Ice, Ice Baby: Gleaming the City’s Best CubesNot until recently have the city’s mixologists been giving frozen water the attention it deserves. A look inside the freezer reveals everything from perfect spheres to raspberry ice to 8” spikes.
David Bouley Stymied by Community Board 1 in Move That’s Increasingly CommonAs Grub readers know, community-board-meeting shitshows end up determining what you eat, drink, and, in the case of the abandoned Forty Deuce space (which will now house Chris Eddy’s sushi spot), what sort of celebs and semi-nudity you may or may not be able to feast your eyes upon on a Monday night. Consider the case of recently opened Mercury Dime, which wanted wine, but ended up serving coffee. Or the plight of Death & Co., which now has to close at midnight and may end up gone for good. Or David Bouley’s attempt to open Brushstrokes, which Eater reports was again stymied by Community Board 1 last night, though Bouley will have one more chance to plead his case later this month.
A Recession-Proof Restaurant Scene?; Death & Co. Owner Disgusted by HasslesWith all the exciting new restaurants opening in town, you’d never know there’s talk of a recession. But Frank Bruni figures anything opening now was planned a few years ago in better economic times, which makes us worry about restaurant openings in 2010. [NYT]
Death & Co. can continue to operate until mid-April, but don’t expect owner David Kaplan to produce any more nightlife destinations after that: “I’ll never open another bar, another restaurant, a deli, a fucking bodega — I’ll never open up anything ever again in New York.” [NYO]
The current cocktail craze has led to a lot of handmade – and therefore illegal – ingredients being mixed into drinks. Marijuana-infused gin, anyone? [NYP]
Out-of-Town Mixologists Will Show Us a Little Thing or TwoPhilip Ward, head barkeep at Death & Co., is hoping to broaden the relatively small world of Manhattan mixology by launching a bartender exchange program that he says is the first of its kind. This week the bar welcomes Kirk Estopinal from Chicago’s the Violet Hour, who brings to the bartop his own house-made bitters and a little something known as a “black lime,” wherein a lime is cooked in salt water, dehydrated, and zested into a drink such as a tea punch. (Let’s hope someone has told the out-of-towner to glove up before handling the lime — the Health Department is watching.) Next month Ward swaps duties with a bartender at Alembic, a San Francisco favorite, and the following month a mixologist from London cocktail mecca the Lonsdale will cross the pond. If you can think of any other mixologists who’d be an asset to Death & Co. (and who are based in cities its bartenders might actually want to travel to), do name them in the comments.
Momofuku, Freemans, Spotted Pig Honchos Break Bread With Stephen Starr
Our favorite celebrity sighting of the week was, of course, Lindsay Lohan at Peter Luger on Tuesday night — that’s because we saw her with our own eyes. Of course, we can’t be everywhere and see everyone, so as usual we’ve combed the gossip columns for other stop-ins. We’re sorry we missed Tracy Morgan at the Plumm, shirtless and offering to father babies as usual, and boy do we wish we were a fly on the wall when partners Ken Friedman and Taavo Somer, along with David Chang, dined with Stephen Starr at Buddakan. Is there a Spotted Buddafuku in the works?
EPA Joins Mercury Craze; A ‘Seinfeld’–Inspired Food StudyThe Environmental Protection Agency is beginning to examine the mercury levels in the twenty most commonly eaten fish in the New York City region. [NYT]
Top Chef seductress/hostess Padma Lakshmi is moving into a full-floor loft in Alphabet City. [The Real Estate/NYO]
The holy triumvirate of burgers, fries, and milk shakes continues to dominate the nation’s culinary imagination. [NRN]
Williamsburg’s First Cocktail Palace Is Revealed
Eater must’ve spotted us at Hotel Delmano on Friday because they took a break from their holiday yesterday to post interior shots of Billyburg’s first cocktail palace, from the owners of Union Pool. We might’ve done the same — that’s how impressive this place is — but we confess to being too hung-over from one too many elderflower tequila gimlets, which is what happens when you ask the barkeep there to make you something with tequila. That and a tequila with grenadine and bitters made “by hand” (hence the moniker “Delmano”). As for the cocktail list, the Commandant’s Cocktail is the only original one and the most expensive at $14 (it contains pear cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice, and green chartreuse), but mixologist Jeff Hanson’s $9 to $12 renditions of the Last Word, Corpse Reviver No. 2, the Hemingway Daiquiri, and the Seelbach Cocktail are plenty revelatory.
Death & Co. Says It Has at Least Four Months, Cops Pay a VisitA reader who went to Death & Co. on Saturday for a simple Bitter French wrote to tell us that she was treated to a real-live episode of Law & Order when she rolled up to the bar and found a police van parked outside. Something to do with the State Liquor Authority’s efforts to kibosh the place?
Death & Co. Fights SLA, and We Have the Papers
In an article in The Villager this week, State Liquor Authority spokesman Bill Crowley claims that Death & Co. has lost its license to serve and could be closed for “illegally trafficking alcohol.” But partner David Kaplan disputes the story.
Sign On to FohBoh; Stay Dry at Death & Co.There’s a new social-networking site for members of the restaurant industry called FohBoh, but if you’re not an industry insider, you can enjoy the forums, blogs, and videos on all aspects of food. [Red Herring via The Grinder/Chow]
Le Bernadin’s Eric Ripert will open a new restaurant called 10 Arts at the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton this spring. [Zagat Buzz]
A lot of people may be freaking out over the FDA’s approval of meat and milk from cloned livestock for consumption, but cloned food products have been in the food supply for some time. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Related: FDA to Beef Industry: Send in the Clones