Phillip Lopez lets Todd A. Price in on the details about the upcoming and possibly "revolutionary" restaurant Square Root, set to open in the Lower Garden District come February. As Price points out, there are very few tasting-menu-only restaurants of this nature in America Momofuku and Brooklyn Fare are two successful examples, for instance and of course, there are absolutely none in New Orleans. While Lopez obviously acknowledges that he's taking a risk here, the concept is pretty revolutionary when you think about it in terms of pushing boundaries within the local, and really the national, dining scene, and he's sure to draw A LOT of attention in 2014 if everything's on point. Does Square Root indicate where the industry could be heading in the next few years? You be the judge. Here now, are all the details that have been revealed about Square Root so far:
· There's only one dining option downstairs, a 15 to 18 (and potentially 22) course prix-fixe that will last 2 to 2.5 hours (kind of like the Titanic movie, depending on if you got up to use the bathroom, do your Celine Dion impression into the mirror, and drink a gallon of scotch or not)
· There are only 16 seats available downstairs at a counter wrapped around the open kitchen, which sounds very Momofuku indeed
· There will be two seatings every night
· Dinner will be a set-cost of $150, not including drinks (not too bad, considering Brooklyn Fare will set a diner back at least $225)
· Menu will change weekly (sorry, no menu leaks yet)
· On portion size and damage control: "You're talking about two to three bites, so everything has to be close to perfect," says chef Lopez.
· The restaurant, designed by Lopez, will be "chic and industrial."
· Design elements: Plates are from a Spanish supplier that did plates for El Bulli, main wall downstairs to feature shou-sugi-ban wood a "Japanese charring technique," custom furniture from Bywater's Monkey Wid-a Fez, who also did Peche.
· Upstairs will be cocktail-focused.
· Upstairs will seat 11, plus seating for 13 around bar, and potentially more on a deck (still under construction) that will add 650 square feet of outdoor space.
· Upstairs, kitchen will serve a handful of small plates, 17 charcuterie items from Root's extensive house-cured selection
· Also upstairs: 3,000-bottle wine cellar
· Reservations will be done online (again, very Momofuku-inspired). Price writes, "Lopez plans to start taking reservations in January. An online questionnaire will let diners specify any allergies or preferences."
· Square Root chef Phillip Lopez lays out details about new project [NOLA.com]
· All Square Root Coverage [-ENOLA-]