Although his new sub shop is at least three months away from opening, No. 7‘s chef, Tyler Kord, was able to offer FiTR a few savory tidbits about the place, which will be located cheek by jowl with Stumptown and the Breslin at the Ace Hotel. The take-out only shop “is all boarded up right now,” says Kord. “They’re doing the plumbing and electrical work,” which he expects to take two months. After that, it’ll take another month to open the shop, which he’s hoping will see the light of day in December or January.
In the meantime, Kord’s been working on a menu, which he says will comprise “probably seven or eight kind of goofy subs that don’t exist in the world yet.” He’ll also “probably have a really limited menu for out-of-town guests, so when your cousin’s in town and doesn’t want to eat the crazy stuff,” there will instead be sandwiches with “plain-Jane ingredients” like roast turkey and roast beef, “really simple and really straightforward, and really perfect.” If “you’re not getting crazy,” he adds, “you’re getting perfect.”
So what’s crazy? Right now, Kord is thinking of a sub with fried tofu, “like a country-fried chicken sandwich, with kimchi pickles and Japanese Kewpie mayo. And I want to do an albondigas (Mexican meatball) sandwich. I think we’re going to do an imitation lobster roll using shrimp and pollock to recreate lobster.” To get an idea of what he’ll be serving at the sub shop, take a seat at No. 7’s bar: Kord’s been using its menu as a staging ground for some of his experiments.
One ingredient that Kord’s been perfecting is the sandwich bread, which, along with the shop’s other ingredients, he’s planning to make in-house. Because of the lack of space, he and his pastry chef, Amanda Clark, are looking for a production facility in Brooklyn. If they can find a space with a storefront, Kord is planning to open a “little bakery” to sell a limited selection of sandwiches and pastries there.
When No. 7 Sub opens, Kord says, it’ll be “about 90 percent kitchen” with a service area that will take its design cues from the restaurant’s marble and dark wood surfaces. Kord’s envisioning a logo that’s “maybe the ‘No. 7’ symbol inside a submarine.” The idea seems to share the same point of origin as his sandwiches. “I just have a really dumb sense of humor,” Kord says when asked where he finds inspiration. “At the end of the day, it comes from long bus rides and a lack of reading material.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 20, 2009