‘Top Chef’ Parties at South Beach Wine and Food FestOur first night at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival made it pretty clear why this event is such a success. For one thing, it’s warm down here. And the two parties we attended were as carefree as hayrides. The full moon shone down on the Versace mansion, and we gained some useful knowledge. Such as…
Eater, Everyone Else Hot for Sam TalbotEater today announced a “Win a Date With Sam Talbot,” contest, posting some smokin’ photos of Hot Chef Sam Talbot taken for a charity event, the Glad Steamiest Chef Contest. (Grub Street’s pal Aaron Sanchez is also one of the steamy nominees.) The Eater-sponsored date is not sanctioned by Talbot, but editor Ben Leventhal thinks he can convince Talbot to participate with “a hot photo and the right cover letter.” But is the whole exercise just an excuse for Leventhal to proclaim is his man-crush on Talbot from the rooftops of the Internet?
Thor Struck Down on the LES; Bruni Rides the Bull in Midtown West?Clinton Hill: Recent openings: Manee Thai from the owners of Myrtle Thai and Nuevo Latino spot Tamboril. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Coney Island: The world’s largest “lollypop” has been installed by an artist to commemorate Philip’s Candy (1930–2001). [Kinetic Carnival]
Long Island City: LIC Bar at 45-58 Vernon Boulevard is hosting a BBQ and free concert with local bands this Sunday from 4 to 7:30 p.m. [Joey in Astoria]
Lower East Side: Thor gets gutted with no warning. [Eater]
Midtown West: Frank Bruni contemplated riding the bull at Johnny Utah’s. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Prospect Heights: Rye with fresh blackberries, mint, and ginger beer, and gin with peaches and homemade thyme syrup are among cocktails available at Flatbush Farm Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. during a farmer’s-market tasting event. [A Brooklyn Life]
Bondage and Brownies Together at Last in Soho on SundayAstoria: Time Cafe at 44-18 Broadway will have a jazz brunch Sunday. [Joey in Astoria]
Midtown East: In line with its plans for a New York expansion of immense proportions, Pret A Manger is opening a store on Madison at 49th Street. [Grub Street]
Soho: Use up all your indulgences on Mercer Street this Sunday when the Treats Truck sidles up next to Babeland. [The Treats Truck]
Southampton: You might consider dropping the name of Dune nightclub co-owner and cheesemonger Matt Schendell if you want to get in. [Down by the Hipster]
Tribeca: The grand opening of the new pub and restaurant Harrison Tavern on Chambers Street at West Broadway has revealed drab lighting, green-checked tablecloths, and a extensive menu of bar food that includes a ranch-chicken pizza. [Grub Street]
Hottest Club in the Hamptons Run by CheesemongersChelsea: Izakaya Ten now serves weekend brunch featuring shrimp-fried-rice omelettes, wasabi Bloody Marys, and “Chu-Hais” made with shochu and citrus juices. [NYS]
Southampton: The owners of a Murray Hill fondue parlor are behind the Hamptons’ hottest new club. [Down by the Hipster]
Lower East Side: Spitzer’s Corner, having been spurned by Sam Talbot, has finally gotten around to installing a chef: Le Bernardin veteran Michael Cooperman. [Restaurant Girl]
Union Square: Reserve a spot for Italian Wine Merchants’ Saturday wine tasting dedicated to women winemakers; Batali-approved antipasti are sure to be served. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Upper West Side: The ten-year-old dining room at Jean Georges will close for renovations August 20 through 28. [NYT]
Lower Eastpacking District Tells Bar, ‘No Bull’When we visited Johnny Utah’s a few days ago, it was a mere construction site with a $25,000 mechanical bull at the center. Granted, in these first interior shots, we still see nothing but the bull, but that’s just because we’re obsessed. And as obsessives, we were a bit concerned when a source told us that Rob Shamlian of Fat Baby had abandoned his plans to install the city’s second bull at 133 Essex Street, the site of the honky-tonk bar and restaurant, at one point called Evan Ford, that Sam Talbot walked away from along with his other project with Shamlian, Spitzer’s.
‘Top Chef’ Heartthrob to Cook on the Bowery?
On the agenda for tonight’s Community Board 2 meeting is a liquor-license application that a one “Sam Talbot or Corp. to be formed” has filed for 312–314 Bowery, a recently renovated mixed-use building between Houston and Bleecker Streets, walking distance from the restaurant Daniel Boulud hopes to open at Avalon Chrystie Place II. It seems, in other words, that Top Chef also-ran Talbot has found a new project after moving on from Spitzer’s, his ill-fated partnership with Fat Baby owner Rob Shamlian (you’ll recall “Page Six” rumors that big-name restaurateurs lured him into a mystery project). Trouble is, a Bravo publicist tells us Talbot doesn’t know anything about the Bowery application, and the other Sam Talbot, the beloved pushcart vendor, says he doesn’t know anything about it either. Will the real Sam Talbot stand up at tonight’s meeting?
Related: CB2 July agenda
Twinkies Now Stuffed With Bananas; Lower Eastpacking District Now OnlineReporter files 500 words on the new banana Twinkie. [NYDN]
Talbot loses to Hall again in cooking contest. The real winners here: the women of New York. [NYDN]
The Spotted Pig’s DOH record is not exactly spotless — it’s accused of “vermin harborage,” and not just on weekend bridge-and-tunnel nights. [NYP]
De Niro may be choosing his L.A. partner Sciandri over his N.Y. partner Nieporent as partner in new hotel — turf war! [NYDN]
Vice creates a Virtual Lower Eastpacking District, uniting Internet dorks and party animals. [Gawker]
New York is Now Fat City; Korean KFC Comes to New YorkFat is where it’s at in New York today, thanks to the efforts of what Adam Platt would call the “refined meathead” school of chefs like David Chang and Zak Pelaccio. [NYT]
Related: You Know You’re a Meathead When… [NYM]
Kyochon Chicken, the Korean chain behind the current wave of Korean fried-chicken restaurants, has opened in Flushing. Two more locations are planned for Bayside. [NYT]
Ilan Hall defeated Sam Talbot in their outdoor Top Chef rematch yesterday, Hall’s soft-shell crab salad triumphing over Talbot’s grilled quail and potatoes. [NYDN]