CitySearch: Focolare of Little Italy, NYC | Not What It Was!

Chef Franco Lania - Focolare, Little Italy, NYC

Chef Franco Lania – Focolare, Little Italy, NYC

This post is to inform everyone: my social media followers, friends, family, colleagues, in and out of the United States, including Cruise Line management and sea fairing friends. I have not been associated with or been the chef/partner of Focolare bar/bistro in Little Italy, N.Y.C., since mid May 2008.

I did my very best when I was there, and we fought hard against the odds. The restaurant and I were recognized for the positive strides we were making at the restaurant and for Little Italy. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances that took place within the infrastructure of the partnership, and our landlord tenant relationship, the business has changed hands.

This was an unfortunate thing for all that were involved with the creation of Focolare, it was a beautiful bistro and was very special for Little Italy. Unfortunately, these things sometimes happen in the restaurant business. And this is also the reality of a chef’s life at times. I wish to all that put their heart and soul into Focolare the very best in their future restaurant careers. We shared a moment of magic!

Below is a write up by posted on “Citysearch NYC” that gives rise to the change in Focolare in light of the partnership and chef changes that took place after May of 2008.

Not what it was!

by: Citysearch

“We returned to Little Italy for the Feast of San Genaro, and like last year, we went to Focolare. This year the experience was horrible. Because we remembered how great it was last fall, we didn’t check the reviews on this site. WE SHOULD HAVE!! Then we would have known that Franco Lania had left. This summer’s comments all give indications that there had been a major and a catastrophic change in the kitchen and if we had read them, we would have stayed away. Our food was tasteless and most of our entrees were cold. The wait staff was anything but attentive. And for a final insult, we paid big bucks! A trip into NYC should be special and this dining experience was anything but. The restaurant looks the same, but what a difference when a talented chef is no longer there.”

“Once the sole of the restaurant is gone, it will never be the same. It’s better just to create a new concept than to ride the coattails of what was.” – Chef Franco Lania 

  • Michael and Diane Daum

    Hi Franco:
    We met you in Greece at the vinicular when we were headed back to the ship.
    (Michael & Diane Daum from FL. originally from Staten Island)
    We are going to be on the Insignia again in June going to the south of France.
    We were wondering if you arr still the Chef in Toscana we have a reservation and would like to see you.Do you know if Daryl is still the Matre D?
    looking forward to hearing from you.

  • Jason Giordano

    A Restaurant is just a building, the Chef and the front of the house make it what it is.

    If Picasso hung his Art in the Subway it would be a Museum, if he takes it away… is just a Subway again.

    There are only two reasons why a Restaurant that used to be great no longer is. 1. Greedy Owners 2. The Chef that made it great went somewhere else. In some case both 1 and 2 apply, when that happens the end comes very quick.

  • admin

    Chef Jayson,
    This is well put, and you nailed the truth to this topic!
    Rock on Jay!!

  • Amy

    Chef Franco,
    This is well put, and you nailed the truth to this topic!
    Rock on Franco!!

  • Mark Vice

    Great post!