Welcome back to another Industry Night with Nycci Nellis. Still taking you on my travels through Italy! The sites, the sounds, the conversations, the wine and the food — so I’m gonna take you on a quick tour of Como:

-Stayed just outside Bellagio in the town of Lezzeno in the new hotel, Filario

-Spent the morning walking the streets of Cernobbio, shmying around the gorgeous grounds of The Villa D’Esta. Followed by a 3 hour lunch on the terrace restaurant. It was like being in a movie!

-Gluttons that we are we went to the Michelin-starred Mistral that evening in the Grand Villa Serbelloni — so many table side preps, including a house made ice cream. The staff was so lovely and had such a generous spirit. We just had a wonderful time

-A Private boat trip through the lake to get a lakeside view of all the beautiful Villas

-Loved walking around Tremezzo and another lakeside lunch this time at The Grande

-Walking around Bellagio AND another delish dinner at Forma & Gusto

So here’s the thing about Como — it is gorgeous and the views are unlike anything we have ever seen. David and I both agree that we ate well — though you are not going to Como for the food and again, the sites were stunning. But we are definitely ocean people and not Lake people. Sardinia is more our speed

Now that is the past — let’s talk the now. I have been out and about as much as I can and I did check out the new menu at Chang Chang — amazing ah-mazing offerings. Peter Chang and his team are turning out some of the best Sichuan in town. Protip get the tofu skin — ohmygoodness so good

AND I did dine at the very hot and good luck getting a rez El Presidente. Stephen Starr’s latest is visually spectacular. DC has nothing like it. And the service is classic Starr! Amazingly kind, thoughtful and prompt. There are still some kinks to work out as far as the food goes but I am optimistic.

Ok! On to today’s show. So back in the Summer I had Philippe Massoud Chef/Owner of ilili restaurants - that’s ilili NYC & ilili DC- on Foodie And The Beast. It was the first time we met and his story was so engaging that I thought — I have got to go deeper with this restauranteur on Industry Night. So if you don’t know, Philippe Massoud is the Chef/Owner of ilili restaurants, founded in 2007 in New York. Chef Philippe came to New York as a refugee from Lebanon in his teens and founded ilili as an homage to his country, with the menu featuring dishes recreated from his childhood memories. His immigration story and his culinary trajectory and how he brought the dishes of his childhood to the East Coast is one worth diving down deep for — Chef!


Listen to the full episode here.

Watch the full episode here. 


Today's Guest

Philippe Massoud

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