Joey Campanaro: Interview

An interview with Joey Campanaro of The Little Owl.

An interview with Joey Campanaro of The Little Owl.

Read the transcript of this video
[MUSIC] We keep our guests happy and we run a successful business, partially because the restaurant is tiny and it is small and intimate. We'll start with this building. This is on tour groups, all over the world, people come to take pictures of this facade of the building. It's pretty well known because of The Friends. This is supposedly where Ross and Rachel lived, upstairs. The way that we came up with the name, Little Al Was we were sitting in our office on Rivington Street, and my partner Gabriel threw out, he was going through a book called 1,001 Places to Visit Before You Die. He was looking at some castle, and it reminded him of an owl, and he said the white owl. So I said little owl. And then a few days later While we were actually in space we had paper up on the windows and one day we took the paper down and I was looking out the window and saw on the building across the street that there is a little porcelain L that's right on the corner of the building. I said so this has got to be a great omen. This is the little L. That is the little L. And it just made sense. It fit, so we ran with it. The feel that we want our guests to feel is, when they walk into this tiny restaurant, is a Bohemian country club, or sorts. In the way that the menu is set up and the wine list is set up, somebody can walk in and spend $10 and have the same experience as someone who comes in and spends $500. And so Gabriel's put together a list which to me is one of the most interesting lists in New York City. It's set up like a liquor store, like a wine shop. Like a really cool, funky wine shop. It's not only from varietal but it's also from region. He's got some Burgundy is a region. Italy is a region and then on the same page it's like, Oh, what is this? Women wine makers. And then, also, he has a section here of vintage vines. These are wines that are made from vines that are over 100 years old and I really think the list is totally unique. In these aspects, and there's really no fuss about this. I mean it's just a clipboard with some pages on it, there's no big dramatic book, there's no Solmelia. You know, Gabe's not trying to be something that he isn't. He's letting himself be known and seen and what he wants to offer and that's genuine hospitality. What I love the most about coming to the Little Louse, people that I work with People I work with are some of the most talented people I've worked with in my entire career. They're the most dedicated. Some people people refer to their menus as the greatest hits list, and I considered staff the greatest hits list. Today we're gonna to be demonstrating three dishes. First dish is an appetizer. Which is roasted zucchini with romeolo, pine nuts, and then olive vinaigrette. The second dish that we're demonstrating is a shrimp and lobster ravioli served in a lobster nosh with broasted tomatoes and the third dish is gonna be the pork chop. The pork chop's grilled and it's served with Parmesan butter beans, wild dandelion, pickled fennel. [SOUND] [BLANK_AUDIO]
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Joey Campanaro: Interview


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