“That is the sort of factor that might have by no means occurred,” mentioned Morgan Neville, surveying the bustling scene at Les Halles on Thursday evening. “I imply, how uncommon is it for a restaurant to shut and to be empty for 5 years, after which come again and have this type of expertise?”
Friends on the restaurant — which closed in 2017, however is again for a 3 day pop-up — had simply come from a screening of Neville’s heavy-hitting documentary “Roadrunner,” concerning the late chef Anthony Bourdain. And in a little bit of New York Metropolis magic, Les Halles proprietor Philippe Lajaunie had reopened the enduring brasserie at 411 Park Avenue South led by Bourdain for a few years, to have fun the movie’s launch. For 3 nights solely, the restaurant will resume service with a “best-of” menu: onion soup, steak and fries. ( diners should buy reserved tickets by means of occasion accomplice Resy.)
Inside, the restaurant was very a lot the identical because it had been for a few years, with the patina of some slick renovations. A glass case towards the again of the restaurant served as a time capsule, full of photographs and ephemera of Bourdain’s days on the restaurant.
As friends like chef Andrew Tarlow, Sean MacPherson and Rachelle Hruska filed within the entrance door, Neville held courtroom in a nook sales space towards the again of the restaurant. The director chatted with Lajaunie and producer Christopher Collins, who each seem within the movie, earlier than taking his dinner seat subsequent to music producer Mark Ronson.
“Philippe [Lajaunie] was simply saying how surreal it’s. It’s wonderful,” mentioned Neville of the pop-up. “I used to be simply going by means of the kitchen, as a result of I had seen it in footage a lot. I truly acquired to stroll round, and it was like, oh — yeah, that’s the place Tony’s at all times cooking, and that’s the staircase he was at all times working up and down.”
Whereas it was the director’s first time visiting the back-of-house at Les Halles, it wasn’t his first time on the restaurant. “I ate right here like 15 years in the past,” he mentioned. “But it surely’s been a protracted, very long time.”
“Roadrunner” premiered final month on the Tribeca Pageant, and can get a theatrical launch on July 16.