'This Is The Madison Square Garden Of Food': Mario Carbone And Team To Take Over The Four Seasons

Major Food Group — the hospitality group from chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi and restaurateur Jeff Zalaznick — have signed a deal to take over the Four Seasons in New York City, a landmark deal that puts one of Manhattan's most historic restaurants in some of the youngest, and most successful, hands in the fine dining industry.  

Over the last year, the future of the Four Seasons has hung in the air as the result of an extremely public property battle between owners Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini and landlord Aby Rosen, underscored by an equally public dispute between Rosen and the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission, over the restaurant's famed Picasso tapestry.

As the dispute grew increasingly bitter, Rosen pledged earlier this year that he would not renew the lease to the original owners, leaving many to guess what would become of the iconic space, until now.

"The idea is to restore and reinvigorate the greatest restaurant space that's ever existed," Zalaznick told The New York Times. The restaurant will be given a new name, though the team has not decided what it will be.

Moreover, the team will take on the challenge of keeping longtime patrons happy and simultaneously attracting younger customers who won't be afraid to spend money. Given the notable success of their other restaurants — Carbone, ParmSantina, and Dirty French — it might be a match made in real estate heaven, and they know it.

"When you connect the dots backward, it feels like it was all practice for this," Carbone told the Times. "This is the Madison Square Garden of food."