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Dec 8, 2008 08:19 AM

New opening - Morello the old Gaia Space

Gaia on Greenwich Ave has had a face-lift and a relaunch as an "Italian Bistro"...walked past it on saturday. No menu up so can't comment but perhaps this will be a direct rival to the tarry lodge...

Glad to see they kept most of the beautiful old bank interior...

Anyone been? Any intel? It reopened 1st Dec...

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  1. I noticed this on opentable a while ago. There is no menu on the website, but a little information about the chef, etc.

    1. Marlon Abela is a mover and shaker in London restaurant circles. Jfood is reading "The Man Who Ate the World" and there is an entire section on the entrepreneur. Here is a link to his background

      5 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        Jfood - Do you mean the jeffrey steingarten book "the man who ate everything"? Or is this another book? The steingarten book is great...

        1. re: Scotty100

          It's a British book by a UK food critic, Jay Rayner

          1. re: rjka

            rjka - good to see your posts again lately. Are you back? you've been gone for a long time, no?

            1. re: adamclyde

              Actually not really back. I have been relocated to Chicago for a while, but am now spending a fair amount of time back in the Greenwich area and trying to keep up on new developments

        2. i thought gaia was a great restaurant. someone told me the owner was bored with it so he turned it into an italian place. maybe they will keep the white chocolate cheesecake dessert from gaia it was awsome!

          4 Replies
          1. re: mrporkbelly

            I don'y think bored was part of the equation. You can't pay a $33,500 a month rent with the amount of business Gaia was doing (or not doing) so it was time to try something different. '

            I assume that the MARC restaurant group is still the owner.

            1. re: pruzes

              I too had many good meals in Gaia. I love the setting/interior. Their sous vide short ribs were awesome. Here's hoping the new makeover will be just as good.

              33.5k a month in rent do these businesses make money?! And this is greenwich...not Soho...

              1. re: Scotty100

                I hope they last a while. Greenwich Produce bit the bullet a few years back due to the crazy rents. How many carrots do you have to sell to pay that much rent!!

                When you see Banana Republic and the Gap closing you know things are out of control.

                Saks 5th Ave. will be the next to go. Thats no joke.

              2. re: pruzes

                Yes, the owner is the same, still MARC group.

            2. i've been to Morello a few times now and the food is excellent!!! special cocktails are great! if anybody thinks that there is better italian on the ave... you're seriously lacking a palate...restaurants on Greenwich Ave have really become mediocre at best for the prices that they charge... however, this place will not disappoint you!
              as for how it rates next to the Tarry Lodge... all i can say is wow what a disappoint that was. i was embarssed that i took somebody there for their birthday! up until now I've loved every Mario Batali establishment i've been to, however not the new Tarry Lodge.

              9 Replies
              1. re: hammer22

      've been there a few times already? I thought they just opened last week! What did you eat? What is the menu like?
                What did you eat at Tarry Lodge that was so bad? Since it's your first post on CH, please tell us where else you like to eat.
                Welcome to the board!

                1. re: sibeats

                  I'm also curious to what you ate, I'm pretty new to posting as well, but always read them. I started to post because of people like this one; just doesn't sound right. Didn't they just opened and you've been there a few times; and to knock Mario??...come on. Nothing good on the ave., ? what about L'escale, there parking lot is always full.

                  1. re: wonka

                    i live and work on greenwich avenue... i first invited to morello for their soft opening(test run) the week after thanksgiving. other than that i've eaten there 2 other times, once last week and this past sunday night. i ate the homemade pasta bolognese 2 of times is was there also a filet entree one of those nights, i had a ravioli dish on my 3rd visit... and in those three visits my company and i have gone through every app they have and a handful of the desserts...
                    i think you missed what i was saying about Batali... i am in no way bashing him. infact as i stated i love his other restaurants! especially Babbo!!
                    when i was at the Tarry Lodge i had the the rib eye for 2 which came out raw and cold in the center. i eat my meat medium rare, this steak i new i have to send back when i saw the runner bringing it over. i started with the octopus and baby potatoes antipasti and had a sweet corn side also when my meal came.
                    i'm not happy with a lot on the places on greenwich ave when i can take a train to the city and have a better meal... it would be convenient to stay here but other than abis, and now Morello, there's no place here that i crave.
                    a full parking lot doesn't mean the food is good. mcdonalds normally has a full parking lot for their lunch and dinner rush... as for L'escale the first time i went there i found something in my food and that i can't shake out of my mind.
                    what do i like... Where do i like to eat... babbo, craftsteak, nobu, les halles (the park south one), le zie (chelsea), union square cafe, BLT(white plains & nyc), blue ribbon sushi... i used to go to Polpo's or F.I.S.H, but even they haven't been consistent enough... i don't want to drag this list out... hope this helped answer your questions...
                    If you have any other questions... fire away. i'll check this tomorrow

                    1. re: hammer22

                      Thanks for the info. Did you like Gaia before? We went there a few times and thought it was good, but too far for us to go to often. Looking forward to trying Morello when we get down that way. Hopefully the menu will be posted on their website soon.

                      1. re: sibeats

                        I wasn't a hug fan of the menu at Gaia... whatever i ordered there was cooked well and tasted good, but i never found myself dying to go there. I don't know if you remember what was there before... it used to be a restaurant named DOME... i miss DOME! i like that Morello put the bar back to how it was before and they also did a great job with the decor.
                        i can't imagine that their website wlll be so bare for much longer... i'm shocked it hasn't been change already

                        1. re: hammer22

                          I do remember Dome...we made it there a few times as well and quite enjoyed it. I agree with what you said about Gaia, which is why I guess we never ventured back...just nothing special to warrant the trip. I'll report back if we make it to Morello anytime soon.

                      2. re: hammer22

                        didn't mean to hit a nerve.....I'm glad we have a finer restaurant to go to in the area, so we don't always have to trek to the city. I'll check it out soon, thanks for the update.

                      3. re: wonka

                        Morello has been open "officially" since December 1st. They have gone through a soft opening since late November and although these dates are usually for "invited" guests I know 2 families already that have wondered into Morello for dinner. And from what little I have heard, it is suppose to be great. I will report back tomorrow as I will be dining there this evening.

                        As to the comments about Mario Batali and Tarry Lodge, this is one of those reactions you just have to shrug and say "why?"! Why does a Mario Batali restaurant have to be good and why can't someone be critical of the joint? Have you been to B&B in Las Vegas or their accompanying steakhouse called Carnevino? B&B (which is considered the Babbo of Las Vegas) is marginal at BEST and while I can't critique the food @ Carnevino why would ANYONE go there when they have the audacity to charge $150 for steak for 2 (and here is the kicker, it is NOT even USDA Prime!!!) or $40 for pasta dishes??? Tarry Lodge could certainly be good and get even better in the years to come (when Babbo 1st opened I found it so so and was only in the last 2 years that I really started to enjoy it). But to anoint a restaurant as great just because of the owners couldn't be a bigger mistake.

                        And as far as l'Escale is concerned, just look at the location. It is next to RBS/Greenwich Capital on the water and it is truly a wonderful setting in a hotel where they just sunk a TON of $ to attract the $400 a night hotel crowd. Of the 3 times I have dined I have never been impressed enough to justify the tariff though (thankfully I was on somebody else's tab all 3 times!).

                        1. re: LVI

                          Here is my review of last nights dinner. It was WONDERFUL!!!


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