Chefs Put on Something a Little More ComfortableCan someone remind us, again, when chefs became fashion icons? Was it when Esquire featured a spread of Simon Hammerstein and David Chang in tough-guy postures? Or maybe the Daily News’ “Sexiest Chef” contest was the turning point. Meanwhile, the last time we looked, chefs spent most of their time either wearing grease-splattered whites, or dressing in band t-shirts to show that they were rocking hard, and ever mod. But there’s no arguing with the genre of the chef fashion pictorial, and we have to say, this one, taken from the new Maxim, is pretty soigné. But why is Michael Psilakis wearing a suit in a refrigerator? Shouldn’t he have an overcoat on, at least? And why doesn’t Craig Koketsu have a Pucci apron on, if he’s butchering? And as for Sam Mason’s hippie-lothario duds, we can only nod our heads in mute, approving awe.
New York City’s Hottest Young Chefs [Maxim]
Related: When Chefs Play Dress-Up
Tailor’s Location No Longer a Well-Guarded Secret
Could it be that our beloved godchild, Tailor, whose gestation we chronicled so patiently last year, is taking its first steady steps? After absorbing the blows of the blogosphere for its first months, it has made adjustments. First, mixologist Eben Freeman’s cocktail program acquired its own identity and made the downstairs bar a destination; then Sam Mason and Fran Derby got the message that nobody wanted to eat food the size of Kit Kats and expanded the portion size; and now, at last, Tailor has thrown in the towel on its pretense of low-key anonymity and put an honest-to-God sign up on the door. What’s next? Big-screen TVs? Once the philistines get ahold of you, there’s nothing left but prosperity and degradation.
Nicole Kaplan Leaves Del Posto
Major developments on the pastry front: Del Posto’s head pastry chef, Nicole Kaplan, who soared to fame as the chef at Eleven Madison Park (and, incidentally, as the creator of the Shake Shack’s custard), has left the restaurant. We had heard that it was to head the dessert program at the St. Regis Hotel or, possibly, one of its restaurants, but the hotel denies this. (We’re still trying to reach Kaplan.) Del Posto GM Alfredo Ruiz confirms that Kaplan has been gone since January 1, but that her full staff is still in place and doing her menu as before. Co-owner Joe Bastianich says, “The split was amicable, and we wish Nicole nothing but the best in everything she does.” Bastianich added that the restaurant is looking at a couple of people and that, when the hire does happen, it will be “big news.”
Le Bernardin Pastry Chef a Fan of Mason; Tour East Village Dumpling Master’sAstoria: A new wine bar on 35th Avenue at 30th Street called Rest-au-Rant features about 30 wines and beers — from Germany, New Zealand, Hawaii, Belgium, and France. [Joey in Astoria]
Dumbo: Waterstreet Restaurant and Lounge hosts carolers and expects dancing till late tonight as part of a holiday shopping promotion throughout the nabe. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: A photo tour of the magical workshop of “Sun Le, the dumpling master who makes TKettle’s juicy little masterpieces.” [Eat for Victory/VV]
Lower East Side: Le Bernardin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis just had a great meal at Tailor and has “always been a fan of Sam Mason’s food.” [Restaurant Girl]
West Village: The Bowery Hotel’s Eric Goode and Sean McPherson are rumored to have closed a deal on another boutique hotel, at an unknown location. [Down by the Hipster]
Bruni Closes the Book on Tailor; Allen & Delancey Gets Good, Not Great, NoticesBruni waited to be the last one to pronounce on Tailor, and his review pretty much recapitulates, albeit in wittier prose and with some much-appreciated Grub Street love, what everyone else has said: erratic brilliance, wee portions, and a killer cocktail program. The result: one star. [NYT]
Allen & Delancey keeps impressing the critics, at least with chef Neil Ferguson’s meat mastery. His fish, though, is strictly from hunger, according to Restaurant Girl. [NYDN]
Randall Lane offers one of his most thoughtful and precise reviews of Allen & Delancey, finding fault only in flavor balances and the fact that the place has to close up at midnight. [TONY]