By now we know that there’s no better spaghetti in New York City than at Scarpetta, nor are there many dining room settings as chic. But we don’t know much about the man behind the magic. Here’s what it’s like behind the scenes for dapper restaurateur John Meadow.
First thought that runs through your head when you wake up?
How do you take your espresso?
We import an amazing wood-roasted espresso from Tuscany, Aneri caffe. They make Nespresso-compatible pods, which I use at home. I take it without sugar.
Are you an early riser or an alarm snoozer?
What do you do every morning without fail?
Say thank you to God and the universe, take my dog, Benny, for a walk in Central Park, and make my daughter’s breakfast.
Do you have a skincare routine?
I use everyday essential oil for my face and skin, and 111 Skin eye patches for under my eyes.
What do you wear day-to-day?
I love my tailors: Ambrosi for pants, Vestrucci for jackets, and Stefano Bemer for shoes. My uniform is classic trousers and jacket, but paired with funky and/or sentimental accessories. My style is important to me as it reflects the heritage and dedication of the artisans who create the pieces.
Are you an exercise person?
I play tennis, I like to run, and I love the steam room—I call it leisurely exercise.
What’s your favorite thing about the mornings?
I love the peacefulness of being the first one up in my home, making my espresso, and seeing the quiet and awe of the new day filled with opportunity ahead.
Do you take a break for lunch?
I go to Scarpetta for lunch. It’s a great excuse to get out of the office and still “work” but enjoy our craft. My typical afternoon is spent on restaurant development, working with designers on future projects, or on our existing operations, plus menu tastings and marketing initiatives.
Your days must be long. What hours are you usually on the go?
I bring the kids to school at 8:15 a.m. and come home around midnight. Monday through Thursday, I am out and about; Friday, I shut down early and relax with my family.
Are your days predictable, or is every day different?
When I travel, it’s actually routine as I spend the entire time in the restaurant or hotel where our operation is, but the settings, culture, and countries differ. In New York, every day is different as I engage in different aspects of the development process, with our staff and our guests.
What’s a usual dinner/evening for you?
During the week, I dine with hotel clients or friends in one of our restaurants, and try to have as little wine as I can get away with. Friday through Sunday, I cook at home and enjoy family time.
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
It used to be creating new restaurants; now, it’s all about human connection—motivating my team to grow, meeting new guests, and overall really engaging with the human joy and passion that brought me into this industry in the first place.
What’s new and notable at Scarpetta this year?
We’re excited to announce a few international openings happening in 2022! In the near future, we are popping up in Tulum for a weekend experience at the Distrito Panamera, February 11–13.
How do you like to end your day?
I always have way too much energy when I get home, so I want something fresh as a palate cleanser. Every night, I eat either raw fennel with olive oil or ice-cold blackberries, sit quietly at my table, relax, and then head to bed to start all over again energetically in the morning!