Anthony Martignetti Plots a New Restaurant Over Croissants at Pastis

Bar Martignetti

Anthony Martignetti, home at his bar.Photo: Melissa Hom

Anthony Martignetti may have gone to boarding school and then to Trinity, and his year-old restaurant Bar Martignetti may enjoy a reputation as a clubhouse for the dashingly well to-do — however he insists that “anyone who sees me doesn’t think of me as extremely preppy at all. They usually tell me to dress up a bit.” Maybe he’s being modest: While it’s true he often sports a sweatshirt and dirty white jeans, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know his way around Blue Point oysters and Italian digestifs. We asked him what he’s been eating during a week that culminated in a private party for John and Patrick McEnroe.

Sunday, December 2
I had breakfast at Cafe Gitane like I pretty much always do every Sunday. My girlfriend lives in the building so we pretty much get sat there — Luke, the owner, is a good friend of mine. I always get the same sandwich: tomato, olive tapenade, and fresh mozzarella on focaccia.

My mother came into town from Boston with some family friends. I spent most of my time in kitchen cooking at my restaurant. I cooked everyone steak à point. We drank about ten bottles of Crozes Hermitage.

Monday, December 3
I had a breakfast meeting at Pastis with a real-estate broker. We’re looking at a couple of spots downtown [for a new restaurant] — I can’t really say until we sign the lease. Pastis is very close to one of them we’re looking at. I think Keith McNally’s service is just nonstop great. If I’m not at one of my places, I can usually be found at one of his. I had two cappuccinos, the baked eggs, and the croissant.

For lunch I ate with my manager Ian at my restaurant — we had the chicken paillard. [When I eat at Bar Martignetti] I just always tip — I don’t pay because I’m the owner. If we’re there with friends, everyone pays at the table and I chip in my share.

My girlfriend cooked for me on Monday night. She made Café Gitane’s chicken couscous and squash with hummus. I wanted her to stay in because the Patriots were playing — I don’t have cable at my apartment so I needed her apartment to watch the game. I brought a bottle of Gewürztraminer from the restaurant, and she had Cynar cocktails before we ate.

Tuesday, December 4
I had a quick coffee at Balthazar, because I live a block away, with another person that’s helping me out with another restaurant. I finally made it to Equinox on Crosby and Prince and got a yogurt and granola with fresh fruit at ’wichcraft at Equinox.

Then I didn’t eat again till dinner that night. I went to Marlow & Sons and had roast chicken and a lot of Blue Point oysters — I think we had twelve. Then I came back to my restaurant where it was a really busy Tuesday night. At midnight I cooked scallops for the guys in the kitchen, showing them a new way. So I ended up eating six dayboat diver scallops. I’m always in the kitchen cooking, whether it’s for me or one of the little line cooks … we’ll try to make Mexican or something.

Wednesday, December 5
I spent my whole day at Bar Martignetti. I had lunch there with my brother to talk about business. I had the burger, and he had the lobster-club sandwich. I can’t get away from our burger. I make it with Gruyère and sautéed onions, and I always get it rare. People that order their burger medium or medium-well just kind of get on my nerves. We had a couple bottles of Pellegrino, and that was lunch.

We were walking around the Bowery around 4 p.m. and popped into Gemma at the Bowery Hotel. We sat at the bar and got meats and cheeses. We ended up bumping into our friend Sean MacPherson, the owner of the hotel. We had regular sparkling water and two shots of Fernet-Branca. It’s a really dark herbaceous Italian digestif that me and my brother drink. [Working with my brother], we’ve argued about everything from what the final cocktail list is going to be to what color we’re going to paint the windows. It ends one way or other — fighting and maybe not even speaking for a day, but we’re best friends and we run our business together, so even if we’re fighting, we both know we’re on the same team.

Dinner last night ended up being a ton of fun at the restaurant. It was cold and snowing, but we got really busy. I had dinner with some friends. We sat at the bar — I got steak-frites and opened up a few bottles of Malbec. Halfway through dinner a girl came up and introduced herself, and she ended up being Danny Meyer’s personal assistant. Once we found out it was Danny’s assistant, we sent over some rosé. We ended sitting with them and talking with them at the front dinner till 2 a.m.

Thursday, December 6
I had lunch up in midtown at a meeting with one of my old friends in high school. He’s in private banking at Citigroup — we were going over monetary plans. We ordered in to his office from Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien. He had his secretary go pick it up for us because the lines were too long. I was still hungry after the meeting so I got a falafel sandwich on the corner of 59th and Lexington.

I came back to the restaurant and had a chicken-paillard salad and Pimm’s cup. Tonight Patrick and John McEnroe are doing a celebration of the Davis Cup, and they’re having a dinner at the restaurant. Kelly Bensimon is probably here every night of the week. The little socialite girls — Olivia Palermo, Amanda Hearst, and Alexandra Richards — a lot of them eat dinner here a couple nights a week. John Mayer lives across the street, so he’s in for lunch a lot. But it’s not really a celebrity type of spot.