In October 2014, partners Victoria Freeman, Marc Meyer and Chris Paraskevaides (Cookshop, Hundred Acres) introduced diners to Vic's on Great Jones Street in NoHo. Vic's resides in the re-imagined former space of Five Points, the Mediterranean restaurant that Freeman, Meyer and Paraskevaides opened together in 1999. After 15 years, the restaurateurs decided to renovate the restaurant and the result — Vic's — is an entirely new establishment. Chef Hillary Sterling (A Voce, Lupa) presides over Vic's locally sourced Italian-Mediterranean dishes, including house made pastas and pizzas (made with New York State flour) and market-driven plates cooked in the wood burning oven.
HILLARY STERLING MARC MEYER VICTORIA FREEMAN
Hillary Sterling is the chef at Vic’s, a new neighborhood Italian-Mediterranean restaurant from Victoria Freeman and Marc Meyer (Cookshop, Hundred Acres, & Rosie’s, which opens this November) along with partner Chris Paraskevaides. The NoHo restaurant is in the old Five Points space, and the name is a nod to Freeman’s first restaurant, an early ‘90s former SoHo eatery, where she first met Meyer.
A Brooklyn native, Sterling fell in love with hospitality and cooking as a teenager while bussing tables at a casual seafood restaurant in Montauk, Long Island. Years later, after earning a business degree from Indiana University, Sterling began taking night classes at a local cooking school in Bloomington, which promptly refocused her attention on food. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago in 2003, Sterling returned to New York City and got a job at Bobby Flay’s first restaurant, the popular Southwestern spot, Mesa Grill, where she worked her way up from line cook to sous chef. After three years at Mesa Grill, Sterling moved to Flay’s Bolo, the three-star Spanish restaurant. Then, in 2006, Sterling made a pivotal move to join Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich at their NoHo classic, Lupa Osteria Romana. Sterling found her calling in Italian food and, as a sous chef there honed her pasta-making skills and fine-tuned quintessential preparations found in the regions of Rome and Lazio, based on straightforward dishes that let local and seasonal ingredients shine.
Building on her burgeoning devotion to Italian cuisine, in 2009, Sterling joined the team at A Voce Madison as a sous chef under executive chef Missy Robbins. Sterling rose quickly to chef de cuisine and spent four years in that role, refining her craft and leading the team of cooks. Sterling helped maintain A Voce’s Michelin star rating during her entire tenure with her authentic and inspired Italian cooking, and in 2011, Sterling was recognized by Star Chefs as a “Rising Star.”
In 2014, Sterling was introduced by Robbins to Freeman and Meyer, and found their market-driven approach in keeping with her ethos. The modern, airy aesthetic of Vic’s is reflected in Sterling’s approachable menu of thoughtfully prepared Italian dishes, such as oyster mushrooms with potato, botarga and lemon and sheep’s milk agnolotti with hazelnut. Building on the innate principals of Italian cooking, she sources ingredients locally—from finishing salt that’s made in Hell’s Kitchen to flour ground in New York State—and let’s her menu be guided by the seasons.
A pioneer in the New York City restaurant scene for his commitment to sourcing locally, seasonally and sustainably, chef Marc Meyer showcases the season’s bounty through his vibrant, ingredient-driven cuisine at Cookshop and Hundred Acres, the restaurants he owns with his wife and partner, Vicki Freeman. This fall Meyer and Freeman introduce downtown New York to their newest endeavors: Vic’s, in the former Five Points space and Rosie’s, Meyer’s passion project that draws on his love of Mexican cuisine and will open in the East Village in December.
Meyer began his career in New York in 1980 at The Odeon under celebrated chef Patrick Clark, which laid the groundwork for his culinary philosophy and style. From there, he traveled to Rome and cooked at a 30-seat restaurant where he planned menus around what was available each day at the market, elevating the freshest ingredients with care and precision.
Back in New York City in 1983, legendary chef Larry Forgione tapped Meyer to cook at An American Place where he studied traditional American cooking and furthered his interest in ingredient sourcing. Soon thereafter, Meyer secured his first executive chef position at Brasserie Savoy in San Francisco where he learned how to run a successful restaurant and was immersed in the exceptional produce and products available in Northern California. This allowed him to further refine his commitment to seasonal, ingredient-driven cuisine.
Drawn back to New York and inspired by Freeman’s passion for restaurants, Meyer took the role of head chef at Vix in SoHo in 1993. Meyer then transitioned to ARK Restaurants working alongside chef Jonathan Waxman as co-executive chefs where he supervised restaurants throughout New York City, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas.
Meyer and Freeman married in 1997, and the duo realized their dream of owning their own restaurant together when they opened Five Points in 1999. The restaurant was a NoHo mainstay for 15 years, allowing Meyer to showcase his seasonal cuisine with a Mediterranean influence. With a desire to make his cuisine accessible to the home cook, Meyer wrote Brunch: Recipes from Five Points (Rizzoli) in 2005.
Following the success of their first venture, the duo opened Cookshop in 2005, presenting clean, inventive dishes in the heart of the bustling Chelsea neighborhood, earning two stars from Frank Bruni at The New York Times. In 2008, they expanded again with Hundred Acres, a charming and intimate SoHo restaurant offering a Southern-inspired menu. In 2014, Meyer and Freeman add Vic’s and Rosie’s, their respective passion projects, to their family of restaurants.
Victoria Freeman is the dynamic restaurateur behind New York City institutions Five Points, Cookshop and Hundred Acres, which she owns with her husband and partner, Marc Meyer. This fall, Freeman and Meyer are adding to their restaurant family by opening their respective passion projects, Vic’s—in the former Five Points space—and Rosie’s, a Mexican restaurant in the East Village.
Growing up in New York City, Freeman’s passion for the industry began as a child while accompanying her adventurous parents to varied restaurants, exposing her to diverse cuisines and dining experiences at an early age. Her food-loving family then moved to Los Angeles in 1975 where her mother opened The Streetcar, a vegetarian restaurant with a bustling outdoor café.
Freeman began her restaurant career at age 16 as a waitress at Bob’s Big Boy, the iconic fast-food chain, where she donned a plastic dress, nurse shoes and a hairnet before progressing to managing her mother’s popular vegetarian restaurant. In 1978, Freeman moved to San Francisco where she worked as a breakfast server and brunch cook at The Bedford Hotel in Union Square, and as a hostess at a private Italian restaurant in the evening.
At age 19, Freeman moved back to her hometown of New York City working through a series of restaurant jobs including Lindy’s, a delicatessen renowned for its cheesecake; the Beanstalk, a vegetarian restaurant; Gianni’s in the South Street Seaport; and The Rose Café under Phillip Scotti. During this time, Freeman also opened a catering company which she owned and operated for twelve years serving clients including Ralph Lauren and Sony.
In 1993, Freeman opened her first restaurant, VIX Café, in SoHo with partner Paul Stallings (Hotel on Rivington). The 70-seat restaurant was furnished with vintage, well-worn wooden furniture from North Carolina and mismatched silverware, giving the eclectic space a warm, inviting feel. At VIX, she hired Marc Meyer as her head chef and he created the fresh, Mediterranean-American menu. After the restaurant shuttered in 1994, Freeman moved to ARK restaurants working with chefs Jonathan Waxman and Meyer on projects including the Columbus Bakery café.
Freeman married Meyer in 1997, and armed with consulting, catering, and ownership experience, the couple opened Five Points in 1999 to much acclaim. Following the success of their first venture, Freeman and Meyer opened Cookshop in 2005, presenting clean, inventive dishes in the heart of the bustling Chelsea neighborhood, earning two stars from Frank Bruni at The New York Times. In 2008, they expanded again with Hundred Acres, a charming and intimate SoHo restaurant offering a Southern-inspired menu.
This fall after closing Five Points for a gut renovation, Freeman decided to reopen it as Vic’s, with chef Hillary Sterling (A Voce, Lupa) presiding over the new Italian-Mediterranean menu. Then, in December, Freeman and Meyer will make their first foray into Mexican cuisine with authentic, seasonal fare at Rosie’s in the East Village.