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Paul Grieco, General Manager
spent many of his early years in the company of his family perfecting the details of service.

Creators of Hearth >Paul
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Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1965, Paul was immediately thrust into the world of service and hospitality at his family's landmark restaurant, La Scala. Paul's grandfather and father opened La Scala, a grand Italian Ristorante, in 1962. The restaurant quickly became well known for its formal service, classic Italian food, and regal setting in an historic Toronto home.

Paul spent many
of his early years in the company of his family perfecting the details of service. Among his first childhood memories are hours of polishing silverware and dusting lampshades. Years later when it came time to choose a career path, the restaurant business naturally beckoned but Paul did not succumb immediately. The inherent stresses of the restaurant business as well as the additional stresses of working in a family business caused him to think twice before jumping headlong into a career in restaurants and hospitality. The decision was made after a two-month trip to Italy where Paul studied wine intensively - meeting with winemakers, touring vineyards and wineries and generally sponging up the culture of Italian wine and food. When he returned from the trip he was a veritable Italian wine expert. The flame of his passion for wine had been ignited. He decided to join his father and grandfather at La Scala where he worked for six years overseeing the beverage program and managing the front-of-the-house staff.

Always seeking new experiences and further education, in February of 1991, Paul traveled to New York City for a three-month sojourn to discover the New York restaurant scene. What he saw and experienced was so inspiring that he is still here! His career in New York City began at world-famous Remi Restaurant where he was a dining room manager for two years. Moving on, he spent short stints honing his service skills at several of New Yorks most prestigious and well-known restaurants, including Bouley, Gotham Bar and Grill, Gabriel's and JUdson Grill - which he opened with his friend and mentor Chris Cannon in February of 1994.

In 1995, Paul went
looking for a new challenge. He accepted a job as a waiter at the three-star Gramercy Tavern, where he hoped to learn the aspects of "enlightened hospitality" from its creators Danny Meyer and Tom Colicchio. This education, Paul believed, would help prepare him for a future in restaurant management. He was right. After working as a captain for two years, Paul was promoted to Assistant General Manager, responsible for both the $3 million dollar-a-year beverage program and the three-star service program. During Paul's tenure, Gramercy Tavern won both the James Beard Award for Outstanding Service 2001 and the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service 2002. In the fall of 2002, Gramercy Tavern was named the most popular restaurant in New York City by the Zagat Survey. Also in 2002, Paul placed eighth in the American Sommelier Association's competition to name the best sommelier in the country.