Member Since 2011
Name: Geoff Bartakovics
Expertise: Founding CEO, TastingTable.com
Location: New York, NY
Interests: Just like Tasting Table, I'm interested in food and drink culture: dining out, dining in, entertaining, cocktails, wine...I'm interested in everything consumable.
Background: I grew up in Chicago, not far from Wrigley Park and studied literature at the University of Chicago. I lived in Berlin and Hamburg for nearly three years before moving to New York in 2001 and began a career in banking at the Swiss investment bank UBS before launching Tasting Table with Bob Pittman and John McDonald in 2008.
Why did you curate the Noble Maple Syrup and what do you love about it? Tasting Table's national editor, Kaitlyn Goalen, was working on a piece about vinegars and syrups and left a bottle of Noble Tonics syrup in our kitchen on a Friday afternoon. Some friends stopped by for a cocktail and, being too lazy mix up some simple syrup for a Bitter Lemonade, I used the Noble syrup instead and realized that the cocktail is even more delicious. I didn't realize that using maple syrups in place of simple syrup is a common cocktail trick, but I've been experimenting with it since.
Favorite meal: Any meal that involves potatoes.
Restaurant recommendation: I love trying new restaurants, but sometimes the easy option that's close to home is the one closest to my heart: The Italian restaurant, Aurora, on Broome Street and West Broadway in Manhattan. The food is always thoughtful (and not over-proprotioned); the staff is always warm and welcoming (and mostly European); and the cocktails tend toward the bitter rather than the sweet. I eat there at least once a week.
Transformative travel experience: Three years in Berlin just as I was figuring out how the world works
Favorite neighborhood: My own neighborhood, of course: Soho.
Recent big aha!: Maple syrup instead of simple syrup.
(Image: Billy Farrell Agency)