Lurie De La Rosa knows a thing or two about cocktails: She worked at Pegu Club under Audrey Saunders (her “New York mom”) and with Jim Meehan, who asked her to help him open his debut spot PDT. “I wasn’t sure what he meant by a ‘hot dog bar,’” she tells us. Indeed PDT is unique in that it pairs Crif Dogs with Snoop Dogg, something De La Rosa says was “scary for a little bit. I came from this world of classic music and jazz.” But she has adjusted admirably and is now part of a family that includes Wylie Dufresne, David Chang, and the occasional naked patron.
In a shameless (but successful, and we have to admit, brilliant) bid for free publicity, James Sakatos, executive chef at the Carlyle hotel, has come up with a menu of dishes inspired by this year’s Oscar nominees. There’s a tart for Juno (a cheap shot), “black ink risotto with blood orange foam for There Will Be Blood,” the ink standing in for oil, and the blood-orange foam for, well, blood; Dover sole for Michael Clayton because “George Clooney's morally conflicted lawyer found his ‘sole’ and ultimately did the right thing,” and so on.
Little Branch and Milk & Honey owner Sasha Petraske may have moved into his East Village bachelor pad a week ago, but last night the community board’s SLA committee said not-so-fast to his plan to turn the two floors below it (formerly Jack’s Luxury Oyster) into a wine and Belgian beer bar called the Mighty Ocelot. (That name, previously reported here, may now change since cat-loving Sasha discovered the bar next door is called Leopard Lounge). Not even Petraske’s two adorable character witnesses — his mother and the mother of his cheese guy, T.J. Segal of Artisanal and Picholine — could save him from the wrath of block association members armed with a petition signed by over 140 noise-fearing neighbors.
Sasha Petraske, owner of Milk and Honey and Little Branch, not to mention one of the city's most revered mixologists, plans on expanding his mini-empire. Shockingly — for those who aren't aware that Petraske worked at Von before conquering the cocktail world — the new venture will be a wine-and-Belgian-beer bar; he's calling it the Mighty Ocelot ("I really like cats," he tells us). Petraske first applied for a beer-and-wine license at 226 Broome Street, around the corner from Milk and Honey, but the rent would've busted his "shoe-string budget." So in January he'll taking over the former Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar space in the East Village; come March, he'll be offering cheese plates and light food. Not only this, but a project in Long Island City is also in the works. Daniel Maurer