Meet Karen Gordon from Pastis
August 24, 2020
Tell us about yourself. What’s a typical workday like?
I am from “Hirouna” “land of the Blessed”, known as St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I have been in NYC since 1992 and currently, work as a Front of House manager at Pastis Restaurant. I am usually at Pastis every day except Sundays and Mondays.
I like to refer to working in a restaurant as an ad libbed, organized, yet freeform dance. A typical workday at Pastis begins from the time I step on the block of 52 Gansevoort between Greenwich St. and Washington Street. On the days I open the restaurant, I am responsible for distributing financial goals for the day. I create the AM staff roster and floorplan, reconcile the tips, and scan through the reservations for the day and flag any special requests or guest notes. I perform a physical walkthrough of the restaurant to ensure the previous night’s close was executed properly and report any issues that need to be addressed. After my administrative duties are complete, I check in all the AM staff and inform them of the plan and/ or any menu changes for the day. From the time we begin welcoming guests until the last guest leaves, I make sure we provide incomparable service and ensure that our guests have memorable experiences.
What is it like to work at one of Keith McNally’s, and New York City’s, iconic restaurants?
Working at Pastis is like being in an interactive Broadway musical with an elaborate set every day. Tons of energy, coordination, organization, and smiles while performing for a crowd that came to the show to be a part of the scene and hobnob with other patrons.
Working at one of the most iconic McNally restaurants comes with high expectations from guests. Every day is a challenge, which I embrace with enthusiasm and positivity and ensure that the staff remains motivated and supported.
Working with many talented women as Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley is an honor.
How did you get involved with Pastis?
I worked the highest level of hospitality as a Maitre’d at Jean George three star Michelin restaurants for 5 years before moving to the Clocktower (one Michelin star) as a manager. When I found out that Pastis was coming back and teaming up with my restaurant group Starr restaurants, it was the next natural career move. I was determined to be a part of this highly anticipated undertaking. I am blessed to be a part of this team.
Tell us about the energy in the kitchen. What happens behind the scenes?
The kitchen is the exemplar of team-work and tenacity. Producing consistently great food. We are constantly tasting our dishes. I personally like tasting our Bronzino, burger and fries!
Why Pastis for breakfast ? Any recommendations for what to order?
At Pastis you can have a perfectly executed Croque Monsieur or a burger or a heaping bowl of mussels in white wine and butter, there is an endless array of choices to fit everyone’s cravings! Some of the favorite dishes are the ratatouille omelette, the trout amandine and of course the steak sandwich which was replicated from the original Pastis recipe. Brunch service on the weekend is perfect for families (we provide kids with coloring pages and crayons), tourists and locals. We have an extensive, well-rounded wine list that has a bottle for everyone’s tastes and budgets. We are unpretentious and love conviviality and energy and people who like to eat and drink in the early hours of the day.
Do you find that many of the Pastis guests of the “new” location reminisce with staff about experiences at the “old” Pastis?
Yes; both guests and staff share many first dates, celebrity sightings, and general fond memories of Pastis when smoking was allowed indoors and the kitchen stayed opened past midnight.
Pastis is open Monday – Friday: 12PM – 10PM, and Saturday – Sunday: 11AM – 10PM. Make a reservation here.