"This wasn't an ugly breakup or anything like that. It was more of a personal decision on my part, something I needed to do for me" says Allan Rosenberg, responding to the news that he has sold his equity share in Papalinos and taken the position of Chef de Cuisine at The Place Downstairs, Fernando Martinez' fine dining restaurant located beneath his popular Mussel & Burger Bar. Rosenberg told Eater that while he's relinquished ownership and managerial control, "my son [Dustin Hernandez] runs the back of the store" and he will receive royalties from Papalinos "because I'm the founder and came up with the product and stuff."
Rosenberg says at TPD he's been enjoying a menu that "can change weekly."
We're not even seasonal. We're really about what's available that week. One week ramps can be in, the next they're out. The same with figs and stuff like that. So it's really nice to be able to create dishes weekly. It's been exciting for me. We're working on a new vegetarian dish—a goat cheese, corn and truffle agnolotti.
More after the jump.
Rosenberg said he and Martinez have been friends for a long time, saying they have "a lot of the same ideas about food." When Fernando and Cristina Martinez joined Rosenberg at his house for dinner, the pair "would do different, creative stuff." His thoughts of leaving Papalinos to return to fine dining predated the opportunity to join TPD, however. "It's been something I've wanted to do for a long time," says Rosenberg. But as someone who operated a fine dining restaurant [Danielle's] in the past, he knew "opening a restaurant can be pretty stressful." Once Fernando discussed the possibility of joining him at The Place Downstairs, Rosenberg thought it would be "nice to be able to go into something that's already there and just focus on the kitchen stuff and not worry about everything else that comes along with owning a restaurant. I can just focus on the food, and that makes it really nice." When asked about reaching the status of someone who also receives royalty payments, he laughed and added "yeah, that's nice as well."
· Papalinos Pizza [Official Site]
· The Place Downstairs [Facebook]