Kate Moss Digs Le Royale; FreshDirect Fires 85 WorkersApparently the opening-night party at Le Royale was a success, drawing the likes of Kate Moss, who made out with the D.J.[Imbible/Citysearch]
Related: Le Royale Might Just Bring Nightlife Out of the Doldrums
Frank Bruni applauds restaurants seeking out new forms of hospitality, but is wary of the WiFi availability: “Will the glow of laptop screens and the percussion of typing become pervasive visual and aural backdrops for our meals?” [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
A former Scores cocktail waitress is suing the owners for being told to act more like a stripper. [NYP]
The New York Diet
Graffiti Goddess Claw Money Starts With a Bagel, Finishes with Champagne and
Now that she’s retired from the graffiti game, Queens-born Claw Money (whose signature claw you’ve seen all over the city and on Ecko apparel) says she has “like, 10,000 jobs.” In addition to designing her own line and finishing her second book, Shady Lady (it’s about eyewear), she’s the fashion director for Swindle magazine, a coveted brand consultant, and the wardrobe supervisor for a top-secret VH1 pilot. So how does she get into work mode? “It’s not a good day,” she says, “unless you start it out with a bagel.” As she prepped for a party launching the sneakers she designed for Nike, she told us what the rest of her days entailed.
East Village Face-off as CBGB Tells DBGB to Cease and DesistClinton Hill: Il Torchio, an enoteca and Italian tapas joint at 458 Myrtle Avenue, is under construction; the exposed-brick interior and outdoor space look promising. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: CBGB, DBGB: We get it. [Eater]
Greenwich Village: Grey Dog Coffee’s University Place location opens Thursday. Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. [Eater]
Nolita: Vig Bar’s temporary close had something to do with a change of management and a lot to do with the State Liquor Authority, but it’ll be back serving downtown bankers by Thursday. [Down by the Hipster]
Park Slope: FreshDirect messed with the wrong groups when it temporarily, and possibly accidentally, raised its delivery minimum from $50 to $100. [Gowanus Lounge]
West Village: From 4 p.m. until close tomorrow, the Blind Tiger will feature Christmas-themed beer from England’s Ridgeway Brewery including Very Bad Elf, Seriously Bad Elf, and another favorite, Santa’s Butt, all for no apparent reason. [Blog Chelsea] Maremma is cooking up purebred Chianina steaks starting this Thursday evening for one week only. [Grub Street]
Senator Schumer Stands Up for the Red Hook Ball Fields; Di Fara Set to ReopenSenator Chuck Schumer visits the Red Hook ball fields and stands up for the vendors in front of rolling cameras: “Removing this for something that might make a little more money for the City of New York makes no sense. We don’t want McDonald’s here.” [NYDN]
Earlier: Senator Schumer Springs to the Red Hook Ball-Fields’ Defense
Di Fara will reopen by the end of the week. But it isn’t clear what owner Dom DeMarco will be doing to prevent another closure. [AMNY]
FreshDirect has a rival in tiny, Long Island City–based Bread-n-Brie. Unlike FreshDirect, with its vast inventory, Bread-n-Brie goes to good markets and gets things for you upon request. [NYT]
Terrance Brennan Gives the TV Dinner Business Another Go
The last time we checked in on Terrance Brennan and his line of ready-to-go FreshDirect meals, the chef was rejiggering one of his recipes after negative feedback from the Grub Street staff. Now that a new line is out, we felt it only right to give The Big Cheese another review, much as Adam Platt revisited Picholine after Brennan revamped it last year. The results of the tasting, as last year, were mixed.
Victorian Flatbush Gets Full Coverage From FreshDirectChinatown: Hole-in-the-wall Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1 at 369 Broome Street has reopened after being closed for renovations and transformed from dingy and cluttered to spick-and-span. [Grub Street]
East Village: A cloudy sake soda served up recently at Ssäm Bar gets props for ingenuity. [Down by the Hipster] David Chang tells all about the new Momofuku. [Eater]
Harlem: There’s a dress code for a Mother’s Day tea party hosted by a knitting circle, but you just need a dish to share for entry. [Uptown Flavor]
Park Slope: Union Street’s Food Coop wins partial reimbursement from Con Edison after a blackout last year resulted in $27,000 worth of spoiled products. The rebate? Seven Gs. [The Gowanus Lounge]
Victorian Flatbush: FreshDirect deems the nabe worthy of coverage. [Brooklyn Record]
Chicken Soup for the House-Bound SoulRight now there are two kinds of New Yorkers: those with a cold, flu, cough, sniffle, ache, or fever, and those trying to ward off everyone else’s germs. Our advice: Stay close to home, and let the chicken soup and orange juice come to you.
Back of the House
After a Grub-Drubbing, FreshDirect Rejiggers RecipeIt was with a warm glow of satisfaction that we read the Times’ review of Terrance Brennan’s new FreshDirect line of microwave dinners; not to toot our own horns, but we were on that days ago (toot). We were surprised, though, to see Florence Fabricant praising the paella rice in the shrimp romesco, a dish we singled out as especially vile — and not because of the shrimp. (“The paella rice in another shrimp dish was excellent, but the shrimp were rubbery and medicinal,” she wrote.)
But there’s another facet to this gem of a story, and it has nothing to do with Fabricant. After we smacked down the concoction, chef Brennan actually took it back to the drawing board (toot, toot). “It’s like opening a restaurant,” Brennan told us. “You have to work out all the dishes as you get feedback. The rice was overcooking.” Thanks, Chef.
TV Dinner Stages Internet-Era Comeback
Picholine and Artisanal chef Terrance Brennan, working with FreshDirect, has reinvented the microwave meal. Or so we were told earlier this week. Apparently, the ingredients in his glorified TV dinners come raw or semi-cooked, and a release valve in the box allows the container to work as a pressure cooker, making the meal from scratch in about three minutes. Skeptical but intrigued — and inspired by a similar experiment by the Gobbler — we opted out of having lunch delivered to our desk yesterday and instead joined other Grub Street staffers in the kitchenette to sample six of the eight varieties. The best were better than many restaurant dishes; the average ones were an order of magnitude more enjoyable than any “frozen dinners” we’d ever eaten before; and the worst were terrible. (FreshDirect plans to develop more lines with other high-profile New York chefs.)