Pandemic? What pandemic? Says Mikel de Luis from the kitchen of his new NYC restaurant. It’s hard enough to open a restaurant in the city under normal circumstances; this ambitious chef’s plans to open up his new restaurant in the Big Apple fell in the middle of the global health crisis.
Mikel de Luis’s new locale, Haizea, was scheduled to open its doors in mid-March; however, the mayor ordered all restaurants to be closed before he could open for business. He finally got to open Haizea in May, but only for takeout. The original idea was to serve Basque-inspired tapas to just 22 people seated around a bar, but given the current situation, that plan is still on hold. He has made changes to the menu to better provide takeout to hungry New Yorkers, popular options include the calamari sandwich, the Ibérico sandwich and the croquettes trio with squid ink. The challenge, of course, “with takeout is you need to make sure the food is arriving properly. Making sure the food will be almost the same as eating in the restaurant,” says Mikel, in wwd.com. He faces an additional challenge of drumming up business for a restaurant at which nobody has ever eaten.
Given Mikel’s impressive resume, which includes working at Martin Berasategui, SoHo House and The Little Nell, he’ll be able to stay afloat. He has other businesses as well, including a line of sauces and a catering company.
At the moment Haiza is open for delivery service only, but when Mikel de Luis opens its doors he will serve Basque-inspired tapas to a maximum of 22 diners at a time