It’s Keith McNally’s World, and We Just Eat in It

Photo: Peter van Agtmael/Magnum Photos

This week, New York offers a glimpse inside Pulino’s (named after a staffer, we learn) and, more fascinating, an eye into the man behind it. Turns out its backer is Richard Caring, the owner of London’s the Ivy and Soho House, who offered to buy all of McNally’s restaurants for $100 million a couple of years ago (and now wants to export the McNally brand, which grosses about $70 million a year and nets 8 to 14 percent profit, to the West Coast, middle America, and Chicago). Best part comes during a staff meeting, when McNally tells the GM of Lucky Strike to talk to fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone about a “string of outbursts,” and bans another regular (the head of an ad agency) from Minetta because of repeated no-shows. No Minetta for you!

In McNally’s world, there aren’t just A-listers, there are AA- and AAA-listers: “Only about fifteen people are AAA, Anna Wintour among them. (‘Minetta doesn’t deliver,’ McNally says, ‘but we deliver to Anna’).” On the other hand, he has no idea who Tori Spelling is. Oh, and here he is on Danny Meyer’s book, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business: “As a restaurateur there’s no better operator in the country. However, there’s categorically no sillier or more pretentious title for a book.” Read on to discover more about the man we like to call Kool Keith.

The Restaurant Auteur [NYM]

It’s Keith McNally’s World, and We Just Eat in It