More than five months after a kitchen fire shut down Equinox, and after weeks and weeks of battling insurers, owners Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray are finally re-opening their fully renovated downtown restaurant.
The sound you hear is a long sigh of relief.
“We’re just getting open and doing, like, a dozen dishes and just getting everything in sync back in the kitchen,” says chef Todd Gray. “We’re psyched. We made it open, thank God.”
Gray says that the bar is fully stocked, the wine list set, and the pantry packed with the mid-Atlantic ingredients that the chef is known for. But he’s also promising some new twists, which he hinted at earlier.
“We are doing some ‘for-the-table’ dishes on the menu…Tonight it’s got four. It eventually will have five or six for-the-table dishes that people can share…Sort of more interactive dishes for people while they’re having cocktails,” Gray says. “Then I’ve got composed starters. I’ve got these two or three pastas dishes that I’m doing that are in halves or full sizes. I’ve got an herb-grilled and a pan-roasted section. The dishes all do have sauce and a veg. I’m trying to keep them on the cleaner side and trying not to overload the plate.”
“I’m going back to cutting fish into steaks. Instead of like doing logs of tuna, I’m doing like a beautiful tuna steak on the menu,” the chef adds. “I’m doing a veal porterhouse. I haven’t done a porterhouse for a couple of years…So I’m doing some re-conceived dishes of mine but still in my Todd Gray style. I’m excited, and I’m ready to roll.”
Does Gray feel rusty after all this time away?
“Nah, nah, nah, we’re good,” he says. “We’re totally tuned and ready.”