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People walked past New York City’s Brasserie Les Halles confused and in awe. After all, the famous Manhattan restaurant where Anthony Bourdain began his chef career has been closed since 2016. But for one weekend only, it came back to life.
In celebration of the upcoming release of Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, Brasserie Les Halles — which served as the backdrop for Bourdain’s breakthrough memoir Kitchen Confidential — reopened from July 9-11 at its original address, 411 Park Ave. S., welcoming local guests and Bourdain fans from across the country.
One patron and her wife, who loved the chef and author, made a trip out of it, coming up from Florida for the weekend to attend the restaurant pop-up.
“Get the Champagne,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in between puffs of her vape. “And if you’re here with someone, make sure you get both appetizers, they’re really good. That’s where we’re at [in the meal so far.]”
Guests were treated to a three-course meal — classic onion soup or a mushroom salad to start; steak frites for the main course (with eggplant as a vegetarian option); and an oven-baked custard cake with blueberries or a chocolate mousse for dessert. French-themed cocktails and European beers and wines made up the drink menu.
Photos of Bourdain in the kitchen, boarding a plane to travel to Tokyo for the first time, holding two knives and more decorated the walls throughout the pop-up. More photos of the chef, along with some of his most famous novels, sat in glass cases, lining the back walls of the restaurant.
Ticket sales from the pop-up went toward the cost of running Brasserie Les Halles for the weekend and, in honor of Bourdain’s life and legacy, a donation is being made to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain tells his story — from his origins as a New York chef, through his emergence as a beloved TV journalist to his death from suicide in 2018 at age 61.
“These interviews were hands down the most difficult ones I’ve ever done for a film,” director Morgan Neville previously told THR. “I feel like the film itself is an act of therapy for the public. Like, how the hell does somebody like Tony Bourdain kill himself? My goal is to have people not just think of his death when they think of him.”
Roadrunner hits theaters on July 16.
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