Set on a sprawling second-floor outdoor deck hovering just above the bustle of the streets of Soho and Tribeca, Veranda is a brand new NYC dining destination inspired by its garden-like atmosphere. Perched beneath a spectacular retractable pergola, the restaurant can transform between an indoor or outdoor setting within minutes. Veranda also features several indoor/outdoor cocktail bars and patios, as well as a dedicated space for private dinners and events.
Veranda is a collaborative effort led by Chef George Mendes, of Aldea fame, restaurateur David Rabin, catering and event specialists Abigail Kirsch, Executive Pastry Chef Frederick Aquino, mixologist Johnny Swet, and sommelier Lee Campbell. Service is overseen by Food & Beverage Director Morgan Nevans.
Acclaimed chef and cookbook author George Mendes is executive chef and partner at Veranda. Mendes first introduced New York City to elevated Portuguese cuisine in 2009 when he opened Aldea, a Michelin-starred fixture in the city’s Flatiron District for over a decade. A first-generation American born to Portuguese immigrants, the Danbury, Connecticut native graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked for his mentor, David Bouley, at the chef’s original namesake restaurant in Tribeca before honing his talent further at Alain Passard’s Arpege in Paris. After more than three years running the kitchen at Toqueville near Union Square, Mendes left to chart his own course by opening Aldea to critical acclaim, which he followed with the opening of his popular Portuguese spot, Lupulo, in 2015. Mendes published his first cookbook, My Portugal: Recipes & Stories (Abrams) in 2014.
Veteran restaurateur David Rabin has been a pioneering force in the hospitality industry for over 25 years. He is currently a partner at several destination restaurants in New York City, including American Bar, The Lambs Club, Sona and now Veranda, as well as rooftop lounges JIMMY and The Skylark. A graduate of Tufts University and Columbia Law School, Rabin has launched numerous other restaurants and bars, including Cafe Clover, The Double Seven, Union Bar, Rex and the Meatpacking District’s legendary Lotus restaurant and nightclub. He is also a consultant for The Venetian in Las Vegas, where he co-created The Dorsey cocktail lounge as well as Rosina and Electra.
Premier caterer Abigail Kirsch brings unmatched expertise to planning and executing special gatherings at Veranda, as well as overall hospitality guidance, and invaluable expertise to back/front of house operations.
Abigail Kirsch has been a leading culinary and event team in the New York metropolitan area for over forty years. Founded as an off-premises caterer, Abigail Kirsch has operated dedicated event venues in New York City, Westchester, and Connecticut. In addition to providing catering at locales such as Pier Sixty and The Lighthouse, both at Chelsea Piers, Abigail Kirsch partnered with David Rabin in 2014 to run the rooftop bar The Skylark.
As Veranda’s resident cocktail consultant, Johnny Swet’s craft cocktails were designed to complement Chef Mendes’ restaurant and private event menus and make great use of seasonal market ingredients. Along with Rabin, Swet is a co-founder of JIMMY.
Johnny Swet moved to New York City in 1992 to focus on his art career but quickly found himself working in and managing some of the city’s iconic establishments, such as The Bowery Bar, Balthazar, Pastis, The Park, and Freemans. A partner in past venues such as Jimmy (Chicago), Hotel Griffou, and Rogue & Canon, Swet also has served as a mixologist and bar designer for venues such as The Roger, King & Grove, The Skylark, Cafe Clover, Shorty, The Dream Hotel, The Rickey, and The Electric Room.