Frank Bonanno admits he's a "dick" when it comes to court battles with the health department
Opinionated. Tenacious. Temperamental. And, at times, a "dick," especially when he's in a courtroom arguing his case on front of a judge, who's presiding over the latest infraction levied against him by the Denver Department of Environmental Health, with whom Frank Bonanno, who owns Luca d'Italia, Mizuna, Bones, Lou's Food Bar, Russell's Smokehouse, Green Russell, Wednesday's Pie and Osteria Marco, has had an ongoing caustic relationship.
Two months ago, I was in the courtroom with Bonanno, while he attempted to explain to a judge why cheese -- namely burrata -- should be served at room temperature, rather than at 41 degrees, which is the legal requirement. It was one of several violations that landed him in court that day. Bonanno has been unabashedly outspoken against the policies of the Denver Department of Environmental Health for the last year, even posting a missive on his blog aimed at Danica Lee, the department's food program manager, who's also inspected several of Bonanno's restaurants.
But he didn't stop there: Matt Rodbard, a contributing editor of Food Republic, an online site devoted to food, drinks, design, travel and politics, was recently in Denver, where he embarked on a five-hour, five-restaurant binge, allocating some of his spare time in the Mile High City to shoot the shit with Bonanno, who tells Rodbard, among other things, that if the department of health is going to waste his time, it's no skin off his back to waste theirs.
Read on for Bonanno's other musings.