Chef Adam Perry Lang has earned praise for the dry-aged beef he serves at his one-year-old Hollywood steakhouse APL Restaurant. This week, his new Napa offshoot, Perry Lang’s, opened to some good initial reviews — but with unanswered questions still lingering about the chef’s relationship with convicted sex offender and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Lang worked for Epstein as a private chef during the early 2000s.
Before APL opened in Los Angeles last year, generating early buzz and positive reviews, Lang had worked at high-end kitchens like Le Cirque, Daniel, and Guy Savoy. He rose to prominence after he opened the influential NYC barbecue restaurant Daisy May’s, eventually earning a place in the Barbecue Hall of Fame and pop-up collaborations with celebrities like Oprah and Jimmy Kimmel. News of the chef’s impending arrival in Yountville was greeted with excitement and enthusiastic press coverage, including a place on Eater SF’s list of anticipated fall openings.
But in September, unsealed court documents indicated that Lang had worked as a private chef for Jeffrey Epstein before opening Daisy May’s in 2003. According to flight logs, Lang travelled with Epstein and others via private jet during the years 2000 and 2001 to destinations like Palm Beach, FL, where Epstein owned a mansion; a Virgin Islands compound where Epstein was known to host underage girls; and a New Mexico ranch where a woman claims she was sexually assaulted by Epstein in 2004 when she was 15 years old. The Palm Beach mansion, in particular, was one of the most prominent sites of Epstein’s alleged abuses against young girls.
“My role was limited to meal preparation. I was unaware of the depraved behavior and have great sympathy and admiration for the brave women who have come forward,” Lang told Eater at the time, confirming his employment with Epstein.
Lang has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But he declined to answer any of the questions Eater sent to him regarding his relationship with Epstein: When did he and Epstein last interact? Did Lang witness anything illegal during his time with the convicted sex offender? Did Epstein lend financial support to any of Lang’s restaurants? Has the money Lang made while working for Epstein been used to fund his subsequent projects?
The new Perry Lang’s is set in a two-story “estate mansion” at Groezinger Estates, a winery complex built in 1870. Like APL in Hollywood, it’s a luxurious, masculine space, with aging steaks hanging in full view of guests and steak knives forged by the chef himself.
In Yountville, it’s one of just a few high-end restaurants not owned by restaurateur Thomas Keller. But it’s not the only place in wine country to pair high-end steaks with big cabernets. Charlie Palmer opened his own Napa steakhouse in 2017, also specializing in large, shared Tomahawk cuts, and not far away, Press and the Rutherford Grill cater to similar appetites. That appetite for steak in wine country is large, but its extent — when it comes to Perry Lang’s — remains to be seen.