When The Soup Bowl closes for the season this Friday in its pop-up space at 319 7th Avenue, you won’t have to wait until fall to enjoy a bowl of their lobster butternut squash bisque – it’ll be on the menu of owner Richard Gussoff’s new restaurant, Uncle Arthur’s Cafe, which he tells us should be open around late March or early April.
The new spot will be located at 237 9th Street, just off 4th Avenue, and it will feature not just some favorites from The Soup Bowl (in addition to the bisque, look out for chicken pot pie and potato leek soup), but also a few dishes from Richard’s former Manhattan restaurants — he was the chef/owner of Italian trattoria Pietrasanta, Rachel’s American Bistro, and seafood restaurant Sag Harbor — which he sold about six years ago when the leases were expiring.
“We will have an upscale coffee bar, and a full menu with some of my favorite dishes from my restaurants in the Theater District,” Richard says, describing a pecan-crusted chicken with a honey-mustard glaze, pastas such as linguine with chicken, fresh herbs, and a touch of Sauvignon Blanc, plus a blackened salmon and a fish taco that he says he’s still working on. They’ll have a list of local and imported wines and beers to enjoy with your meal, and definitely be sure to save room for dessert.
“Our desserts will be homemade, including a chocolate mascarpone and a chocolate peanut butter pie which I still prepare for parties for customers of my restaurants,” he says.
Richard tells us the name is in honor of his uncle, Arthur Klein, a successful attorney who negotiated the leases for his restaurants. He says he represented some famous stars, including Al Pacino, whose role as defense attorney Arthur Kirkland in the 1979 courtroom drama …And Justice For All was inspired in part by Uncle Arthur, who Richard says was “often unshaven and attired in wrinkled suits.”
“That was the essence of my uncle. A brilliant attorney that was unpretentious,” Richard says. “I chose the name Uncle Arthur’s because I wanted a place that people in the neighborhood would feel comfortable at and hopefully not pretentious.”