If you take the time to examine the numbers of Michael White's restaurant empire, as the Times did over the weekend, it almost sounds too good to be true: revenue of nearly $50 million last year, in a business known for abysmally low profit margins. The financial force behind Chef Bianco's restaurants, as some know, is former Wall Streeter Ahmass Fakahany, who, despite his messy entanglement with mortgage investments and the crash while at Merrill Lynch, is really good at shaving costs on things like forks, napkins, and deliveries — when he's not balling out and buying Marea's entire staff Ferragamo ties.
Having shed Chris Cannon last year, the duo and Altamarea Group have plans to open five restaurants this year, says the Times. There's EV pizzeria Nicoletta, the Butterfly, something in Vegas, and possibly a project as far-flung as Istanbul. Also: Marea brings in $50 to $60K in revenue a day — chew on that, Occupy Wall Street. [NYT]