The Vaulted Door

There have been a few times in mine and Anthony’s lives that we’ve looked at each other and knew our destiny was to open a restaurant together.

You see, we’re cousins, but not by blood.  He is my mother’s sister’s husband’s son from a former marriage.  And I am his father’s wife’s sister’s son.  Get it?  Great.  And not having that blood line means only one thing – we are nothing alike.  We don’t look alike.  I’m a tall, lanky and white.  He’s short, strong, and tan.  Brown hair, blue eyes.  Black hair, brown eyes.  Irish-Russian.  Full-blooded Italian.  You got the picture.  We don’t act alike, either.  I’m a thinker and he’s an artist.  We don’t do the same type of work, either.  I’m about hospitality and business.  He’s a chef.

So why does any of this even matter?  We’re complete opposites.  We’re nothing alike.  But when we join together, we form a team that will rival any other of its kind.  We have so much love for each other, but most of all we have a mutual respect.  It’s almost our coat of arms.  We don’t have to talk about it.  We don’t have to compliment each other.  We both know.  I could never in my wildest dreams cook like Anthony.  And he could never work a dining room like me.  Apart we’re regular guys.  Together we’re superstars.

The first time I realized that Anthony was something special was when I was a young boy — probably around 10 years old.  The family was celebrating some type of occasion at Aunt Kathy’s house and Anthony was working the grill.  As we sat on the wood deck off the side of the house, the aromas from the grill were intoxicatingly good.  Anthony served us grilled flank steak of which he had cut the middle out and stuffed with peppers, onions and cheese.  And while I sat there and ate, I didn’t immediately say that I would one day open a restaurant with this guy, but what I did know that he was something special.  Put him in the kitchen and just trust him.  He’ll work it out.

The time that it really struck me that we had to open a restaurant together was when I was a senior in high school.  I joined my mom, aunt, and cousins on a trip to Tupelo Honey, a long-time north shore staple where Anthony was Executive Chef.  During his tenure he brought the restaurant to the #2 highest rated restaurant on Long Island.  It was an honor to go eat the food from his kitchen, and I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into.  Tupelo Honey was an American bistro with a Caribbean flare, and it was like Anthony’s dishes were part food, part magic.  The flavor combinations were unheard of and the techniques blended from French to Caribbean and everything in between.  During the meal, I said to my cousins Taylor and Bridget that one day I would open a restaurant with Anthony.  This was even before my love for and knowledge of restaurants.  I just knew that it would be so.

So we find ourselves here, after many more of those epiphanies, in the process of launching our first restaurant: The Vaulted Door.  We’re currently raising the capital necessary to open.  It is a large-scale project, but one – that with the combination of Anthony’s and my expertise – is going to be something that Long Islanders will be talking about for a long time.  We’re going to serve Progressive American cuisine with a modern flare.  The five major influences will be Italian, French, South American, Southeast Asian, and Japanese.  This will all take place inside one of the north shore of Long Island’s most historically rich buildings in the heart of ‘Restaurant Row’.

Our mission is to provide our guests with the best dining experience they’ve ever had.  Simple.  Clean.  Right to the point.  We love making people happy.  And that’s what we’re going to do.

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