McNally Plans to Frenchify Minetta Tavern, Assures CB It’s No Big DealA year ago, Keith McNally claimed Morandi would be his last restaurant, but he revealed at last night’s Community Board 2 meeting that Minetta Tavern will join his repertoire. McNally plans to keep the name and setup, but change the menu from Italian to French, in the vein of Balthazar. When community residents asked what sort of crowd McNally’s name may draw, he retorted, “They won’t be French,” and explained that his restaurants are “not the type of places where people spill out of white limos.” So he’s not expecting this to be the next Waverly Inn? “I’m lucky if I open the doors and people come,” McNally said. The board approved McNally’s bid.
La Esquina showed how it’s done when it pleaded for a liquor license for its sidewalk café. A large group of supporters attested that owners Derek Sanders and Serge Becker are “altruistic and very caring.” Said one resident: “I would personally be bothered if I couldn’t sit down and have a beer.” Word! And application approved. —Lucy Tang
Back of the House
Baron of BBQ to Hold Court SaturdayPaul Kirk, Kansas City’s “Baron of Barbecue,” gave New York RUB, the city’s best BBQ joint. On Saturday, he’ll lead a master class on his art at the Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City, covering the basics of cooking, fire management, sauce, rubs, spices, and even competition. The class is intended for professionals: The fee alone is 250 bucks, and that doesn’t include all the supplies you’ll need to bring, from cookers to fuel. (If you’re just looking to learn the basics, you can probably get away with buying the Baron’s book, available via his Website.)
Contact Matt Fisher or Robert Fernandez to enroll.
Back of the House
Most Influential Young Chefs Named, Presented With Tchotchkes
Move over, Bouley! Step aside, Jojo! You’re so over. There’s a new generation of “emerging tastemakers,” at least according to Food Arts magazine and their friends at Sterling Meats. Sunday night, meat purveyor and magazine jointly fêted ten young chefs who, they predict, “will be influencing what, where and how we dine out on a national level.” The chefs were presented with framed, diploma-like certificates and envy-inducing Masamoto cobalt-steel knifes.