Strip, the newest addition to Nick Varano's restaurant group (Strega Waterfront, Strega Prime, etc.), is coming this spring, whether you like it or not, and it'll be full of "alure [sic]" and wavy ceiling panels. The March issue of Boston Magazine features an in-depth profile of Varano by Rachel Slade — worth a read in full, but here's a quick peek at some of the best lines from the piece:
- "When he offers that first meaty handshake, his sleeve rides up to reveal solid gold links sitting snug on his wrist. (He got it from his Jewish custom jeweler in Vegas. 'Here’s his card, if you want a $12,000 watch, or he’ll make you something nice.')"
- "The standards of the owners...are on full display at Strega Waterfront, where the barmaids and hostesses wear high heels and reveal ebullient cleavage. A few weeks before my first meeting with Varano, I visited the bar mid-afternoon and expended immense energy trying to get a watery Manhattan from one of these women."
- "Nicky Varano comes precisely drawn—high-def and 3-D—like the protagonist a second-year film student would conjure up in a Red Bull– and Ritalin-induced fury over several days following his first screening of Casino. He loves his wife, and his son and daughter...Sure, he likes his strippers and his blackjack, too."
- "He looks squarely at me with not unpleasant almond-shaped eyes, framed by neatly trimmed brows. He has a deep chin dimple that anchors his Mediterranean intensity in a way his thinning hair no longer can."
- "But he will tell me what happens when his luck runs out. 'When I lose, I roll myself up like a cannoli in the hotel room and then watch nine movies in a row, put the air conditioner up to freezing, and I get under the blanket like a fucking turnip and I watch, you know, sad movies by myself. I’m watching Beaches with Bette Midler.'"
- "'I’d have my own sneaker line: Envy. Capital E, capital N, capital V, small y. My own sneaker line with a symbol of me, but it wouldn’t be like the Jordan thing, it’d be more like a chunky restaurateur guy with a fork and a knife, with a basketball on the fork.'"
As for Strip, Varano doesn't reveal many new details about the upcoming restaurant, describing it simply as a "modern Italian steakhouse." When Slade pressed him for what exactly makes it modern, he joked that "the cows are much younger, and they all wear Brioni and drink latte instead of milk. So when you squeeze their thing, Lavazza comes out...These are Nutella-fed cows."