Ten years is a long time! And celebrity-chef and restauranteur Marc Murphy has the memories to prove it.
His TriBeCa restuarant Landmarc is celebrating 10 years in business. Over those years, a lot has happened in the New York City dining scene, and Murphy has gone on to open a second Landmarc (in the Time Warner Center), and two other restaurants Ditch Plains (with two locations) and Kingside. Murphy has also become a fixture on the Food Network. He is a regular judge on "Chopped," and challenged Bobby Flay on "Iron Chef America."
Murphy is hosting a special anniversary dinner at the restaurant tonight. The 4-course $100 tasting menu includes hord d'oeuvres and family style dishes including endive salad, roasted marrow bones, Spaghetti alla Carbonara and grilled pork chops and hanger steak. Call 212-343-3883 to make a reservation.
He shared with us the top 10 moments at Landmarc:
1. Staff bonding
"One night early on, we had to close the restaurant due to an electrical issue. The guests were super understanding, and aside from one guy who tried to leave with his plate, everyone left without complaining. As we sat and waited for the issue to be resolved, the staff and I ordered in sushi (we couldn’t cook!), and it ended up being a great bonding night for all of us."
2. Surprise opera
"Opera singer extraordinaire, Rene Pape was a regular and used to come in often. One night he surprised the dining room with an impromptu performance. It was truly spectacular."
3. The simple dish wins
"I used to make pork chops with apples and spinach at home all the time. When we were designing the menu, my wife urged me to include the dish. I said no because I thought it was too simple, but she pleaded and so I did. It turned out to be one of th most popular dishes and is still on the menu today. It was also the subject of an article in The New York Times Magazine by Sam Sifton!"
4. Doing as the fans want
"For a few months in the very beginning, we were closed on Sundays. People from the neighborhood used to leave notes on the door saying that we had to open on Sundays. So we did."
5. Here comes a regular
"We have a couple who come in at least 3 or 4 times a week, and when they don’t come in, they ordered in. When they had their first baby, we made them a Landmarc onesie!"
6. A forever-family member
"Some of my oldest friends from Italy asked me to give their son a job when he was moving to New York for college. That was 10 years ago, and while he’s a successful filmmaker now, he still bartends with us, and has an insane group of followers!"
7. After Sandy
"After Hurricane Sandy, our team really came together to get the restaurant open as quickly as possible so we could give the residents of Tribeca a place to go. I’ve never been prouder than I was the night we opened."
8. A generous wine program
"We have always gotten a ton of recognition for our nontraditional wine program ... One night a non-believer stopped me, pointed to the wine list and said, 'You know this bottle of Veuve Clicqout is the same price as some other restaurants in the neighborhood.' I said, 'Yes, but you’re looking at the magnums.' He apologized and congratulated us on the amazing list. I still laugh about it to this day with my beverage director, David Lombardo."
9. That time someone said something nice
"A great moment for me was when a friend walked in during our soft opening and told me the place felt like 'an old pair of jeans.'"
10. A place for romance
"Over the years we’ve had many couples dine with us, first dates, engagements and everything in between. One couple, who had their first date at Landmarc, went on to get engaged in Napa, and while they were there, drinking a wine they had had at Landmarc, they decided they wanted us to cater their wedding. And so, we did, and Benchmarc Events was born!"