Char in Charge

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Back in October, we attended the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival and were introduced to the delicious food from Char Restaurant. The octopus was outstanding!

Octopus from Char at Greenwich Wine & Food Festival
Octopus from Char at Greenwich Wine & Food Festival

When we learned that Char would be in attendance at Taste of Westchester 2013, we knew we were in for a treat! As you can see from the picture below, the filet mignon was absolutely delicious!

Fliet Mignon from Char at Taste of Westchester 2013
Fliet Mignon from Char at Taste of Westchester 2013

Needless to say, we plan on visiting Char in the near future. We reached out to Jimmy Rugova, General Manager of Char to learn more about him and some of his favorite places to eat in the area.

FP: We love the concept behind Char Restaurant. How did the idea come about? 

JR: I am not really sure if I could say what was behind the Char restaurant concept. I just had an idea for a warm and comfortable restaurant with serious undertones of elegance. When I saw the space and found out the age of the structure, I just felt I needed to use all natural and real materials with nothing shiny, fake or not made in America since we consider ourselves a contemporary American Restaurant. All the wood is reclaimed most from old buildings from NYC, almost everything else is made in America like the copper sinks, lighting fixtures, bath fixtures, tiling and even all our kitchen equipment.

FP: Sounds like a welcoming place. We’ll have to stop by in the near future!

Besides Char (and Dolphin in Yonkers), where are some of your favorite places to eat?

JR: My go to place is Juniper in Hastings. I live close by and they make the best soups served with crunching Tuscan bread. I also like The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry. Really good modern Italian food there!

FP: We’ve heard nothing but positive review about both places! We’ll add them on our ever-growing list of places to eat at!

Describe your ideal meal. Where would it be? What setting? 

JR: Not sure since being in the restaurant business never allows one to just sit, shut up and enjoy. I am always analyzing EVERYTHING at every restaurant. As for setting…I love eating outdoors, preferably by a beach.

FP: Eating by a beach sounds good right about now! 

Any advice for aspiring restaurant owners/operators?

JR: My advice for aspiring restaurateurs:  You better be ok with long hours.

FP When you’re not working, what do you cook for yourself at home? Any favorite dishes?

JR: At home I cook simple stuff with great ingredients because my wife and I both hate doing dishes. I think that’s why so many people go out to eat!!

FP: We hear you about dishes! Luckily half of FP (Allen) doesn’t mind doing them.  

What are some of your guilty pleasures? We like to call them foodie pleasures, hence the name 🙂

JR: I drink too much red wine and eat to many sweets….

FP: Outside the restaurant business, what are your hobbies and/or interests?

JR: Family, friends and traveling are the things I love most in life.

FP: Thank you so much for your time. We will make sure to stop by Char next time we visit Greenwich, CT! 

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