Two award-winning New York restaurateurs are opening a new eatery in Manhattan’s hip West Village district, inspired by the cuisine of a dwindling religious sect.
Rita Sodi and Jodi Williams, whose restaurant Via Carota won them the 2019 James Beard Foundation award for best New York City chefs, are designing a menu based around the “sophisticated simplicity” of Shaker food.
The Shakers, or United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, were founded in 1747 and settled in upstate New York. They were known for their strict celibacy rules, and are now down to just 2 living members: Brother Arnold Hadd, age 58, and Sister June Carpenter, 77.
Chef Jodi Williams described Shaker cuisine as involving “homemade mayonnaise, noodle soup, thick slabs of bacon, cured ham, fresh rolls, poached carrots, little hot cakes — and lots of fresh farm food.”
“It has the same kind of simplicity as Via Carota. But it’s American in a big way. I can’t wait to use buttermilk and dill, and to make shoo-fly pies,” Williams said.
The restaurant will open next year at 50 Commerce Street.