Le 55, The New Merkato 55, At Least Semantically Speaking

by Stanely Stuyvesant · June 3, 2009

    For those of you that missed it, Merkato 55 was recently renamed Le 55. Not a hard miss given that the name change has happened with little fanfare (at least up to this point).  But what might have caught your attention is the increased exposure of one of the restaurant's early stakeholders Brazilian super model Fernanda Mott and her relationship to the boozy brunch franchise. On May 28th, she hosted a birthday bash at the newly-named MePa spot with its new chef Philip Guardione in attendance. Gaurdione shouldn't have much trouble raising Le 55 from M-55's previous one-star status.  Certainly an easy act to follow.   And this past Saturday, she hosted another "birthday" party at Day + Night Restaurant and Beach Club at the Pink Elephant space in Southampton [Gallery Here].  The connection of course is that Day + Night (i.e. Dual Groupe/Koch Brothers) also started and runs the Saturday brunches that rescued M-55 from going bust.

    These weekly brunches according to the Koch brothers will continue at Le 55, which begs the question, why fix something that ain't broke?  Well for those economists out there, despite the high brunch revenues, Saturday is only one day of the week.  Merkato couldn't seem to ever shake its weak food rap, and so the restaurant  couldn't pick up the slack during the week.  Le 55 will try to change this.