A lot of people talk about the death of fine dining in this city. Is there something New York can learn from what’s happening in Vegas right now?
Bruce: I’m not sure that New York necessarily has to learn something from it. I think it’s going to be a pretty pure expression of a couple of New York chefs and a couple of West Coast chefs coming together. People are taking a fun, quality approach to the restaurants. You’re going to get exciting dining, but really good food and a casual atmosphere. That’s what we’ve done for 18 years, so this is probably the closest to that as Vegas has found. I think New York has a decent handle on that in general.
Is there any type of food you would like to try that you haven’t tackled yet?
Bruce: There are a lot of things! We still have lots of dreams and thoughts and ideas, so we’re definitely not done coming up with different ideas for restaurants. It’s pretty much all we think and talk about.
Are there any trends in dining that you’re excited about these days?
Eric: I’m not sure we even know what the trends in dining are. We’ve been doing what we think is right for 18 years in our own world. At Blue Ribbon on Sullivan Street, we haven’t changed the menu in 17 1/2 years. The trends come around to us as the cycle goes.
What would you have done had you not gone into restaurants?
Bruce: We probably both would be happy playing music, which we do. We have a recording studio, and we also sponsor a bike team. So, probably the ideal situation would be to ride our bikes and play music. And build stuff.
Do the two of you have an earliest restaurant memory?
Bruce: We have a ton because our dad took us all over Europe and all over the country, eating in restaurants and going everywhere. We’re actually in San Francisco at the moment and there’s a restaurant called Osteria del Forno, which is the home of James Beard and Alice Waters — everybody cooked there. Our dad used to take us there and that was a huge influence on us. It opened our eyes to the world of cooking.
What are some of the disadvantages of working with your brothers?
Bruce: We don’t really think there are any disadvantages. We have a pretty amazing time and enable each other to live the life we want and be busy, and we get a lot accomplished together. There are three of us who work together: Eric and I are chefs and our other brother is our lawyer. We travel all over, we do the same stuff, so it’s not a difficult situation.
Is there anything that you have coming up that we should look out for?
We’re partnering with Renaissance hotels also, so we’re traveling around the world over the next six months or so, opening bars and lounges with our menus in them.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 16, 2010