The Group & History
Executive Profiles
Press
Mission Statement
We are entirely dedicated to providing our guests with the very finest quality cuisine, exceptional service and genuine hospitality at our extraordinary landmark locations and award-winning restaurants.


Group History
Patina Restaurant Group was founded on the belief that culinary excellence is an art form, per se. And museums, cultural centers and art-filled landmark locations provide the ideal environments for experiencing this level of quality and service. With Patina Restaurant Group, famed restaurateur Nick Valenti and master Chef Joachim Splichal realized their shared vision for a truly bicoastal boutique restaurant and food service company. Boasting approximately 60 restaurants and food service operations in performing arts centers, Patina Restaurant Group also offers world-class dining and service for weddings, elegant catered affairs and corporate events. The union of these two legendary culinary innovators has introduced the world to a whole new echelon of personalized service and unrivaled culinary artistry.
Nick Valenti: Chief Executive Officer
As CEO of the Patina Restaurant Group, Nick Valenti heads one of the nation’s leading multi-concept premium restaurant and foodservice-management companies, operating over 60 locations mainly in New York and California. Possessed of a rare combination of culinary insight, restaurant design sense and business management acumen, he is a recognized innovator in the restaurant industry.

Mr. Valenti’s storied career began in 1968 when he began as a management trainee in the airport division of Restaurant Associates. Quickly demonstrating his aptitude for the restaurant business, he was soon appointed manager of John Peel, one of the company’s fine dining venues on Long Island. After directing that restaurant to continuing sales and profit success, his abilities were rewarded with a move to company headquarters. There he was recognized with successive promotions, ultimately overseeing all of the company’s many diverse restaurants. In 1994 Mr. Valenti was named President and CEO of Restaurant Associates.

While expanding the company’s sales and concepts, he also guided it through successive stages of ownership. In 1996 he first led the repurchase of the company from Kyotaru Company of Japan which had bought the company six years earlier. Subsequently, in 1998 he negotiated the company’s acquisition by the Compass Group, the world’s largest foodservice conglomerate. In 1999, under his direction, the California restaurants of restaurateur and renowned chef, Joachim Splichal were acquired, giving the company a major presence on both coasts. Then in 2006 Messrs. Valenti and Splichal purchased Restaurant Associates/Patina from Compass forming Patina Restaurant Group which they now own together with a Japanese investor, Shidax Corporation.

Mr. Valenti’s reputation for creating innovative restaurant concepts reflects his devotion to culinary quality and meticulous attention to restaurant design. Among his many accomplishments, he introduced the concept of serving restaurant quality food at sporting events, and cultural venues such as museums and performing arts centers. In speaking of the company’s success, he says “We strive to satisfy the needs of the many diverse markets we serve. And we have been fortunate to enlist and nurture highly talented people who are devoted to our commitment to quality.”

Some of the New York restaurants of Patina Restaurant Group include The Sea Grill and Rock Center Café in Rockefeller Center; Café Centro, Naples 45 and La Fonda del Sol in the MetLife Building; Cucina & Co. in several locations and The Grand Tier in the Metropolitan Opera. Most recently the company opened Lincoln, a highly acclaimed free-standing addition to the campus of Lincoln Center. And in California the group operates the four-star Patina in Disney Concert Hall as well as five Pinot restaurants and several other individual concepts. The group has also created restaurants for Disney at their theme parks in both Florida and California.

Mr. Valenti is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees at the Culinary Institute of America. He is a member of the Executive Committees of NYC & Co, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Citymeals-on-Wheels. In 1995 he was awarded the IFMA’s Silver Plate Award, the industry’s premier accolade, and in 1997 he received the prestigious Gold Chain Award. In 2007 he received the TY Award from the New York State Restaurant Association.

Joachim Splichal: Chef and Founder
Celebrated by Bon Appetit and Food Network as "Restaurateur of the Year," Joachim Splichal has been a leading force behind Los Angeles' growth into one of the world's premier dining capitals. The essential "ingredient" behind PRG's extraordinary family of restaurants, Joachim has developed a devoted global following as one of the most talented chefs on the American culinary scene, a true master of innovative cuisine and playful perfectionism. His involvement in each and every detail of our guests' experiences drives our ceaseless commitment to quality and detail and guarantees "the personal touch" that only Patina Restaurant Group can offer.

Steven Tanner: Chief Financial Officer
Steve joined PRG in 2010 with over two decades of experience in the restaurant industry. His background includes frozen yogurt chain Golden Spoon, In N Out Burger, where he led the growth from 67 to 115 restaurants, and Pick Up Stix, a chain of Chinese restaurants that grew under his tenure from 13 to 50 units. Most recently, Steve spent six years leading Real Mex Restaurants as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President while driving the development of 18 new restaurants and the acquisition of Chevys Mexican Restaurants. Steve’s in-depth understanding of business finance and its direct relationship to the growth and evolution of quality brands like Patina Restaurant Group positions him as a key member of the executive team.

Joe Polidora: Senior VP Operations, Sports & Entertainment
Joe started with PRG in 1978 and became our senior executive in charge of Sports & Entertainment in 1997. Since then, Joe has guided the S&E division into its unique position as industry leader for restaurant-quality gourmet cuisine and world-class hospitality, delivered with flawless execution on any scale. His contributions have elevated the culinary experience of literally hundreds of thousands of guests at events of all sizes and descriptions including the Ryder Cup, PGA and Senior PGA Championships, and the US Open Tennis Championships. Of note, Joe also spearheaded the food service for Canada’s 2002 World Youth Day where 200,000 pilgrims were fed, including lunch for the Pope.

Peter Wyss: Senior VP Operations
Peter first joined the PRG team in 1981 as the executive chef of Brasserie. His love of hand-crafted gourmet cuisine and his great appreciation for extraordinary hospitality propelled him into a directorial position, first with Brasserie and eventually with all of our Rockefeller Center properties. His expert leadership has been essential to the modernization and launch of many of our most successful east coast restaurants, and today he oversees all of our operations in the MetLife Building as well as Brasserie, Brasserie 8 ½, Nick & Stef's at Madison Square Garden, Macy's Cellar Bar & Grill, Cucina & Co. and Panevino in New Jersey.

Lou Miaritis: Senior VP Business Development
Lou joined us in 2013 to lead our new business development and real estate activities. As a member of the Executive Committee, he is involved with strategic planning for the Company’s future growth. Lou began his career at Restaurant Associates in 1980, rising to VP of Finance & Development of the RA Restaurant Group. In 1989 he acquired the historic Three Village Inn Restaurant & Hotel in Stony Brook, Long Island which he operated successfully for almost 20 years. In 2009 he joined the Uno Restaurant Group heading the Business Development, Franchise and Purchasing departments. Lou brings a depth of Finance, Development & Operations experience with the commitment and energy of an entrepreneur.

OTHER SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM

Eric Kaplan: Senior VP Operations Rock Center

Laura Santella-Saccone: Senior VP Marketing

Dawn Hernandez: VP Human Resources

David Ruede: VP Design & Construction

Steve Charron: VP Purchasing
For press inquiries, including photo and recipe requests, on-location shoots, interviews with CEO Nick Valenti and Chef and Founder Joachim Splichal or one of our celebrated chefs, please send marketing inquiries to: webmaster@patinagroup.com
T 212-789-7911
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