MIDTOWN EAST — A fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant inspired by Chipotle is opening in Midtown East next month, with build-your-own-meal entrees and a broad selection of veggies, meat and fish.
Roti Mediterranean Grill, a Chicago-based company with 17 outposts in the United States and one other NYC location in the Financial District, will offer salads, sandwiches and rice bowls in the new 50-seat eatery at 142 E. 43rd St.
“You walk down the line and create your meal as you go,” said Peter Nolan, chief branding officer for Roti. “You pick your protein and then we have a lot of different vegetables to choose from, including grilled vegetables, eggplant and tomato salad. Hopefully you’ll walk away with a big heaping amount of veggies on whatever meal you build.”
Roti's assembly line service was inspired by Chipotle, as Roti co-founder Mats Lederhausen was previously chairman at the popular fast-food Mexican chain and is also a former senior leader at McDonald's, according to a release.
Like Chipotle, customers can choose from a variety of meats, sauces, sides and toppings to go with their choice of main dish. Those include falafel, yogurt cucumber sauce, hummus, couscous, Spanish eggplant and feta cheese.
For the first time, beginning with the 2,500-square-foot Midtown location, Roti will also be offering salmon as a choice of protein. The Atlantic salmon, sourced from the Gulf of Maine, is delivered to Roti within four days of when it’s caught, Nolan said.
“It’s incredibly fresh,” Nolan said. “It’s not frozen.”
Most dishes cost $8.45, with an extra $1 for steak and $2 for salmon.
The new Roti is expected to open in early September, and with a location near the Chrysler Building, Nolan hopes it will be popular among the office crowd.
“There’s thousands of people looking for places to eat there every day,” Nolan said.
Roti, which opened its first location in Chicago in 2007, plans to open 10 more outposts in Manhattan over the next few years.
“We’re not in a big hurry to open as many restaurants as we can — that’s not our goal,” Nolan said. “We want to get it right. We’re excited for growth, but we're patient.”