Julia Jaksic, Now Head Chef at Employees Only, Shows Off New MenuJulia Jaksic, underground-dinner-club hostess and consulting chef at Smith and Mills, has been named head chef at Employees Only (where she was previously a sous-chef) and has completely revamped the menu. Look for nods to her Croatian heritage: A hamburger that’s served on a fluffy pita with pepper paste and carmac, and (on the brunch menu) polenta with smoked bacon and sauerkraut and brown butter. A hamburger that’s served on a fluffy pita with pepper paste, and (on the brunch menu) polenta with smoked bacon and sauerkraut and brown butter. Berkshire bacon makes another appearance wrapped around New Zealand lamb chops — an appetizer that’s fast becoming the Employees Only equivalent of Freemans’ devils on horseback. The late-night menu has also been jazzed up, surely good news for industry types still reeling from the loss of wee hours eating at Mas (farmhouse).
Employees Only dinner menu
Related: Sign Up for Secret Dinner Club’s Weekend Time Warp
City to Reenact Calorie-Display Rule; Bloodbath Near Spotlight LiveThe city’s Board of Health is set to reenact its legally contested rule requiring all restaurants with fifteen or more eateries nationwide to post the caloric value of food items on their menus. [NYDN]
Related: Fast-Food Biz Wins Fight Against City Hall
Restaurants and nightclubs currently owe the city $14 million in health-code violation fines, which means that high-roller venues like the Rainbow Room can get away with stiffing the city out of $50. [NYP]
Times Square’s Spotlight Live became the latest scene of club violence when one man was killed and five others stabbed there yesterday morning. [NYDN]
Niagara Will Be Meeting Your Pizza NeedsThe food and drink arrangement at Niagara was always pretty much a simple one: You go to Niagara, drink, writhe around downstairs in one of its subterranean caverns, then, after more drinking, cap the night off with a barely edible slice from Sal’s next door. Now Niagara owners, Motherfucker promoter Johnny T and D Generation front man Jesse Malin, have integrated the process by taking over their next-door pizzeria. The new pizza canteen, whose name was still being decided upon at the time of this writing, will also benefit from Niagara’s liquor license — not to mention its exhausted, famished customers. Expect to pick up a slice by the end of next week.
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.
At the End of the Day, Nicole Kaplan Likes Ring Dings
We told you on Wednesday that Nicole Kaplan was leaving Del Posto for the Plaza, and today we can tell you why: She’s not crazy about cooking Italian food. “I guess I just missed my style; I wasn’t loving Italian food as much as I thought I would. My style is American food with a strong French–training influence.”
Crosby Connection Will Rise Again; Los Dados the Last Breath of MeatpackingMeatpacking District: With the wave of recent restaurant and nightlife closings, this area seems doomed, but Los Dados and long-delayed Merkato 55 might be able to salvage the hip destination, at least “on its western perimeter.” [Zagat]
Midtown East: Midtown Lunch finagled a sneak peak of Sakae Sushi’s conveyor belt and loses his cool: “If you’ve been to an outlet overseas, you may end up disappointed by the first US location which lacks some of the uniqueness or ‘cool’ factor of the locations in Asia. That’s because they felt a more subdued location would be more appealing to the clientele of Midtown.… Even when we get something cool, we get screwed.” [Midtown Lunch]
Park Slope: Lebanese Laila has closed, which doesn’t seem like a surprise since it was across the street from “the better, cheaper Olive Vine.” [TONY]
South Slope: The Fourth Avenue soup man has officially given up his spot in preparation for a new fancy condo. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Upper West Side: China Fun is getting in on the New Year shill fest: Submit 500 words (or fewer) on why you want to celebrate the Year of the Rat at China Fun (email@example.com), and you could win a banquet for eight.
West Village: After losing its lease, Italian sandwich destination Crosby Connection is moving from its hole-in-the-wall to an actual restaurant space a couple of blocks away. [The Gluttoness]
George ‘Norm’ Wendt Plays Beer Pong at Brother Jimmy’s; Uma
A friend of Grub Street texted us last night to let us know that Camille Paglia was at French Roast, perusing The New Yorker in a suit jacket. As much as we love spotting “feminist bisexual egomaniacs” (her words, not ours), this didn’t quite sate our voyeuristic tendencies, so, as we do every week, we combed the gossip columns for mention of any other club and restaurant sightings.
RIP Jean-Claude VrinatThere’s a nice tribute to the late Jean-Claude Vrinat, the owner of Taillevent in Paris, over at Slate. Taillevent could loosely be called the Le Cirque of Paris, if Le Cirque had never moved and if the food had been utterly impeccable (if a little boring) for its entire existence. Though cited and even revered by the food world, restaurants like Taillevent seem to be fading into history — which is in itself a good reason to read the piece.
Remembering Jean-Claude Vrinat [Slate]