As we settle in to the new Todd Snyder flagship store on Madison Square Park, we thought we should introduce ourselves to some of our neighbors. We’ve all heard of Mad Men. Well, meet Madison Men: a collection of gentlemen who work in and around Madison Square Park in New York – and who are therefore our new neighbors. To get relations off on the right foot, we invited each of these guys to pick an outfit from the new Todd Snyder flagship store. Then we chatted to them wearing said outfit in their natural environment.
Restaurateur Will Guidara, 37 and Michelin-starred chef Daniel Humm, 40, co-owners of Make It Nice hospitality group, which runs Eleven Madison Park, NoMad and NoMad Bar
What’s the house speciality?
Will: The menu at Eleven Madison Park changes all the time, but I think the one dish that doesn't change, the signature dish of Daniel, is the roasted duck
You guys are about to open a new venue, correct?
Will: Yeah. Made Nice will be our counter service restaurant. Eleven Madison Park is the fine dining tasting menu restaurant. NoMad is kind of a louder, looser a la carte restaurant. The NoMad Bar is well, our bar and then next door to the NoMad Bar is going be Made Nice which is a counter service take-away restaurant with menu items ranging from $11 to $15.
What do you typically wear to work?
Daniel: I love very much fashion. I like to wear comfortable clothes. I have a lot of different sneakers that I like. In the kitchen I wear chef’s whites. Outside the kitchen I wear black a lot. Mostly all black. I like stripes.
Will: I like nice suits, but I like them to be reasonably conservative. Not in terms of the cut, but in terms of the colors. You'll generally find me in a dark blue or a dark grey with some moderate pattern, a simple pair of black shoes, and normally a white button down shirt and a tie, sometimes a blue shirt, but again very simple.
What kind of wallet do you carry?
Will: I have a bi-fold that has two credit card slots. One for my ATM one for my American Express card, and a little pocket for a bit of cash. I like to carry as little stuff on me as possible. Cash, a metro card, a driver’s license, and those two cards.
Daniel: I only have a card holder. Everything in my life I try to have it as simple as possible.
Turn out your pockets.
Will: I have two keys, one to my apartment and one to the restaurant, and then I have a Citi Bike pass and my cell phone, and then I always have Listerine breath strips because I hate the idea of having bad breath in the dining room.
What would you say are the particular tools of your trade?
Will: At varying stages of my career I would have said a notepad, a pen, a corkscrew, and a crumber, and a torschon. A crumber is as it sounds, it's to take the bread crumbs off the table. A torschon is the little napkin that you always have in your pocket to assist you through service, whether to carry a hot plate or wipe up a little spill.
Daniel: For me, it’s all about the knife. I grew up in Switzerland and there's this brand called Victorinox. I've been working with them all my life. They have these rose wood handles so when you work with them a lot they become part of you. These are my go-to knives since I've been cooking for 25 years.
You’re Madison Men. What are your local haunts?
Daniel: After work I like to go with some of my chefs to Old Town Bar which is super old school. I like Eataly a lot – I do most of my food shopping there. They have amazing produce, great cheeses and meats. In Koreatown there's this dumpling place called Mandoo Bar on 32nd St which I also love.
Will: I like Eisenberg's across the street. I love sitting at the counter there and getting a Reuben, I think it's one of the little vestiges of what once was here. I love dinner at the Korean restaurant Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. I'm a sucker for a Shake Shack burger and a beer after service on a nice night. You get to sit outside. I love going to Raines Law Room for a Manhattan if I'm in the mood for a cocktail. I love sitting at the bar and having the roasted chicken at Le Coq Rico. Coffee at Stumptown and a buttered roll from the guy who has the cart in front of Eleven Madison Park.
Is there a regular Madison Man that you see around a lot?
Daniel: John Rosatto, my boxing coach at Mendez Boxing Gym, right next door to the Todd Snyder store. He’s old school, hard core, very cool.
Will: I get my shoes shined a lot and I always say hi to the guy at the shoe shining place on 23rd and Madison. Also the guy that runs the hot dog stand out in front of the restaurant. When you're in the restaurant business and you go to other fancy restaurants it's not that infrequently that someone might comp you, like give you the meal for free, and I think the greatest complimentary meal I ever got was when Abraham, the guy at the hot dog stand, gave me a free hot dog. I'm like, I finally made it.
What three Todd Snyder accessories best sum you up?
Daniel: The ranger backpack in black.
The credit card wallet.
The note cards Made in New York. I love to write notes. I think it's really a nice thing when you receive a note from someone, a thank you note.
Will: Some cuff links. You know men don't get to wear jewelry and I believe that cuff links are just like a lovely and civilized way to fancy up a suit.
Shoe trees. I know a lot of people in our generation don't use shoe trees anymore, but I remember my dad would always put his shoe trees in his shoes at the end of the night. There's something old school and nostalgic for me about using those, and it helps to keep the shoes looking good.
Then the darts. There's a little bar called Fitzgerald’s on 26th and 3rd which is one of my favorite places to get a pint of beer and play darts after work.