Here’s the thing about my meeting men’s fashion guru Joseph Abboud. While we discussed the vents in suits, two or three button coats, and his work with Hickey Freeman, we also ate. We ate very well, indeed. having met by chance at Leslie Lampert’s famous foodie heaven in Mt. Kisco, New York called Cafe of Love. This is the hard core hot spot dining destination in upper Westchester Country for anyone who wants four star meals at reasonable prices. (www.cafeof loveny.com)
And while Leslie served her chick pea popcorn drenched in truffle oil to my hosts, writer Jill Brooke and her husband Gary Goldstein, Joseph Abboud told me a lot of interesting things. Mind you, this wasn’t even an interview but a by chance meeting. He ordered the mussels. And told us all about Hickey Freeman and Hart Shaffner Marx. They’re owned by the same corporation, they are American with long backgrounds. The former is outfitting Mitt Romney. The latter has Barack Obama. Joseph Abboud, who sold his company years ago, along with his name, is now guiding all of them.
So what: Abboud says three button jackets are not dead. There’s a new version of it, the buttons are lower, it’s ok. This was a relief. Also, side vents are still in fashion, but non vent jackets may come back sooner than we think. Also, good news. Abboud has two daughters, finishing high school and going into college. Will they follow in his footsteps? “I want them to do whatever they want to do,” he says.
What else, I asked, as the succulent seared foie gras was succeeded by bouillabaisse? And we also tried the meatballs, which apparently have become quite famous. The chef hails from Danny Meyers’ famed Union Square Cafe.
Joseph Abboud, whose name is in lots of my jackets and pants, is from the Boston area. He recently bought a big spread up there near his home town of Roslindale. “The older you get, the more you want to go home,” he said. I agreed, and although Mt. Kisco is lovely and the surroundings were bucolic, I got back in the car and hurried to Manhattan before Leslie Lampert could hit me with one more dessert. My Joseph Abboud suits are going to be very tight this week.
PS Thank goodness for GPS. How do people live without numbered streets? That’s what I want to know!