Celebrating their tenth years of operations, our choice for ‘outstanding achievement’ was never more than a one-horse race…
Jacek Grochowina of Nolita
Ten years is a long time whichever way you wish to look at it – but in gastronomy, it’s even longer. That Nolita has outlasted other premium experiences of its caliber is a testament to Jacek Grochowina’s talent, strategy and underpinning vision. “The night before we opened I remember how stressed my wife and I were,” he tells the Insider, “but from the very beginning we knew we were in it for the long-term.”
Having ridden the lockdowns and other force majeures, Grochowina’s project has become enshrined in foodie folklore, a place where discreet, understated luxury meets world class tastes. “Over time I’ve definitely matured,” he says, “but the passion remains the same. At Nolita, we’ve achieved a synergy between our own goals and the expectations of our guests, and finding that medium has been key.”
Clearly, so has the food. An ode to Grochowina’s skill, there is a mastery at play that makes itself known in the clutch of iconic mainstay dishes: bluefin tuna tartare, kohlrabi, yuzu prove an explosion of freshness; equally memorable, grilled octopus coated with wasabi mayo and tapioca crisps works in cohesion with a surprising, adventurous hit of chili that comes with the creamy potato.
“I once took this off the menu,” he admits, “and was told by a regular he wouldn’t be back until it was reinstalled!” Whoever this mystery guest is, he merits our gratitude.
These classics aside, the menu is a dynamically evolving work that treasures details and finesse: razor thin cuts of venison loin are served in the style of mille-feuille with boletus mushroom carefully layered in between. It is exquisite, and perhaps one of the best examples of Nolita’s devotion to technique and product. But like the food itself, this is a restaurant to savor.