Chefs Ryan Lory and Adam Bordonaro have joined forces to launch their first restaurant, Ardyn, in New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood. It debuted March 8 and offers three different experiences: a lounge with cocktails and snacks, a dining room with à la carte menu options and a yet-to-open chef's counter for a six-course tasting menu plus amuse bouche.
On how the partnership started, "Adam and I met while working for Charlie Palmer," Lory shares. "I knew right away after cooking with him for a couple of weeks that our relationship would be important, so we stayed close over the years." And as the the story usually goes, each individually reached the point in their careers where they wanted to open their own restaurants. It was Lory's wife who suggested they do it together after overhearing a conversation between the two. "From then on, we set forth on a journey that took two years from that night to get Ardyn open," says Lory.
Those two years included its fair share of hiccups for the first time restaurateurs. "We had two spaces before we landed on 33 West 8th Street that went into lease negotiations, but in the end got burned." Lory continues, "It's difficult to open any business in New York City, but restaurants are even harder because of certain infrastructure [requirements], location and rent."
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"The name Ardyn means 'sacred forest' or 'great forest' and nods to our dedication to using high quality, seasonal and local products," states Lory. The decor builds on the forest vibe. Per a press release, "The 1,900 square foot space draws inspiration from the restaurant's name and evokes the tones, textures and depth of a forest with jewel green tiles and white countertops, accented by natural woods in the floor and ceiling."
Many of the duo's ingredients are sourced from farmers' markets and nearby artisanal producers. That translates into an à la carte menu divided into sections for cold, hot, for the table, and side dishes. These currently include white asparagus with Ibérico ham, spring onion and pistachio; agnolotti with goat cheese, peas and ramps; dry-aged wagyu rib eye; and wild mushrooms.
The tasting menu, scheduled to change daily, is set to launch in the next few weeks. "We . . . will be showcasing the farms available at Union Square Greenmarket and will be taking it up a notch in every aspect. . . . [The] quality of food, presentation, service and beverage will be at a high level," says Lory. Looking forward, "A Michelin star is the end goal and we will push every day to achieve that."
Photos by J.Abbate.