast, concrete space, January, 1998. A much younger-looking Meyer, with Tom Colicchio (chef of Gramercy Tavern), enters the site; Meyer gives him a tour of his hopes and dreams.
We follow the restaurateur and his team for a year as they experience gut-wrenching construction delays, miss deadlines, and fire a chef. We visit Tabla’s chef Floyd Cardoz in his tiny home kitchen where he creates his now classic watermelon curry. We’re there as chef Kerry Heffernan takes over EMP just weeks before opening.
Danny Meyer bares all in this portrait. Watching him and his inner circle, we witness first-hand how difficult it is to create a world-class restaurant. The Restaurateur is nothing like those reality shows. This is real.
“Highlights how unbelievably complicated and expensive it is to create restaurants of the kind Meyer imagines…more than a good value and highly recommended for those who appreciate food in all its glory.”
- Sheila S. Intner ,Prof. Emerita Simmons GSLIS at Mount Holyoke College, via Library Journal