Free Gelato at Grom; Dollar Oysters at BoboPlus: Tequila shots for moms at Rodeo Bar in Gramercy, and a lecture on stir-fry at the Museum of Chinese in America in Soho, all in our daily roundup of neighborhood news.
Bobby Flay a Fan of Chipotle (the Restaurant, Not Just the Sauce)?Earlier today, we pointed to our fashion blog’s outrage that Orlando Bloom was seen with Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr at Max Brenner, of all places. However, our combing of this week’s celebrity sightings reveals it may have been a momentary lapse, since Bloom was also spotted at the much more respectable Bobo. Phew. But what’s this — Bobby Flay filming outside of Chipotle? Is he a spokesman now? Who knows — if Rachael Ray can endorse Dunkin’ Donuts…
Vera Wang Gives Guests Bobo Coffee While Waiters Do Dunkin’
With Fashion Week revving up, our fashion blog the Cut stopped into Vera Wang’s Lavender showing at, oddly enough, Bobo. No doubt its French country chairs were comfier than the usual folding variety celebs have to put up with alongside the runway, and guests were treated to Bobo’s freshly brewed coffee. The waiters, however, had to settle for Dunkin’ Donuts. Not even Starbucks!! No doubt Rachael Ray is hoping this Dunkin’ discrepancy overshadows her own.
Vera Wang’s Lavender, Now With Free Continental Breakfast [The Cut]
Earlier: Rachael Ray Brushes Off Her Starbucks Scandal
Edible Jewelry for ‘Commitmentphobes’; Midtown East Welcomes AdourEast Village: TKettle owner Andy Pan is still waiting for his partner BBQ Chicken to open, but “it’s killing me softly,” he says.
[Eat for Victory/VV]
Little Italy: Send a mixed signal to your love this Valentine’s Day with a candy ring from Papabubble. [TONY]
Lower East Side: Tomorrow night at Suba is a pata negra feast, which includes dishes made with “Ossabaw Island hogs, the ‘long lost cousin of the Pata Negra’” paired with Spanish wines. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Midtown East: Initial reactions to Adour are already mostly positive, but no one else has noticed the specially reserved handbag seating, yet. [Eater]
Rockefeller Center: On Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m., Morrell is hosting a tasting of La Caravelle Grand Cru to celebrate the Champagne’s ten-year anniversary. [Snack]
Danny Meyer Might Fix Up Union Square Park; Welcome to ‘Mexhattan’Danny Meyer and the Union Square Partnership are planning to renovate the north end of Union Square Park, including a transformation of the decaying pavilion into a windowless restaurant space. [NYO]
Mia Dona, Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis’s newest baby, will start serving up rustic Italian with Greek influences in midtown next month. Marc Forgione, most recently the corporate chef for the BLT Restaurant Group, is planning an American restaurant for a spring opening. [NYT]
Forget about bringing your junior gastronomes to the finest restaurant Disney World has to offer: Victoria & Albert’s has banned all kids under the age of 10. [NYP]
Back of the House
Breaking: Chef Nicolas Cantrel Out at BoboTime Out New York’s blog reports that Nicolas Cantrel, the chef at Bobo, is leaving — a seemingly strange move for a brand-new restaurant, but maybe not that surprising. The word on the street has been that while the décor is aces, the food was strictly junior varsity (we haven’t eaten there so we can’t say). Anyway, no word yet on who Bobo’s new chef will be. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear.
Exclusive: Bobo chef go-gos out the door [The Feed/TONY]
Bobo’s Chef’s-Table Chairs Used to Be, Er, Yellow?
When Carlos Suarez dreamed up Bobo, he wanted to avoid the “large, impersonal restaurants” he says were cropping up in the meatpacking district. So he rented a U-Haul and drove it upstate every weekend for months. “We’d come back with truckloads of goodies,” he says, and among them were six yellow French country chairs that he purchased at a Saugerties antique store for $50 to $75 each.
The Other Critics
Pamplona Given a New Lease on Life; Bobo Hit HardAlex Ureña’s somewhat mainstreamed restaurant, Pamplona, earns the catchall two-star rating from Frank Bruni — a great victory for them, since it legitimizes the restaurant and puts it on the solid footing it desperately needed. Bruni doesn’t sound especially impressed, however: “His best dishes are more than memorable enough to redeem Pamplona’s shortcomings.” Well, that’s good! [NYT]
Critics tend to like writing about restaurants that fail badly in one way (such as the food) while succeeding in another, less important way (such as the room). That disjunction gives Danyelle Freeman free rein to jump with both feet onto Bobo. [NYDN]
Randall Lane checks in on the two newly opened Mexican restaurants, Toloache and Los Dados and likes them both okay, but he has changed his ways and is now throwing around stars like they were manhole covers: three (of six) for Toloache, home of the famous grasshopper taco, and two for meatpacking trendhole Los Dados. [TONY]
Citywide Truffle Shortage; A New Eastside Fro-Yo FoeA citywide truffle shortage can explain why “the Waverly Inn jacked up the price of its infamous truffle-topped mac & cheese from $55 to $85. The dish was an amusing punch line at $55; at $85, it’s just obscene.” [NYP]
Related: Le Cirque Bids High for Monster Truffle
Bruni eschews all the courtesies one suffers at the dinner table, which he refers to as restaurantspeak: “Would I ‘enjoy coffee with dessert?’ I don’t know; it depends how good the coffee is. I’ll have some, yes, then we’ll see.” [NYT]
FR.OG has now lost Jean Georges alum chef Didier Virot to the Plaza’s new restaurant-to-be, the Palm Court, set to open later this year. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
In the Magazine
After the Catwalk, a Bagel for Wakiya, and More
The desks at Grub Street are covered with high-heeled shoes, empty gift bags, and other detritus from Fashion Week, and only a laserlike focus could allow us to catch the disparate restaurant intelligence floating around in this week’s issue. Adam Platt visits Wakiya, the much-hyped Chinese restaurant in the Gramercy Hotel, and hands them a bagel in his restaurant review. The crown jewel of the B.R. Guest restaurant empire, Fiamma, has reopened with one of the most celebrated Italian chefs you’ve never heard of. Baby cucumbers and tomatillos get a close appreciation from Rob and Robin. Add in Gray Kunz’s secret ingredient, and you can see why the latest lines from Milan had but little effect on us.