Is two better than one? The owner of a new restaurant in the East Village thinks so, housing two completely different restaurants under one roof. Zagat's Kelly Dobkin filed the following report for NY1.
This week, Zagat goes inside a new restaurant in the East Village that houses two completely different concepts.
The unique setup is tucked away on a little-known East Village side street dubbed Extra Place. One of the eateries shares a names with the street and another is dubbed Heidi.
Owner Amadeus Bogner explains that the idea for a two-sided restaurant was almost accidental.
"I found the space, we designed the layout and then the space next door became available, and I thought 'why not make it two restaurants in one,'" he says.
Guests can expect to see their food being prepared on both sides of the eatery, a fact that Bogner enjoys.
"I like the workshop atmosphere here," he says. "You can see how we make the meat, how we bake the bread. We don't have a storage room. All of our ingredients and dry goods are part of the design."
The restaurant’s main area, Extra Place, serves up a Mediterranean-inspired menu featuring doner, a traditional Turkish street food. Chef Michael Han offers his own take on the dish, featuring high-quality ingredients.
The idea for doner came out of a bad experience of Bogner's.
"I had a disappointing meal at a doner place and had a flash: 'Why are we not doing a doner with local, fresh ingredients where the pita bread was actually baked on premise and not coming out of a plastic bag?'" he says.
The restaurant’s other component, Heidi, features a menu of Swiss-inspired fare, including signature items like traditional three-cheese fondue.
"We use three nice Swiss cheeses," Han says. "Each cheese has its own unique quality that makes our fondue very traditional Swiss."
Han, formerly of Ciano, brings his own background in Mediterranean cuisine to the table in the kitchen. But mastering the menus at both Extra Place and the Swiss-inspired Heidi has its own unique challenges.
"It's definitely challenging trying to manage two restaurants," he says. "We want people to sit down and enjoy something different if they already tried all the doners here, if they want to sit down with their family and share an entree or two. We want to keep our prices low and our quality high."
For more information on these restaurants and more new openings, visit blog.zagat.com.