In the early '90's, Bob Giraldi threw his hat into the New York restaurant ring, opening Jo-Jo with his then film partner, Phil Suarez, and a little-known chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Soon Giraldi became part of the team that created the foundation for a food dynasty that is unparalleled, even to this day. After Jo-Jo, Giraldi became a partner in various eateries, such as Jean Georges, the NY Times 4-Star restaurant in Trump Towers-- the Asian fusion sensation, Vong, a forerunner of modern Tha cuisine in NYC, with its London and Hong Kong outposts-- Mercer Kitchen in SoHo-- and Prime, the venerable steakhouse at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Giraldi was also involved in the creation of Patria; at the time in the early 90's, led by chef Douglas Rodriquez, considered the first significant and legitimate nuevo Latino cuisine in NYC. Patria received the NY Times 3-Stars,
Gigino Trattoria opened its doors in August of 1994. Owners once again, Giraldi and Suarez, along with executive chef Luigi Celentano, whom they discovered in Positano on the Amalfi coast of Italy, have kept this amazing resilient and consistent Italian eatery flourishing as the restaurant has become a mainstay in the ever-changing Tribeca neighborhood.
Bob's feature film, “Dinner Rush,” starring Danny Aiello, John Corbett and Sandra Bernhard, was photographed almost exclusively inside Gigino; it tells the story of New York’s latest hotspot where love, ex, ambling, food, and money are all on the menu. As Elvis Mitchell, film critic at the NY Times put it; "Dinner Rush is a mouth-watering display of talent, technique and patience. There are more intrigues here than in the court of Medicis'." However, Giraldi says, “For me, the most satisfying credit the film‘s ever received has been the Culinary Institute of America requiring it ‘essential viewing’ as part of their extensive program.”
Bob also started Gigino at Wagner Park with Suarez-- and Celentano, once again, as the Executive Chef. This popular inside/outside café is located at the southern tip of Manhattan, with the most spectacular views of the New York harbor; a truly unique piece of waterfront dining, especially in the summer months on the outdoor patio.
In 1995, Giraldi and Executive Producer, Patti Greaney, created the original website StarChefs.com, featuring celebrity chefs and cookbook authors. StarChefs.com continues to be the foremost website used by professionals and food aficionados.
In 2002, Bob joined forces with restaurateur Luigi Comandatore to open the Tuscan fare eatery, BREADTribeca, that earned 2-Stars from The NY Times. Another establishment, Diablo Royale, has continued as a popular taqueria in the West Village.
Recently, Bob appeared on the TV series, Celebrity Taste Makers, with Danny Aiello, discussing his long and successful experience in the restaurant business, as well as the making of "Dinner Rush" which has, over the years, earned its reputation as the original inspiration for the galaxy of food shows, both reality and fictional, that crowd the media landscape of today.
Stay tuned, as more eateries are in the works—specifically targeting their vacation spot in Montauk, Giraldi and his wife Patti, are planning on opening a casual dining spot this coming season.
Dinner Rush (2000 Feature Film)
Gigino Wagner Park