2013 September 6
Thom Browne: Short Ribs & Short Pants
Giorgio Niro View Gallery
(NEW YORK) Sharp-tailored suitsmith Thom Browne is a culinary creature of habit. Bon Appétit EIC Adam Rapoport is an unrepentant clothes horse who will eat anywhere—and has. On a recent afternoon at Browne's TriBeCa boutique, they discussed the classics (La Grenouille), new frontiers (Long Island City, anyone?), and Thom's ridiculous champagne collection. It was delicious.
ADAM: We're going to start with your morning routine. You are a runner, yes?
THOM: Run, coffee and toast, work.
How long do you go out for?
A little over an hour. About eight miles.
Wow! Every day? How long have you been doing it?
Well, I started running in college, so…
What about running shoes—loyal to any brands?
Nike or New Balance.
I can’t imagine you as the guy who just walks into Foot Locker and grabs the orange and purple Nike shoes…
No. I am the one who walks in and complains about the colors [laughs]. What ever happened to red, white, and blue or just white with a little navy?
So at eight miles a day, how long will one pair last you?
About four weeks.
Four weeks? Wow! When you get home, do you go out for coffee and toast or make coffee and toast?
I always go out. I go out to Nougatine every morning.
That’s in Columbus Circle! You don’t live up by there. Do you go to Nougatine and come back downtown? Explain that. The average person will just go around the corner.
When I lived uptown, I went there every day and it is a perfect restaurant for the morning. The light and the coffee are really good. I just love starting the day there.
Double espresso with milk.
Whole milk or skim?
Nice! We at Bon Appétit are happy to hear that! Sugar?
So, are you usually down [in TriBeCa] during the work day?
No. I am in Chelsea [at headquarters]. Or it’s either Midtown for women’s or Long Island City for men’s.
So if you are in Chelsea, what are your lunch options?
Cookshop for soup and a salad.
And in Midtown?
I never eat in Midtown.
You just don’t eat that day?
I don’t. There isn’t a place that I get food from. Ummm, there must be, there must be. Um…no, there actually isn’t.
Are you ever in Long Island City in the middle of the day?
Yeah, and there is actually a good place called Sage.
We’ll have to remember that! You spend time in Milan and Paris, where they always have wine with lunch. Do you have a glass? And do you ever do that when you’re back in New York?
I don’t do it so much here. On a weekend I will do it. There? No, because we are usually in the office. So I am not lunching, but dinner a lot!
What about champagne? What’s your pour of choice?
Krug is my favorite—cold!
If I were to open up your refrigerator right now, how many bottles of champagne would I find in there?
Well, it is stocked up, so…[laughs]
What does that mean?
Around two cases.
Two cases in the fridge right now? Of Krug or a mix?
I mix. There’s Krug, a couple bottles of Dom Pérignon, couple bottles of Cristal and then mostly Bollinger and Taittinger. But I also buy half bottles. Oh, I actually have some bottles of rosé champagne in the fridge too: Ronar.
What sort of glasses do you have at home?
Mostly coupes. All vintage.
How many would you reckon you have?
Probably about 30 sets.
Thirty sets? That would be about 60, right? How many come in a set?
No, there are about four to six in a set.
You have over a hundred coupes! Where do you store them all?
In my kitchen or on champagne carts.
I love how you are like, “Of course everyone’s got a hundred champagne glasses in their apartment!” So, let’s talk wardrobe: Say I bumped into you on a Saturday or Sunday. What would you be wearing?
Do you ever not wear a tie?
When I am running.
Right! So back to food. We both like La Grenouille. When was the first time you went?
Probably the early Nineties.
Has it changed at all?
No. That is what’s so great about it. It’s timeless, so beautiful, and the food is exactly what it wants to be.
What do you typically order when you go?
I always forget the name of it. It’s this poached chicken à la something.
Where do you like to eat in Paris?
I am there for work most of the time so I’m [eating] in my room.
What is your go-to room service order?
It is usually just vegetables and rice.
Champagne and a cheese plate. But in Milan, the room service at the Grand Hotel et de Milan really has the best spaghetti.
Do you drink champagne in Italy?
I drink champagne. I do drink wine, too.
What about cocktails?
I don’t drink liquor. Just never did. I think it probably had to do with some shots of something at the swim team parties [in college].
Do you still swim, seeing as you were a onetime competitive swimmer?
I haven’t swum since college.
Really? So you don’t even do laps or something when you go to the pool?
Oh, I’ll go into the pool!
What kind of swimsuit are you wearing?
Just, like, shorts…
Any brand you want to mention?
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