Last night in a flurry of metro reporting, we noted former Porchetta chef Jason Neroni was currently a resident of the 76th Precinct House in Brooklyn, after being booked on charges of petit larceny. Details were few and far between, the air still thick with gunsmoke and sulfur. Now Neroni is out of jail and the particulars are starting to trickle in. Details are courtesy of PR fella Steven Hall, who appears to be acting as a pro tempor arbiter. The story has begun to take on the aspect of a Greek tragedy; we're thinking Antigone though we could go for Medea.
OK folks, here's the scoop:
Jason with his lawyer voluntarily went to the precinct in Carroll Gardens
yesterday evening. I spoke with him last night, after he left the precinct,
he is NOT still there. Yes the charge is petit larceny because Jason signed
his own paycheck as, according to him, he has done many times in the past.
Marco claims that he is the only person allowed to sign checks, but Jason
says he has signed checks for vendors and his staff before. Marco told
Jason that he'd drop the charges if he publicly apologized to him, Jason
feels he has nothing to apologize for. The working relationship has been
bad for a few months now, and Jason had decided to give his notice about 5
or 6 weeks ago. I know this because he told me so. But when push came to
shove, Marco told him to leave. I like Marco, we worked with the restaurant
for 6 months, but after that he just couldn't afford to continue retaining
us. At the beginning Jason worked 7 days a week, he did not take a day off
for at least 2 months. He was dedicated to this restaurant, as was Marco.
Let me reiterate that Porchetta was failing before Jason took over, he
brought the restaurant critical acclaim, but from what I hear the
restaurants FOH was not supportive of what he did behind the stoves. I
haven't worked with them since the end of January so I cannot comment on
what went on, only what I am told. I have not spoken to Marco.
Running a small neighborhood restaurant is a difficult business, chefs such
as Jason want to stay creative and innovative, but eventually and
unfortunately the public feels like a hamburger. Owners want turnover, but
when everyone wants to dine between 7 - 9pm that is virtually impossible, so
they go down the block where they can get a table. Bills pile up, corners
start to get cut, and owners start waiting on tables. Then the experience
starts to wane, and customers disappear. It takes at least a year to
establish yourself and get a regular crowd, many times owners cannot wait
that long. Such is the saga of Porchetta. Let it rest, so both men can
move on in their careers.