One of the most highly regarded and influential American chefs will launch his next restaurant in Rochester.
WXXI News has confirmed that Richard Reddington has finalized a deal to take over the space formerly occupied by 2 Vine on Winthrop Street in Rochester.
Reddington was the chef and owner of Redd in Napa Valley, which closed in October after a 13-year run.
Redd was awarded a coveted Michelin star from 2008 to 2013. His Rochester restaurant will also carry the name Redd, and when it opens in April, Reddington will become Rochester's only Michelin-star chef in the city's history.
The chef has local ties, having graduated from Pittsford Sutherland High School. He plans to split the year between Rochester and Napa Valley, and will continue to partner in his highly acclaimed Redd Wood, an Italian-style restaurant featuring wood-fired pizza. The Rochester version of Redd will offer wood-fired pizza, but the menu is intended to be diverse.
"I was always planning on coming back to Rochester," Reddington told WXXI News in a statement. "It just took longer than I thought. My family is all in Rochester and the east coast, and my priorities have shifted. I am impressed with the local food scene and excited to bring my cuisine back home. I will be exploring the local markets and food vendors here."
Reddington's partner in the Rochester venture is Dennis Wilmot, a local developer who has helped lead the Wilmorite portfolio for years.
"Leveraging Richard's culinary excellence, knowledge of the market, and location in the East End, REDD will provide a truly distinctive dining experience for our guests," Wilmot said.
In a recent profile on Reddington, Eater San Francisco said that Reddington's two restaurants in Yountville, Napa Valley "have changed the landscape of the tiny town, which is now a destination for food-loving tourists from all over the world, and a draw for other culinary talents." The magazine places Reddington alongside his friend Thomas Keller, the chef and owner of the French Laundry and Per Se, and perhaps the single most influential American chef.
The Rochester restaurant scene is buzzing about Reddington's arrival. "A connection of Napa Valley's best to our own region marks a whole new level in what people can expect," said Chris Grocki, a food and beverage consultant who has managed a number of high-end restaurants in western New York. Grocki added that he hopes the Rochester food scene is inspired to continue the improvement in service and quality.
Reddington took an unconventional path to culinary success. He earned his MBA, but decided to change careers in his mid-20s. His path took him into the kitchens of some of the most heralded chefs and restaurants in the world. He worked at Postrio in San Francisco. From there, Reddington went to Paris, where he worked for chef Alain Passard at l'Arpege. During Reddington's stint there, the restaurant went from two Michelin stars to three. He then worked for the legendary Roger Verge, before returning to the United States to work for Daniel Boulud at Daniel in New York City. He also worked for Wolfgang Puck, whom he considers a mentor, at Spago in Los Angeles.
While Reddington plans to create a new menu for his Rochester location, Redd Wood offers some ideas of what to expect. The website for Redd Wood describes it as "a polished, chic restaurant with a voguish vibe and hip playlist coupled with an osteria-styled menu." Wood-fired pizzas have earned the attention of both diners and critics at Redd Wood, but the restaurant offers other options, including house-made pastas, roasted meats, and more.
Reddington and Wilmot are planning significant changes to the space formerly occupied by 2 Vine, which closed in early 2018 after 19 years in business. They have retained Peter Guzy, a Manhattan-based architect who has designed some of the hottest restaurants in the country, including Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Redd in Napa Valley.