Clubland’s Toughest Door Is in, Um, Times Square?
Clubs have long vied for celeb-studded Tuesday nights, so what’s the hottest one going these days? By one account, it’s Spotlight Live??? We were tempted to dismiss the Times Square karaoke complex as “strictly for the tourists” when it first opened, but that changed when we heard hip-hop stars were in the house during the recent Monday morning when a knife fight broke out. According to MTV.com, Beyoncé, Mya, Fantasia, Ne-Yo, and others have taken the stage for Tuesday’s “R&B Live” night. This week, when Diddy hosted a Bad Boy showcase, Fat Joe, Ray J, and Missy Elliott were in the audience, and Naughty by Nature and Danity Kane performed. We called the club looking to get in on the action, but were told it was a private event put on by an entertainment group affiliated with Universal Records. In other words, that door is tight.
Related: Diddy, Beyonce, Ne-Yo Make ‘Spotlight Live’ New York’s Hot Tuesday-Night Ticket
Deadly Brawl in Times Square [NYDN]
Carrie Jennings of Spotlight Live Doesn’t Mind If You’re Horrible at Karaoke
Takahachi Serves Tuna Rolls With Side of PropagandaWhile certain restaurants consider carrying the certified low-mercury tuna we told you about yesterday, others are assuring their customers there’s nothing to worry about. When a friend of Grub Street ordered a tuna roll at Takahachi, he was handed a letter insisting the research used in the Times story is outdated and often exploited by “environmental groups attempting to harm fishermen and the U.S. seafood industry.” According to the page-long missive, the health benefits of fish far outweigh the dangers of mercury content, even for pregnant women.
Suzie Wong Promises to ‘Love U Long Time’We’ve been razzing Suzie Wong for its familiar logo, so we thought you might want to see what the city’s first bottle-service club concentrating in sake will actually look like when it opens for a private party tonight and then Baby Phat’s sure-to-be-nuts party tomorrow. Sake bottles will range from $150 Muroka Nama Genshu to $400 Kakunko, and you get free dirty fortune cookies with them!! The waitresses won’t be dressed as geishas as originally planned, but there will be a Geisha cocktail on the menu as well as a Madame Butterfly. The chef is Junnajet Hurapan, who has served time at Ruby Foo’s, Pre:Post, Hue, and — ahem — Lotus. The menu and another interior shot, if you care to see them, follow.
Momofuku, Freemans, Spotted Pig Honchos Break Bread With Stephen Starr
Our favorite celebrity sighting of the week was, of course, Lindsay Lohan at Peter Luger on Tuesday night — that’s because we saw her with our own eyes. Of course, we can’t be everywhere and see everyone, so as usual we’ve combed the gossip columns for other stop-ins. We’re sorry we missed Tracy Morgan at the Plumm, shirtless and offering to father babies as usual, and boy do we wish we were a fly on the wall when partners Ken Friedman and Taavo Somer, along with David Chang, dined with Stephen Starr at Buddakan. Is there a Spotted Buddafuku in the works?
Hot-Chocolate Frenzy in Flatiron; Know You’re Eating Sperm in MidtownAstoria: Sunswick is having an Abitas beer promotion on Sunday with drink specials, but if you’re less concerned about game day, you could check out the renovation at Il Bambino. [Joey in Astoria]
Carroll Gardens: Naturally Delicious caterers, who also did this blogger’s wedding, will deliver a V-Day menu that includes baked oysters, lobster bisque, tenderloin, a cheese plate, and a Valrhona flourless chocolate cake to those who want to stay in but aren’t able to whip up our sexy stash of recipes. [A Brooklyn Life]
Flatiron: City Bakery kicks off its monthlong hot-chocolate festival tomorrow, which highlights rotating “additional flavors, from Caramel or Banana Peel to the Chili Pepper or even Beer varieties.” [Restaurant Girl]
Midtown East: If you show up at Sakae Sushi and find that it’s closed for a couple of days, you can stop into nearby Yakitori East on 44th Street. Just remember: The winter specialty shirako that their menu dubs as “soft cod roe” is “rather beige globules of sperm sacs.” [Gothamist] On February 12, eliminate “menstrual and sexual health concerns” through food at D’Or; let’s hope there’s chocolate involved. [Love Your Femme via Gridskipper]
Union Square: Mesa Grill impresario Bobby Flay just got back from Greece and would fly there again for all that “delicious Greek olive oil and some lemon and some potatoes and Greek salad,” but if he would just stay in New York, maybe Mesa Grill would have been able to hold on to more of its stars. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
You Don’t Need to Go to New Jersey for a Beefsteak BanquetEvery time we read about fantastic food events in faraway places (like, say, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey), we fume at the fact that we are only reading about them. Why must we be, like Mr. Duffy in James Joyce’s A Painful Case, “outcast from life’s feast”? Such was our mood when reading Wednesday of the bacchanalian “beefsteak” banquets being held in New Jersey, but then, toward the end, we were reminded that New York has its own beefsteak coming up. It’s Beacon’s Beefsteak, of course.
The Palm Coming to Chambers Street
The Palm, having launched satellite steakhouses everywhere from Atlanta to Atlantic City, will soon have a third restaurant right here in the 212. The restaurant confirmed a tip that a third Palm is coming to the financial district — Chambers Street, to be exact. We’re still working on the address but thought you would like to know, because there aren’t enough steakhouses popping up in Manhattan these days.
Related: Can Downtown Support Another Steakhouse?
Tamsin Lonsdale Hanging With Jigga Hov? Not So MuchThe Observer today follows up on an earlier story in which Tamsin Lonsdale bragged that her Supper Club got to dance with Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Turns out, according to the Transom’s source, that Lonsdale was hoisted by Beyoncé’s bodyguard as she protested, “Do you know who I am?” The Supper Club’s spokesman insists Londsdale said no such thing and wasn’t manhandled, but still — we’re beginning to see why the snake-eating dinner club stuck to a place that was just a little bit more under the radar.
Spotted Pig Oinks At Supper Club Founder’s Tale of Hangin’ With Jay-Z [NYO]
Earlier: Misled Socialites Outraged by Tamsin Lonsdale’s Supper Club
Win a Date With Thomas Keller; Year-end Lists AboundMix up your holiday charitable giving by entering a raffle for a coffee date with Per Se’s Thomas Keller or Ferran Adrià of Spain’s El Bulli. [NYT]
Related: Ferran Adrià, Molecular Gastronomist—Who, Me? [NYM]
On his No Reservations holiday special, Anthony Bourdain spoke with a veterinarian who explained that foie gras production is not the demonic act it has been portrayed as by animal-rights groups, so eat up! [Eat for Victory/VV]
If Amy Sacco didn’t convince you of the growing synergy between restaurants and real estate, consider that Centovini has just struck a deal with luxe condo Soho Mews that offers not only delivery to the building but also the option to have executive chef Patti Jackson provide in-home cooking. [NYP]
Heatherette, Batali Take Away Lunchbox Stigma for Charity
At the Lunchbox Auction for the Food Bank for New York City, Tom Colicchio said what Jada Yuan and our camera crew were thinking: “Lunchboxes aren’t cool!” But they were last night, as artists, chefs, and celebrities designed lunchboxes to be sold for charity. Flea’s deconstructionist lunchbox (“It looks like Flea has run over his lunchbox with a small tractor,” marveled Patti Smith) was a favorite, and Heatherette’s pink-and-purple glitter-fest was a feat, considering Traver Rains bought the hot lunch as a kid. To see lunchbox designs from Beyoncé and hear Molto Mario’s bidding strategy, watch the video.
Video Party Lines: Lunchbox Auction
I Want to Surprise My Parents With the Gift of Dance
Dear Grub Street,My parents are going to have their 40th anniversary next month, and I want to do something special for them: a surprise party. It would be really great if it were at a restaurant that had a garden so that they could dance outdoors, which is a big deal for them. Where can we go? We want to get them in without their knowing it’s a big affair.Barry
‘Top Chef’ Open Call to Be Held in SohoAstoria: French-Asian restaurant Bistro 33 serves beer, wine, sake, and cocktails now that its liquor license has gone through. [Joey in Astoria]
Boerum Hill: Smith Street may be getting a McDonald’s. [Curbed]
Financial District: For $10, you can add an illegal lap dance to your lunch at Cordato’s Deli. [WCBSTV]
Hell’s Kitchen: Port Authority’s 7-Eleven has transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart for the remainder of July to promote the new Simpsons movie and is even selling Blue Woo Hoo! Vanilla Squishees and KrustyO’s cereal. [7-Eleven]
Soho: Pinkberry open at 41 Spring Street! [Eater] Open call for the next season Top Chef will be held at the French Culinary Institute on July 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Bravo]
How to Grill the Great Chain of Being, From Veggies to Steak
Just in time for Independence Day, we here at Grub Street would like to present this how-to guide to frills-free grilling. You will find no special spices, glazes, lavender-honey mustards, or wasabi rubs in this video. All you need is kosher salt, coarse pepper, good olive oil, a bag of Wonder buns, some American cheese, and the right meat and charcoal in order to cook right along with us. (We also recommend imbibing a little more beer than would seem reasonable on a typical afternoon.)
The Pearl Oyster Suit Not Just About Lobster Rolls; Salman and Padma FinallyThere’s more to the Pearl Oyster Bar suit than the poaching of lobster-roll recipes or wainscoting; Rebecca Charles accuses Ed McFarland of what amounts to corporate espionage. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Related: Ed’s Lobster Bar to Pearl Oyster Bar: Step Off!
It’s finally official: Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi are bust-o. A source close to both suggests two of the possible reasons: Rushdie is “totally self-centered,” and Lakshmi “incredibly dull.” [Daily India]
PDT’s combination of conspicuous secrecy and promotional exertion is basically ridiculous. “It kind of gives you the idea that you’re the only one who knows about a place. But once you look around and are like, ‘What are all these people from New Jersey doing here?’ — obviously, you’re not.” [NYP]
Tre From ‘Top Chef’ Lets Texas Down; Momofuku Ko Still On for FallSome Texans aren’t happy about the Lone Star State’s Tre Wilcox losing the barbecue challenge on Top Chef: “The fact a Texan didn’t finish in the top three in a barbecue challenge is, alas, troubling and disappointing.” [Dallas Observer]
Related: Adam Platt Is Willing to Bet Against Howie on ‘Top Chef’ [Grub Street]
David Chang, looking for an assistant, is aiming for a fall opening of Momofuku Ko. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Related: David Chang Going Upscale — Again [Grub Street]
A new blog about Latin food in New York, Nueva York Guide, just launched. It was created by two undisputed experts, Carolina Gonzalez and Seth Kugel, who wrote the book on the subject. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]