Colicchio Reps For South Australia; Meyer Discusses The Closing of Tabla


After living abroad in Adelade, South Australia many years back, amongst the beautiful rolling hills, sandy beaches, luscious wineries, and decadent food, I was thrilled to read about chef Tom Colicchio making his way through the food-rich state earlier this summer. Recently, however, it became clear that the trip was more than just sightseeing, with the announcement of Colicchio as a new ambassador to South Australia. Earlier this week, Craft Los Angeles held an Aussie-themed dinner earlier this week in support of the chef’s participation with the South Australian state as well.

In coordination with their “Unlimited Flights to South Australia” contest, the Tourism SA office has also posted pictures and video of the chef’s visit to Adelaide where Colicchio got a taste – literally – of all that South Australia offers. According to the site, the chef made his way through the country side, including visits to the city’s Central Market, Kangaroo Island, and the popular Barossa Valley vineyards.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more SA influence on Colicchio’s menus in the coming months as well. Missed the LA dinner? Craft New York will be holding an SA-themed dinner next week on November 8th.

With the impending closing of New York’s Tabla, restaurateur Danny Meyer spoke recently with Crain’s New York on the steps he’s taking to ensure the restaurant goes out on a positive note. With popular spots like Eleven Madison Park and Gramercy Tavern under the Union Square Hospitality Group umbrella, he notes that while closing a location is never an easy job, closing with grace is part of being a successful restaurateur.

“It’s not something I necessarily want to become an expert in,” Mr. Meyer says, laughing. “But the measure of our company should not just be about how we open restaurants. We need to distinguish ourselves by how we close a place.”

Surprisingly, Tabla is the first location under Meyer’s wing to close, though he’s quick to comment that the eatery is not in bankrupt status. Though the eatery had its strongest year this year, possibly due to a reshuffling of menu items, Meyer has been busy trying to accommodate the needs of the ninety staff members currently employed at Tabla. With a number of years still left on the lease, it has been undetermined as to how the space will be utilized post-closing.

Before its official close on December 30, Tabla will host a handful of special events, including a cooking class on December 4 and an alumni-chef dinner, featuring former chefs of the eatery, on December 7.

In contrast, Paper Magazine also spoke with Meyer recently about the success of Union Square Cafe, the restaurateur’s first restaurant location still going strong after twenty-five years.

~Jennifer Heigl

*Photo credit: Tourism SA