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.
Lurie De La Rosa of PDT Asks That You Put Your Pants on and LeaveLurie De La Rosa knows a thing or two about cocktails: She worked at Pegu Club under Audrey Saunders (her “New York mom”) and with Jim Meehan, who asked her to help him open his debut spot PDT. “I wasn’t sure what he meant by a ‘hot dog bar,’” she tells us. Indeed PDT is unique in that it pairs Crif Dogs with Snoop Dogg, something De La Rosa says was “scary for a little bit. I came from this world of classic music and jazz.” But she has adjusted admirably and is now part of a family that includes Wylie Dufresne, David Chang, and the occasional naked patron.
Back of the House
Publicity Gambit at Carlyle Inspires Our Oscar-Themed Beverage Menu
In a shameless (but successful, and we have to admit, brilliant) bid for free publicity, James Sakatos, executive chef at the Carlyle hotel, has come up with a menu of dishes inspired by this year’s Oscar nominees. There’s a tart for Juno (a cheap shot), “black ink risotto with blood orange foam for There Will Be Blood,” the ink standing in for oil, and the blood-orange foam for, well, blood; Dover sole for Michael Clayton because “George Clooney’s morally conflicted lawyer found his ‘sole’ and ultimately did the right thing,” and so on.
The New York Diet
TV Hostess Kelly Choi Likes Her Sandwiches With Mayo and Mustard
If you haven’t seen Kelly Choi sporting a trench coat on her show Secrets of New York, you’ve probably seen her donning skimpier attire as the host of New York Eats. She also just appeared as a judge on Iron Chef and will soon team with a liquor sponsor to publish The 25 Most Delicious Dishes in New York. What’s one of them? The moussaka at Pylos. “I’m crazy about Greek and Middle Eastern food,” Choi tells us. She doesn’t have the extravagant expense account you’d expect, and she isn’t often hungry for complimentary desserts — but still, the former Ford model managed to put away quite a bit this week.
PDT Pairs Hot Dogs With Snoop Dogg
We like to confine our House Mix feature to the music we hear in dining rooms, but this week we visited PDT. Not such a digression, actually — the place does serve food, and the thing we really love about it is that it doesn’t match its speakeasy gimmick with throwback jazz. Nothing against those Milk and Honey imitators, but it’s refreshing to sip a Sidecar (and wolf down a Chang Dog, for that matter) while indulging in everything from Snoop Dogg to Momofuku Ssäm favorite “Zero,” by the Smashing Pumpkins.
PDT’s Winter Menu Blows Our Minds, GI Tracts
PDT’s winter cocktail menu debuted last night, and we are still hung-over. Mixologist Jim Meehan consulted his peers for the menu, which includes contributions from Pegu’s Audrey Sanders, Tailor’s Eben Freeman, “International cocktail maven” Charlotte Voisey, and others. There’s even a nod to Adam Platt in the description of PDT bartender Don Lee’s Benton’s Old Fashioned, a combo of bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and angostura bitters: “the crossroad of Haute Barnyard and Barroom.” (If this keeps up, we’re going to have to add Haute Barnyard to the banished-words list soon.)
Chefs Bored With Food, Move to Clothes; Pricey Plates and Polygamy Just GoWondering who actually orders $1,000 bagel or a $28,000 bejeweled sundae? Serendipity 3 owner Stephen Bruce “wouldn’t be surprised if soon we get a call from a Middle Eastern prince or Shah willing to give something sweet to his many wives on his next trip to the city.” [News.Com.Au]
Related: Have White Truffles Finally Gone Too Far?
Breaking: Serendipity 3 Closed by DOH
Since chefs, mixologists, and their restaurants are the newest breed of celebrity, it’s about time they started designing clothes. Get dressed at Freemans, Death & Co., and PDT. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine]
Restaurateur Jimmy Bradley on the source of his managing prowess: “The Art of War by Sun Tzu taught me many leadership and organizational lessons.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
PDT Guru Jim Meehan’s New Project Pays Tribute to BaltimoreNow here’s an example of what a small world the New York restaurant scene is: Monday night we’re at Taste of New York, chatting it up with Jim Meehan, the cocktail guru at PDT and brother to our comrade in gluttony, Times $25 and Under critic Peter Meehan. Tuesday, we run a post on Maite Montenegro, the new maître’ d’ at Daniel. (Stay with us here.) Then last night we run into Maite Montenegro’s husband, cooking consultant Kevin Patricio, and he tells us that he’s planning a restaurant with Jim Meehan! Quite the daisy chain there. Anyhow, Meehan confirms it: He and Patricio are trying to find investors for Pony Trading Co., a restaurant and lounge with an odd dual mission.
In the Magazine
It’s a Haute Barnyard Type of Week in New York
“The doctrine of seasonal correctness is as ingrained in the collective restaurant psyche, these day, as linen napkins, pre-dinner cocktails, and superfluous baskets of bread,” Adam Platt writes in his review of Park Avenue Autumn, and who are we to argue? The combined efforts of Platt, the Robs, and Gael Greene all point to the triumph of the seasonal aesthetic. But that’s not to say they aren’t fun. Platt gives two stars to Park Avenue Autumn, Gael seems fairly pleased with Irving Mill, and the Robs introduce three restaurants (Lunetta, Bacaro, and Smith’s) that are all about fresh ingredients, as well as a recipe for Bosc pears that is, of course, in season. Meanwhile, back at the Greenmarket, a long-overdue crusade against plastic bags is at work. And, though not an expression of the Haute Barnyard mystique, it’s very much a sign of the times: PDT has named a hot dog for David Chang — proof that the Original Soupman has made it to the big time at last.
PDT Is Totally Cool With Your SobrietyEarlier today we posted a letter from a reader who claimed that a bartender at PDT banished her to Crif Dogs when she and her date dared to order non-alcoholic drinks with their dinner. But put down those “We’re Here, We’re Sober, Get Used To It” protest posters — a bar manager at PDT wants to clarify their policy on the matter.
PDT = Please Don’t Teetotal? A formerly hard-partying friend of Grub Street tells us that her new state of sobriety wasn’t exactly greeted with Christian compassion at PDT. When we called the cocktail lounge as civilians to find out whether we’d have problems drinking Cokes there, the hostess hesitantly told us “I don’t think so,” but our bone-dry friend has a different tale to tell, after the jump.
The Pearl Oyster Suit Not Just About Lobster Rolls; Salman and Padma FinallyThere’s more to the Pearl Oyster Bar suit than the poaching of lobster-roll recipes or wainscoting; Rebecca Charles accuses Ed McFarland of what amounts to corporate espionage. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Related: Ed’s Lobster Bar to Pearl Oyster Bar: Step Off!
It’s finally official: Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi are bust-o. A source close to both suggests two of the possible reasons: Rushdie is “totally self-centered,” and Lakshmi “incredibly dull.” [Daily India]
PDT’s combination of conspicuous secrecy and promotional exertion is basically ridiculous. “It kind of gives you the idea that you’re the only one who knows about a place. But once you look around and are like, ‘What are all these people from New Jersey doing here?’ — obviously, you’re not.” [NYP]
Breaking the Code of Silence about PDT’s WCs
We figured the new cocktail speakeasy next to Crif Dogs would have remarkable restrooms. After all, its name is PDT (Please Don’t Tell) and we’ve always had that same policy when it comes to East Village loos — you’ll certainly never hear our stories about the ones at Lit circa 2002. At least, not until you buy us a few El Diablos at this decidedly more civilized boîte. In which case, like the Strokes song goes, meet us in the bathroom.
Tribeca Gets Its Own Nouvelle Wiener StandHaving opened this week to less fanfare than Underground Gourmet picks Willie’s Dawgs and faux-under-the-radar wiener den PDT, the New York City Hot Dog Company in Tribeca has made its own foray into this haute dog-eat-dog world. Selection is the gimmick here: You can pick from Kobe, turkey, or tofu franks in addition to classic Sabrett and Hebrew National beef ones, and toppings range from sauerkraut to crumbled blue cheese. Convection-oven fries and whole-wheat buns attempt to add a healthy (or at least a less evil) angle to this fast food, and with a popular Mike’s Papaya down the block, this glassed-in corner spot is competing with real fruit in its shakes. What’s next? Carrots marauding as tubers? (Well, yes.) —Alexandra VallisThe New York City Hot Dog Company, 105 Chambers St.; no phone
Related: Nouvelle Wieners [NYM]
In the Magazine
Summer Brings Hot Dogs, Barbecue, and Department-Store Salads
Summer is upon us at last, and with it come the inevitable summer foods: hot dogs, barbecue, snap peas, salad … and pappardelle with truffles and butter. Well, not every food consumed in the hot months is inevitable. But this issue comes packed with hot-weather options. The Underground Gourmet reviews Willie’s Dawgs and PDT, the new chic cocktail lounge attached to Crif Dogs (you’ll have to read to understand). The city’s most ambitious barbecue opening yet happens this week; Gael Greene is very taken with Aurora Soho’s reverse commute; Pichet Ong takes off from the dessert business to create a killer sugar-snap-pea recipe; and Rob and Robin offer both a guide to the city’s top department-store salads and a quiz to determine your green-eats quotient, a test which only the most narrowly focused carnivore could possibly fail.
Nello Buys ‘Page Six’ on the Cheap; Jody Williams Trying Not toNello’s Nello Ballan gives Richard Johnson a $1,000 gift, and fifteen “Page Six” mentions of Ballan’s restaurant later, the embattled gossip column has the devil to pay. [NYT]
Jody Williams claims not to have read Frank Bruni’s review of Morandi, though she knows that people are laying odds on the date of her departure. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Related: Not So Bene [NYM]
Restaurant-industry lobbyists express a not-unexpected disappointment with the federal minimum-wage increase passed by Congress, finding it “entirely out of place” in a war-spending bill. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
Maddened Teens Attack Clinton Hill’s Locanda Vini e OliiClinton Hill: Teens getting more than frisky this spring: Two hooligans terrorized Locanda Vini e Olii by attempting to crash outdoor metal chairs through the glass façade during Friday’s dinner service. [Brooklyn Record]
Dumbo: Foragers Market has an inspired banana display. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: The new bar entered through Crif Dogs and known as PDT does not take its name from ”Please Don’t Tell.” A pierced girl says it’s Porno Dog Tavern. [Down by the Hipster]
Harlem: West 145th Street welcomes a Starbucks. [Uptown Flavor]
Long Island City: Fresh Start natural grocer is opening a garden to allow you to enjoy the prepared foods outdoors and, one hopes, to lend out to community groups. [Joey in Astoria]
Midtown West: Aureole is moving to One Bryant Park. [NYM]
Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Papa’s market not only has nice cheese, but Papa wants to ride the wonderful wave that is gentrification and renovate. [Across the Park]