‘Top Chef”s Howie Tastes the Big Time, Briefly, at Gotham Bar andWhen Howie Kleinberg, after twice coming to the brink of elimination, returned last week to win a Quickfire Challenge on Top Chef, he was rewarded with a one-week internship at Gotham Bar and Grill, courtesy of the guest judge, Alfred Portale. Kleinberg, whose unremitting hostility originally endeared him to us, has gotten on swimmingly with the chef, we hear. “He’s a very likable guy,” Portale tells us. “He’s a big guy, kinda cuts a pretty wide path through the kitchen, but he shows a lot of respect and poise.”
Jock Bait Coming to Heart of Lower Eastpacking DistrictRumors that Libation was going to become an outpost of 40/40 Club haven’t come to fruition, but now Natasha Navidad, a former manager-barkeep from Bull’s Head Tavern and the Black Bear Lodge is bringing 72 high-definition TVs to the space that was formerly Tenement— an ESPNcroachment the likes of which haven’t been seen since Bounce Deuce put its plasmas all up in the East Village’s face. The sports bar will be called the Blue Seats, after the seats in Madison Square Garden, but the food should be a step up from concession-stand grub: raw oysters and Philly-cheesesteak sliders for dinner (with a “twilight menu” served till 4 a.m.) and French toast for brunch. Have there been liquor-license delays? Yes, of course, but the place expects to open, serving blueberry mojitos, on July 30.
The Blue Seats menu
The Blue Seats, 157 Ludlow St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-614-1494.