It’s unquestionably the Long Island dining deal of the year: serial restaurateur Tom Schaudel has sold his 8-year-old Melville property, Jewel, to steakhouse king Anthony Scotto.
With its multiple dining rooms, bar and lounge and sushi bar, Jewel sprawls over much of the ground floor of an office building owned by Schaudel’s partner, Marc Beige. (Beige’s family owns the world’s largest costume manufacturer, Rubie’s Costume Co., also based in Melville.)
Schaudel, who also owns A Lure in Southold, A Mano in Mattituck and the year-old Kingfish in Westbury, said: “I’m 66 and three restaurants and a catering business are enough to concentrate on. Marc wants to concentrate on the costumes.”
Then too, he conceded, “between Yelp and Facebook and trying to hire good people, it’s not as much fun to run a restaurant anymore.”
Anthony Scotto, 75, still seems to be having fun. In addition to the steakhouses Blackstone (Melville), Rare650 (Syosset) and Insignia (Smithtown), his 20,000-square-foot pan-Mediterranean, One North in Jericho, was the restaurant opening of 2017. He’s following that up later this year with One 10, a 15,000-square-foot Italian eatery on the former site of the Wonder Bread Hostess warehouse on Broadhollow Road in Melville.
Yes, that means that three of Scotto’s six properties will be in Melville. (Watch your back, The Refuge.) But he said that he was not too worried about the restaurants taking one another’s business. Whereas Blackstone’s prices tend toward the stratospheric, at both Jewel and One 10, he said, “lunch will be between $35 and $40 a check, dinner, $60 to $65. They are not the exact same customer — or they are Blackstone customers who don’t want a steak that night.”
At Jewel, Scotto’s team is already running the kitchen and, gradually, changing the menu. That team is led by Tomoyuki Kobayashi who, until recently, was executive chef at 1221 at MFP in the Roslyn Hotel. Kobayashi, a veteran of the Poll Brothers’ organization, had been the founding chef at their pan-Asian restaurant, Toku in Manhasset. Scotto expects to spend the next several months getting the lay of the land at Jewel and then, next year, will close the restaurant for a thorough renovation and rebranding. No name has been chosen, but the concept will probably be modern Asian with French influences (a Kobayashi specialty).