Amanda Freitag Previews a Remixed Empire Diner
By Cindy Augustine
October 20, 2013
Chef Amanda Freitag hosted an industry event late Friday night (post-Burger Bash) called Diner Remix, a nod to her soon-to-be-opened restaurant in the old Empire Diner space in west Chelsea. Among the industry vets and chefs in attendance were Anita Lo (Annisa), TV host Adam Richman, Marc Murphy (Ditch Plains), Harold Dieterle (Perilla), Missy Robbins (currently a free agent), Pichet Ong (Sugar and Plumm) and fellow Chopped judges Ted Allen and Chris Santos (Beauty & Essex).
Guests sipped bubbly and nibbled on crunchy kettle chips, grilled cheese sandwiches made with Fontina and leeks, and deconstructed BLT bites with avocado smash. Freitag told us that that she heard great feedback on the space, which kept the exterior of the Chelsea building intact. The interior is also essentially the same - it was tightly packed during the party so it was hard to dwell on the details, but it has that Airstream-trailer feel, and it's safe to say that Freitag stayed true to the original venue while adding a few modern flourishes courtesy of the Groundswell Design Group.
We also learned that the chef is a New Jersey native, and the diner culture in the Garden State works its way into her concept, which will serve lunch and dinner when it makes its debut sometime in the "next four weeks." Breakfast is on the docket in the future, when Freitag plans to have the diner up and running 24 hours a day.
“We wanted to give an ‘under construction sneak peek’ but give an idea of the concept and design. I am very ready for opening day, and Friday night's energy and excitement has me even more excited - I can’t wait.” Freitag’s “locavore” diner and her first solo project, is located at 210 Tenth Avenue.