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, to this day. After Jo-Jo, Giraldi became a partner in various eateries, such as Jean Georges, the NYTimes 4 Star restaurant in Trump Towers-- the Asian fusion sensation, Von g, a forerunner of modern Thai cuisine in NYC , and its London and Hong Kong outposts -- Mercer Kitchen in SoHo and the enormously successful Prime, the venerable steakhouse in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
Giraldi was also involved in the creation of Patria at the time; led by chef Douglas Rodriquez, it was considered the first serious and legitimate nuevo Latino cuisine-- Patria received the New York Times 3 Stars,
Gigino Trattoria in Tribeca opened its doors in August of 1994. Owners 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 and the restaurant has become a mainstay in the ever-changing Tribeca neighborhood.
Bob's 2000 feature film, “Dinner Rush,” starring Danny Aiello, John Corbett and Sandra Bernhard, was shot almost exclusively inside Gigino, and tells the story of New York’s latest hotspot where love, sex, gambling, food, and money are all on the menu. As Elvis Mitchell, film critic at the NYTimes 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'."
Bob also started Gigino at Wagner Park with Suarez-- and Luigi, 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 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 NYTimes. 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, NY, Giraldi and his wife, Patti, are planning on opening a casual dining spot this coming season.