New York is a city of ideas and ambition. “The Competition,” the new monthly feature that debuts below, is meant to showcase both. Every four weeks, we’ll present a challenge—this week’s was to create a New York City theme restaurant—and ask readers to submit ideas. A top figure in the appropriate field will judge entries: Restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow (Ono, Mix in New York) assessed the restaurant ideas; we then rendered the winner visually (the request for submissions for the restaurant competition was posted on our Website, newyorkmetro.com; beginning with this issue, submission requests will be posted in this space as well). Longtime readers of New York know that “The Competition” isn’t altogether new. Starting shortly after the magazine’s founding in 1968, New York began running a feature of the same name. The original contests ran toward wordplay and literary wit. This time, the tasks are more varied. The next challenge is to design a new Hudson River bridge, with Richard Meier as the judge.
|Illustration by Leet Karakunlun|
The winner: Jellobratory
Submitted by: Robert Sorenson, security guard, Metropolitan Museum of Art
The idea: A restaurant specializing in gelatin-based desserts, and serving an assortment of flavors and consistencies. “I want to market it as the dessert of the 21st century,” says Sorenson.
Chodorow says: “Jell-O is cool, and given the success of concepts built around a single item, like Rice to Riches, this has real potential. Besides, who doesn’t love Jell-O?”
Second place: Condiment
Submitted by: Kipton Davis, real-estate agent, Citi-Habitats
The idea: The focus is on condiments, from all over the world, instead of on the food, says Davis: “Hot sauces, barbecue sauces, dessert sauces, mustards, relishes . . . ”
Chodorow says: “People are into condiments—hence the new restaurants with a choice of sauces, like BLT Steak. People are looking for new ways to enjoy their old favorite dishes. My kids call me the Condiment King.”
Third place: Bar Mitzvah
Submitted by: Brad Feldman, marketing manager, Golf Digest
The idea: A bar-restaurant with a Jewish theme: Instead of peanuts, it serves matzos, the hora is danced at midnight, “and there’s Chinese food on Sundays.”
Chodorow says: “Nobody has really done a campy, hip Jewish restaurant, unless you think the retro Sammy’s Roumanian fits that category. (I don’t.) Given the Jewish singles scene in New York, this would probably work.”