Why did you choose the name Limelight?
I had two ideas in my head. The first idea in my head...first of all, I believe in seamless service. I believe when you go into a restaurant or a bar or whatever establishment you go into, everyone should be on top of you. You should be the #1 inside this restaurant. If there are 200 people inside the restaurant, there should be 200 #1s in there. So the expression came, "Oh you got to be in the center of attention. Oh you got to be in the limelight." And then I said, you know what I always wanted to open a restaurant called Limelight because when I was back East there was this church--I think it was a Presbyterian church--but back in the '80s it closed down and became a nightclub. It was called Limelight, in Manhattan. So from these two ideas I thought, "You know what, maybe we should choose that name, Limelight." I had a couple of other names in the works but that's the one that stood out the most. I just love the name: the Limelight.
What drives you to keep developing and growing as a chef?
I love people first of all. I love people and I love food. There's nothing more rewarding for me than going out there and having 10 or 20 or 30 or even 50 guests loving what you do and what you give them. And especially for me, because I come here early in the morning and by 5...6...7 o'clock I get to come out and socialize with my guests a little bit. I love the feeling. That's what keeps me going.
How often do you interact with your customers?
Everyday I come out no matter what I come out and talk to them.
I heard you have a blog, what is it about?
I talk about a lot of things. For my blog...It's a new blog I just started it a little while ago. But [I talk about] anything. My first thing I talked about organic and un-organic foods. Or maybe my own experiences. But I talk to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people through Facebook. I have my own Facebook page and I talk to people, they ask me questions about food they send me messages about food, "Oh how do you do this? How do you do that?" And you know what I have no problem with sharing things with them, sharing experiences with them. It's a great feeling.
Chef Lefty also shared a nickname some have given him...but he says he's 'too much of a Greek guy to be called a _______." We aren't spilling the beans but maybe you can figure it out...
"I just love people. I love people. Everywhere I go they call me "_________"--don't print this. I'm too much of a Greek guy to be called a _________. But I just love it. I come out here sometimes and I talk to them. I have people that walk in and they start talking to me and I go sit outside with them and if it's late at night and I'm done, I'll sit smoke a cigar and have a glass of wine and we'll sit and talk for an hour or two hours.
Check back tomorrow for Chef Lefty's recipe for Seafood Martini.