Room Service? Get Me Geoffrey Zakarian!There was never any doubt the Water Club, the $800 million hotel-casino being put up by the Borgata in Atlantic City, was going to have a high-end food pedigree. The Borgata’s a class act! But they did especially well in hiring Geoffrey Zakarian of Town and Country. We’ve had a close look at his menu, and it’s a cut above the usual institutional food: Room-service entrées include filet of bison, braised lamb shank with basmati rice and pomegranate (a nod to Zakarian’s Armenian heritage), and, for when you really don’t want to leave the room, a rib-eye center-cut dry-aged beef chop on the bone with potato purée and field mushrooms. Even the breakfast menu’s four options are hipper than you would expect, among them “The Manhattan” (coffee, bagel, New York Times); the “Long Night” (hanger steak and eggs, grilled tomato, Emergen-C vitamin powder, coffee, water), and, inevitably, “Still Awake From Yesterday” (Philly cheesesteak, French fries, Coca-Cola.) There are 800 other things on Zakarian’s menu, but we somehow doubt we could stay long enough to try them out. In fact, it will be a miracle if we can afford to stay there at all.
The Annotated Dish
Town’s Glazed Duck Steak Is ‘Whacked’Geoffrey Zakarian, at both Town and Country, remains one of city’s most eclectic haute-cuisine chefs, as evidenced by Town’s globalist roast duck breast. “I wanted to make a very slight nod to duck l’orange meeting Peking duck,” says the chef, “but with Middle Eastern flavor elements as well,” including a buckwheat pilaf close to the ethnically Armenian chef’s heart. As always, mouse over the different elements of the dish to see them described in the chef’s own words.
The New York Diet
Hotelier Vikram Chatwal Discovers He Likes It Raw
Earlier this week hotelier and reformed party/playboy Vikram Chatwal spilled the beans on his partnership with Geoffrey Zakarian. His affinity for fine dining developed relatively late in life — “I used to only eat Indian food when I was young,” says the meat-loving Sikh, who still dines at his mother’s restaurant, Bombay Palace, two or three times a week when in from London. However, at some point Japanese food turned him on to the cuisine of other cultures. “Half the time during the week I go Asian — whether it’s Thai, Japanese, or Chinese.” We met him for some mini-burger fondue and champagne at Nightlife, the lounge in his own Night Hotel, to find out what he eats the rest of the time.
Gordon Ramsay’s Dark Side Revealed; Staten Island Pizza Conquers the WorldAccording to a revealing new profile by Heat author Bill Buford, Gordon Ramsay isn’t a bad guy, “but he does get angry, helplessly and uncontrollably angry — not an earthly anger but something darker — and has trouble knowing how to stop.” [NYer]
State legislator proposes an A through F system of grading restaurant hygiene, but the Department of Health is against it. [amNY]
A Staten Island pizzeria beats out a field of 65 from six countries to win the 23rd International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. It’s Denino’s, right? Joe and Pat’s? No. It’s Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza. [NYDN]
Geoffrey Zakarian Taking On Sasha Petraske in Battle for Blue Mill SpaceEarlier we reported that Sasha Petraske has his eye on the vacant Blue Mill space, which is begging for a Waverly Inn–style revival. Turns out he’s not the only one: We noticed, in the agenda for tonight’s Community Board 4 meeting, that Geoffrey Zakarian of Town and Country has applied for a liquor license at 50 Commerce Street. Zakarian concedes that he and some unnamed partners are looking at several spaces in the West Village and Lower East Side with a small bistro in mind, but he hasn’t signed a lease and needs to crunch more numbers before he’s ready for the community board. “I spoke to the landlord and evidently there’s someone else she’s interested in,” he tells us. The plot thickens … —Daniel Maurer
Earlier: Sasha Petraske to Take on Fine Dining, Too