October 2016
Vol. 10, Iss. 9
Published: October 31, 2016


PSA: Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th!

No matter your political affiliation or candidate preference, we encourage you to exercise your right to vote. The polls are open from 6am - 9pm, and as long as you are in line by 9pm, you will be allowed to vote.

If you are a first time voter, you may need to bring your NY driver's license or state ID, utility bill, bank statement, or paycheck.

If you have previously voted in New York, you do not need to provide ID to vote in person. 

To find out where to vote, use this link https://g.co/kgs/q274Na

Applications for the USHG Mentor Program opened this week! If you are interested in applying, please go to http://inside.ushgnyc.com/mentor-program-1

Connect with Gretchen Garry at ggarry@ushgnyc.com for more information or if you have questions.

The deadline to apply is Friday, November 23.

Please join us in supporting Scott Reinhardt and Gramercy Tavern, who are participating in the 23rd annual Race to Deliver. 

God's Love We Deliver provides nutritious and high quality meals to people living with life-altering illnesses or who are simply too sick to shop and cook for themselves and their families.

Currently there are about 80 people on the team, which consists of employees of GT, GT regulars, Home Office employees, Shake Shack employees, family, and friends. The goal this year is $55,000.

Please visit https://www.glwd.org/race/team.jsp?id=499 to help Scott and team GT reach their goal! You can sponsor a specific runner or the team as a whole.

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween! Pictured here is the home office costume contest.


L-R: Nicole Savitsky as Jody Sawyer from Center Stage; Alexis Ching as Joey Ramone; Amanda Lipp as Mother of Dragons; Tess Delbyck as a picnic, Erin Colnon as a Christmas Present; Helen Goodman as Steve Jobs; Mary Garvin as Fox News, Lauren Hobbs as a pride of lions; Chris Nelson & Ben Park (from USC) as K & J from Men in Black.

Use your Dining Dollars this Thanksgiving!

Jazz for Kids is well under way at Jazz Standard

If you're looking to release your kid's inner Satchmo, take them to Jazz for Kids, a free weekly performance by the all-kids Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra (ages 6-16) at Jazz Standard, located under Blue Smoke 27th St. Bob your heads, shimmy your shoulders, tap your feet, and snap your fingers all while enjoying brunch from the Blue Smoke menu! There's a full bar for adults and for every order from the Kids Menu, a $1 donation is made to the Spoons Across America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating children, teachers, and families about healthy eating habits. 

When: Sundays, Oct 16, 2016 - May 21, 2017; doors at 1pm, show from 2-3pm
Where: Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th St between Park & Lexington; take the 6 train to 28th/Lex
Tickets: FREE. In lieu of a cover charge, guests may give a $5 donation that benefits the Jazz Standard Discovery Program.
How: For more info or to reserve a table, contact Jazz Standard at 212-576-2232 or http://www.jazzstandard.com
Age: For kids of all ages, 1-100!


USC in Action!

As part of their training curriculum, the Union Square Cafe FOH trainees have visited Gotham Greens, Threes Brewery, Finback Brewery, and the Long Island City Project Tap Room.

Artfood at the New York Food & Wine Festival

Chefs Dan Jackson and Liz Gerber were joined by POPs Manager Diana Trenk at the Barilla Italian Table event hosted by Giada de Laurentiis. 

Pictured is Marinated Shellfish with a Butternut Squash Acqua Pazza.

Promotions & Additions

Congratulations to Brandon, the first North End Grill employee to level up with Hospitality Included!

Congratulations to Brandon, the first North End Grill employee to level up with Hospitality Included!

Art Food is pleased to announce the following promotions:

  • Justine Bouchia has been promoted to Operations Manager. In this role, Justine will oversee both the Stewarding and Purchasing departments. Justine played a key role in preparing Art Food for The Modern kitchen renovation and was pivotal in ensuring that the Cafes at MoMA could run in the most efficient way possible with a compromised kitchen and changed pathways.
  • Tim Bishop has been promoted to Purchasing Manager at Art Food. Tim started as a Receiver on our Purchasing team 4 years ago. His hard work led to his promotion to Assistant Purchasing Manager when the department had their first management transition 2 years ago. He has played an integral part in ensuring that our relationship with our partners at MoMA have stayed stronger than ever, and in turn has helped our systems in Purchasing to run more smoothly.
  • Miguel Sanchez has been promoted to Stewarding Manager at Art Food. Miguel has demonstrated strong leadership skills, especially when faced with challenges. He has created systems that have improved the efficiency of our Stewarding team and is continuing to find creative ways to continue to build our teams.
  • Julian Proujansky has been promoted to Art Food Executive Sous Chef. In this role, Julian will work with the teams in both The Modern and the Cafes at MoMA. He joined the Sous Chef team at The Modern in 2013 and has seen Art Food through its full transition of the past 2 years.
  • Noah Poses has been promoted to Executive Sous Chef at The Modern. Noah joined the Modern team in 2014 and will continue to build our teams and work with Chef Abram on recipe and menu development.
  • Art Food would like to welcome back Nikole Morsink to The Modern as Executive Sous Chef. Nikole originally joined the team in 2013 and has returned just in time to contribute her expertise to creating systems for the new kitchen as well as contributing to recipe and menu development. 
  • Art Food is also pleased to welcome Sous Chef Matt Kornfeld to the Cafes after working at Blue Smoke BPC for the past 2 years.

Blue Smoke 27th St would like to announce that Chelsea Culverwell has been promoted to Floor Manager after joining the team 6 years ago. She has been a server, server trainer, and Floor Supervisor.

Gramercy Tavern is pleased to announce the following promotions:

  • Alvaro Munoz-Honniball and Kyle Goldstein were both recently promoted to Sous Chef.
  • We would also like to welcome GT's new Wine Director, Justin Timsit! Justin comes to us from the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia, where he oversaw the wine program for the hotel and their fine dining restaurant Lacroix for 3 years. He not only had a huge impact on their wine program and team but also worked to open up the PA wine market that is state-regulated. 

Union Square Events Is pleased to announce the following promotions:

  • Brett Romberg has been promoted to Research & Development Chef. Since joining USE in the spring, he has done an amazing job opening and running Papa Rosso at Citi Field, which has proven to be a great success.
  • Christina Tobia has been promoted to Senior Marketing Manager. Since joining us in 2014, Christina has been a valuable contributor in building social media programs, establishing best practices for ROI reporting, and elevating partner relations, all while supporting USE business leaders through multiple sports season openings, catered events, and now the first season of the Bryant Park activation.
  • Edward Rodriguez has been promoted to Executive Sous Chef at the Conrad NY. Before joining us in 2013, Edward spent time at Harlan Social, Acela Club at Citi Field, and Aramark.
  • Amber North has been promoted to Assistant General Manager at Public Fare in Bryant Park’s Winter Village! Amber started as a Public Fare Team Member last year and immediately distinguished herself as a 51%er. She became one of the first certified trainers and her path to Supervisor followed quickly after due to her honest and consistent commitment to the Family Values.
  • Daniel Schaub has been promoted to Assistant General Manager at Public Fare in Bryant Park’s Winter Village! After starting as a Supervisor in 2014, he joined the team at Marta. After returning to Public Fare last year, he brought a level or excellence and integrity that had been missing from our Venue Hospitality Supervisor teams.
  • Kara Atkinson has been promoted to Senior Banquet Finance Manager at the Conrad NY. Kara has been instrumental in maintaining the structure of our banquet office at the Conrad. She will continue her current duties while adding additional floor support to the banquet team.
  • Cynthia Chico has been promoted to Culinary Operations Manager at the Conrad NY. Cynthia oversees a variety of duties, to which she will add scheduling and payroll duties as well as overseeing office-related concerns and public relations collaboration with the Conrad NY team.
  • Miles Raile has been promoted to Banquet Manager at the Conrad NY! Miles is primarily responsible for the proper execution of events. He will now add training and mentoring to his duties.
  • Edward Zissel has been promoted to Assistant Director of Banquets at the Conrad NY. Edward oversees banquet managers and works closely with housemen, waiters, and other hotel team members in order to maintain consistency for events. He will assist the Director of Banquets with the overall operational flow of the epartment.
  • USE would like to welcome Elyse Colon to the team as Events and Sales Coordinator. Most recently, Elyse was at hospitality startup FB Hospitality, where she singlehandedly operated the offsite event business for Tres Carnes while also handling onsite venue sales and event order production for 4 local restaurants.
  • USE would also like to welcome Shane Brooks, Associate Banquet Manager at the Conrad NY. Shane joins us with many years of FOH experience, most recently from the Grand Hyatt New York as Event Services Manager. 

The Home Office is happy to announce the following:

  • Amanda Lipp has been promoted to Associate Director of System Operations! In her 11 years at USHG, Amanda has held several key operational positions in the Home Office before joining the IT team 3 years ago. She has made significant contributions to USHG's systems and operations, all of which have helped us become more efficient as we grow. Amanda’s commitment to USHG's Family Values is evident by a quick trip to the CDR wall. She is a rock that many of us rely on: project support, a second opinion, or a much needed laugh. 
  • Stephanie Marantz has been promoted to Reservations Supervisor. Stephanie joined us as an intern at HQ before moving to North End Grill to develop her reservations skills before joining the Guest Relations team at the Home Office.
  • The Guest Relations team would also like to welcome Nicolette Rivera to the team. Nicolette joins us from The Modern, where she landed after moving to NYC from Texas.

Winter Village at Bryant Park opened on Saturday, October 29th and features Public Fare, a casual all-day cafe overlooking the ice skating rink, operated by Union Square Events.  USE will also operate two new event spaces adjacent to the rink as well as a concessions stand within the skate pavilion. 

Winter Village at Bryant Park opened on Saturday, October 29th and features Public Fare, a casual all-day cafe overlooking the ice skating rink, operated by Union Square Events.  USE will also operate two new event spaces adjacent to the rink as well as a concessions stand within the skate pavilion. 


* My one problem with writing this review is I can't rate it higher! Myself and 3 friends from work ate here last Saturday and our experience is something we didn't expect. We order the southern table for dinner at $55 per person(not including beverages and tip) and it was well worth it. 4 courses selected by our very helpful, attentive and wise server was unbelievable! The food was outstanding, the service was outstanding and the restaurant is outstanding! I won't state what food we received because only you have to experience the southern table on your own. But please choose two items- 7 pepper brisket and red velvet baked alaska! 
(Blue Smoke, BPC)

* My meal was among the most delicious of my life. That sounds hyperbolic, but it was incredibly delicious. My sister and I shared the beet salad and the artichokes as appetizers and they were outstanding. I had the Chef's special raviolo and it was out of this world–I wish it were a regular menu item. Our server was delightful and attentive. I would go back in a second!

* Our entire experience at Marta was incredible with such kindness, attention to detail and professionalism from the staff we were completely floored. Yesterday was my husband's birthday, last year we celebrated at Del Posto- and I have to share with you- we felt even more welcomed and comfortable at Marta. I cannot thank you enough. The support and encouragement the management must impart to the staff is apparent. Everyone seemed genuinely happy and was so knowledgeable, we cannot wait to return. Marta is a true gem in NYC. Thank you to your staff! 

* This is [guest], the single from LA you introduced yourself to at the bar last Tuesday afternoon. I was the one with the two bars in LA (that inexplicably brought zero business cards) that you brought over the marinated snapper and dropped your card.

I wanted to thank you again for the beautiful experience and meal. Union Square Hospitality is a very large influence on how I’m running my first businesses and having never actually eaten at any USHG restaurant (other than Shake Shack) I couldn’t have been more gracious to make Gramercy Tavern my first. In all honestly, I got a little emotional in how much you actually exceeded my lofty expectations. The food (I had the calamari fried rice and the aforementioned snapper), the wine (I had a glass of Billecart-Salmon, a glass of AJ Adam Kabinett, and finished with JF Daney Sauternes), and the service (I believe my excellent bartender’s name was Ben) were all perfectly on point, as were the subtle service points (I especially liked how Ben asked each guest if they had any food allergies before dropping any comped dishes and how when I returned from the bathroom, not only was my napkin neatly folded, but I had a fresh piece of bread).

But what impressed me the most was the feeling of familiarity and comfort I felt despite being a patron at a high-end Manhattan restaurant. The entire experience felt like a trip to my local tavern for an after-work drink. I got to know the bartender, he got to know me, I was visited by the GM, given advice on a fairly esoteric wine list (from the bartender, not a floor somm), and left feeling like I would be foolish not to return the next time I am in town. I actually feel, after only one trip to a restaurant I’ve only read about, that I am a regular. I know that is one of Mr. Meyer’s tenets, but I also know how hard that is to execute in a city with fickle clientele and check averages up around $50/person at lunch. Watching and experiencing that welcome was so much more than reading about it and I can’t wait to get back to LA and apply more of what I’ve learned.

My bars are vastly different than what Gramercy Tavern does and that does not worry me at all as I think we are all selling the same product; an overall experience of comfort and hospitality that makes each guest feel as though they’re special and part of the business. There’s no reason I can’t do the same thing while I sell beer and chicken wings 3,000 miles away.

So this is me thanking you again for an unforgettable experience and if you are in LA soon, please let me know so that I could repay you.

Have a great afternoon,


21 Questions

Name: Amanda Wilson
Neighborhood/City/State: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Chef de Cuisine, Union Square Cafe

1.       Where did you grow up?
Mostly in Connecticut, but spent the first 5 years of my life in Hong Kong, and went to college in Colorado

2.       What was your first job in the hospitality industry? Cashier at a deli.

3.       What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current role? If I wasn’t in the hospitality industry, I would have become a vet.

4.       In one sentence, what do you do in a typical work day? Make sure food gets to tables as perfectly as possible.

5.       What’s your go-to spot in your neighborhood? Five Leaves in Greenpoint.

6.       What’s the best meal you’ve eaten? Had so many amazing meals, but most recently my best meals were at Blue Hill Stone Barns and Semilla.

7.       Go-to drink (alcoholic or non)? Coffee, lots of coffee.

8.       5 must-haves in your fridge or pantry? Eggs, Mayo, Hot Sauce, Rice, Coffee.

9.       How often do you cook? Outside of work, not too often.  My kitchen is tiny, but I do my best to cook at home at least once a week.

10.   What’s one thing on your bucket list? Take a year off to travel.

11.   What is your all-time favorite vacation location? Anywhere with a beach.

12.   What are you most proud of? When I was 21, I biked from Connecticut to Seattle.

13.   What is your perfect day? Just spending time with my wife and dog, eating good food.

14.   Favorite food scene in a movie? Julia Roberts eating in the fine dining restaurant in Pretty Woman, shooting a snail across the restaurant.

15.   Who is your ultimate 4-top for dinner – fictional, living, or dead? Right now - Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Schumer for comic relief.

16.   What was a hobby you had as a child? I was a big jock… loved softball, basketball, tennis, but most of all ping pong.

17.   What is the most rebellious thing you did growing up? Like most everyone….probably just drinking too young, sneaking out of the house.  I wasn’t too bad of a kid.

18.   Do you have any secret talents? I don’t think I have any secret talents, all my talents are out in the open.

19.   What’s the last movie you saw in theaters? White Girl.  It was horrible.  Don’t see it.

20.   What’s the last item you splurged on for yourself? Boning knife from my trip to Japan.

21.   To the extent that you can divulge the information, what menu developments are you most excited about for the opening? I’m most excited about the old classic dishes on the menu that we have kept but made changes to make them even better; look out for the Tuna Burger 2.0!!!


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