Government Bails Out Bagatelle’s Brunch

The scene at Mercato 55

Further to our profile of the brunch scene at Merkato 55, the Times checks in with neighbor Bagatelle, where the doorman is a little stricter so the Champagne poppers are a little … classier. For instance, there’s the laid-off gossip-magazine reporter who says: “It’s like, ‘What recession?’ … Look around. Do you see a recession?” A cocktail waitress adds: “You always think, ‘The economy is hitting today.’ By 7 p.m., you’re like, ‘What crisis?’” But let it be known, investment bankers are feeling the effects. Says one of the gatekeepers, Remi Laba: “Instead of having the $10,000 to $15,000 to spend on a Saturday afternoon, they might spend $2,000 to $3,000. Which is fine.” Indeed one banker is coping heroically: “If you’d asked me in October, I’d say it’d be a different situation, and I don’t think I’d be here. Then the government gave us $10 billion.” Aww. Remember the ending of Bright Lights, Big City, where the harsh light of day makes the laid-off editorial assistant see the error of his ways? These days, dude would’ve crawled straight to Bagatelle.

Uncorked! [NYT]