Friends With Benefits: Ralph Treszi
Ralph Treszi’s career in hospitality began when he was a young teen working at his parent’s comedy club in Connecticut. “I was working as a busboy, watching all these comedians doing basically R-rated sets,” Treszi recalls. The up-and-coming comedians performing at his family’s Treehouse Comedy Club? Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay, Rosie O’Donnell, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld. While the comedy bug didn’t bite Treszi, he did stay in the hospitality industry, and today he’s the bar manager for Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian.
Over nearly three decades, in positions from server to management, Treszi has worked everywhere from New York and Florida to Las Vegas, for big name restaurants and celebrity chefs, and even one of Las Vegas’ oldest establishments, the Bootlegger Bistro.
A little more than a year ago, he joined Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. “Although I’ve worked in restaurants, I’ve always had a knack for the beverage side,” Treszi says. “Yardbird has a great bourbon selection, a great wine program. All local draft beers. It’s comfort food but very high quality. We’re very guest conscious. We want our guests to feel at home when they come here.” When it comes to the staff, communication is key—relating to and working alongside them is important, says Treszi. As bar manager, he says, knowledge of product and operations of the bar, and understanding and executing what those entail, are top priority.
“I’ve been in the business of hospitality my whole life,” Treszi says. “I enjoy it. I enjoy the people, the atmosphere; I feel like I’m good at what I do, so I find joy in that.”
Libation: Yardbird Old Fashioned
September at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar celebrates all things bourbon, with both food and cocktail specials. A stellar bourbon offering is the Yardbird Old Fashioned. The cocktail is made with a Wild Turkey bacon-infused bourbon made in-house, Angostura bitters, orange bitters and maple syrup. Other bourbon treats throughout the month include a bourbon-glazed salmon fillet, bourbon honey-glazed fried chicken, bacon butterscotch cake with bourbon caramel sauce and more bourbon-based cocktails. “It’s all fresh, farm to table,” Treszi says. “It goes down to our food, we use only the highest quality, and we do our beverages the same way. From ice cube to the drink, it’s handcrafted.”