September 2016
Vol. 10, Iss. 8
Published: October 3, 2016


Setting the Table was printed 10 years ago today! Congratulations Danny!


The Modern Reopens!

After a few months of renovations to the kitchen and dining room, The Modern reopened on Friday, September 23rd. 

In the interim, employees participated in Camp Modern, which was a series of speakers, training sessions, activities, and field trips.

Introducing our Guest Relations team!

Headed by Kevin Richer, our Guest Relations team has grown to include six members.

Currently, you can make reservations for Blue Smoke, the Jazz Standard, North End Grill, Untitled, and (soon!) Union Square Cafe through this team. Please contact for more information and to make a reservation.

L-R Caitlin Collins, Shara Neita, Whitney Sanchez, Marissa Kam, Stephanie Marantz, Melissa Cisco, Kevin Richer

L-R Caitlin Collins, Shara Neita, Whitney Sanchez, Marissa Kam, Stephanie Marantz, Melissa Cisco, Kevin Richer

Autumn Harvest Dinner at North End Grill

This year's Autumn Harvest Dinner raised a total of $272,000 to support No Kid Hungry! This is the third year that we have hosted this fundraiser, and we were able to beat last year's efforts with your support. 

Alongside visiting chefs Tomos Parry (Kitty Fishers), Karen DeMasco (Locanda Verde), and Ori Menashe (Bestia), our own USHG chefs Abram Bissell (The Modern), John Karangis (Union Square Events), and Eric Korsh (North End Grill) prepared a wonderful dinner for our guests.

50-cent wings and $4 drafts at both Blue Smoke locations during all NFL games, all season long!

Speaking of football, we have a special corporate offer for Jets fans. Tickets start at just $60 for USHG employees, friends, and family. Follow this link and use code "USHG16." 

Please be advised that the link does not work on mobile devices or on Internet Explorer.
For questions, please contact Michael Squitieri at or (973) 549-4734.


Just a quick note of thanks for the fantastic hospitality and wonderful food in the Tavern, yesterday afternoon.  I didn't save my receipt and was in a bit of a daze after a long morning so I don't recall who cared for us, but we had an early supper, and everything was marvelous. We've not been to Gramercy Tavern in a while, and it was delightful to see how well the restaurant continues to thrive.  
When I told our sever that GT was one of our happiest places in the world, she paused for a moment, smiled, and said, "Mine too."  I can believe it!  
We live in Pennsylvania, and are often in the city in other neighborhoods, but we're thinking that we should treat ourselves more often, and look forward to being back soon.  In the meantime, many thanks for a spectacular meal.

All best,
David R.
Bethlehem, PA


As always, we truly enjoyed our food and wine at Marta! Our experience was elevated by the PERFECT service hospitality shown to us by Michael and Chris. They are superstars and true examples of hospitality in a non- tipping environment. You would never know that tips weren't involved based upon their service. We will be back.

Camille R. via OpenTable                


I've been wanting to come here for a long time and it was everything I expected it to be. I made reservations for our 2 year wedding anniversary and we were greeted with a lovely note wishing us a happy anniversary. Right from the start a waiter walk by and notice our table was wobbly. He fixed it right away without us saying anything... The star of the whole night for me was the pig face salad (which is ordered off the menu) beautiful, super crispy, the rendered fat melted away and all the best part of the pig for me. Cheek, nose, ear. All served on a bed of baby romaine and some mustard greens. Very simple and just amazing. For dessert the hazelnut chocolate bread pudding and melon granita... They also sent out a dish of cookies. Overall experience was perfect. This is what I look forward to when going out to a fine dining restaurant. Attentive service, amazing food and just a memorable experience. We will definitely be returning. On a side note the prices are great especially for Manhattan. Thank you Maialino for making our special day extra special.

Anonymous via Yelp


I love BBQ and Blue Smoke is about as good as it gets in NY. Portions are hearty, the ribs are meaty and flavorful and the sides are just as good as the mains. My friend and I sat at the bar and were well taken care of by Ashley. She was a sweetheart and went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed. I ordered the ribs and the following sides: mac and cheese, barbecue baked beans, and pickles. It also came with a biscuit and Ashley brought us extra gravy. Everything was delicious, especially the ribs. The mac and cheese was surprisingly good and heavy. Good beer selection. Come hungry!

Anonymous via Yelp                                                                                                               

NEW 51%ers
Click the babies for more information!

21 Questions

Name: Jenni Guizio
Neighborhood/City/State: Bed-Stuy/Brooklyn/New York
Occupation: Wine Director, Maialino

Jenni has been the new Wine Director at Maialino since August. Prior to joining the USHG family, Jenni shared her expertise at Felidia, Del Posto, and Scarpetta. 

1. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Sussex County, New Jersey.

2. What was your first job in the hospitality industry? My first job was at 14, working as a waitress in a luncheonette/ Ice cream parlor. Most of the guests were in their 80s. 

3. What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current role? Traveling!

4. In one sentence, what do you do in a typical work day? Wine, wine, wine...Order it, organize it, talk about it and hopefully sell a lot of it.

5. What’s your go-to spot in your neighborhood? My neighborhood doesn't have a lot in the way of restaurants but there are two that are great - Saraghina for Neopolitan pizza and L'Antagoniste, a pretty ambitious French restaurant with a great wine list.

6. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten? One of the most memorable was Arzak in San Sebastián.

7. Go-to drink (alcoholic or non)? Depends...I usually order Daiquiris, Negronis or Champagne.

8. 5 must-haves in your fridge or pantry? Wine, beer, good vinegar, good olive oil, good butter.

9. How often do you cook? My boyfriend and I love to cook but only have time once or twice a week. He's much better at it than I am so I usually assist/watch. 

10. What’s one thing on your bucket list? I'd love to buy a farm with a very old house and restore it.

11. What is your all-time favorite vacation location? The Aeolian Islands.

12. What are you most proud of? My family.

13. What is your perfect day? Waking up upstate, driving around, shopping for antiques/junk, relaxing by the Delaware River, grilling and drinking wine.

14. Favorite food scene in a movie? The Rocky Road scene in The Goonies.

15. Who is your ultimate 4-top for dinner – fictional, living, or dead? Can I increase that to 5? My great-grandparents.

16. What was a hobby you had as a child? I mostly played in the woods.

17. What is the most rebellious thing you did growing up? Oooh I can't say!

18. Do you have any secret talents?  I'm secretly really good at word games like scrabble and wheel-of-fortune, as lame as that sounds.

19. What’s the last movie you saw in theaters? I honestly can't remember. It's been too long.

20. What’s the last item you splurged on for yourself?  I tend to do most of my splurging on eating and drinking. I bought a Vespa this year, but it's shared with my boyfriend.

21. Autumn is upon us! What are some unexpected wines to pair with fall flavors?  Hmm,  I feel like there has been so much experimentation on this subject that nothing is unexpected anymore. I will say that I love to pair Marsala with savory fall flavors while I think most people think of it as something to have at the end of the meal with dessert. It's so salty and nutty that it goes really well with roasted poultry, mushrooms, root vegetables...

Jenni recommends Mario de Bartoli if you would like to try Marsala wine with your food.

GreenRiver Chef Aaron Lirette's roasted sunchoke and carrot salad with honeycrisp apples, smoked grapes, watercress, and black walnut vinaigrette sherry featured in USA Today's "50 Takes on Apples to Taste this Fall."  Next month, GreenRiver will participate in Chicago's Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry as well as the Meals on Wheels charity ball!

GreenRiver Chef Aaron Lirette's roasted sunchoke and carrot salad with honeycrisp apples, smoked grapes, watercress, and black walnut vinaigrette sherry featured in USA Today's "50 Takes on Apples to Taste this Fall."

Next month, GreenRiver will participate in Chicago's Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry as well as the Meals on Wheels charity ball!


Stay tuned for more information about Union Square Cafe and Daily Provisions! In the meantime we would like to welcome:

  • Hannah Kent, Guest Relations Manager, USC
    Hannah joins us from England, where she spent time at the Corbin and King Group in London. Up until a few weeks ago, she was at Gramercy Tavern in the Host/Reservations department.
  • Ben Park, Assistant Dining Room Manager, USC
    Ben comes to us fresh out of Cornell University, He spent the summer getting to know our company as a server at Untitled and is from North Jersey.
  • Alex Serafini, Floor Manager, Daily Provisions
    Originally from Canada, Alex was a server at USC 16th Street before he joined the team at Marta after the closure. 
  • Sonia Zaruba, Service Manager, USC
    Sonia joins USC after a stint at the Fairmont Hotel in Dubai.  She originally hails from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Please also welcome:

  • Bryon Cruz, General Manager, GreenRiver, Chicago
    Bryon comes to us with from Del Frisco's and Ruth Chris, bringing with him experience as General Manager, Executive Chef, and Regional Executive Chef. Bryon has also had the distinct honor of serving our country as an Army Ranger.
  • David Brinkman, Executive Chef, The Conrad, New York
    David was most recently Chef de Cuisine at the Fourth and Botequim restaurants. He comes to us with experience from Batard, Maze at the London Hotel, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
  • Ray Pittman, Facilities Manager, Union Square Events
    Most recently, Ray was the Kitchen Manager at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. He comes to us with years of solid hands-on experience in facility maintenance and management.
  • Jon Kaplan, General Manager, Winter Village, Bryant Park
    Jon comes to us with four years of culinary training as well as a degree in Hotel Restaurant and Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales in Providence. Most recently, he led a Franchise Group of five Cosi locations in Jersey City and the surrounding area.
  • Amelia Rosen, Events & Sales Coordinator, Union Square Events
    Amelia worked closely with the CEO at Great Performances, where they partnered on marketing strategy, fostering venue partnerships and client outreach.
  • Brian Andruskiewicz, Controller & Director of Investor Relations, Enlightened Hospitality
    Brian joins us from SV Life Sciences Advisers, a VC fund in Boston and brings with him an MBA from Boston College.
  • Edgardo Costas, Education & Operations Manager, USHG Home Office
    Edgardo joins us from Untitled, where he was a bartender. In his native San Juan, he had a background in event production, which gives him a unique range of skills. He will assist with internal education, focusing on food, wine, beers, and liquors.
  • Rachel Shapiro, Executive Coordinator, Gramercy Tavern
    Rachel worked at Seamless for over 4 years before leaving to backpack around South America for six months. After returning to New York, she worked at her family's restaurant. She then found an opportunity at a small, Brooklyn-based skincare company where she led their sales team. Upon realizing she wanted to work with food again, she found her way to USHG. 
    A fun fact about Rachel: She didn't get her driver's license until she was 27!

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