You know you’ve come across the next iconic restaurateur when they’ve somehow managed to keep your restaurant experiences to a 4-block radius. Gabriel Stulman’s triumvirate of Joseph Leonard, Jeffrey’s Grocery, and Fedora – commonly called his “Wisco Empire”- makes it almost unnecessary to go any higher than Christopher street, and any lower than, well, Christopher Street. Even his new restaurant Scopa, set to open in Spring, 2012 on Minetta Lane will be only slightly east and there’s no doubt it will be worth the trip. Gabriel Stulman takes us through what his last meal would be and why an egg makes everything better…
Describe your ideal food day…
Breakfast: Soft scrambled eggs and rye toast with scallion cream cheese, lox, capers, red onion and tomato. (The toast with fixings are all compiled together – the soft scrambled eggs are on the side).
Lunch: Any type of large hot pressed sandwich with chicken, beef or pork, some cheese and pickled vegetables and a spicy mayo. Side of fries. Great bread, crunchy.
Dinner: A little raw bar (oysters and either king crab legs or stone crab claws), some sashimi or crudo, a small portion of lobster spaghetti (the way Eric Milley makes it at Jeffrey’s Grocery), a small portion of roasted fish (I love a good fatty arctic char), and a few slices of cote du boeuf with fried rice (the way Mehdi makes it at Fedora). For dessert Epoisses cheese from Burgundy, France with red wine roasted shallots and baguette. And to finish one scoop of french vanilla ice cream. *This meal is best enjoyed with my wife Gina and a few friends. The best meals are at a full table of friends and loved ones.
What’s your drink?
Manhattan on the rocks. Or Negroni on the rocks.
What would your last meal be?
See above answer for dinner. But also great pizza. Thin crust with little burnt blisters.
How do you start your day?
Lazily. I like to take my time getting started in the morning. Cereal with bananas is great on the couch catching up on emails and blogs.
Favorite place to travel for food?
Montreal. Paris. Italy.
What ingredient do you consider overrated?
Truffles (in particular truffle oil) and Dover sole (Why does it need to be that expensive?)
What ingredient are you convinced makes everything better?
Butter and homemade mayonnaise. And maybe egg (you can basically put an egg on anything and it’s better – think egg in ramen, fried rice, egg on a pizza, egg sandwich, hard-boiled eggs, deviled eggs, egg salad, omelette, etc.)