If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Chris Himmel, you probably made a mental check that he’s an unusually nice guy. You would never guess he’s sitting on top of a hospitality empire. Perhaps Himmel’s down-to-earth persona is the key to his success.
While being a great guy doesn’t hurt, Himmel’s commitment to superior food quality, flawless service, and brilliantly curated wine lists seal the deal of Himmel’s current and future achievements. Here’s what Himmel has to say on how he relaxes, his recent wedding engagement, and what you have to order at Grill 23.
1. 2019 was a very busy year for you! You oversaw the completion of New York’s self-contained community at Hudson Yards, you successfully proposed to the girl of your dreams, and you’ve managed to keep Himmel Hospitality’s Boston locations not only on the map but winning awards! What do you do to relax, and when do you ever find the time?
During my downtime, I always enjoyed getting out on the ocean to go fishing. Whether it be fishing for striped bass close to shore or taking our boat offshore to go Tuna fishing, I find it’s a great way to get my mind off work and enjoy the outdoors.
2. A big congratulations on all the above achievements, including Grill 23 winning Wine Spectator’s extremely prestigious Grand Award (1 out of 100 in the WORLD) and Best Steakhouse by Boston Magazine, to name a few. With these accolades, Grill 23 is an obvious Boston foodie destination. What do you recommend on the menu to the traveler who has yet to experience the world-renowned Grill 23?
I would recommend they enjoy either our dry-aged Sirloin or 100-day-aged ribeye steaks raised exclusively by my good friend Eric Brandt and his family at Brandt Natural Beef in Brawley, CA. On the side, I would suggest our signature hash browns as well as our lobster mac ‘n cheese.
3. You have many great Boston restaurants in the Himmel Hospitality family. If you’re not at one of your restaurants, where else might we find you, and what would you be eating?
I have always loved the Columbus Hospitality Group’s restaurants, specifically Mistral. My fiancé, Tori, is also a big fan of Mexican Cuisine, so we frequently go to Lolita in our neighborhood Fort Point Channel, which is a lot of fun as well.
4. Who owns the kitchen at home, you or your fiancé, and what is the signature dish?
I would say I am in control of the kitchen at home. While my signature dishes change depending on the season, since we’re in the middle of the playoffs, it would have to be Buffalo Wings made in our brand-new air fryer.
A big thanks to Chris Himmel for sharing his time.