For Variety’s latest issue, we asked LeBron James to write a tribute for Major Food Group’s Jeff Zalaznick, Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, among the 50 people to appear on our New Power of New York list. Here’s why the restaurant owners represent a new generation of movers and shakers that capture the best of Manhattan.
I love going out to dinner in New York City. It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing since I came into the league. Getting a big group of friends or teammates together for a good meal surrounded by the energy of the city — there’s nothing like it. And I love what my good friend Jeff and his partners Rich and Mario are doing with their restaurants that are about more than just food — it’s about the experience. Good vibe, good food, and good people. That’s what I’m looking for, and his spots get it right every time.
I try to get to Carbone, Dirty French and ZZ’s Clam Bar any time I come because the atmosphere is great and they have some of my favorite meals. The rigatoni and the porterhouse at Carbone are unbelievable, and the chicken at Dirty French is unlike any chicken I’ve ever tasted. And if I’m lucky enough to swing by Sadelle’s for breakfast when I’m in the city, they take pancakes to another level.
These places make you feel like you’re among friends. And they’ve created an experience I haven’t found anywhere else. I look forward to visiting every chance I get.
LeBron James is a four-time MVP-winning basketball player, currently with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Read our full New Power of New York List here, as well as tributes for Chelsea Clinton (by Bill Clinton), Leslie Jones (by Lena Dunham) and Ben Smith (by David Remnick).