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Nino's Restaurant question

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Have any of you been to Nino's Restaurant, 431 Canal St. before Sept. 11? I'm on the west coast and heard a recent inspiring news story about the owner, Nino Vendome. I'm late on hearing about him, but I was totally inspired when I heard about what he's doing for the rescue workers, and having spent about 250k of his own money now to feed them round the clock. A chowhound search didn't find any previous thread on this place, but a google search turned up an interesting article from Oct. 2. If you would like to see the artcile, you can click on the link. He sounds like one of many angels helping out in your area.

Link: http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/10...

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    Suzanne Fass

    I admire the owner for what he has done, and for his ability to make PR hay out of it. Not as egregiously self-promoting as Bouley, perhaps, but those reporters could probably have found a lot of other places that have also turned themselves into commisaries for the WTC workers.

    The culinary school I attended is located in the same building. I wish I could say we looked upon Nino's as a paragon to which we might aspire, but I was taught not to lie. It just seemed like a zillion other generic Italian-American restaurants, nothing special. I hope this doesn't tarnish your idea of his valiant effort -- which might just be the equivalent of turning a lemon into lemonade.

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    1. re: Suzanne Fass

      Thank you for your response, and the view of a New Yorker. I haven't heard of Bouley's, nor had I heard of Nino's until a week ago. I am sure there are many other stories like his, and I for one would prefer to hear about all of them, rather than 24/7 anthrax,negative news, etc. The PR stuff doesn't bother me, and since organizations like Red Cross, etc. are ineligible to help places like Nino's (even though the Red Cross workers eat there for free), maybe he & others can get some other help for their causes. His food may be mediocre, but his heart is in the right place anyway...and the many others that we don't get to hear about, my best wishes to them, too.

      1. re: Leslie T.

        I want to point out that from what I've heard, the restaurants in Chinatown were the first ones to bring food to Ground Zero. Where is their story being told?
        And what is being done to help businesses like theirs. As much as I commend Nino's and the other restaurants outside of low-income areas who have volunteered their time, energy and money to help in 9/11 efforts, I wonder why when it comes to coverage of the victims and those who have rescued them, are overwhelming White?