Photos: At Home With Rucola and Fitzcarraldo Co-Owner Julian Brizzi

As far as enviable commutes go, it’s pretty hard to beat the set-up Julian Brizzi has going: the apartment he and his wife share with a camera-shy, toilet-trained (really!) cat named Oprah is located more or less directly above Rucola, the beloved Boerum Hill restaurant he co-owns with cousin and business partner Henry Moynahan Rich. Things have gotten a little more complicated now that his day-to-day involves trips out to Fitzcarraldo, their new, soon-to-be-open-to-the-public operation inside Bushwick’s 3rd ward, but still, having even a few nights awake where the work-to-home transition takes roughly 30 seconds sounds pretty ideal to us.

How long have you lived in Brooklyn?

I was born in Brooklyn and lived in Fort Greene until I was four. After my family moved to New Jersey, I returned to Brooklyn after college in 2005.

Why’d you first move here?

I graduated from college and immediately moved back to Brooklyn to start my career in the food business. I had a great network of friends already, and the lifestyle is exactly what I wanted—fast paced, but open and welcoming, with a lot of opportunities to party.

What’s your favorite thing about this apartment?

Besides being right upstairs from my business, the fireplace really makes for a great night at home with my wife during the winter months. And I love the neighborhood.

What’s your least favorite thing about the apartment?

That I may need to move when we start our family—I’ve got too much stuff to fit a baby in here!

What are the first three inanimate things you would save in a fire?

My Jordans, my Thom Browne suit, and my framed wedding photo (not in that order).

What’s your favorite room in the apartment and your favorite time of day?

The living room, specifically in the hammock, at dusk.

If you suddenly received a windfall of cash, what changes would you make?

I’d expand upstairs and make it a duplex (if my landlord let me).

If you could move the house/block/neighborhood to another city, which one would it be and why?

New Orleans, my wife’s hometown. It’s the only city that compares to Brooklyn as far as culture and lifestyle.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


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