New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel to Debut New Restaurant / Luxurytravelmagazin / By Jannifer Bar / New York
The name recalls Danny’s time as a 20 year-old living in Rome and working as a tour guide for his father’s travel company.
His Italian boss, Giorgio, immediately took to calling him “Meyerino” (little Meyer). Danny’s favorite part of the job was to bring his tour groups to a different trattoria every night, where he’d unfailingly order “Maialino” (roast suckling pig) for dinner.
In homage to Danny’s love for pork – and in jest – Giorgio transformed Meyerino into “Maialino.” His ear unaccustomed to Giorgio’s dialect, it was weeks before Danny became aware that his nickname had now become “Little Pig”.
Now, more than 30 years later, Danny and the Union Square Hospitality Group team are gearing up for the November opening of this new neighborhood Roman trattoria overlooking Gramercy Park.
Lovingly designed by the Rockwell Group, Maialino will be located on the first floor of the hotel and will capture the warmth and comfort of a traditional Roman trattoria, re-imagined for its contemporary setting. Guests will be greeted in a front bar area that will serve as a local coffee bar in the morning and will later transform itself into a lively wine bar serving small plates of food throughout the day and into late evening.
Beyond the bar, the trattoria will feature warm, saturated colors, wood planked floors, wainscoting, and windows overlooking Gramercy Park; a private dining room serving up to 20 will be available for events and celebrations. Maialino will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The executive chef will be Nick Anderer, former Executive Sous Chef at Gramercy Tavern, and the General Manager will be Terry Coughlin, formerly the General Manager at Tabla.
In April, USHG was selected by visionary hotelier Ian Schrager to create a new, original restaurant at the landmarked hotel, as well as operate all of the food and beverage concepts including the hotel’s Roof and Garden restaurant (to be reconceived in 2010), banquets, private events, and room service. It will be the first new USHG restaurant to debut since the opening of The Modern at the Museum of Modern Art in 2005.
“I’ve dreamt of opening a trattoria ever since I lived in Rome, and have been waiting for just the right time and place. To have the opportunity to do this in one of New York’s most beautiful and remarkable neighborhoods is incredibly exciting,” said Danny Meyer. “I hope Maialino will become a beloved gathering place for the entire community, a comfortable place where both locals and hotel guests can stop by throughout the day for everything from a coffee and breakfast, to lunch and dinner, to a late night glass of wine, digestivo or dessert.”
Executive Chef Nick Anderer cooked at Gramercy Tavern for six years: initially under Chef Tom Colicchio, and for the past three years under Chef Mike Anthony. Prior to joining Gramercy Tavern, Nick served in the kitchens of Babbo under Mario Batali, as well as San Giorgio et il Drago in Milan, and at both An American Place and Manhattan Prime under Larry Forgione.
Nick has long been passionate about the cuisine of Italy, having studied in Rome at the same Trinity College program Danny Meyer had attended many years ago. Food lovers may recognize Nick’s name from Bill Buford’s bestseller, Heat, in which Nick was a key player in the Babbo kitchen during Buford’s apprenticeship at the Italian eatery.
General Manager Terry Coughlin has worked at Tabla since 2004, first as the restaurant’s Wine and Service Director, and for the past three years as General Manager. Before Tabla, Terry spent seven years as an exemplary member of Gramercy Tavern’s service team. Terry and Nick will assume their new roles this fall.
Founded by Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) operates some of New York City’s most highly acclaimed restaurants – Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke/Jazz Standard, Shake Shack, the restaurants at the Museum of Modern Art, which include The Modern, Cafe 2 and Terrace 5, and Hudson Yards.
USHG is best known for its combination of excellent food and warm hospitality, and it has won an unprecedented 20 James Beard Awards.