City Limits redefines the traditional American diner experience. Using only the best quality ingredients in our from-scratch preparations, City Limits showcases a wide selection of comforting yet sophisticated dishes. Breads and gourmet pastries are made in-house daily. Fish and meats are smoked on-premise in a traditional smokehouse. Hamburger is made from 100 percent Black Angus beef. And like any true diner, breakfast is served all day.
Combining a satisfyingly delicious menu in a family-friendly atmosphere, City Limits strikes a winning combination. There’s no doubt why it has become the favorite restaurant for many families whose members span generations. “We are a family-run joint” says owner Nick Livanos. “And, we consider our guests to be an extension of our family. City Limits is one big community that has grown up together.”
Welcome to our family. We’re happy you’re here.
Owners // Livanos Family
Executive Chef //Juan Rodriguez
General Manager // Jason Smith
As one of the eldest of 14 children, City Limits Diner Chef de Cuisine Juan Rodriguez was often at his mother’s side preparing meals for his siblings at their home in El Salvador. Later, in his teen years, he harvested produce on a nearby farm. “Spending time on the farm gave me an appreciation for organic products,” he says. “I learned the importance of choosing ingredients by hand at just the right time.”
Chef Juan moved to the U.S. in 1982 and started at Hohokus Inn in Hohokus, NJ, with Chef Jim Galileo. In 1985, the duo joined the team at the newly established Livanos Restaurant in White Plains. Starting in the prep kitchen, he was eventually elevated to prep kitchen supervisor where he was responsible for the butchering, purchasing and receiving for the restaurant, as well as all prep duties, including the on-premise smokehouse production. His knowledge and experience with fresh produce was evident in his creations, and Chef Galileo soon promoted him to Sous Chef.
When Chef Galileo and the Livanos family started their next venture opening Oceana in Manhattan in 1992, Chef Juan joined his mentor’s inaugural staff for a brief stint as a butcher while simultaneously serving as Sous Chef at Livanos Restaurant. In 1994, he returned to the Livanos Restaurant full-time, initially assisting then Executive Chef Peter Assue with the transformation of the restaurant into City Limits Diner. He later became Chef de Cuisine of the White Plains location.
Now, Chef Juan is City Limits’ Executive Chef – more than 30 years after he initially joined the Livanos Restaurant Group. “I’m doing what I love on a daily basis in working with the City Limits family,” he says. “Food is community, and I feel lucky to be a part of this one.”
The Livanos Family
The extraordinary legacy of the Livanos family began in 1957 when John Livanos immigrated to the United States from Greece and began his career as a dishwasher, working for his uncle in Manhattan. He purchased his first restaurant in 1960, and later opened the elegant Livanos Restaurant in White Plains, NY, in 1985.
Today, John and his children, Nick, Bill and Corina, own and manage the critically acclaimed Oceana, Molyvos, Ousia, and Oceana Poke in New York City, as well as Moderne Barn in Armonk, NY, and City Limits in White Plains, NY.
Nick, the eldest of the Livanos siblings, grew up working in the family’s restaurants during the school year and spending his summers in Greece. Coming from a family of talented cooks and a long line of commercial fishermen, it didn’t take long for him to fall in love with food; the concepts of freshness and quality were the foundation of his culinary expertise. Nick graduated from Adelphi University with a bachelor’s degree in management, but his life changed when, on a whim, he decided to visit the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and later enrolled. Today, Nick oversees the business of all Livanos restaurants, sharing duties with Bill and Corina. He enjoys engaging with guests and swapping stories about food, family and life.
Like his older brother, Bill was inspired by their father’s passion and dedication to the family’s restaurants to pursue a career in hospitality. As a child, Bill remembers going to work with his father — first to a diner they owned in West Hempstead, NY, and then the Arch Diner in Brooklyn. Bill learned and worked every position in the Arch Diner and eventually followed in Nick’s footsteps and studied business at Adelphi University. Upon graduating, he worked for several national restaurant chains before returning to the family business to develop the wine program at Livanos Restaurant and eventually participating in the beverage programs for all of the family’s restaurants. Today, Bill manages the Livanos restaurants alongside Nick and Corina, with his main focus on the suburban concepts.
Corina, the youngest of the Livanos siblings, grew up with her father and brothers as her role models in the hospitality industry. After graduating with a degree in management from the University of Rhode Island, she worked her way through the family’s restaurants, eventually joining her brothers as a key member of the management team. One of the most notable moments of her career was opening Moderne Barn in the family’s hometown of Armonk, NY, in 2010, bringing a casual-yet-sophisticated concept to the neighborhood. Even though each Livanos restaurant has its own character, Corina hopes that every guest experiences a few simple things: delicious food with exceptional service in a comfortable, engaging environment.
In 2016, the third generation of restaurateurs, Nick’s eldest sons, Johnny and Enrico, joined the family business as managers at Ousia. Both Johnny and Enrico graduated with degrees in hospitality management and culinary arts – Johnny from Cornell University and the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena, California, and Enrico from Syracuse University and The Culinary Institute of America. Johnny, with his seasoned knowledge of Greek cuisine, wine, cocktails, and hospitality, leads the bar program at Ousia, while Enrico guides Ousia’s service operations to provide a dynamic and memorable dining atmosphere.