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An ode to Saint Urban (coming soon to NYC)
RESTAURANTS • Syracuse > Manhattan Report
Rising above the din of disappointment from a canceled Springsteen show was a lamentation of another kind last week in central New York: the closure of a truly great restaurant.
Saint Urban opened in Syracuse five years ago, on a quiet side street near the university. The owner, chef Jared Stafford-Hill, educated in the kitchens of NYC (Craft, Hearth, Union Pacific, to name three), grew up here. He saw a fine-dining gap in Syracuse, a city awash in Italian and wings. He opened a masterpiece.
I’ve eaten at Saint Urban maybe half a dozen times — most memorably, the night before lockdown, feasting on a seven-course paired tasting menu while Rome burned. Each visit was a wonder, the monthly menu built around a different wine region. The staff? Possibly beamed in from a rigorous culinary training program on another planet. Eric Ripert, whose son went to Syracuse, dined here whenever he came to visit.
Having incubated his jewel in Syracuse, chef Stafford-Hill announced last week that he was taking Saint Urban to New York City, where it will open in Manhattan perhaps as early as February. I cannot begrudge him the opportunity to compete with the best. But I was proud to live in a city that would support such a restaurant. If anyone else is looking for a chance to experiment, I know a place on Dell Street. –Aileen Gallagher