Today, we cover Convivio, which once operated in the restaurant space in Prospect Tower that's been there since Tudor City began.
The story actually begins with L'Impero, the restaurant that preceded it. Owned by Chris Cannon, it featured chef Scott Conant in the kitchen. Several good reviews later, the restaurant was a hot ticket, the first time that ever happened in Tudor City.
Then Cannon and Conant had a falling out, and the chef left. Cannon searched and came up with another chef with the apt credentials.
The new chef, Michael White (above) came aboard and it was decided to spruce the place up with a new name and some decor enhancements. This was done and the place was opened in 2007.
Inside, it was all kinds of luxe, from the wraparound crimson banquettes to the ceiling's six-coats of car paint to make everything shimmer. The winning combo of Convivio (and Alto, another fine-dining restaurant) was further enhanced when they took on a business partner and added a third, Marea. Everything reached its peak when the New York Times awarded all of them with three stars apiece.
A year passed, and suddenly White and the new business partner wanted out. In the acrimonious settlement, they took Marea, while Cannon took Convivio and Alto. And then came the final blow; an alleged tipping scandal at Alto caused him to shrug his shoulders and walk away. Convivio, and Alto, were closed.
That's all there is to the story. We leave you with a view of the outside, around Christmas time.