By Sasha Haines-Stiles
On a frigid winter night in New York, Pointy Snout made a beeline to Brooklyn for a warming catch-up with Pointy pal and collaborator Vincent Marino. A globetrotter with great taste in food, drinks and music, this multitalented restaurateur and DJ is a creative force, equally adept at picking tunes and cocktail pairings. We’ve been privileged to work with Vincent on soundtracks for some of our most memorable events, including a summer interlude in the Hamptons and Miami gatherings during Art Basel, as well as on inspired beverage recommendations for caviar tastings.
Most recently, we met up at Loosie Rouge, the Williamsburg hotspot where Marino is a co-owner. (He’s also one jolly member of the quartet in Four Happy Men Hospitality.) After wending our way through the packed bar to a cozy back table in Loosie’s Kitchen, the bustling adjacent restaurant, we tucked into a conversation about all things culinary, from childhood influences to cocktails to caviar.
Loosie Rouge's eccentric exterior is the superlative summer spot.
Born in the South of France, Vincent grew up in a family involved in the hospitality industry. His grandparents ran a hotel/restaurant on the French Riviera; his parents were “foodies” who rewarded their son’s good grades with a meal at a nice restaurant. In fact, it’s his father who is responsible for Vincent’s first impressions of caviar. “My first time, I was young, maybe 9 or 10. My dad was working in Japan, flying back and forth, and he would bring home a small tin of caviar from the plane, bring it to my mom. My sister and I were looking at it like a very rare product.”
“Caviar is such an interesting product because it hasn't been changed and can’t be changed. Unlike truffles, you can’t do the essence of caviar. Caviar is caviar.”
With love of food, culture and travel in his blood, Vincent began exploring the rest of the world in his teens. He visited “many different countries” before moving to London and then ultimately to New York five years ago. Still, the environs of his early home in the South of France are imprinted on the current Brooklynite. “I love to surf, and spend my life on the beach and near the mountains,” he says.
It’s apparent that the briny, fresh, oceanic flavors of caviar conjure up fond memories for Vincent, who on this evening is momentarily transported by another youthful recollection of the large caviar tins that were prized Christmas souvenirs from an uncle. “Caviar is such an interesting product because it hasn't been changed in all these years, and can’t be changed. Unlike truffles, you can’t do the essence of caviar. Caviar is caviar.”
Today, Vincent’s favorite method of consuming caviar is “by the big spoonful, maybe even without any alcohol” – a celebration of pure taste on its own, no alterations. And for those moments when only a proper drink will do? Vincent heartily recommends breaking the old-fashioned rules when it comes to beverage pairings.
“Before I had otherwise only had caviar with champagne, so I was excited to try something different. I hate vodka, actually. I wanted to have a little more fun with it. Caviar can be great with beer, and I really love it with tequila and salt, or mescal. Caviar and tequila with a small ice cube – I’m not a big cocktail drinker, but I’m a fast drinker, so the tequila doesn’t have time to get diluted. There are a thousand ways to eat caviar, and a thousand ways to drink with caviar.”
We couldn’t agree more.