And that was in large part the work of executive host Brent Michael Kaufman, who has been a fixture at the front door since the eatery opened 17 years ago.
"I'm ready for a new chapter," said Kaufman
, 56, whose last shift was Saturday night.
Many athletes and teams carried Kaufman's
contact information (over the years, he's
dealt more business cards than a Las Vegas casino) and let him know when they were coming to town.
- a.k.a. the Table Doctor
, for the Internet advice column he
wrote on restaurant etiquette - and his
wife, Michele, plan to stay in Boston through July before possibly moving to Florida or New York to explore opportunities.
Brent Kaufman, the executive host, set the crew up near the restaurant's only TV so they could watch the NCAA Final Four semifinal game between Syracuse and Texas.
had a veal chop meal prepared and gave it to the coach to take back to the hotel Saturday night for Wizards star Michael Jordan, the NBA legend who made his final career appearance in Boston a memorable one yesterday with 25 points in a 99-98 overtime victory.
Hoop Du Jour - Brent Kaufman, the executive host of Ciao Bella, went into overtime Friday night thanks to March Madness.
took care of their needs, and everybody left happy at about 2:30 a.m.
The Charming Accommodator - If you've ever even stuck you head inside Ciao Bella restaurant
on Newbury Street, you know Brent Michael Kaufman
Or perhaps more accurately, he
, who has 38 years of experience in the font of the house (that is, taking care or customers at restaurants), took his
expertise to MIT Friday for the university's 10th annual Charm School program and taught a three-hour class on restaurant etiquette called "Dining Dilemmas.
Much of the material in the class is from Kaufman's upcoming book, "The Table Doctor
5 November 2002Boston Metro
Ciao Bella makes ravioli trip - Al Dente, the friendly lobster ravioli from Ciao Bella, American Airlines' Jim Carter and Ciao Bella's Brent Kaufman recently embarked on a trip to New York City aboard American Airlines' American Eagle, a new service connecting Boston to New York City.
Ciao Bella's executive host Brent Kaufman persuaded a friend to dress up as a big seafood ravioli the other day and get on board an American Airlines flight to New York City.
The big ravioli was spreading the word about the promotion run by the airline and the Newbury Street eatery in which diners ordering a seafood ravioli entree are automatically entered into weekly drawings for a trip for two to NYC.
Kaufman, Jim Carter of American, and ''Al Dente'' (that would be the big ravioli) traveled to the Big Apple to meet with Jonathan Puliatte, the grandson of Bruno Cavalli, considered the King of Ravioli for introducing the food to the States in 1905. (As we said, we just report this stuff, folks.) We asked how the claw-wearing lobster ravioli guy got on a plane.
Brent Michael Kaufman , Ciao Bella's executive host, will do the honors of drawing those lucky winners.
The drawing ends Nov. 1...
Pictured from the Lakers with The Table Doctor
, Brent Kaufman
(photo not shown) were Mitch Richmond, Brian Shaw , former Celtic Rick Fox, Devean George, Derek Fisher , Jelani McCoy and Robert Horry.
The place was packed, according to host Brent Kaufman
"All the girls went crazy," said Kaufman
, who noted that the movie star had the swordfish chop, a specialty of which the restaurant makes only 16 a night.
"Scruptious, delicious," Starr told Ciao Bella executive host Brent Kaufman.
NBA Summer League: By Jim Sullivan -- The NBA summer league games played around town ended yesterday, and Ciao bella host Brent Kaufman happily reports the restaurant turned into NBA central last week.
One night I had 12 tables" of NBA people, said Kaufman
Brent Michael Kaufman , Ciao bella's executive host, notes that the Los Angeles Lakers have won 19 straight games since six of their players last dropped by for a meal.
Perhaps this bodes well for nascent political bids.
April 9, 2001 The Boston Globe
Dunk Food: (Photo omitted) -- Eddie Boragh, owner of Sir Speedy, and Ciao Bella maitre d' (a.k.a. "Table Doctor") Brent Kaufman with Los Angeles Lakers Devean George, Brian Shaw, Tyronn Lue, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher , and Robert Horry at Ciao Bella.
A Doctor in the House - Ciao bella has been in business at the same Newbury Street location since July of 1986, and Brent Kaufman, Ciao bella's current host, was on hand the day the popular restaurant opened.
A boy born in Brooklyn, Kaufman
was a local football star who carried his
pads to the University of Rhode Island
, earning three football letters and later, a tryout with the New York Giants.
greets football players and other major players that drop into Ciao bella
A hospitality veteran, Kaufman had worked as an assistant cruise director and owned nightclubs in St. Maarten before arriving at Ciao bella.
Officially "the executive host," Kaufman
role as more of a "table
doctor" -- a name he's
both trademarked and turned into a Web site.
"My job," he
says with that everpresent smile, "is to anticipate problems before they arise.
But if they do, like any doctor, I'm ready, willing and able to cure whatever it is that is ailing our guests.
In a restaurant where President Clinton, Shaquille O'Neal , Pat Riley, Sting, Tony Bennett and Tom Cruise have all dined, the outsider may think that Kaufman puts the needs of celebrities first.
"I swear," says Kaufman
"Nice Buzz," said executive host Brent Kaufman , who says the New York Yankees discovered the Newbury Street eatery a few years back "and word just spread in the league."
Putting some fiber in fiber optics: The ever-enterprising Brent Michael Kaufman
is at it again.
The longtime executive host at Ciao bella
on Newbury Street has cooked up another idea to get the restaurant aboard the technology bandwagon.
Earlier this year, Kaufman
Web site-- tabledoctor.com--addressing issues on restaurant protocol and etiquette.
horizons by tuning in to Williams Communications
, an international fiber-optic network, and creating a house specialty of grilled shrimp and scallops, smothered in a spicy puttanesca sauce over pappardelle, noodles measuring 18 inches long by 1.5 inches wide.
"We're calling it Williams Broadband Puttanesca Pasta," says Kaufman, voted 1998's best host by Boston Magazine.
The long and tall of it: The NBA brass was in town this weekend - with the rookies playing (and being evaluated at UMass) in a summer league - and Ciao Bella was bursting with hoopsters, reports executive host Brent Kaufman . Supping were: ex-Pistons superstar and now Pacers coach Isaiah Thomas, Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, Seattle's Duane Casey and Nate McMillan , Philly's Billy King and Randy Ayers, ESPN commentator Jeremy Schaap, and the New York Post's Peter Vescey.
"We were full inside and outside, says Kaufman
Indeed, as Brent Michael Kaufman
(voted Boston's Best Host, 1998 - Boston Magazine) met us at the door with his
famous, "everyone's a VIP" smile, we began to get a good idea why Ciao Bella
is almost as hot as the famous clientele it attracts.
Service First: Surly servers, condescending hosts, and annoying cell-phone-using diners are some of the topics Brent Michael Kaufman, the longtime executive host at Ciao bella Restaurant on Newbury Street, addresses on his new Web site, thetabledoctor.com.
New classes this year include "road respect," a class designed to help prevent road rage, "courteous cycling," a class for bicyclers on how to share the road/sidewalk, a class called "Dealing with the people you really need in life," (a class on tipping and politeness taught by Brent Michael Kaufman, Executive Host at Ciao Bella Restaurant) and "don't be caught clueless," a class, taught by MIT students Catherine B Chen '02 and Ian M. McCreery '01 on laundry and other essential college-life etiquette.
And, thanks to the efforts of Brent Kaufman, "Table Doctor" at Ciao Bella, this spot has seen its share of stars and sports figures.
This fall, to "The Table Doctor," an online column by Brent Michael Kaufman, host at Ciao bella, the Newbury Street eatery where celebs including Nomar Garciaparra and Billy Crystal flock to dinner.
With haute cuisine more popular than ever, Kaufman
says, service is sometimes still under par.
That's where he
comes in, with advice on salvaging a reservation when you're late and how much to tip.
"Servers are people too," says Kaufman
, whose column will appear on the Boston Herald web site.
1999 Boston Magazine
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