Fest Village

A morning talk with Markus Dorfmann at Baker and Co. — his latest gastronomic creation. Markus told us how drumming helped him get into the restaurant business, why he aligns tables in the mornings and how to please West-Villagers

I don’t remember the last time I woke up early.

I feel comfortable with Italian cuisine.

My parents had this little farmhouse with a tiny dining room in the basement where we would serve specialties that were in season.

When I was fourteen, I wanted my own drum kit, but I did not have enough money. I got a bartending job and a couple of summers later I had saved enough money to buy it.

I came to New York as a musician.

I was signed to RCA for a couple of years. Our band recorded an album, but it was never released.

There are still a few instruments stashed away in my closet somewhere.

At some point, I felt like I was done with music. And then I opened a restaurant.

Some things are not apparent. They just feel good.

I normally pick the music based on the mood of the visitors, but only from the music I like myself.

One can’t learn how to serve, it’s innate.

I think I’m pretty sure how the restaurant should be run. I have a good idea of what I want it to feel like. I’m fairly confident that I know what I’m talking about, but that doesn’t mean I know it all.

Some customers just want to be left alone.

Before, servers used to only take orders. Now, they need to talk.

People like to experiment with good food. They just forget to mention it.

A restaurant reflects its owner.

A good chef knows when to prepare for the next course.

I try to remember all the awkward requests I got from customers, but then I never do.

I remember a server once at an Upper East-Side restaurant who would always compete to take on the most peculiar customers.

I like to read Eater, Grub Street and other restaurant blogs to see what’s going on in town.

One can always learn something new from somebody.

Five stars on yelp and a truly good restaurant are two different things.

New Yorkers are the best skeptics.

I prefer to spend time on choosing very wisely where to spend my time next.

I ask my friends where they’ve been lately, what they liked, and that’s where I go.

The food has to be good, but then everything else has to be good too.

We wanted to create something that felt reminiscent of the neighborhood. Something with history and soul. That’s why we picked the name ‘Baker & Co.‘ — to pay homage to Zito’s Bakery that was here before.

When the last owner of the bakery came to see the restaurant, she loved it. I was like, “Well, now it’s good to go”.

If I were head of the restaurant industry, I’d get rid of all lousy places.

I’d like to open more restaurants.

If someone asked me for a chicken parmigiana, I’d just say no.

Baker & Co. is open 12–11 pm
259 Bleecker Street, New York
bakernco.com

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