Hard on the heels of selling their second restaurant, 100 Steps, in Cranford, Andrea and Jim Carbine have sold their first one, the critically-praised A Toute Heure, located just 100 paces from its offshoot.
In the decade since the Carbines opened A Toute Heure, the chefs, including Andrea and longtime chef de cuisine Cara Decker, were candidates for a James Beard Foundation Best Chef/Mid-Atlantic Award. This year, A Toute Heure was a finalist for Best Restaurant in the Garden State Culinary Arts Awards.
The buyers are Nathally and Marco Florio.
Andrea Carbine sent a long, emotional thank you and farewell to customers this afternoon. Here, if you’re up for it, is the complete text:
“I met Jim Carbine over a glass of wine, near a roaring fireplace in Santa Fe, NM. In a whirlwind year, we courted, married and decided to embark on this crazy adventure we called A Toute Heure.
“Before we started that first night of service—before we embarked on this amazing, crazy, challenging, heart breaking at times, and ultimately incredibly rewarding adventure—before that, we were just Jim and Andrea.
“For the past 10 years, Jim and Andrea became ‘those restaurant people.’ The people who employed your kids, cooked your food, supported your farmers, farmed, waitered, hosted, dishwashed, and every job and need in between. That, that is what I am most proud of.
“The stats are pretty damn amazing, pardon the language, but they are. We’ve employed over 100 people in 10 years. We’ve put millions of dollars through the local economy, and hundreds of thousands of dollars into the pockets of real farmers growing real food.
“Even more, we’ve paid every vendor every dollar owed to them, every employee every dollar earned, and every penny—on time. We ran our business with as much integrity, pride, and respect for those who did business with us, and for us, as we could. That, that is something to be really proud of.
“And, I am.
“And, it is with this full of a heart, this pride, and these good memories that I am ready to say goodbye.
“Effective today, we have sold the Toute.
“We know this is an email that so many didn’t expect to receive. Over the past few days we have confided in close friends and talked with our farmers, vendors, and employees. Some are excited, some are shocked, some are sad, some perhaps not so much! But, for us, this was the right time for us to embark on whatever our next chapter will be.
“And, we are excited for you to meet the new owners, Nathally and Marco Florio. A wonderful couple who have embraced our dream, our team, and our community—who have all of the enthusiasm we had and who are ready to write the next chapter in the Toute’s story.
“They are joined by partner and executive chef Alex Gomes, who is ready to challenge, teach, and guide our former crew with his take on our local, seasonal food. It is a great team—and we wish them all of the best in shepherding the Toute into it’s next 10 years.
“So, we want to say good bye. And we want to say thank you—thank you for making us ‘the restaurant people.’ Thank you for making us a part of your lives, your celebrations, your weekends, and most importantly for sharing meals with us—for taking the time to learn about us, and to embrace and support our small dream here at A Toute Heure.
“We aren’t quite sure what the next chapter in the Andrea & Jim story will be. For now, it will include a lot of time in the gardens getting them in shape (maybe we can find a local farm-to-table restaurant that is interested in our tomatoes, know any?!), a lot of time getting to know our family again, and a lot of time just being Andrea and Jim once more.
“We will keep all of our adventures, memories, challenges, and celebrations that we shared with all of you so very close.”Click here to leave a comment
Your restaurant has been a joy to dine in. The staff and the atmosphere is always superb. The food has been wonderful and on par with the so-called heavy hitters in NYC. When I came to the restaurant, ate and left, I received excellent service delivered with warmth and good cheer. I applaud you for all these 10 years of excellent service and fine dining for your customers who have also become your friends.