Everything über-restaurateur Danny Meyer touches turns to gold; as the owner of Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Café, Blue Smoke & Jazz Standard, Shake Shack, Tabla, Café 2, Terrace 5, Hudson Yards, Eleven Madison Park, The Modern, and, most recently, Maialino, this man knows a thing or two about hospitality. Having taken one hell of a bite out of the Big Apple, his New York-focused portfolio lends itself to fabulous fare, stylish surroundings and impeccable service. We sit down with him – over a couple of his legendary pulled pork sandwiches, no less – and discover the man behind so many menus.
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Name Danny Meyer.
Are you a hedonist? Yes, in the sense that I far prefer pleasure to pain.
There are plenty of restaurateurs out there. Why do you think you’ve become so well-known, and what marks you out from the culinary crowd? I am blessed with a keen eye for surrounding myself with talented people who enjoy making other people feel good.
What defines your restaurants? The people who choose to work and dine in them. If you know those two groups of people, you will know our restaurants.
If you were a city, which one would you be and why? San Francisco; open to all ways of life; celebrate my peaks and valleys; love great food and wine; urbane and surrounded by natural beauty.
Favourite city to live in? New York.
Favourite city to holiday in? Rome.
Food? Sausage and mushroom pizza (from New Haven, Connecticut, or Rome).
Drink? Red wine, Italian or French.
Restaurant (aside from your own)? The River Café in London.
Hotel? Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco.
Shop? Books & Books, Miami Beach.
Club? Soho House, New York.
What’s next for you? A good night’s sleep, I hope.