Ken Friedman Also Has a DoppelgängerSure, David Chan looks a hell of a lot like David Chang, but the food world has been strangely mum about the closest resemblance of all — between Spotted Pig honcho Ken Friedman and spotted-pig hunter Meriwether Lewis.
At the Rusty Knot, There’s a Bass on the Wall and ‘Barracuda’ on theBack when Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman first clued us in to the Rusty Knot, in the old West space, he said little more than, “We’re doing a little dive bar there — it’s going to have a pool table and a jukebox.” In this week’s issue, chef Joaquin Baca tells us what “dive bar” means (an addictive chicken liver, bacon, and avocado sandwich, it turns out), but he doesn’t say anything about the jukebox. All we can say is, don’t expect to hear Masta Ace or New Young Pony Club, like you might at the Pig.
The Rusty Knot Will Knot Be Open TomorrowThe Rusty Knot, Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman’s new west side bar, was jam-packed last night. Maybe a little too packed: Friedman has decided to close the place back up for a few days until he can figure out how to handle the crowds, which are much more intense than he bargained for. (Just last night, we saw Mary-Kate (or was it Ashley?) Olsen coming out the door, and Kate Krader of Food and Wine says Jay-Z and LeBron James were frolicking inside too. “Our friends ate & drank us dry last night. We’ll open sometime next week,” Friedman says.
Related: Friedman Reveals a Little Bit (Just a Little Bit) About John Dory, Rusty Knot
Back of the House
For Ilan Hall, a Taco Shack of One’s OwnIt’s a far cry from helming a Ken Friedman restaurant, as he was previously rumored to be doing, but now the word, via the Gluttoness, is that former Top Chef Ilan Hall is said to be opening a taco shack in Los Angeles. We suspect, as the Gluttoness does as well, that the hire is a way to buy cheap publicity for the taco shack in question. Still, is this what being a Top Chef has come to? Somewhere, Sam Talbot must be sniggering.
Rumor Mill [Gluttoness]
Related: Will Ken Friedman Open a Restaurant With Ilan Hall?
Friedman Reveals a Little Bit (Just a Little Bit) About John Dory, Rusty KnotDeodorant-eschewing Spotted Pig honcho Ken Friedman sits down with Bruni to say not much of anything about what he’s planning for the Rusty Knot, his “East Village–style dive bar” in the old West space. Despite the fact that he was last heard talking about the bar in a series of Belvedere ads, he says he doesn’t want the sort of exposure Sam Mason enjoyed on this very blog (“I was sick of [Tailor] before it even opened”) and reveals that his first choice for partner was Amy Sacco of Bungalow 8 rather than Taavo Somer of Freemans — a restaurant that’s one of his faves despite the fact that “the food’s never really that good.” Ouch!
A Chat with Ken Friedman [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Earlier: Daniel Boulud and Ken Friedman Reveal New Projects in Belvedere Ads
Spotted Pig’s Ken Friedman Likes Your Sexy Stank
We can only imagine why Times writer Anna Jane Grossman rang Ken Friedman when she was looking for a quote about why folks forgo deodorant, but, boy, was he forthcoming about his use of what we call “meodorant”:
For those who managed to avoid underarm products, the idea of using them is anathema. “I never use deodorant,” said Ken Friedman, an owner of the Spotted Pig, a restaurant in the West Village. “I like girls who don’t use anything. They sort of smell like sex.”
Are you listening, Beyoncé?
Cast Aside Underarm Protection, If You Dare [NYT]
Daniel Boulud and Ken Friedman Reveal New Projects in Cheesy Belvedere AdsThe Tenjune lads aren’t the only ones to recommend not-exactly-under-the-radar places in Belvedere’s “keys to the city” series: The interview with Marquee’s “head doorman/actor” Wass makes us want to hand him a douche card, Centro Vinoteca’s Anne Burrell plugs no fewer than four Batali restaurants, and pretty much everyone plugs the Spotted Pig.
Gordo Casting Restaurateurs; Thomas Keller Feels for Celebrity ChefsGordo’s back on Fox TV for another season of Kitchen Nightmares, and he’s looking for a floundering restaurateur to belittle on national TV. [Eater]
It’s hard out there for a chef, according to Thomas Keller: “No longer are critically-acclaimed chefs allowed — as they might have been even ten years ago — to call it a day after opening a single successful restaurant. Instead, he said, food wizards like him are … expected to pen best-sellers, give lectures, judge reality TV shows and host benefits like the one he gave last night.” [NYO]
The massive, multistory Pop Burger at 14 East 58th Street will start serving baby crab cakes and grilled filet mignon in addition to burger boxes by mid-November. [Strong Buzz]
Related: Massive New Pop Burger Popping Up in Midtown