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What a well written piece. I have a dear friend that has owned several different restaurants at one time. What became so noticable was when he left one and was not cooking or out front hob nobbing biz fell offf. He was the life of the party and without him on a regular basis the restaurants did not thrive. I cooked with him yesterday in the basement with NO stove for 60 people....230 were going through the top dining room with staff in the upstairs kitchen....He remained calm and worked out a solution that worked after the first seating we dealt with the verbal waitron that did not grasp that I'm visual and if he started altering the lineup while I was plating he was going to throw me off....anyway I saw why this man had a following both in the kitchen and the front of the house...he treated people with respect and had a calm sense of humor around him......
I also remembered again why I don't want a restaurant stairs are a bear!!! and I'm not 20 years old anymore....Catering is much more my speed....give me 300 people with the same menu and I'm a happy camper.
 

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A fine tribute to a great restaurateur. I dined but once at Lutece (on a friend's expense account). I don't really remember what I ate, but I'll never forget just how welcome M. Soltner made everyone feel.
 
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