Brianne McDowell at STK Hears Things in Your Shrimp Rice Krispies
Brianne McDowell played the part of the Little Mermaid at Tokyo Disneyland before she came to New York. When she’s not trying to make it as a dancer, she’s a nimble server at STK, navigating its packed front lounge. Since the place celebrates its first anniversary with a party tomorrow, we thought we’d ask her whether that “chick-friendly-steakhouse” thing ever took off.
Absinthe Feels So Good When It Hits the U.S. Market
As any frat boy can tell you, absinthe, the spirit of choice for Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Verlaine, was banned here in 1912 following rumors that its primary ingredient, grand wormwood, contained a psychosis-inducing hallucinogen called thujone — but now a Manhasset distributor Lucid has convinced the U.S. Alcohol-Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau that the green fairy is just as safe as any other liver-pickling, brain-shrinking alcohol on the market (even if the 124-proof booze’s alcohol content is more than 50 percent greater than that of vodka, rum, and most whiskeys).
The Other Critics
Critics Hone In on the Bone-InSteak and ssäms continue to rule the reviews — with a white truffle thrown in for good measure.
• Saving Lonesome Dove for the blog, Bruni checks into another meatery, Harry’s Steak. The bone-in steak “spoke to the timeless glories of aged prime beef,” but the menu’s saddled with “clever tweaks.” [NYT]
• Andrea Strong checks in on Lonesome Dove (again) and is way more impressed with the kangaroo nachos than her boy at the Post was. [Strong Buzz]
• At STK, Alan Richman eyes the hotties “who look like they’re barely past puberty” and shares in our fascination with the restrooms. “If only the food — admittedly great-looking — were as flavorsome as the customers.” [Bloomberg]
• Dana Bowen visits Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and after raving about the late-night menu we first reported, hints that it may see the light of day. [NYT]
• As if Danny Meyer was starving for publicity, Moira Hodgson reassures us that Tabla is “one of the city’s great restaurants.” Something to do with chef Floyd Cardoz’s new cookbook? [NYO]
• Paul Adams schools upwardly mobile I-Chin: “Going upscale involves more than buying buff-colored cloth napkins and hiring servers to assiduously refold them at every opportunity.” [NYS]
• Augie splurges on a white truffle at Gotham — presumably not as pricey as Morimoto’s $10,500 highbrow-despicable truffle. [Augieland]
The Lavatorial Luxuries of STK: Cologne, Anyone?
The iCrave-designed, see-and-be-seen dining room at STK led us to expect big things from the facilities — maybe a wall of bull horns like the ones behind the bar, or a private, key-access restroom like the one at basement club Tenjune. Alas, it was not to be: When we climbed upstairs, we were greeted by a bathroom attendant and a bowl of Breathsavers.
Back of the House
Servers to Strip; Jamie Oliver Wears a Fat Suit; Gordon Ramsay Gross-outHas Halloween come early? Bars disguise themselves to avoid the liquor ban, lettuce may be the new spinach, Gordon Ramsay’s secret sister emerges from the shadows, and more.
• First the trans-fat fighters came for NYC. Then, D.C. Now, if N.J. lawmakers have their way, you won’t even be able to water-taxi your way to the stuff. [Nation’s Restaurant News].
• Having cracked down on spinach, the E. coli police go after green-leaf lettuce. [Los Angeles Times]
• Bars evade the booze freeze by posing as restaurants (and if that doesn’t work, they’ll buy pairs of mustache glasses). [NYP]
• Topping off a recent slew of testosteropenings — Lonesome Dove, Porter House, etc. — Corio promises servers in skivvies. [NYDN]
• Tony Bourdain and other food scribes recall no-can-do assignments; says Peter Elliot, “publicists should have their heads examined.” [Snack]
• Glasgow and (soon) London get a Priceline-style Website for haggling over the dinner bill. Will there come a day when we can ask Daniel, “How does 50 bucks for the prix-fixe sound?” [Sunday Herald]
• Gordon Ramsay tells all, unfortunately, including how the name of his first restaurant was inspired by his penis. (Also, something about a long lost sister.) [Chow]
• Does Jamie Oliver fancy himself the new Ali G? First he gave a sophomoric fake interview on Danish television; now his fat suit causes a stir. [Daily Mirror]