He brought a sensibility and a hard-edged reasonableness to operating restaurants that had a lasting impact on me and still affects how I run all our restaurants today. The passing of 'Restaurant Man' - the original gangsta 'Restaurant Man,' my father - was the passing of an era. No one can replace him.
The menu should be part of the entertainment, part of the dining experience. It's kind of like reading the 'Playbill' when you go to the theater. It should be an alluring and interactive document. Does it have burn marks on it from the candle? If you ever get a greasy menu with food stains on it, it's time to run like hell.
The general manager is kind of like the step into darkness when you reach the top of the league. As GM, you're responsible for everything, including the maitre d's and the sommeliers - all these people who have their own agendas. But you probably make less than the maitre d' and have a lot more work and a lot more headaches.