We were so pleased when chef Michael Sullivan won entry to Meatball Madness through Eater’s meatball contest and even more pleased to see him there. But this was right on the heels of the news that he had left suddenly left Greenpoint favorite Anella, so we asked him: What happened?!
Michael Sullivan’s Irish grandmother’s pork meatball. The scoop, after the jump.
It turns out that the owners of Anella wanted to make the restaurant fancier and more expensive. “They wanted foams,” he said.
“That’s not going to work,” I said.
“I didn’t think so either, so I left.”
We found the prices at Anella to be higher than usual for Greenpoint as it was. As much as restaurant owners in Brooklyn and Queens may want to elevate their cuisine, diners are still expecting to find a bargain in someplace as far flung as the corner of Franklin and Green in Greenpoint, right down the street from a warehouse that advertises its chicken slaughtering services.
The departure of Sullivan from the restaurant is unfortunate, because the space, with its vegetable garden right next door, was the perfect setting for his ultra-local cuisine. But Sullivan told us he already has plans in the works for a new restaurant, where he will also use produce from Brooklyn rooftop farmer Ben Flanner, as he did at Anella.
What would he have done in the winter, when local produce is limited to parsnips and potatoes?
“I don’t know – I never got a chance to find out!”
Let’s hope we all get the answer next season.