The New York Diet

Drew Nieporent Hardly Ever Eats Like a Restaurant Mogul

Drew Nieporent gets a little stabby with that fork.
Drew Nieporent gets a little stabby with that fork.haha Photo: Melissa Hom

Let’s say you were the city’s most famous restaurateur, the man who more or less invented Tribeca, and still owned three or four of the city’s most popular restaurants in Tribeca Grill and the three Nobu restaurants, not to mention Mai House and Centrico. Let’s say you were also seriously overweight. What would having complete command of four restaurants within one block of your office — not to mention the red carpet at every other restaurant in town and an essentially bottomless food budget — do to you? Drew Nieporent used his resources to go on the ultimate New York diet and lost 70 pounds in the process.

Wednesday, August 22
We did a tasting at a young chef’s who we’re considering for a position. Normally I’m eating an egg-white omelette. I always have either iced black coffee or iced green tea from Nobu. They make me a quart container. But instead I was eating prawns wrapped in avocado with sweet-pea salad and pistachio, branzino with an oyster escabèche, lobster and chorizo cannelloni with fennel salad. But all those dishes were completely uncharacteristic of the way I’ve been eating.

I had an early dinner at Nobu 57. I had the famous toro tartare with caviar. Fluke with dried miso and a beautifully fresh piece of bass with the masatake mushrooms. Late that night I had some Ba-tampte half-sour pickles, which have zero calories.

Tuesday, August 21
I started the day off by having the chef at Tribeca roast an onion really dark and put it in an egg-white omelette. Then around one I had a little sashimi at Nobu. For dinner, I have my guys poaching salmon with heirloom tomatoes. There are a lot of tomatoes on this regimen that I’m on.

For a snack, I eat sugarless Bubble Yum. Bubble Yum has great elasticity. I think there’s a correlation between overeating and having something in your mouth, so this keeps me from eating.

Monday, August 20
I started the day with a piece of grilled swordfish. I like a lot of lemon and herbs and thyme. And of course I carry Tabasco with me everywhere. You add a little lemon to it, and it gives you the heat you need.

We had a big Rhône wine tasting at Tribeca. They put out a big table of cheese. I love cheese. I have to admit I picked on the parmigiano and reggiano and manchego. And then some sliced turkey when I got home and a pickle.

Sunday, August 19
Oh, this was a good day! I watched Meet the Press, CBS Sunday Morning, read the paper, and then made eggs. I love to poach eggs. Salt and pepper, that’s it! Then I went to see the Yankees. I had one sausage that you eat without the bread. And one Hebrew National quarter-pounder, a foot-long, also without the bread. Or the chips. It gets worse; this was a big eating day. My father-in-law in Nyack had three-pound porterhouses that he got from his butcher. He cooks them, I slice them. You know that whoever cuts gets a lot of the meat. But I didn’t go for the corn, the teriyaki chicken, or potato salad.

Saturday, August 18
I had some cottage cheese at 11:30.

I have a sauna in my house so I took a sauna. That depletes you, so you get hungry. So I got some nice Berkshire loin pork chops. We eat that with fresh tomato and onion slices. My family has a dressing if they want. I have no dressing. More crudités: broccoli, cauliflower. We have a Whole Foods near us in Ridgewood, New Jersey, so I can get good pork chops. There’s no oil. Just sea salt, tarragon, and fresh ground pepper. It’s all dried, too. I have no problem with dried herbs. Love them.

Friday, August 17
Oh, Friday was a good day. I went over to the Oyster Bar. I had oysters and cherrystones with some lemon and Tabasco. Cherrystones, for me, are the greatest mollusk. They blow everything else away! I had a million espressos throughout the day. Then at night I had some grilled baby chicken on the grill over at Tribeca. The chef, Steve Lewandowski, knows just what to give me.

Thursday, August 18
I had pho without the noodles. I had them make me a chicken soup with steamed bok choy at Mai House. And then at night we had beautiful lump crabmeat with scallops. So I had them make a little takeout together, ungarnished. Then I made my dressing with Tabasco and lemon. I ate it with chopsticks, so it would be more satisfying. My office is bookended by four of my restaurants, and Centrico is spitting distance away. I can usually get what I need. I’ve lost 70 pounds, and it’s hard to go back to the way I was eating before.

Drew Nieporent Hardly Ever Eats Like a Restaurant Mogul