Omnivore - A look at Joel in the new Oak Room

As we have reported here before, Joel Antunes has moved to New York to helm the kitchen at the Plaza Hotel's newly renovated Oak Room.

I have a very sentimental attachment to the Oak Room - my father, who I see rarely (he lives on the other side of the world), used to take me there whenever we were in New York together. Because his visits to the US are usually business trips, and his business usually takes place in New York, most of the time I have spent with him over the last 17 years has been in the city. Until the Oak Room closed in 2005, we would always make time to stop in there for a drink. I remember him first taking me there for gin and tonics when I was 15 (yes, I grew up with a European attitude towards drinking, whereby children were taught how to drink rather than not to drink), and it seemed to me the height of sophistication. When I lived in New York I would sometimes stop in for a gin and tonic by myself if I was missing my father particularly. It was an expensive form of nostalgia - I remember paying almost $20 for the last drink I bought there.

Check out this New York Times video of the progress Joel and his buddies at the Plaza are making. The Oak Room is scheduled to open in late September.

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