Jonathan Pratt and Craig Purdy have known one another since 1971. They met at Peter Pratt’s Inn and today they are co-owners of this iconic country dining landmark.
Jonathan’s family has owned and operated restaurants in Westchester County since 1940. His French Canadian grandfather owned and operated a small restaurant in Tarrytown during World War II. He later moved to Elmsford, and his sons carried on at the same location.
Jackie Kennedy brought her love of things French to the Kennedy White House. The French Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1964-65 was a success, and brought French dining to the attention of America, particularly New York.
It was only logical that when the Pratts opened the Inn in 1965, it would feature French-trained chefs and a French menu. Jonathan’s culinary roots derive from his mother’s cooking, his grandfather’s heritage, and those early days at the Inn.
Craig, whose first restaurant job was at Peter Pratt’s, knew nothing but the French style, and assumed it to be the sine qua non of fine dining. Over the years, Craig traveled the world, worked in hotels and restaurants on three continents and came home to America to open a restaurant of his own. The result of this ambition was Umami Café, which he opened with Jonathan in 2002.
When daydreaming about new food ideas and restaurants they’d like to run, discussion would return again and again to the idea of casual French food, like the two recalled from the early days of Peter Pratt’s Inn. Craig would fill in the margins with stories about riding scooters around coastal India, or hitchhiking to southern Morocco.
The foundation of any successful restaurant venture is a secure, affordable location. When the 120 Grand Street lease became available, Jonathan and Craig ran out of excuses for not doing this restaurant which had been in their thoughts for so long.
So here it is–a blend of casual French with the surprising seasonings of North Africa–their long anticipated restaurant venture, Tagine.