Scusi Trattoria’s Southern Italian dining experience features a menu of elevated traditional dishes, pasta, pizza and small plates, set in a space reminiscent of an Italian coastal town.
A native of France, Chef Laurent Tourondel parlayed his love of food at an early age into a four-year program at Saint Vincent Ecole de Cuisine in Montluçon, France, where he earned a certificat d’aptitude professionnelle. Tourondel’s classic French training is still evident in his current style. After graduating, he received his ﬁrst post in the kitchen as chef to an admiral in the French Navy. Following his position as an admiral’s chef, he worked at several restaurants in France, then traveled to London where he cooked at the famed Gentleman’s Club, Boodle’s.
In the years that followed, Tourondel worked under such notable chefs as Bruno Tison at Restaurant Beau Geste in Manhattan and Jacques Maximin at Restaurant Ledoyen in France, and at Restaurant Mercury at the Hotel InterContinental in Moscow. He then worked at the three-star Michelin Relais & Chateau Troisgros before taking a post as executive chef of Potel & Chabot, a French catering firm in New York. At Potel & Chabot, Tourondel prepared food for various high-profile clients, as well as The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Morgan Library & Museum, just to name a few.
Tourondel became executive chef of C.T., Claude Troisgros’ debut restaurant in New York, where he received three stars from Ruth Reichl of The New York Times. Next came a stint as executive chef at Palace Court Restaurant at the world-famous Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, followed by his return to New York City to open Cello. After Cello, Tourondel took the opportunity to travel through South America, Asia, and Africa to further develop his own cooking voice, and then returned to the states to start what would become a culinary empire.
Tourondel went on to open BLT Steak, a steakhouse concept with locations in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Hawaii, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Scottsdale, Ariz., Los Angeles, Dallas, White Plains, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. He also opened BLT Fish New York that received three-star reviews from Frank Bruni in The New York Times and one Michelin star, BLT Prime New York, and BLT Burger New York, Las Vegas, and Hong Kong, BLT Market New York, LT Burger in Sag Harbor and Bryant Park, BLT American Brasserie in Chicago, LT Signature and Arlington Club, Brklyn Beer Garden in JFK Airport, LT Signature in Panama City, Fla., LT Bar & Grill, and the Seven Private Members club in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Currently, he is the chef/partner at Brasserie Ruhlmann in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. In October 2007, Bon Appétit magazine named Tourondel Restaurateur of the Year. This award guaranteed his place among the top chefs in the culinary world.
In 2015, Tourondel opened two restaurants, L’Amico and The Vine, located in Manhattan’s Chelsea area and adjacent to Kimpton Hotel Eventi. L’Amico features an Italian menu, while The Vine features a wine bar/cocktail lounge menu. Also, located directly above the restaurants, is SECOND, one of New York City’s premier event spaces. Operated by Tourondel and spanning a full city block, SECOND offers multiple options that include beautiful individual rooms with an all-weather terrace, as well as complete buyouts of the 9,000-square-foot venue that can accommodate 1,000 guests.
In the summer of 2016, Tourondel opened Miami LT Steak & Seafood on Ocean Drive, and The Alley, an Italian restaurant on Collins Avenue at the Betsy Hotel.
In 2018, Tourondel made his return to the London dining scene with his first restaurant in Europe, Laurent Grill & Sushi at Café Royal, in the heart of the West End at the modern grand Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street. Sag Pizza, Tourondel’s latest concept, opened in August 2018 bringing his signature pies to Long Island’s East End in Sag Harbor.