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Alan Stillman

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Top Chef Bashed With Bottle; How to Get Great Service

Steakhouse king and inventor of T.G.I. Friday's Alan Stillman shares his secrets of success with the Houston Chronicle: “95 percent luck and 5 percent skill.” [Houston Chronicle] Top Chef's hapless Marcel bashed with a bottle in Las Vegas. “I don't believe violence solves anything,” he says. No doubt. [NYP] James Bond is out, and Fredo Corleone is in as Death & Co. and Fireside give the martini the heave-ho and the daiquri and other old-time cocktails a revival. [Bloomberg]

The Secrets of Steakhouse Riches

Smith and Wollensky, which has made a bundle selling unexceptional meat at high prices in a series of nearly identical steakhouses, has been on the upswing even by its ca-ching standards: This past December, the organization raked in over $15 million, up 9 percent from December of the previous year. Which explains why Landry’s Restaurants Inc. has made an offer to buy it. But all this begs a larger question: Why are steakhouses in general so obscenely profitable?