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Super Linda Maitre d' Chris Session on the Tribeca Scene

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This is The Gatekeepers, in which Eater roams the city meeting the fine ladies and gentlemen that stand between you and some of New York's hottest tables.
[Krieger, 07/12/12]

Super Linda is the six-month-old Latin hot spot from Matt Abramcyk, Richard Ampudia and Serge Becker. The space has a first floor dining room, two bars, and a subterranean lounge. Although the restaurant can hold a lot of people, you'll probably have to wait for a table, even if you show up early in the evening. Eater recently chatted with maitre d' Chris Session about the scene at Super Linda right now.

How long have you been working at Super Linda? Chris Session, maitre d': I have been here since the opening. I was looking for something new and interesting in Tribeca, because I know, of course, that it's a very happening place right now.

It's 8 p.m. on Saturday night. What's the wait for two? Anywhere from an hour to two hours.

This must be a popular place. Yeah, it's pretty good. It's hopefully going to be popular for a very long time.

Is there anything I can do to make my wait shorter? Cash, or bribes? Well, I mean, I think the best thing to do is to be nice to us at the front door. That's all we care about.

Do you get a lot of celebrities? We get our share of "interesting folk," as I like to call them.

Like who? Well, I think the most important thing is to make sure that anyone that has some know, I want them to come in here without the paparazzi waiting outside.

Tell me about your favorite customers. We typically have two or three turns a night, and the first customers are the neighbors. They're super. They want to make sure that we do it right, and we're always making sure that we're doing it right for them. And then after that, we have the big diners at 8:30 p.m. These are people that have been in before, people that used to go to Pastis or other places that I've worked. A lot of people that come here typically used to hangout in the Meatpacking District, and they moved here with their families. Now, they come see me here.

What's the strangest request that you've accommodated? Being in the business a long time, I think that pretty much every request is valid. It's just a question of whether we can accommodate it or not. Sometimes, guests see the round table and they want to put 10 people on it after I've explained to them, "Unfortunately, that's a table for six or seven, at the most." That's pretty much the strangest request.

You haven't been reviewed by any of the big critics yet. Are you waiting for that to happen? Of course, we're very excited. Actually, we're waiting with bated breath.

Have you spotted any of the critics? Yeah, we've spotted a few.

What's your favorite thing about working at Super Linda? The people. I absolutely love it. It feels like a family. We've made sure that everyone that works here is good with people, even if they don't have a lot of experience. If they've got that thing that works for Tribeca and works with us, then, you truly is about the people, not just the staff, but also the clientele. One of the things that I do in the pre-shift meetings is make sure that the staff — the waiters, the servers, the busboys, everyone — takes the time to get to know the customers.

Do you get any customers from the Financial District and the World Financial Center? Yeah, we're lucky to have a very diverse clientele. We do have a lot of the business folk coming in right after work, we get the occasional celebrity, and we get families coming in with strollers. We're vey lucky to be in a good hub.

What's the best thing to eat here? That's a tough question. My two favorite things for the summer are the ceviche verde — it's very popular, people love it — and the ribs.

What's the best thing to drink? The ginger-celery margarita is fantastic. It's refreshing and it also tastes a little bit healthy. And the pineapple margarita — people love that.

Where do you eat when you're not at Super Linda? Blue Ribbon, because the people over there are fantastic, and also Uncle Nick's in Hell's Kitchen. And I just had brunch up at Red Rooster up in Harlem — it's fantastic.
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Super Linda

109 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Super Linda

109 W Broadway, New York, NY