Elettra shows Mario some love. 

Mario's fashion statement
Inside Robert Mario shows off his porchetta. Photo by Abe Shaw.

NYFW Goodness: A Pop-Up Restaurant

BY Daria Radlinski | Wed. December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM | just eat it
A decent meal during Fashion Week can be hard to come by. We have our favorite food spots around Lincoln Center and Milk Studios down pat, but sometimes a meal so good comes along that it’s worth stopping our around-the-clock schedules for a moment of gastronomic bliss. Goodness is a new pop-up restaurant that provides just that. Organized by model, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Elettra Wiedemann, the restaurant focuses on a daily-changing menu of locally grown ingredients, curated each time by a different all-star chef. I caught up with Elettra and resident chef Mario Batali to talk about the restaurant, their fashion week plans, and yes––Crocs.

Daria Radlinski: Elettra, what can you tell me about Goodness?

Elettra Wiedemann: Goodness is a pop-up restaurant concept that I started, which pops up around different events. Right now, it’s happening during Fashion Week, but it could be at Art Basel, a film festival, or a music festival. We have a different chef and a different menu every day, and we try to source as much as possible from local food purveyors. So it’s really meant to educate people about the culinary stars in the city––which is why we have Mr. Batali here today––and it’s also meant to be an opportunity for people who are busy at—I call them “luxury conferences,” for lack of a better word—to take time out and nourish themselves with some goodness. 

Daria Radlinski: Mario, how did you become involved?
Mario Batali: Elettra called me and said, “How would you like to be involved?” And I said, “Anything you do, I’d be happy to do!"

DR: Very cool. What’s on the menu today?
MB: Today we have an arugula salad, a pumpkin lasagna, a porchetta made out of turkey, and a chestnut flower crêpe filled with lightly sweetened ricotta and candied chestnuts on top.

DR: Sounds amazing.
MB: It’s really good!

DR: Do you change your menu in any way for a Fashion Week crowd?
MB: Italian food in general and the way Italians approach food has always been very light. We've kept it very Italian, which is austere––not a lot of extra stuff––but in fact just seasonal delicious food. I mean, we didn’t bring in any big braised beef or greasy hamburgers. We brought things that are on the lighter side, but that represents our menu really well.

DR: If you could make any changes to the normal chef’s outfit, what would it be?
MB: I would say that they should dress just like I do! [Laughs] The crucial part of understanding a chef is that it’s hot in the kitchen and you have to protect yourself, so you need to wear a long apron. But I would tell everybody to wear short pants and Crocs!

DR: Have you ever been to a fashion show? 
MB: No. 

DR: Well Elettra, I know that you have! Are you looking forward to any shows this Fashion Week? 
EW: After this, I’m running down to see my good friend Prabal’s show, so I’m really excited about that! Then I’ll come back here to have lunch with my mom and my family, and hopefully Mario.

DR: And one last thing––when you guys are running around town in New York, what’s your favorite thing to grab from a bodega/deli?
MB: When I'm on the go, I like a good taco. There are really good tacos happening now––there’s a really great fish taco place on 12th Street that just opened a couple weeks ago. It’s called El Dorado. That, for me, is the perfect snack.
EW: Oh, I know that place! From bodegas, I like those little Ferrero Rocher gold chocolate balls. I can never resist those.

Goodness is serving lunch from 11am-3pm through NY Fashion Week at the Museum of Art and Design's Robert.

Robert at the Museum of Art and Design
2 Columbus Circle, 9th Floor

Photos by Anna MacKenzie