As the son of one of the country’s leading restaurateurs, Michael Stillman grew up with a special vantage point on the inner workings of the industry. Michael learned from a young age how artful design, quality ingredients, and creative marketing all play a critical role in attracting and retaining a loyal clientele. Michael worked for the acclaimed Union Square Hospitality Group before learning the business of The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group from the ground up. After stints in the restaurants’ kitchens and purchasing departments, Michael played a critical role in the opening of the Smith & Wollensky restaurants in Houston, Dallas, and Boston. During openings, Michael participated in staff recruitment and training, menu development, and operations.
Michael channeled his creative vision and business sense into the concept creation of Quality Meats, which opened in New York City in 2006. Michael led the execution of every aspect of the new restaurant, from recruiting acclaimed designers AvroKO and talented chef Craig Koketsu to negotiating lease terms and working with contractors to keep the job on budget and schedule. After closing the sale of The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group and founding Quality Branded in 2007, Michael created a succession of restaurants that achieved both critical and popular acclaim, Park Avenue Summer (Autumn, Winter, Spring), Quality Italian, Quality Eats, Don Angie and Quality Bistro with the same creative design and culinary teams. Michael’s focus is the smart, effective expansion of the Quality brand.