On Monday, news broke that Governor in Dumbo will not reopen after months of construction delays and unexpected costs, after having been ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. While the food scene is reeling at how the $42,000 raised for its reopening is going to be returned or reallocated, Chef Brad McDonald has left the restaurant group and been silent to the press. We spoke with McDonald back in November about what state the recovery was in, and were awaiting an updated interview when Monday's news came out. Here are some answers to the why's and how's, and the previously unpublished interview—now a bittersweet discussion.
'governor' on Serious Eats
You know a restaurant opening is an important one when, a few months later, you can't imagine New York without it. 2012, despite plenty of closures even before a catastrophic storm that crippled, closed, or delayed so many restaurants, was a fantastic year for eating in the city. Here are my favorites of the year: not just full-service restaurants, but the odd bakery, cocktail bar, and Mediterranean lunch joint thrown in for good measure.
When asked what "Modern American cuisine" really meant, Chef Brad McDonald gave an answer that was articulate but unrehearsed: "It means taking a huge leap from a single reference point and doing something really different." This seems to be the mantra at Governor, his new Dumbo restaurant from the same team behind Gran Electrica and Colonie.