Hunger Thirst Group was a random late-night idea when I was working on my third concept. (The group’s food and drink concepts now include No Vacancy, The Avenue, Park & Rec, BallPark & Rec, Dirty Laundry and Good Fortune.) I love creating and I’ve got a few more concepts in the works.
When I’m not working, I enjoy hanging out with my pup or going to the beach for a change of scenery. I collect sneakers, love watching sports, going to ball games and concerts and checking out local art shows. I give back through The Children’s Dream Fund and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
MY LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
For a business meal, it depends on the person I’m with, but I’m a big fan of steak, seafood and Italian. I enjoy Eddie V’s, Charley’s Steak House, Forbici Modern Italian, Cena, OLIVIA, Gratzzi Italian Grille and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, to name a few.
For a special occasion, Donatello Italian Restaurant is my favorite: homemade pasta, great food and outstanding service. Gino Tiozzo and his crew treat everyone with class and care; that’s what hospitality is all about. It’s a special place for me and my family. We’ve had a lot of great times there.
Iavarone’s Italian Steakhouse is another special place in Tampa. Carmine Iavarone and his sons welcome you like you’re family. Jeff Gigante at Forbici is another restaurant owner who is welcoming and thankful for his guests. People remember how you treat them; it’s an important part of the dining experience.
Kahwa Coffee Roasters is probably my go-to for coffee. I’m also a big fan of my neighbors at Bad Mother. If I want an OG (original)-style Cuban coffee and a delicious breakfast sammy, then I go see my team at Dirty Laundry.