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Joe Scalice

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Restaurant Vets Take Refuge in Chill New East Side Eatery

When Nish went under earlier this week, partner Joe Scalice didn’t have to look far for his next home: He simply walked two blocks over and took up residence as general manager at Solace, a one-week-old “American seasonal” restaurant created by David Regueiro of Aureole, Metrazur, and most recently the Water Club. (Given what Salice just went through at the late Nish, and Regueiro’s years under famously demanding taskmasters like Charlie Palmer and Michael “Buzzy” O’Keefe, Solace would seem to be just what the two men are seeking.) “We wanted to create a space where people would feel comfortable, with food they could understand,” the chef says. We can certainly see standards like salt cod and gnocchi ragout, butter braised lobster, and eggplant, goat cheese, and tomato terrine hitting the spot on a quiet night in the garden (open till 11 p.m.), with our own bottle in tow (Solace is still waiting on its liquor license). Solace, 406 E. 64th St., at First Ave.; 212-750-0434. Solace menu Earlier: Nish, Felled by Its Own Best Efforts

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Nish, Felled by Its Own Best Efforts

Sometimes you can’t win for losing. Take Nish: After years of making hay as high-end tablecloth restaurant March, last year Wayne Nish rechristened it Nish and lowered prices. The result? According to Joe Salice, Nish’s partner in the venture, that was the beginning of the end: “What with the location and the price point being lower, we no longer became a destination. And as a ‘just grab a bite to eat’ place, there’s only so much we can get from the local people.” And that wasn’t nearly enough. “We looked at the numbers for the last month, and we were working just to pay the payroll and the vendors … so we had to make a decision.” The decision was to pull the plug. And even though it was a long time coming, the closure still came as a shock, with longtime customers scratching their heads and the staff in disarray. “No restaurant closes gracefully,” Nish tells us. Earlier: A Double Blow for Wayne Nish: First Varietal, Now Nish Closes

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A Double Blow for Wayne Nish: First Varietal, Now Nish Closes

This will have to go down as one of the worst months a major New York chef ever had: First Wayne Nish’s revamped menu at Varietal was unable to keep the place from shutting down its kitchen operations; now comes word that Nish’s long-running flagship, Nish (formerly March), has given up the ghost. A forwarded e-mail from the restaurant’s former wine director, Joe Scalice, says it all: “After so many years we have shuttered the doors of 405 East 58th Street; NISH (formerly March) is closed.” Scalice is now the GM at Solace, a new Italian restaurant in a refurbished townhouse at 406 East 64th Street. As for what happened, we will have to get that from the man himself. More as this story develops. Earlier: ‘Speedy’ Wayne Nish Remakes Varietal in One Week Flat

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