Restaurant Titans Descend on Primehouse for a NightHere’s the thing about restaurateurs: They don’t really care about who has the best ramen in the East Village. They’re not really that interested in where Paul Liebrandt’s restaurant will be, and they find avant-garde desserts about as compelling as algebra. But when Steve Hanson opens a restaurant? That, that is something they’re interested in. The fine art of making money via replicable concept restaurants is one at which Hanson is an acknowledged master, and that helps to explain why the main room at Primehouse last Thursday looked like a who’s who of big-time restaurateurs.
A Restaurant World ‘Howl’
A reader sent us this Ginsbergian screed earlier this week, which struck us as a perfect snapshot of the restaurant world, circa summer 2007. We leave you now for the holiday weekend. Enjoy!
DanYelle as a restaurant critic? Anne Burell shticking it up in the kitchen with a skirt with horsies on it? David Chang morphing from shy nice smiley ramen guy to F-bomb dropping Esquire spread noodle mob boss? Johnny Iuzzini in a meringue body stocking? Tattoos as the new talent. Top Chef as the new Michelin. Glorified fryers, grass fed peaches, 1,000 day meat. I mean, it’s as if we are all now Cracker Jacks ripping open the next prize every time we open a menu. It’s always going to be a disposable toy. Or wash-off ink. It’s a 3 onion ring circus, this industry. We have our freaks and our clowns and our daredevils and our bearded ladies. It’s “I invented the lobster roll and that white wicker chair to sit on while you eat it.” Huh? It’s sellouts: Bertoli, Starbucks, Target, FreshDirect, Appleby’s. It’s all hypocritical: Eat fresh … and then buy my frozen dinner meals. Hitchcock would have tapped into a whole new genre with the horror of the food world.
—An Appalled Spectator
Lily Allen Eats Blue Ribbon Sushi Four Times a Week
Our interest was piqued when we read the last line of Jada Yuan’s piece about Lily Allen’s two weeks in New York. “‘Don’t worry,’ she says, cheerily chomping on chicken satay at Cafe Gitane, a few hours before double-fisting pizza slices at Joe’s. ‘I’m still eating like a fucking pig.’” Vulture, our entertainment blog, has some choice outtakes from the interview, but none of them clear up our curiosity about Lily’s New York diet — here, then, are some food-related kernels that didn’t make it into the magazine piece.
Dialysis Center Space Will Get a Hot New Bar in ChinatownBedford-Stuyvesant: A Dunkin’ Donuts–Baskin Robbins double team coming to Nostrand Avenue is more than welcome. [Bed-Stuy Blog]
Chelsea: The new Telegraphe Espresso Bar on West 18th Street not only boasts flat screens playing independent films, but the baristas form flowers in your foam. [Blog Chelsea]
Chinatown: The Mondrian Hotel, in all its nightlife glory, will replace the Chinatown Dialysis Center on Lafayette, bringing damage to livers where there was once healing. [Down by the Hipster]
East Village: Zum Schneider celebrates averting eviction with help from petitions by thanking customers with a free buffet and free beer from 5 to 7 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. [Gothamist]
Flatiron: Shake Shack’s line-monitoring ShackCam is down. [Eater]
Lower East Side: Taco Taco expands southward with a similarly thematic name: Móle. [Gothamist]
West Village: Chumley’s landlord has a history of shoddy maintenance, making neighbors fear another collapse. [NYT]
Back of the House
Taste of Arby’s in Fort Greene; Another Wine Bar, Burger JointFlo notices the new wine and drink lounges Rob and Robin mentioned, adds Unwined at Symphony Space to the mix. [NYT]
Foie-foe councilman says it wasn’t a constituent’s call that made him think twice about proposing a ban. [VV]
Bar Martignetti and its secret-ish underground lair now open to anyone who can’t get into La Esquina. [Thrillist]