Long Island is the home of Tom Colicchio’s first new restaurant in over two years, named Small Batch for its typical American cuisine. What’s so big about the new establishment? It’s big news if you’re a fan of Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, and anyone who’s enjoyed his cooking is most definitely a fan. If that weren’t enough, the restaurant promises to only use locally sourced ingredients.
The restaurant seats 180 people at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, Long Island, at the site which recently housed Houston’s (closed in 2015) and is modeled after a farmhouse for full rustic effect. The wide, open kitchen uses a wood-fire grill to cook. Those who manage to land a seat inside over the next few weeks will enjoy mouth-watering chicken, lamb loin, or New York strip steak. What more could you want?
Even more notable is the wine list: there are over 100 selections available, and all fall below $100. Cocktails are right on par with typical New York prices at about $13 a pop, but will include a number of signature selections we can’t wait to try. Even the drink menu uses local establishment to source ingredients. The draft beer is all from New York breweries such as Evil Twin, Grimm, and Oceanside’s Barrier. Many of its products hail from local farms and fisheries.
Colicchio is no stranger to NYC restaurants. His Craftbar enjoyed success for about fifteen years before closing due to increased rent. Another of his restaurants, Colicchio & Sons, recently closed as well.
Colicchio started out as a sous-chef for Thomas Keller at Rakel in the 80s, but graduated to opening his own tavern by the 1994. By 2003, it was voted by the Zagat Survey as the Most Popular Restaurant in New York City. He opened Craft in spring 2001, not far away.
In addition to these mostly successful restaurants, he has written a number of cookbooks. He’s a presence on television, appearing in A Place at the Table alongside Jeff Bridges and Raj Patel, a documentary about hunger in the United States. He has reigned as head judge on Top Chef since its 2006 debut, and is also involved with Top Chef Masters, a spin-off series to the original show. Colicchio also has a spot on both the Food Council at City Harvest and the Culinary Council at the Food Bank for New York City in order to help relieve hunger for those in need.