Once prolific restaurateur Pino Luongo shuttered his Upper East Side restaurant Centrolire last Friday. Today, friend and cookbook collaborator Andrew Friedman files an account of a lunch he had with Luongo last week, where the restaurateur looked back on his career. When asked if he would open again in NYC, Luongo replied: "No...Between the cost of doing business and the present real estate environment, I don’t think New York can give me much more." But he also added that he could change his mind "if the perfect thing came up."
Luongo, who has engaged in several high-profile spats with chefs and restaurateurs over the years, also said: "There are no good, old-fashioned, restaurant-industry feuds anymore. When you and another guy go after each other in Page Six every day for a week.” When asked about the disparaging remarks he made about Andrew Carmellini, Pino admitted, "I regret it, and I should apologize."