By Katie McFadden
Cheers to Adrienne—and Adrienne’s. Broad Channel’s brand-new waterfront restaurant, named and designed in honor of the late young chef Adrienne Guttieri, is officially open.
In a surprise announcement on Friday, June 9, the partners behind Adrienne’s, Frank Guttieri, Chris Keegan, Leo Chavanne, Jessica Guttieri and Joseph Hanning, announced their doors were opening that evening and advised people to make reservations for the very first seatings in the new spot at 25 Van Brunt Road, for a taste of the Southern Italian menu. Within a few hours, all spots were claimed for opening night and Adrienne’s has been packed ever since.
Adrienne’s cousin, Chris Keegan, and her brother, Frank Guttieri, say they felt Adrienne all around as soon as they opened the doors to her namesake. “We felt Adrienne’s presence with us. We opened the door, and the rain came down sideways and sent the umbrellas sailing across the deck,” Keegan said. After all, it’s something the late chef would’ve done. Asked what she would think of the place, Guttieri said, “She would break mine and Chris’ balls a little bit. She would call us schmucks, that’s exactly what she would say.” Guttieri says Adrienne may not have approved of the location, as the Broad Channel native found a new home in Manhattan, where she last worked as Executive Chef of Trademark, but for the Guttieri family, paying homage to their girl right in their own neighborhood, at a location that was originally owned by the Guttieri family, meant the world to them, and to the community.
But they think she’d approve of everything inside. From the food to the décor, to the staff—everything about the new restaurant screams Adrienne. “I believe that in every aspect, we knocked it out of the park,” Guttieri said. As Adrienne’s awaits its liquor license, the focus of the weekend opening was the food. And while Adrienne herself can’t be there to make it, the restaurant has the next best choice—her mentor, Chef Jeff Haskell. “He was the culinary director for In Good Company Hospitality for a bunch of years and Adrienne’s mentor for a bunch of years while she was at Trademark. She looked up to him,” Keegan said. “So I reached out to him asking if anyone was looking for an executive chef job. I didn’t think we would get his level of expertise with us just opening, but he responded, ‘let me talk to my wife’ and two hours later, he said he’d be honored. Chills ran through all of our bodies when we knew we found a huge piece of the puzzle to get this project off the ground.”
And along with Chef Haskell is an “A-Team” of staff members who had also worked with Adrienne, like sous chef Jose, who worked with her at Trademark. Mariel, a head bartender at Trademark, designed the cocktail menu. Plus, some of Adrienne’s best friends are waiting tables, along with other family members of the partners. “90% of the people there know what the story is and the ones that don’t, we inspired them. When the staff is passionate about what they do, it makes the team and we got an A-team to run this place,” Keegan said.
All weekend, the staff delivered dishes perfectly curated for a menu Adrienne would approve of. “The OG spaghetti and clams, Chef Haskell and Adrienne developed together in one of the basements of a restaurant,” Keegan said. “My mom had gone through her texts with Adrienne and dug up a conversation about her mentioning veal Milanese, so it’s on the menu. There’s footage of her talking about our rigatoni bolognese and chopped salad and how they’re inspired by our family history and meals growing up. The skirt steak was something my father cooked all summer long. I think we put as much of Adrienne as we could, whether it’s things she wanted to cook or things that were part of her life story, it’s all on the menu,” Guttieri said.
The décor was created by a friend whose wedding party Adrienne was supposed to be a part of. When Frank’s sister Jessica reached out to Jenna Murray of Spilled Milk Creative, asking for help, Murray ran with the idea. “When my family had this idea of people walking in the door and really seeing Adrienne, we thought there would be a lot more pictures of her throughout her life, but Jenna cut through the emotion and said this can’t be a shrine to Adrienne. As soon as she said it, we realized what she meant. She artistically took Adrienne into the fabric of the building through the design elements, making everything that was masculine, feminine. From day one, she captured exactly what it should be to honor Adrienne,” Guttieri said. “There’s a lot of custom artwork made by Jenna showing a lot of powerful women, and Adrienne had a guilty pleasure of having expensive taste and liking really nice things.”
Speaking of nice things, in addition to the delicious menu that has people raving about since first taste, one of the nice things about the location is the large outside deck, with tables covered by orange and white striped umbrellas, like you’d find scattered across a beach on the Amalfi coast in Italy. The restaurant also has its own dock, where those with boats can pull up, tie one on and enjoy some of the many appetizers or courses, paired with a fresh watermelon frozen or homemade limoncello this summer. And while Adrienne was one to have expensive taste and Adrienne’s offers a finer dining experience than past businesses in the location, the owners won’t turn away anyone wearing flip flops.
They want everyone, from locals to those down for the day, to embrace all that Adrienne’s has to offer. “We want this to be a food destination. We want people to come from all over the place to come for our food and make the trip from Manhattan to get that rigatoni bolognese. We want people out on the back deck, enjoying the beautiful place we’ve built and, hopefully soon, our nice cocktail menu to go with the food,” Keegan said.
In addition to adding cocktails in the near future, Adrienne’s will also have occasional live music. Parking is limited but the partners will be leasing All American’s lot in the evenings to expand. They will also be able to offer small parties for up to 30 people in their upstairs loft space.
Adrienne’s, located at 25 Van Brunt Road, is currently open five days a week, for dinner hours on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and from 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. They are closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Walk-ins are welcome but reservations are recommended. Call 718-945-2525 to reserve a table, or online at Adriennes-nyc.com