Graydon Carter, the Vanity Fair editor-in-chief who moonlights as a restaurateur, has a Midas touch when it comes to reviving classic New York spots. He brought the Waverly Inn back to life in 2006, and Monkey Bar shortly thereafter. His latest transformation, with partners Emil Varda and Brett Rasinski: the West Village’s Beatrice Inn (285 W. 12th St.; $$$$), a 1950’s-era Italian restaurant turned nightclub turned chophouse. Here, Carter dishes on what it takes to succeed, the perfect sound track for eating steak, and more.
What to expect at the Beatrice Inn: This is downtown, so we don’t serve traditional huge steaks. Brian Nasworthy, a former Per Se sous-chef, runs the kitchen. There are a lot of salads—my wife demanded that.
Favorite New York chophouse: Keens Steakhouse (72 W. 36th St.; $$$). It was the hot place in the late 1800's, and it is still packed. The food is wonderful, and the drinks are hearty. I have the roast beef twice a year.
Secret to a restaurant’s rebirth: You do one thing, even just one thing, very well, and you can be very successful. For example, the hotel bar at Dukes (35 St. James’s Place) in London, was very quiet for a long while, and then they started serving the best martini anywhere. Now you can barely get in.
Favorite meals abroad: Riva (169 Church Rd.; 44-20/8748-0434; $$$), in southwest London, serves the best Italian food I’ve tasted outside of Italy. We also like a little French restaurant in London on the corner of Pimlico Road called La Poule au Pot (231 Ebury St.; $$$). In Paris, I love Chez Francis (7 Place de l’Alma, Eighth Arr.; $$$$). Great oysters and steak tartare.
Ideal porterhouse-song pairing: Anything by Cole Porter.
Future projects? Oh, no. Three is plenty.