The landmark Pacific Time shuttered its Lincoln Road digs last August, but chef/owner Jonathan Eismann is just a couple of weeks away, final permits permitting, from opening his new Pacific Time in the Design District, at 35 NE 40th St.
Well actually the way this works is that I ask the questions first.
Oh, okay. It's been so long since we spoke. I forgot how it went.
1. How will the new place differ from the original?
When Pacific Time first opened in '93, it was a neighborhood haunt, an American California restaurant with just an Asian influence. In the late Nineties, it developed into more of a fine-dining place out of necessity; because of continual rent increases we had to continually increase our revenue. The new PT is sort of like going back home again. It will be very accessible, very reasonably priced, open for lunch, dinner, and potentially breakfast.
2. Can you give an example of a couple of new entrées?
Sure, how about salt-and-pepper skate with green apple-celery root purée, lemongrass, and salted capers. And sheeps' milk gnudi with baby spinach and preserved lemon.
3. How much will the average dinner entrée cost?
From $15 to $25, and the specials a little bit more.
4. What did you miss most about the restaurant biz during the past 10 months?
I've been busy building another restaurant since before Pacific Time closed — working on menus and new vendors ... so I don't exactly feel like I've been out of the restaurant business. I certainly haven't taken any trips anywhere.
5. What's the best cookbook you've read this year?
Neil Perry's book, called Fresh. It's a light look at how to use basic fresh ingredients in a simple way — a limited number of them, which is one of my trademarks. I like to let ingredients stand on their own, not muddy things up.