David Ruggerio, an Upper West Side restaurateur responsible for a group of restaurants that are little known citywide but have a following in the area, just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for two of his restaurants Bomboloni and Jalapeno. His restaurant Sushi a Go-Go (pictured right) closed last month due to non-payment of taxes.
What's more interesting about the Crain's story of the bankruptcy is not really Ruggerio's current financial straits, but his deep restaurant world background. The man made a name for himself as the executive chef at La Caravelle in the 1980's (he was promoted after Michael Romano went to open Union Square Cafe), and he fell from grace in 1999 when he was caught stealing more than $140,000 by inflating customers' credit card receipts at Le Chantilly. He avoided prison time by doing community service, but the Food Network cooking show he had at the time, was canceled after his arrest.
His other restaurant, Lansky's Old World Deli, may come out unscathed, and signage in the window of Sushi A-Go-Go promises bigger and better things to come.
· Prominent chef declares bankruptcy [Crain's]