Anne Burrell takes us behind the scenes at her Brooklyn restaurant.
Go Behind-the-Scenes with Anne
Anne Burrell has no problem taking on a culinary challenge: She competed on Iron Chef America for years, and on her hit show Worst Cooks in America, she teaches totally clueless men and women how to cook. But no TV task has been as tough for her as the real-life challenge of opening a restaurant. Construction on her Brooklyn eatery, Phil & Anne’s Good Time Lounge (her business partner’s name is Phil Casaceli), took four times longer than expected, and the day before the place opened last year, disaster struck. “Thousands of dollars’ worth of plates crashed and broke on the floor. It was like a plate graveyard,” Anne says. “I just looked at this big pile of dishes and said ‘See, this is why we can’t have nice things!’ ” The good news is that once the restaurant opened, everything took a turn for the better. Cobble Hill locals started filling the place, sharing Anne’s hogs in hoodies (pigs in blankets) and meatballs, and tasting Phil’s quirky cocktails. On occasional Sunday nights, the place really lives up to its name as fans come by to watch Worst Cooks with the chef herself.
The back room, built for private events, is covered with wallpaper based on Anne’s favorite paisley shirt. Anne keeps things casual with butcher paper instead of tablecloths.
Anne says the green leather banquettes along the length of the restaurant “are a little lounge lizard-y,” but the combination of the green seats and orange walls is her favorite (she grew up in the ’70s and ’80s!).
The bathroom wallpaper might look familiar to anyone who watches Anne on TV: The same patterns appear on some of her skirts! Her favorite designs often include pinup girls—this restroom is decked out in a print that says Phil’s Drive-In (a nod to her business partner); the other one is covered in retro biker chicks.
Anne put bar stools along the counter so she can talk with customers. They just have to follow some rules: No children allowed in those seats (the language in the kitchen might not always be kid-friendly!) and no cranky people. “If you want to sit at the counter, we ask, ‘Do you have a good sense of humor?’ ”
Anne’s restaurant is close to many schools, so kids often stop by to say hi and ask to take a selfie with her. She installed a metal bar outside for stroller parking.