On February 13 we posted a first look at the just-opened Houston restaurant Fish & the Knife and included the news that New York-based restaurant and hotel designer Tony Chi was involved in the project. As it turns out, he says he wasn't.
We had received this information from Samantha Tran, the publicist for the restaurant:
"The long anticipated waited is now over. Fish and the Knife will finally be opening its door to the public on Thursday, February 13th. Houstonians spent these past few years speculating the cause in the delay, but there was never one. The owner commissioned Tony Chi, famed architect and interior designer, to fit the restaurant into his relentless schedule. Based in New York City, Chi owns and operates a global design powerhouse that has an unrivalled reputation in the hospitality industry. Some of Chi's designs include restaurants for Wolfgang Puck, Alain Ducasse and Michael Mina. In addition to restaurants, he designed many Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt, Intercontinental and Mandarin Oriental hotels around the world."
A month later we were contacted by Brooks Banker, attorney for Chi, who asked us to remove the post and stated that Chi had nothing to do with the restaurant.
"As legal counsel to Tony Chi, I request immediate deletion of any posting (particularly your report of February 13, 2014) connecting Tony Chi to Fish & The Knife.
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"Be advised that Tony Chi has NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER past, present or future with Fish & The Knife. Any allegation of such connection is an actionable effort to "palm off" Mr. Chi's very valuable reputation."
We immediately contacted the publicist, who apologized for the trouble and wondered if we could "remove Tony Chi's name and give credit to Ostap [Rudakevych] with Studio Linfors" (another New York firm) instead.
We took the post down, not at all certain what was true in it, other than our reviewer's observations that she liked the food.
According to a post in Swamplot on Tuesday, the attorney representing Chi has sent a cease-and-desist order to the owners of the Fish & Knife wanting to make it clear that his client is not responsible for anything having to do with the restaurant.