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About marauder

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  1. Will be very interesting to see Zod adapt to NYC. He is a NOTORIOUS micro manager. You can't do NYC numbers cooking and plating every entree. He has exceptional talent and I think would find real success in NYC. But he would have to develop a sense of trust in his staff he never really exhibited at Blu.
  2. I'm sure Teresa's comments are illustrative of her experience. That said, if I'm Falivene, I almost don't care. That area of Jersey has proven itself to be food agnostic. They are going to go there to see, be seen and drop hunnits on dinner. We already know the guy can cook from Ora. He then went to the city and ran Artisanal for Terrence Brennan before returning home. He can make food that would get 3 1/2 stars. But why outsmart himself? To eventually play to an empty restaurant when that area of Jersey doesn't understand what he is doing? Not worth the risk. I pump out the tuna taretare until they stop coming...lol I copy the LuNello playbook. Put out the food people want to eat, make the drinks strong, promote a scene that people want to hang out in and let that baby rideeeeeeee.
  3. I went the other night. Overall, thought it was very good. I think the menu is too big, but I get the business reasons for doing it. If I get a minute, I'll come back and do a more in-depth recap. Overall feelings: Oysters were fresh, ice cold and properly opened (half the battle in Jersey) Potatoes and Sausage app was simple and delicious. Porter for 2 was cooked to ordered temp and was very good. Two Manhattans and several by the glass wine choices were all done/served properly. Not for the faint of heart wallet wise. Bill was almost $200 before tip. But it is a steakhouse...
  4. That's interesting about the upscale apartments. I just wonder how sustainable it is to provide shuttle service all over town. Pru shuttles their employees from Broad Street station to HQ and to their space at Gateway. Granted, it's a bit of a walk in the winter weather, but they do it 12 months of the year--presumably for safety just as much as convenience. Drawing parallels to the JC waterfront, that type of protective service wasn't needed. The JC waterfront was a ghost town at night. You had a better chance of getting mugged by a rat or a blowing garbage can, than a human being. Many out of state and foreign students in the RU b-school are downright shocked at the area in and around the B-school.
  5. Rutgers has started renovations on the old law school building, which sits next to the public library. This building will house graduate students and have a sprawling 7,000+ s/f apartment on the top floor for the RU-N Chancellor. This will have ground floor retail if current plans are what gets built out. The good news for Whole Foods is that this shifts the primary residence for RU-N's graduate students 3-4 blocks east and clearly within easy walking distance of the proposed WF. To the extent there is "bad news" the I'm sure the ground floor retail will be of the cheap fast food variety. Being in the business school daily, I can attest that there need to be better options for grabbing something quick and affordable. I just hate to see that void filled by another Subway, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut type of store. Also worth noting, several of the shops to the north on the proposed WF have started the renovation process. Very early stages, but you are starting to see some scaffolding going up, windows being boarded/papered over and building permits in the windows.
  6. Did you have the pleasure of Rick Dutrow's presence at the dinner? no. lol If memory serves, they were discussing the details of selling some of the rights to the hedge fund company that was trying to make that a viable model at the time. We had a private room that many of the north shore of Long Island power brokers would use to do business. Mike Francessa used to come in all the time and use the same room. lol. Big Mike doesn't drink and likes his lamb chops well done. hahah
  7. this topic struck a chord and brought me out of retirement. haha
  8. When I was in steakhouse hell on Long Island, one of he owners of 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown came in for dinner the Thursday before the Belmont. 8 people. They ordered 4 seafood towers. 7 REAL A5 Kobe sirloins. 1 48 day aged rib steak and everyone had a 2 pound lobster. Damn near close to every side we sold. 2 Rounds of Johnny Blue (this was right on the forefront of the artisanal bourbon boom, so it was the most expensive we had). Dessert, espresso, etc. They also drank our entire stock of 2002 Screaming Eagle--which was 5 bottles. $3,950 a piece. Now, we knew who he was. He made it PERFECTLY clear who he was. One of his guests--a 5'11" brunette straight out of central casting--said to our somm,"Screaming Eagle goes good with steak, right?" lol...my guy was like, "well, yes, but I can certainly make other suggestions that would be equally delicious FOR A PARTY OF THIS SIZE." In other words, I don't want you to shit your pants when 8 people drink $20k worth of wine. She said, "don't be silly...we'll go with that." OK, so long story short...we comped close to HALF the food, with the idea that $22,000 worth of wine and booze would be a nice night on a random Thursday in the summer. When the bill was dropped, the guy paying, nearly shat himself. He IMMEDIATELY called for the GM. They both left the table AND HE NEGOTIATED the price of the wine. We gave away $1,000 worth of Kobe beef and 16 pounds worth of lobsters and this guy was incrementally negotiating $4,000 bottles, 50 bucks at a time. Point being, you can never be too careful--on either side of the transaction. We were a steakhouse and were obviously robbing everyone on wine at every price point. That said, I think they ended paying about 15% over cost. Which, when coupled with all the food we gave them, made that slow night in Thursday not look quite as good. And any server who quotes a 4 figure bottle as "Thirty Seven Fifty" needs to get this treatment. (NSFW...lol) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrQwN8JorDk
  9. Anthony is genuinely a great guy. You'd be hard pressed to a find a guy more passionate about ingredients and cooking in general. He's certainly been snake bitten when it comes to business partners/owners. Earth was excellent, but never had a chance. Crave was well funded, but he and the owners had differing visions. He was making 3 star food and the owner wanted to run a jiggle joint club. His resume as a cook, up through sous, is impeccable. Craig Shelton, Gray Kunz, a brief time with Daniel in NYC. His flavors are clean, his technique is great and he is a throwback to the days when a chef was expected to know how to bake and do pastry, in addition to the hot line. Jersey is lucky to have him back behind a stove...He deserves a run with an owner that has cash and knows how to run the FOH...
  10. yeah...pursuing some academic stuff. Still a little involved here and there, reading b plans and generally glad handing money people on behalf of owners, etc.
  11. Ah...NJ servers. arguing with a customer over a 12 buck salad... I don't miss it when reading stories such as these...
  12. I generally agree with you. But for a small business person, you need serious risk tolerance and deep pockets in the short run.
  13. I'm at the Rutgers business school this semester, so am seeing the neighborhood for the first time since my wife worked at Gateway 2 back in the mid 90s. A few thoughts. The restauranteur in me sees many of those beautiful old ground floor spaces in the buildings that are east of the current Pru building (Commerce Street, as an example) and wonders "what if..." Some of those spaces would absolutely make Manhattan-esque style restaurant spaces. The refurbishment of Military Park is certainly exciting. The farmers market/flea market in the park is pretty cool--lots of live music and always bustlling with people. That said, I think the area needs 2 or 3 more rock solid corporate tenants--those with the proclivity to order and eat LOTS of dinners--for the area to truly take off. I have an interesting perspective, as I was a high schooler at St. Peter's in JC right as their surrounding neighborhood went from abandoned factories to NJ Gold Coast. Newark has more in place now, than JC did then, but I wonder if the center of gravity is there to mimic the same change. As for Whole Foods...I would think the business plan is going to rely very heavily on prepared food and catering, followed by shopping by some of the more well off professional school students at Rutgers Business, law, medicine and NJIT. Right now, they have very few options that they can get to on foot. This will help that. Also, the B-school basically has a catered event 5-6 days per week--usually from places like Subway and local pizza joints. I would guess RU law and Seton Hall law are the same. I could see Whole Foods taking the majority of that business. That said, you're not paying the nut on a 30,000 s/f supermarket, by selling Rutgers business and law sandwich platters. I would expect them to try and make major inroads with the AAs at Pru, PSE&G, Seton Hall Law, McCarter English, Verizon, what's left of the banks, audible.com and the inhabitants of Gateway. I would also expect them to dedicate a large amount of square footage to in store sit down dining areas, so that all that pedestrian lunch traffic can come in and eat in the store. These are very interesting times in Newark, with lots of extraordinary spaces on the market. People with enough risk tolerance, deep enough pockets and some determined vision, could get really rich...
  14. And I apologize for the typos and grammatical mistakes in my previous...Iphone still confounds me when making long forum posts...
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