Throughout his youth in Florence, Silvano was always interested in dining and socializing with friends and family. After all, his grandmother was an excellent chef, and so was his father. However, thanks to his independent and rebellious spirit, Silvano initially opted to sign up for engineering school. Fortunately, the program was full, and Silvano ended up enrolling in culinary classes instead. A few years later, after realizing his innate talent and interest in the art of cooking, he left home for Switzerland and Paris, to perfect his skills at several of the top restaurants and hotels in both countries.
In 1968, he packed up and moved to America, where he first worked as a waiter, saving his money with the dream of opening an Italian restaurant that would serve food like he had enjoyed and cooked back home. When the owner of the Greenwich Village neighborhood bar, “Bimbo’s”, passed away, Silvano acted fast. Acting as both chef and owner, he collected his savings, and on May 1, 1975, opened the doors to what was to become one of the world’s most successful restaurants. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Silvano still manages the kitchen, menu, and staff at the restaurant, with a watchful eye. When he’s not working, he often calls asking the restaurant’s kitchen to prepare something like what he had experienced in his travels, or something he thought of in his dream. He thinks about food constantly, always looking for a new way to please his loyal customers. Regulars like Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani, Jack Nicholson, and Anna Wintour come back because they are treated like family. Fellow Chef and friend Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his restaurant partner Phil Suarez also frequently dine at the restaurant.