Hyde Park’s Marc Fiorentino Takes THR’s Taste Test

Courtesy of L'Assiette
Marc Fiorentino

The director of development and production at Hyde Park Entertainment, whose steak-frites-focused restaurant L’Assiette recently opened for lunch, talks tri-tip, salmon burgers, sprouted almonds, blueberry French toast and more.

Marc Fiorentino, the director of development and production at Hyde Park Entertainment, has a passion project on the side: L’Assiette, which he runs with his father Jacques (a longtime producer on HBO’s old Comic Relief specials) and is built around a single dish – steak frites, cooked via a four-hour sous vide process. Opened last year, it just recently debuted a lunch menu that expands on the concept ever so slightly, with steak sandwich and salad options so, he explains, “it’s deconstructed a bit.”

“There’s similarity between producing a restaurant and a film,” says Fiorentino. “When I’m in the restaurant and overseeing things, a lot of it is running a team, having sight of the bigger picture, and having the different departments – the kitchen, the servers; the art department, the actors – come together in this beautiful symphony to get this product you’re looking for.”

MARC FIORENTINO’S THR TASTE TEST

Current Fixation

“Hot sauce. For years, I’ve been bringing bottles home from different countries. I recently realized that my collection is looking pretty impressive!”

Known For Cooking

“Blackened rosemary salmon burgers. It’s something I started making for my dad and I when I was in high school and then worked on as I got older.”

Destination Dinner

“If we’re talking anywhere in the world, I’m taking my time with a seafood platter at Chez Andre on Rue Marbeuf in Paris followed by long walk to Ile Saint-Louis for some Berthillon ice cream, the best in the world. My dad raised me well.”

Go-To Take-Out

“Pizzeria Mozza for squash blossoms, pizza bianca, and the butterscotch budino. I’d be embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve placed that exact order for take out.

Adventurous Bite

“I don’t really think I’ve eaten anything too ‘adventurous.’ Maybe snails? Frog legs? Honestly the most adventurous thing I ever really eat is when I’m three sheets to the wind and can’t resist a late night bacon-wrapped dog from the ‘Hotto!’ venders.”

Simply Won’t Eat

“Raw tomatoes. Love them roasted, sun-dried, as a sauce…but not raw. When I was a kid I used to go to the market every month and take a big bite out of the best looking tomato I could find, hoping my taste buds had come around. 33 years later they’re still being stubborn as ever.”

Favorite Snack

“Sprouted almonds from The Sprouted Nut Company. You’ve never tasted almonds so flavorful, light, and crunchy.

Dietary Regimen

“If it’s edible, I’ll eat it.”

Preferred Company

“When I lived in Paris (where most of my family is), we used to have a big Sunday family dinner every week without fail. It was understood that nobody made any other plans for that evening and we all contributed to the meal. Food never tasted so good.”

Pet Peeve

“Cleaning. I have a standing offer to all my friends or whoever I’m dating… I’ll cook if you clean.”

Big Wish

“More sour beers. It seems you have to go to a gastropub or beer-centric bar to get a good one. (Shameless plug – we carry Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale!)

Embarrassing Experience

“A good friend of mine (hi Lisa…) once set me up on a blind date with her friend. We met at Comme Ca, one of my favorite restaurants. Well, let’s just say the wine we were having paired a bit too well with whatever I was eating. Looking back, I’m not sure she had more than a glass of the two bottles “we” ordered. Long story short, there was no second date.”

Guilty Pleasure

“A simple grilled cheese sandwich. White bread, American cheese, butter. The whole is without a doubt greater than the sum of its parts.”

Last Meal

“My mom’s blueberry French toast. To this day I haven’t found a French toast that comes close and no matter what’s going on around me, it always puts me in a happy place.”

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