TCQ&A: Ben LeBlanc

The rules: Answer as many of the 48 questions as you like (but a minimum of 15, and you must answer #1–4). Please limit most answers to the general geographic area.

1. How long have you lived in the area? Where did you move from? Where are you originally from? I’ve lived in Tribeca since 2010, but worked at Citigroup from 2001-2008, so I’ve always spent time a lot of time in Tribeca since I’ve lived in New York. I was born and raised in Houma, Louisiana, which is about an hour southwest of New Orleans.

2. Married? Partnered? If so, what’s his/her name and occupation? I’m engaged to be married. Britany Larsen, my fiancée, is VP of Marketing at Bluefly.

3. Kids? Pets? We are in the minority here. No to both.

4. Where do you live? Murray Street.

5. What do you do for a living? I make soup! Long story short, I think very few places make soup that tastes really great. So last year, I founded a soup company called Good Stock to change that. We started out at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, then expanded into corporate catering, and just recently launched a home delivery business for Tribeca customers. (Email to receive the weekly menu.) It’s a far cry from finance, where I had spent my entire working career. But it’s the most fun I’ve had since I was 10 and playing basketball every day.

7. Most-frequented restaurants: The Hideaway, Edward’s, Terroir, Khe-Yo.

8. For special occasions, I go to: Tamarind. The lasuni gobi is divine.

9. Best sandwich: The Fellini by Alidoro at Puffy’s. I love that sandwich way more than people should love sandwiches.

10. Sweet-tooth satisfaction: The Odeon’s ice cream cart. It’s got some magic magnet that pulls me there and makes me think it’s fine to pay $6 for an ice cream cone.

12. I usually order in from Benares, and I always order the lamb vindaloo. It does the job when I’m looking for some pretty serious spice.

13. I can’t resist popping into: The Raccoon Lodge. I love that it’s just a bar and not trying to be anything else. Plus it’s one of the last blue collar places around and reminds me of what Tribeca was like when I first worked here.

14. The last non-essential item I bought: That last shot of Jack Daniel’s I had at the Raccoon Lodge Friday night. I could have done without that last one.

15. When I walk into my apartment, the first thing I see that I bought around here is: If wine from Chambers Street Wines counts, I’ll go with that. But just above the wine is a poster from Philip Williams Posters.

17. How I stay fit: Equinox and runs on the Hudson and East Rivers.

18. Where I get beautiful: Frank’s Chop Shop on the Lower East Side just beyond Chinatown. Mr. Bee is the best barber around, and they have an amazing assortment of clientele. Rappers, artists, construction workers, creatives, punk rockers, accountants—you name it, somehow all fit in here.

20. A recent enthusiasm: Fried pasilla chiles. I’ve been working on a recipe for tortilla soup and the best versions call for fried pasilla chiles. I now put them on everything or just eat them like a snack.

21. A worthy splurge: Aire Ancient Baths. When you can’t get away, it’s a pretty great escape. You feel like you’re made of Jell-O when you walk out.

22. A recent case of sticker shock: We are in the midst of planning a wedding, so I’m hit with various forms of sticker shock many times a day.

27. I’ve never been to Sole di Capri and I don’t know why. Many people have raved about it, and it’s only a couple of blocks from our apartment, yet we never think about it when we’re deciding where to eat.

31. I wish I lived in… I love the Duane Park triangle.

36. My most memorable celebrity sighting: Britany and I are walking home from dinner one night a couple of years ago and there’s a huge commotion outside of a store. We’re not really paying attention so we look to our left to see what’s going on and it turns out to be a group of paparazzi. Before we could turn right to see whom they were waiting for, we almost ran right over Kim Kardashian and Kanye West as they got out of a car, and the flashbulbs are going off like crazy. We ended up being in US Weekly or something. You can only see my collar and one of Britany’s heels, but it was still a good reminder that stars are just like us. They walk down the street in Tribeca!

41. A business I’d like to have here: I think Tribeca could desperately use a good butcher and a good cheese shop.

42. A business I miss: Working Class.

45. Proof that change is good: RIP, Uncle Mike’s.

Recent TCQ&As:
Jacob Weisberg
Clinton Kelly
Kate Stewart
Matt Newberg
Anna Fader

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1 Comment

  1. what a great representation of the new TribecaLand !