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Drew Nieporent is a New York City restaurateur. His company Myriad Restaurant Group owns and operates numerous restaurants, many of which are known for their celebrity clientele, and in some cases celebrity co-owners. Many are known for their difficulty in obtaining reservations. In an interview with Cigar Aficionado, Nieporent recalled turning down Henry Kissinger.
Early life and education
As a teenager in 1972, he by chance met Muhammad Ali on the streets of Manhattan. Nieporent puportedly pulled out a xeroxed copy of his birth certificate and asked Ali for an autograph, claiming he was "Howard Cosell's son!" Nieporent stated in a February 2007 NY Times article that Ali's autograph was his "prized possession."
He graduated in 1973 from Stuyvesant High School and in 1977 from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York with a degree from the School of Hotel Management. At Cornell, he was also a member of the Quill and Dagger society. While at Cornell, he worked on the world class cruise ships Vistafjord and Sagafjord.
He is one of America's most respected and celebrated restaurateurs, having founded the Myriad Restaurant Group, which operates Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York City, Nobu Fifty Seven, Nobu London, Nobu Next Door, Corton and Crush Wine & Spirits. Over the last 26 years, Myriad has opened and operated over 35 restaurants around the world, including Seattle, Louisville, Providence, Boca Raton, London, Moscow, Citi Field, home of the New York Mets in Flushing, New York. Most recently, Myriad helped to open The Daily Burger at Madison Square Garden.
In 1978, he began his management career with Warner Le Roy at New York City's Maxwell's Plum and Tavern on the Green. He then worked at the prestigious French restaurants Le Périgord, La Grenouille and Plaza Athenee's Le Regence.
Nieporent's first restaurant, the groundbreaking Montrachet (1985), earned three stars from The New York Times and kept that rating for 21 years. In 2008, the restaurant reopened as Corton, maintaining its three New York Times stars and receiving an unprecedented two Michelin stars with chef-partner Paul Liebrandt at the helm. Both Nieporent and Liebrandt are featured in a current HBO documentary A Matter of Taste.
Tribeca Grill (1990), with partner Robert De Niro and an all-star roster of investors including Bill Murray, Sean Penn, and Mikhail Baryshnikov, opened to national acclaim and continues to be one of New York's landmark restaurants.
In 1994, again with partner Robert De Niro and sushi master Nobu Matsuhisa, Drew launched Nobu New York City to worldwide acclaim. Nobu NYC, Next Door Nobu, and Nobu Fifty Seven have all earned the coveted three-star rating from The New York Times. Nobu NYC was voted Best Restaurant in America by The James Beard Foundation. Nobu has gone on to open restaurants in all parts of the world.
Also in 1994, Nieporent was one of the few American restaurateurs to go bi-coastal. In collaboration with Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, and Francis Ford Coppola, he opened Rubicon in San Francisco.
Myriad's excellence in wine service is widely acknowledged. It is the only restaurant group to earn three coveted Grand Awards from Wine Spectator Magazine - for Rubicon, Montrachet, and Tribeca Grill. In 2005, Myriad opened Crush Wine & Spirits, which was named the best new wine shop by Food & Wine Magazine.
Drew donates his time to dozens of charities. He is on the board of Madison Square Garden's Garden of Dreams Foundation, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Downtown Magazine NYC, and DIFFA, an Honorary Chair of the City Harvest Food Council and Culinary Director of the Jackson Hole Wine Auction. He has co-chaired SOS's Taste of the Nation event in New York City since 1997. He has been honored by Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (2009), American Heart Association (1999), the Tourette Syndrome Association (2000), Food Allergy Initiative (2001), American Liver Foundation (2003), Cancer Research & Treatment Fund (2005), and Kristen Ann Carr Fund (2006). Drew is in great demand as a spirited, highly effective auctioneer at charity events.
Nieporent is featured in the 2004 documentary "Eat this New York" and the 2011 documentary A Matter of Taste.
Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Nobu London, Nobu Next Door, Nobu 57, and Bâtard
Crush Wine & Spirits with Josh Guberman and Robert Schagrin