BBG Partners Exclusively with Patina Restaurant Group and Brooklyn-Chef Rob Newton

Release Date: May 13, 2014

Brooklyn, NY—Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is pleased to announce its new exclusive partnership with Patina Restaurant Group for the management of food services at BBG, including catering and visitor dining, beginning October 1, 2014. Patina Restaurant Group is teaming with local chef Rob Newton, who owns three Brooklyn restaurants and who will develop and oversee the seasonal menus and overall creative vision of the Garden’s food service.

The selection of Patina Restaurant Group as exclusive caterer at BBG comes after a competitive, yearlong national search for a food partner that could meet the needs of the Garden’s growing community and clientele and accommodate BBG’s longstanding dedication to sustainable practices.

Headquartered in Manhattan, Patina Restaurant Group is a leader in the operation and management of premiere restaurants and catering facilities at some of America’s most iconic venues, including New York City’s Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“We’re delighted to now be a part of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden family with this new partnership,” says Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group. “As someone who grew up in New York and went to college in Brooklyn, BBG has always been one of my favorite places in the city. We’re looking forward to working very closely with BBG and our partner Rob Newton to bring innovative, locally driven food and beverage services to the Garden.”

Rob Newton’s Brooklyn restaurants, Seersucker, Smith Canteen, and Nightingale 9—which he will continue to run in addition to the Garden’s café—feature seasonally driven and locally sourced ingredients. Newton’s focus on regional foods from small farms and purveyors, an ethos in keeping with BBG’s longstanding interest in sustainable practices.

“I first visited Brooklyn Botanic Garden 15 years ago when I was a cook in New York City,” says Rob Newton. “I never imagined that one day I'd be involved with such an iconic place. My team and I are excited to join this partnership with Patina Restaurant Group and BBG and create a culinary program that's reflective of the garden's core values and worthy of the visitors from Brooklyn and beyond." Beginning in October 2014, Patina Restaurant Group will produce private and corporate events in BBG’s historic Palm House and in the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium in BBG’s new Visitor Center. Rob Newton will relaunch visitor dining in a new year-round indoor space adjacent to Lily Pool Terrace, as well as at a seasonal outdoor kiosk on the Conservatory terrace. Both café areas will feature a seasonal menu inspired by the Garden.

Further information on the new partnership and the reimagined dining experiences at BBG will be announced in late summer 2014.

Patina Restaurant Group ( and is a bicoastal boutique company and leader in the premium segment of the restaurant industry. In New York, its portfolio features the Michelin-starred Lincoln Ristorante, Stella 34 Trattoria at Macy’s Herald Square, the Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center, Brasserie, Brasserie 8 1/2, the Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera, La Fonda Del Sol at Grand Central, and the Rink at Rockefeller Center. Other East Coast properties include Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at the Epcot World Showcase in Orlando, Florida.

On the West Coast its portfolio includes the renowned Los Angeles Times’ four-starred and Michelin-starred Patina Restaurant in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Café Pinot, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Catal and Naples in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District®, Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, Pinot Brasserie in Las Vegas, and catering and food service in museums and cultural centers throughout California.

Rob Newton is the chef-owner of three Brooklyn eateries: Seersucker, a modern Southern restaurant; Nightingale 9, which specializes in traditional and updated Vietnamese cuisine; and Smith Canteen, a coffee shop with house-made baked goods, sandwiches, and salads. Newton's menus emphasize local and seasonal produce as well as local wine, beer, and spirits. He believes strongly that "local" extends beyond the plate and into the surrounding community, and his restaurants are involved in a number of neighborhood initiatives, including the PS 58 student vegetable garden program and the Carroll Park children's concert series. Newton, who hails from Arkansas, resides in Carroll Gardens.
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