Remi, New York, Santa Monica, Mexico City, Tel Aviv
From the Print Edition:
George Burns, Winter 94/95
(continued from page 1)
If there is one other thing that sets Remi apart, it is the partners' devotion to cigars: both Tihany and Antonucci are cigar smokers. Every Remi has a private dining room, or "chef's table," that is available at all times for cigar lovers (reserve early). In the United States, Remi suffers under the barrage of antismoking regulations, but the restaurant in Los Angeles has an outdoor terrace where smoking is always permitted. And in New York, the restaurant occupies a public atrium at dinner from late spring to fall, where smoking is also allowed. Tihany has added the Rialto Room in New York that was originally designed for private dinners. During the winter, he plans to turn it into an regular dining area where cigar smoking is allowed. The beautiful room, with a 25-foot ceiling and a striking Venetian-glass chandelier, is designed for smoking.
"All my partners are cigar smokers," says Tihany, who has joint ventures for Remi in Santa Monica, Mexico City and Tel Aviv. "By that virtue alone, they attract other smokers." All four Remis hold special cigar dinners, and the George Sand Society, a women's cigar club that also includes a few men, began at the Santa Monica venue. Tel Aviv and Mexico City, according to Tihany, are always packed with cigar smokers. Humidors are kept in each restaurant and in New York, he offers a selection of Davidoffs, including the 2000, Ambassadrice, Aniversario No. 2, and a Grand Cru; Griffin's No. 100 and No. 300; and Avo Petit Belicoso and Pyramid.
Tihany views cigars as part of the Remi culture. "It's always been part of what Remi offers. We've always been like this. It is part of our aura and our image of having the finer things in life."
In fact, Tihany and Antonucci are on a mission to bring the finer things in life to various places around the world. Their next likely target? Moscow. That choice reflects the reasoning he says he used in selecting Mexico City and Tel Aviv before London or Paris. "For the challenge. A Remi in Paris would be interesting, but it's not a challenge. In Mexico City, it's a visionary and timely product. It's much more satisfying to do restaurants where we are helping bring the revolution in food to them."
That's the Remi charm. Sit back. Smoke a cigar after a simply elegant Italian meal and be a soldier in the Tihany-Antonucci mission to spread the finer things in life throughout the world.
-- Gordon Mott
New York: 145 West 53rd Street
Phone: (212) 581-4242
Santa Monica: 1451 Third Street Promenade
Phone: (310) 393-6545
Mexico City: S.A. Dec. V. Andres Bello No. 10 PB, Col. Polanco
Phone: (525) 282-0062
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