Above: The new restaurant Jesup Hall retivalized a building that once served as Town Hall
The first time I met Bill Taibe—culinary mastermind behind The Whelk, Kawa Ni and the now-shuttered Le Farm—I had a fangirl moment. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I was equally delighted to find out about his latest venture, Jesup Hall.
WHAT NICHE ARE YOU HOPING TO FILL WITH JESUP HALL?
Well-cooked food focused on properly sourced meats and vegetables: beef rib roast, minute steaks, double patty burgers and vegetables treated like a star. We plan to offer brunch, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea in the near future.
WHAT WAS THE PROCESS OF OPENING THIS RESTAURANT?
We started off at a different location, but it didn’t work out. After that, I got a call about the 90 Post Road East space. It was a difficult build out. The building didn’t have an obvious flow pattern, but I loved the location so I took on the challenge.
The back entrance is the front, kinda.
WILL IT BE FAMILY FRIENDLY?
Families are welcome as with Kawa Ni and The Whelk. There should be plenty of options for kids. The dining room is fun and unfussy. In the warmer months, we’ll have a spacious front patio.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU LOVE FOR SPRING?
Onions—ramps, leeks, wild garlic—peas, asparagus, anything green that comes from the ground.
OUTSIDE THE CULINARY WORLD,WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Music calms my brain. I have ambient music—from lyrical hip-hop to spa music—playing wherever I am. Also, I love watching people who excel at what they do, whether it’s an athlete, a musician or an artist.
I’m focused on what the suburbs need, outside of your typical sit-down dinner. We have a few interesting ideas that I hope will come to fruition this year.
Top food picks from the darling of the James Beard Foundation, Chef Taibe
“Tacos El Azteca food truck in Norwalk and Rothbard—our buddies downstairs from Jesup Hall.”
“I’m inspired by the chefs and cooks that work in my kitchens every day. Nothing excites me more than to see people working hard at what they love.”
“Hearty roast meats and stews in winter. For summer, anything on the grill. Good ingredients, good wine.”
“My Kunz spoon. I’ve had it for sixteen years. I’ve stopped services because I couldn’t find it. We all have our things.”
Portrait of Bill Taibe by Julie Bidwell; Interior contributed; Burger by Allegra Anderson