Getting information out of the staff of Employees Only is much, much harder that getting drinks out of them — but we were able to extract two interesting bits of information out of bartender and co-owner Jason Kosmas. The first is that E.O.’s new spinoff restaurant on West 9th Street now has a name to go along with its forties theme (which, we are told, will include period costumes for the entire staff). It will be called Zeppelin and is still “months away” from opening. The other tidbit, though vague, was intriguing.
Apparently Zeppelin is not the only restaurant the E.O. guys have in mind. Just over the horizon is another project, with neither a space nor a name, but with a fantastic concept: the cuisine of Macao, the former Portuguese colony which, along with Hong Kong, was one of the two independent regions in China until 1999. The food of Macao is one of the great hybrid cuisines in the world, borrowing wholesale from both Portugal — sausages, potatoes, olive oil — as well as mainland China and Hong Kong, and the vanishing traditions of pre-Communist restaurant cookery. We could never figure out why no one had done a Macanese restaurant here, and as it turns out neither could the E.O. guys. Apparently, now that Macao is fading as a tourist destination for luxury hotels and baccarat casinos, its cuisine needs saving more than ever.