It breaks my heart to even type these words but come September, ESTATE (sister restaurant to the girl & the fig) will permanently close.
ESTATE is more than just a wonderful restaurant to me. So this is like announcing a divorce or a death in the family. Sondra Bernstein (and as of recently John Toulze) have not only been people I respect in this crazy and ever changing food business, but also friends. I recently spent the day with them cooking, laughing and dining. It was such a treat, and something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
John is quite the joker and far less serious than you would expect for someone to be in his position. In fact, if you watch my cooking video on his Braised Baby Artichokes, you will see exactly what I mean. Sondra herself, who I admit, at first made me very nervous...is so warm and welcoming. She has a hug that will just make you melt. And the friendship those two have is as amusing as it is charming. They interact much like an old Armenian couple that has been married for some fifty odd years.
I am half Armenian by the way.