James Beard Awards Justify Excessive After-Parties

We’re going to need every drop of that Champagne at Bar Boulud.Photo: Josh Ozersky
The James Beard Awards were good to New York last night, which always means one thing – great after-parties. To no one’s surprise, David Chang won Outstanding Chef–New York, but our city conquered three of the major national awards too, with Gramercy Tavern taking Outstanding Restaurant; Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali named Outstanding Restaurateur; and Gavin Kaysen of Café Boulud deemed Rising Star Chef. (Hopes for a fourth were dashed when Anthos lost to D.C.’s Central Michel Richard for Best New Restaurant.) The glee was in the air at the gala afterward, but even more so at the three after-parties we attended: a jam-packed affair at Bar Boulud, home of the largest bottle of Champagne we’ve ever seen; an after-after-party at Eleven Madison Park with everyone from Thomas Keller to Tuscan party animal Cesare Casella; and an after-after-after-party at Gramercy Tavern, where the normally sedate staff poured cocktails like there was no tomorrow. Which, in a sense, there wasn’t. That heavy medallion with the bald man was a pass to vindication and euphoria for the New York restaurant community, at least for a night.

Curtis Stone, TLC’s Take Home Chef, had a high old time at the Bar Boulud party.
Photo: Abbe Benson

From left, Johnny Iuzzini, Daniel Boulud, and George Mendes yuk it up at the Spotted Pig after the journalism awards.
Photo: Josh Ozersky

And the award for late-night bartender of the year goes to … Kevin Mahan, behind the bar at Gramercy.
Photo: Josh Ozersky

Related: Beat the Beards and Win Free Tickets to the Highbrow Backyard Barbecue