PDT’s Winter Menu Blows Our Minds, GI Tracts
PDT’s winter cocktail menu debuted last night, and we are still hung-over. Mixologist Jim Meehan consulted his peers for the menu, which includes contributions from Pegu’s Audrey Sanders, Tailor’s Eben Freeman, “International cocktail maven” Charlotte Voisey, and others. There’s even a nod to Adam Platt in the description of PDT bartender Don Lee’s Benton’s Old Fashioned, a combo of bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and angostura bitters: “the crossroad of Haute Barnyard and Barroom.” (If this keeps up, we’re going to have to add Haute Barnyard to the banished-words list soon.)
Spotted Pig’s Ken Friedman Likes Your Sexy Stank
We can only imagine why Times writer Anna Jane Grossman rang Ken Friedman when she was looking for a quote about why folks forgo deodorant, but, boy, was he forthcoming about his use of what we call “meodorant”:
For those who managed to avoid underarm products, the idea of using them is anathema. “I never use deodorant,” said Ken Friedman, an owner of the Spotted Pig, a restaurant in the West Village. “I like girls who don’t use anything. They sort of smell like sex.”
Are you listening, Beyoncé?
Cast Aside Underarm Protection, If You Dare [NYT]
Center Cut to Serve Just That; Maxim Just What Meatpacking DeservesSo why is Jeffrey Chodorow’s new Lincoln Center meatery to be called Center Cut? Because it will be devoted to the center cuts of meat! There will be center-cut steaks, center-cut pork chops, center-cut venison, and so forth, says the chef’s rep Karine Bakhoum. We are flabbergasted. Such a proposition sounds insanely expensive and is also silly, since the first two ribs off the shoulder (ribs 1 and 2 in the trade) are by far the best ones, with the biggest portion of the spinalis dorsi muscle, also known as the “lip” or “deckle.”
Shake Shack Reopens Today; Fabio Trabocchi’s Last MealSweet glory, Shake Shack reopens today at 11:30! You can call ahead to place your order, but you won’t be enjoying the new heaters until next week. [Eater]
The British agree: Adam Platt’s term “haute barnyard” defines the prevailing dining trend. [Guardian]
Related: The Haute Barnyard Hall of Fame
The manager of Sarabeth’s on Central Park South caught a 50-year-old thief taking $27 from her pocketbook over the weekend. [NYP]
The Orange Line
Riding the V Line: The Life Aquatic at Ping’sWe’re riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants along the way.
This far along the V, you can tempt death crossing Queens Boulevard, wander for blocks alone on the sidewalk, and pop into several houseware stores and travel agencies. Or you could go to Ping’s, a citadel of classic Cantonese food that makes even doubters delight and shout, “This is why I love Queens!”
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
The Other Critics
Allen & Delancey Gets Its Two-Star Due; Irving Mill Continues to UninspireIn spite of lousy desserts and a misstep in the fish department there, Frank Bruni couldn’t avoid giving Allen and Delancey’s complex, accomplished food two stars. [NYT]
Alan Richman, no pushover, was also very impressed by Allen & Delancey, though he noted that the chef’s strength clearly lies in the realm of turf, rather than surf. Still, the respect is there: “The visceral satisfaction is high. He piles on flavors, and he does so with assurance.” [Bloomberg]
Irving Mill: tired concept, spotty execution. Restaurant Girl joins the chorus. [NYDN]
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]
Pour One Out for Phil Lynott at Le LupanarIf you’re going to open a restaurant in the Lower Eastpacking District, it better ROCK. When we called Le Lupanar on Saturday, the hostess told us to expect French house music (“we’re still experimenting”), but when we arrived, we got a familiar mix closer to what you’d expect at Fat Baby up the block. Not that we’re complaining — we like TV on the Radio just fine, and the two beers the BYOB restaurant provided made us forgive the Thin Lizzy.
Back of the House
Emeril No Longer Live, But Still at Food NetworkThe Food Network reached out to us today about the fate of Emeril Lagasse. FishbowlNY reported — and we repeated — this morning that the Bamtastic One was leaving the Food Network. Not so, says the channel’s spokeswoman, Carrie Welch.
Back of the House
New York to Charlie Trotter: Bring It On!
So Charlie Trotter is coming to New York at long last. (Or so the New York Times says today, reporting that the celebrated Chicago chef has plans for a restaurant on East 22nd Street, at One Madison Park.) Our question is, what took him so long? Trotter has been considered one of the top chefs in America for years, but big names in second-rate food cities rarely make a big splash here. Paul Prudhomme, the pride of New Orleans, had only mixed success here, and in recent years Charles Ramseyer of Seattle (at Wild Salmon), and Fabio Trabocchi of Virginia (at Fiamma), both the toasts of their former towns, have received tepid responses here. (Tim Love, the pride of Texas, washed out completely with Lonesome Dove.)
Midtown Pop Burger Unveils Its Poppin’ Façade
The recently unveiled exterior of the soon-to-open midtown Pop Burger takes the prize. Looks good now, but wait till the backlighting! Clearly bubble wrap was the inspiration here, making it a real possibility that someone in the upstairs billiards lounge could try to pop one of those windows with a pool cue. Also slated to hit midtown in December and still in hiding in the IBM building: the first U.S. outpost of Roman mozzarella bar Obika.
RUB Bringing Barbecue to Los Angeles?Hill Country and the forthcoming Wildwood have been getting most of the headlines lately, but RUB seems to be the New York barbecue most likely to take over the world. The huge Vegas operation is set to open on the 15th at the Rio, and owner Andrew Fischel also has plans to open an immense RUB in Los Angeles. “It’s still something we’re in talks on, but it’s going to be big!” Fischel tells us. Of course it is. RUB is a planet eater. But will this occasion the building of a second RUB chopper? Or will L.A.’s car culture demand a RUB hot rod, possibly with a smoke-belching blower coming out of the hood? Or maybe a RUB lowrider? Fischel is mum on the possibilities, but we can’t help but dream.
Related: It’s Not a Motorcycle, Baby. It’s a Mobile Barbecue Pit.
Essex House and St. Regis Restaurants: Maybe Next Year!A Times restaurant preview had Alain Ducasse’s latest, Adour, opening at the St. Regis Hotel in late November. Also slated to open its doors this month was the restaurant that’s replacing Ducasse’s old joint in the Essex House: 154 South Gate, helmed by former 11 Madison Park chef Kerry Heffernan. In the spirit of competition, we were curious to see if Ducasse could open Ardour before his Essex House replacement—but folks on the inside have informed us that everyone will be waiting ‘til at least next year to see either place cross the finish line. Adour is poised to open late January; no official date is set for 154 South Gate, though hotel sources said it’s also looking more like January. For now, we regretfully release our sweaty grip on our stopwatches.
This concludes your Future Fine Dining update.
Related: Here Come the Chefs
In Other Magazines
Media Somehow Can’t Stop Finding Hidden Bars
We often wake up with our collective head feeling like it might explode (speaking of which, has anyone tried this Berocca stuff? Supposed to work wonders). But today was a little worse, seeing as we stumbled across am New York’s little number on “hidden bars.” Oh, our favorite trend piece has come back to us! Unlike the Times — which absurdly tried to spin this angle back in January (just as they had in 2000 and 2004) — this roundup is so vintage in its coverage that it trots out that ol’ service-journalist pummel horse, Milk and Honey.
Alas, Gothamist receives all of this breaking info with a straight face and goes so far to allude to their own a “secret” bar: “the spacious and dimly lit [REDACTED] on Grand Street in Williamsburg that features an upstairs outdoor smoking patio, reasonably priced drinks and consistently great music on the house stereo.” (That’s their redaction, not ours, and the name is also redacted in the user comments.) Please, people! If you don’t want to spoil your “secret” hangout, why mention having one at all, right? And dancing around the name — what is this, Beetlejuice? If we utter the words “Larry Lawrence,” are we facing disaster? Guess we’ll find out.
Earlier: Times Rehashes ‘Secret Bar’ Trend, Snoozes on Goldbar News
Related: Hidden Manhattan Nightspots Recall Speakeasies [amNY]
Clandestine Bars? Please Do Tell! [Gothamist]
Yolato Founder Donald Park Doesn’t Sweat PinkberryYesterday we reported that Yolato is poised to infiltrate the Empire State Building and other strategic locations around the city. Now none other than founder Donald Park tells us that he’s aiming for a minimum of fifteen to twenty outlets in the next year, including at least one Downtown Brooklyn outlet. The outer boroughs, people! The guy means business! What’s more, he’s planning to announce “a very large deal with a very large company” in the next few weeks. You know what that means — Yolato is going national.
Restaurant Titans Descend on Primehouse for a NightHere’s the thing about restaurateurs: They don’t really care about who has the best ramen in the East Village. They’re not really that interested in where Paul Liebrandt’s restaurant will be, and they find avant-garde desserts about as compelling as algebra. But when Steve Hanson opens a restaurant? That, that is something they’re interested in. The fine art of making money via replicable concept restaurants is one at which Hanson is an acknowledged master, and that helps to explain why the main room at Primehouse last Thursday looked like a who’s who of big-time restaurateurs.
The Box Appears on ‘Gossip Girl,’ Officially Jumps the Shark
We thought the Box lost its remaining counterculture cred when the Times, of all things, called it out on being pretty much any other club. Not so! The real point of no return came last night when it appeared, in the guise of club Victrola, on teenybopper drama du jour Gossip Girl. The place must’ve loosened its rules against interior photography, because the first scene has Chuck Bass (a son every bit as wayward as Simon Hammerstein) explaining why his father should support him by investing in the burlesque club: “No judgments. Pure escape. What happens at Victrola stays at Victrola” (until the Health Department shows up, anyway).
Gordo Casting Restaurateurs; Thomas Keller Feels for Celebrity ChefsGordo’s back on Fox TV for another season of Kitchen Nightmares, and he’s looking for a floundering restaurateur to belittle on national TV. [Eater]
It’s hard out there for a chef, according to Thomas Keller: “No longer are critically-acclaimed chefs allowed — as they might have been even ten years ago — to call it a day after opening a single successful restaurant. Instead, he said, food wizards like him are … expected to pen best-sellers, give lectures, judge reality TV shows and host benefits like the one he gave last night.” [NYO]
The massive, multistory Pop Burger at 14 East 58th Street will start serving baby crab cakes and grilled filet mignon in addition to burger boxes by mid-November. [Strong Buzz]
Related: Massive New Pop Burger Popping Up in Midtown
Are Tuscan Chefs That Good? Find Out This WeekOn the list of people we want to see destroyed, the recently returned Tuscan tourist ranks high. Everyone has met this person. Nothing is quite the same as it is in Italy; “the pasta we have here just doesn’t compare…” “the ingredients are handled with such simplicity…” and blah blah blah. Meanwhile, they have the same flour, olive oil, and wooden spoons in both places, so what’s the big deal? We aim to find out this week, when “Five Days to Taste Tuscany’s Maremma” hits New York.
Neighbors Block Sale of Williamsburg Hip-Hop Bar to Balthazar BartenderWe’ve heard plenty about bars being shot down by the community when they try to open, but what about when they’re trying to close? Lindsey Caldwell sent us a desperate e-mail on behalf of her husband Myles Tipley, a co-owner of the artsy Williamsburg hip-hop bar Triple Crown, saying that “the community board refuses to allow [the owners] to sell the place.” The bar has been closed for eight months (with events here and there) after the burden of addressing noise complaints proved too much. But in the meantime, rent and bills have cost the owners $135,000, plus an average of about $7,000 per week in lost revenue, Caldwell says.
NYC Deli Owners Try Out a Barbecue FranchiseJust when you thought the New York barbecue marketplace was sated — and believe us, we thought so too — comes word that yet another megabarbecue is coming to the city. And not just one location, either: Famous Dave’s has sold a territorial franchise to open seven restaurants in New York and Westchester to Sammy Benmoha, owner of Maxie’s Deli, and, with his father Jacob, the Roxy and BenAsh Delis. What is this Famous Dave’s anyway? And how can there possibly be room for seven more megabarbecues, with Spanky’s, Hill Country, Virgil’s, RUB, Blue Smoke, Daisy May, Dinosaur, and half a dozen others already feeding the masses, and B. R. Guest’s Wildwood on the way?
Looking at the Cipriani Sexual-Harassment Docs
It’s hard out there for a Venetian millionaire. No sooner did the Cipriani boys get the all clear from their federal tax-evasion trial than a major sexual-harassment lawsuit came down upon their heads. Just in time for your weekend reading, Grub Street has acquired a copy of the legal documents; after the jump, allegations of systematic misogyny and insidious put-downs.
Irving Mill’s 500-Year-Old Bar Table? Might Want to Use a Coaster
For your next birthday party, why not dine at a table that’s 300 to 500 years old? You can find just that at Irving Mill, thanks to the determination of owner-designer Sergio Riva. At a trade show he met the owner of Blue Ocean Traders and — sight unseen — purchased one of the 3,000-pound, six-feet-in-diameter millstones (used to grind flour, wheat, and the like) that the company sometimes receives from Egypt. How much does such a behemoth cost? Just $700 plus $2,000 for shipping, it turns out. “They must be giving these things away in Egypt,” Riva laughs. Actually, Riva’s particular stone came from western China. When he got it after weeks of nagging his supplier, he asked a friend to build (for $2,000) a 42-inch-high base made from steel plates so that patrons can use the artifact as a bar table. And boy if that doesn’t make us appreciate the wheat in our Spaten much more.
Win Brooklyn Kitchen’s Bodega Challenge, and Be the Pride of WilliamsburgWhen we think of bodegas, we think of our favorite shady treats: quarter waters, off-brand cheese puffs, and big cans of Broadcast corned beef hash (for later). But the Brooklyn Kitchen, a Williamsburg cookware store, is now asking for customers to think outside the Nilla Wafer box with the Bodega Challenge. It’s sort of like the South Williamsburg version of the Pillsbury Bake-Off, but less healthy.
Back of the House
Tom Colicchio Named One of the ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ and Sandwich
In the wake of his bigger, bearier, and balder Top Chef season, Craft chieftain Tom Colicchio seems to be finding ways to keep himself busy. Craft L.A., though receiving mixed reviews, is doing boffo business, and two more Craft restaurants are on the way in Atlanta and Connecticut. And, having been appointed the new Earl of Sandwich by Sara Lee, Colicchio is now, just in time for National Sandwich Day, giving confused Americans helpful tips like “think BIG flavor.”
Radegast May Soon Bring a Second Oktoberfest to Williamsburg
Difficulties securing a certificate of occupancy have delayed the opening of Radegast Hall for over a month, but owner Ivan Kohut and his partner, Andy Ivanov, tell us they’re hoping to pass a follow-up buildings inspection later today, in which case they could have Williamsburg’s first beer hall up and running sometime next week. As you can see from our gallery of interior shots, the place sure looks ready.
Spike Jonze Anoints Bacaro With Celebrity Cred
On Monday we hit one of Bacaro’s bacchanalian opening parties and suggested a Halloween visit to preview the spooky (and soon-to-be-sceney) basement. Eater, in telling folks that the place wouldn’t open till Thursday, scared off the riffraff and we had no problem strolling in (again, no doorman or publicist or list, just word from a staffer that bubbly was on the house all night) and immediately tucking in to gratis plates of cuttlefish risotto, gnocchi, marinated sardines, spaghetti alle vongole, meatballs, and so on.