Tailor’s Eben Freeman Masters the Hard Shake
This month’s Food & Wine brings a pretty illuminating profile of Eben Freemen, the resident cocktail genius at Tailor (and the one man who has come through the review process completely unscathed). Freeman talks about his current creations, such as smoked Coke and brown butter rum, not to mention some of his more outré plans, such as alcoholic breath strips and a Coppertone-flavored cocktail (“That would be the ultimate summer drink.”)
The Other Critics
Bruni Closes the Book on Tailor; Allen & Delancey Gets Good, Not Great, NoticesBruni waited to be the last one to pronounce on Tailor, and his review pretty much recapitulates, albeit in wittier prose and with some much-appreciated Grub Street love, what everyone else has said: erratic brilliance, wee portions, and a killer cocktail program. The result: one star. [NYT]
Allen & Delancey keeps impressing the critics, at least with chef Neil Ferguson’s meat mastery. His fish, though, is strictly from hunger, according to Restaurant Girl. [NYDN]
Randall Lane offers one of his most thoughtful and precise reviews of Allen & Delancey, finding fault only in flavor balances and the fact that the place has to close up at midnight. [TONY]
Pastry Royalty Performs at SweetThe city’s top dessert chefs, from Johnny Iuzzini on down, delighted deep-pocketed foodies with their signature confections at Sweet on Friday night. Evian and Ferro Rocher flexed their marketing muscle, dispatching well-formed young people in tight clothes to represent their not especially sexy brands. The pastry aristocracy (Goldfarb, Iuzzini, and Stupak) were all present and accounted for, standing proudly behind space-age-looking creations that tasted even better than they looked. (Only Sam Mason wasn’t around, as someone had to man the stoves at Tailor.) At first we were sort of alarmed: There were obviously many more guests than had originally been intended, for the long, narrow, space, but since cake isn’t combustible, it all seemed safe enough. A body can only take so much chocolate ganache, Champagne, and high-powered pastry cooks crammed into one hall.
In the Magazine
Fiamma, Tailor, and Turkey Carry the Weight This Week
This week’s issue carries a lot of freight, and there isn’t much room for consideration of the gluttonous arts. So the food content is slim — but potent! Adam Platt reviews two of the most anticipated debuts in recent years, those of genius dessert chef Sam Mason’s Tailor and Beard Award–winning chef Fabio Trabocchi’s New York debut at Fiamma. But that’s not all: There’s an In Season recipe for turkey-salad sandwiches, excuse us, tramezzini di tacchino, courtesy of ’inoteca’s Eric Kleinman; a guide to four very excellent Thanksgiving alternatives courtesy of Rob and Robin; and four new hotel restaurants likewise. We figured that with all the eating and cooking that’s going on this week, that should be plenty of food writing to get you by.
The Other Critics
Cipriani Charged With ‘Highway Robbery’; Market Table Gets a BigFrank Bruni pens one of his best zero-star reviews ever in putting down Harry Cipriani, hard: “The crime that comes to mind first when I think of the Ciprianis is highway robbery. Based on my recent experience, that’s what happens almost any time Harry Cipriani on Fifth Avenue serves lunch or dinner.” Brillo-like potatoes? $23 for asparagus? Bruni makes ‘em pay. [NYT]
Market Table gets two and a half stars from Restaurant Girl, who praises the solid American cooking and buys into the overall concept. We wondered if MT wouldn’t be the restaurant that absorbed the Haute Barnyard backlash, but it seems to have dodged it so far. [NYDN]
Paul Adams hits Tailor and delivers the most intelligently rendered version of what seems to be the verdict on the place: The food is brilliant but spotty, and the drinks are great. [NYS]
DuMont, Smith and Mills Players Head Toward McCarrenJohn McCormick, the designer behind the loveliness that is Smith and Mills and Tailor, has another project in the works, and it sounds like it’ll be every bit as quirky as his own restaurant Moto. He says that Jud Longell, a bartender at DuMont, and a silent partner have acquired Theresa’s Beauty Salon at 18 Bedford Avenue at Lorimer Street (right off McCarren Park) and are transforming it into what will eventually be a bistro of sorts. McCormick says he has in mind “a nautical design, but very subtle. I wanted to make the place look like it was a sunken transport ferry — there’d be a lot of distressing and rust and metal work.” The owners, meanwhile, have toyed with the idea of an “English-butcher-shop aesthetic.” No doubt that they’ll all meet at some magical halfway point that will be far cooler than anything we can conjure up. Whatever the final look, it’s safe to say that empty bar seats will be rare, especially after those McCarren Pool shows.
The Other Critics
Three Versions of Tailor; Paul Adams Bugs OutDanyelle Freeman hits Tailor and finds its tiny menu and weird food ill-fitting the talents involved. “Mason glimpses at genius…” Restaurant Girl says, but “[y]ou leave Tailor still craving dessert.” Ouch! [NYDN]
Moira Hodgson likes Tailor a little, giving the place two stars and only bemoaning the fact that there wasn’t more of the food. “But the tastes were so tantalizing I came back another night to try everything again,” she says. [NYO]
And then there’s Randall Lane, who gives Tailor a four-star review. (Of course, that’s out of six.) Still, it’s a lot, but it seems to be mostly for Eben Freeman’s cocktails. Lane found the food, especially the “sweet” half of the menu, to be a pretty mixed bag. [TONY]
Chodorow’s Got Big, Big Plans; Aaron Sanchez Has an EnemyJeffrey Chodorow is devising a new megarestaurant for a 15,000-square-foot double-decker space in the Empire Hotel at Broadway and 63rd Street. In other news, Frank Bruni has already given it zero stars. [NYP]
Our pal Aaron Sanchez barely avoided being cut on the Next Iron Chef since according to Bourdain, Alton “Knowlton seems not to have disclosed a prior schoolyard incident with a young Aaron ‘El Guapo’ Sanchez — in which Sanchez (it would appear) bullied him mercilessly. He seemed unnaturally eager to send him packing.” [Ruhlman]
Williamsburg’s Hasidic community has its own street-food truck, but you too can buy the kosher grub. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Trans-Fats Fines Round One; Gordo Like BreastsOthers agree: The Ciprianis’ “deal was sugary enough to let the nattily dressed pair stride out of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice John Cataldo’s courtroom looking like the cats that ate the cannolis.” But they forgot to mention the bimbos in Lambos. [NYP]
Related: Ciprianis Get Out of Jail, Open New Restaurant
On the Ciprianis Cooking Pasta — and the Books!
In his new book, Gordon Ramsay reveals the importance of private-equity firm Blackstone in his career, like the company’s bankrolling “the installation of a chef’s table, where … three women showed their appreciation by baring their breasts to the cooks after one convivial meal, he writes.” Way to keep it classy, Gordo. [Bloomberg]
The first round of trans-fats fines, ranging from $200 to $2,000, have been issued to restaurants across the city including Little Guyana Bake Shop in Queens — whose owner “didn’t know [the new rules] applied to bakeries as of yet.” [NYP]
Grub’s Gold: The Best From Year One
Ah, how time gets away from us! It was only one year ago that Grub Street began. How we long for those innocent days of yore! We poked through our archives, and, while we had to put a few personal favorites aside, here’s our short list of Grub Street’s Greatest Hits.
The Other Critics
Gemma Rewarded for Its Calculations; Tailor Makes a FanFrank Bruni, surprisingly grants Gemma a single star. Bruni sees the place as a slicker, less technically accomplished Morandi — an insta-enoteca calculated to the nth degree to please modern middlebrows. Which, we guess, is worth a single star these days. [NYT]
Ryan Sutton is, as usual, the first to review Tailor, which he finds a molecular wonderland of trippy but delicious foods: exactly what a certain kind of restaurantgoer needs to hear to get the buzz going. [Bloomberg]
Moira Hodgson thinks that Alex Ureña’s new direction at Pamplona — modern, imaginative Spanish cookery minus the bells and whistles — is exactly what he needed and rewards him with two stars. “So this is bistro food? I don’t care what he calls it, it’s great.” [NYO]
Women Chefs Congregate in Chelsea; Sam Mason Has Fans on the LESChelsea: 25 women chefs including Anita Lo and Del Posto pastry chef Nicole Kaplan will cook at a cancer benefit at Pier 60 on Monday. [Restaurant Girl]
Related: Women Chefs Come Out in Force For Benefit
Flatiron: Hill Country hosts 4-Foodies on September 18 for the online group’s second tasting event. [4-Foodies]
Harlem: Mexican street vendors will prepare the fare at Restaurante La Hacienda on September 19 for a Tamale and Tequila Tasting organized by the non-profit group Esperanza del Barrio. [Uptown Flavor]
Lower East Side: Tailor gets high marks from opening-night diners who may not have understood the menu, but appreciated the results. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Midtown West: A food cart on 46th Street at Sixth Avenue is serving up special Ramadan “break-the-fast” boxes. [Midtown Lunch]
Tribeca: Cognac week at Brandy Library means free tastings every night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday.
Flappers Seen at Harlem’s Live-Poultry MarketEast Village: Between securing a liquor license and finishing construction on what will be Sakaya sake store, the owners are blogging. [Down by the Hipster]
Flatiron: A BBQ tasting at Hill Country is the next stop for 4-Foodies; the event includes meeting the chefs and leaving with swag. [4-Foodies]
Harlem: “A few seemed comatose, their heads lolling, but most were lively” at La Granja live-poultry market on Amsterdam Avenue at 126th Street. The roasted results are so much better than supermarket chickens. [NYS]
Lower East Side: Months of Craigslist ads must have done some good, Tailor has scored Room 4 Dessert veteran Pam Yung as the fifth member of its kitchen team. [NYS]
Meatpacking District: Paradou’s next dirty bingo night is September 18: kinky prizes furnished by Kiki De Montparnasse.
Midtown East: Condolences to those who like a good frisking before lunch, the afternoon buffet in the U.N. Delegates Dining Room will be closed to the public from September 25 – October 5 while the General Assembly convenes. [NewYorkology]
A Trip to Tailor, Camera in Hand
Having documented nearly every stage of Tailor’s much-delayed development, we couldn’t very well pass up experiencing its promised joys. We attended last night’s soft opening, camera in one hand and Eben Freeman cocktail in the other. The official opening is tonight and more photos are after the jump.
Tailor Open; Marcus Samuelsson in Cahoots With StarbucksPut down your roman à clef! Tailor had its soft opening last night. [Down by the Hipster]
Related: What to Read While You Wait for Tailor to Open — Sam Mason: The Novel
Five recipes from Marcus Samuelsson’s cookbook Discovery of a Continent: Foods, Flavors and Inspirations from Africa were developed by a team from Starbucks as part of a deal that also includes the introduction of baked items and coffee blends sold under the chef’s name. [Eat for Victory/VV]
The closing of Dévi makes Frank Bruni sad, and in his elegy to the restaurant, he ponders our take on Suvir Saran’s motives. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Related: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects
Sam Mason’s Tailor Revealed to the WorldIsn’t that just the way? Just weeks after we finally give up on Sam Mason, and then go on to have a little sport with him by way of his anonymously blogging portraitist, down comes the plywood on Tailor, with all systems apparently go for an August 30 opening. So reports one of Eater’s anonymous tipsters. But who are we to argue with their own eyes?
BREAKING Plywood Alert: Sam Mason’s Tailor Revealed [Eater]
Related: What to Read While You Wait for Tailor to Open — Sam Mason: The Novel
Farewell, Sam Mason. Hello, Tailor
What to Read While You Wait for Tailor to Open — Sam Mason: The Novel
If you miss following Sam Mason’s quixotic adventures now that the Launch is kaput, fear not — an anonymous blog Sympathy for the Restaurant Industry is offering “meta-fictional restaurant drama set in present day New York City, served in a convenient serial” and the first story details, in rather purple prose, the agonies of Sean Kasen (sounds kind of like Sam Mason if you mumble it, no?), a young, media-plagued chef opening his first restaurant who is up against “the punishment that comes when you attempt to create something perfect but fail” and also the fact that “being handsome and very talented when you are a chef is a burden.” Oh, the humanity!
Sam Mason Needs More Money; Hawaiian Tropic Zone Looking for Studly Men WithIn an effort to change its image as an “upscale Hooters,” Hawaiian Tropic Zone is hiring a beefy male staff “with personality.” [NYDN]
Does Sam Mason need a new financial backer to open Tailor? Those delays cost major cash. [Down by the Hipster]
China has formed a cabinet-level committee to monitor food safety but still calls the national coverage of tainted exports “viciously sensationalized.” [NYT]
Prepare to Pose With Dumplings in the East VillageEast Village: Pose with your favorite dumpling! The Rickshaw Dumpling Bar opening on East 8th Street will feature a black-and-white photo booth. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Hell’s Kitchen: Burgers and Cupcakes has opened Mitchel London Pizza next door. [Eater]
Lower East Side: Sam Mason may have plans to serve brown-butter whiskey at Tailor. [Down by the Hipster]
Soho: Yes, that is a yo-yo in the pocket of Balthazar executive chef Riad Nasr, and he plays with it between platings. [Downtown Express]
West Village: Pinkberry accused of seeking world domination for plans to open not just a new location on Sixth Avenue, but two others in the city in addition its four already thriving stores. [Gothamist]
Room 4 Dessert Is Dead, Long Live Room 4 Dessert
In what might be the least surprising news of the summer, Will Goldfarb has told Grub Street that Room 4 Dessert, at least in its current location, is kaput. (The place has been closed for months, but Goldfarb has been promising it would reopen.) “We’re officially pulling the plug on 17 Cleveland Place,” the cake whiz tells us. “But we’re going to reopen, bigger and better, six months from today.” Goldfarb, theatrical as ever, refuses to disclose the location of the new place, except to say that it’s downtown “in another high-profile restaurant row.”
Farewell, Sam Mason. Hello, Tailor
It’s time we finally admitted it: Our winding journey with Sam Mason has come to an end. Construction crews told a Grub Street staffer that the Tailor people plan for an August 6 opening. There might be some truth to this: The date’s not all that far off from the official “mid-August” projection we were recently given, and frankly, we’d sooner believe the laborers than publicists nervous over a massively hyped opening day. And so, we present this album of the magical moments we shared with Mason as he chased the dream of Tailor. If nothing else, we’ll have the memories.
Earlier: Sam Mason Has Maybe a Month or So to Visit Fire Island
Brooklyn Heights Barge to Feature a Fake Beach, With HamburgersAstoria: Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden opens at 3 p.m. today and next Friday for teacher appreciation days. The public is welcome, and the BBQ’s sure to be fired up. [Joey in Astoria]
Brooklyn Heights: A swimming pool in a floating barge off the waterfront will take its maiden voyage July 4 and feature a man-made beach and concession stands. [NYP]
Chelsea: Hotelier André Balazs may have a hand in restoring the Chelsea Hotel. [NYP]
East Village: You need to send a recent photo of yourself if you plan on applying for one of the many positions still open at Tailor. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Flatiron: Former CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer will step in as front man to country band “Honky Tonk Confidential” on June 27 at Hill Country barbecue. Songs he’s written include “Little Lulu and Sister Hot Stuff” and “TV Anchorman.” [NYP]
Lower East Side: A tipster reports that Kossar’s Bialys has unveiled plans to sell hand-cut sushi from kosher vendor Eden Wok. [Grub Street]
Midwood: Dom De Marco’s scarlet letter from the Department of Health has been covered in expressions of support in the wake of DiFara’s most recent close. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Times Square: Brighton Beach’s Ladder Co. 169 brought home victory last night at Gallagher’s Fire Department grilled-steak-off fund-raiser. [NYDN]
Sam Mason Has Maybe a Month or So to Visit Fire IslandWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
Sam Mason Parties Like Rock Star, Gets MetaWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
Sam Mason Really Needed Those Fourteen SakesWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
Sam Mason Knows an A-hole When He Meets OneWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
Sam Mason Doesn’t Find Wine Intoxicating
Welcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
Sam Mason Ogles Waitresses, Buys TilesWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
Sam Mason Gets His Own Special IslandWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
In the Magazine
Chefs Try to Take It to the Next Level in This Week’s Issue
Five established chefs take center stage in this week’s issue – or six, if you count Kurt Gutenbrunner, who, per In Season, has a way with white asparagus. The others? Michael Anthony, the Blue Hill Haute Barnyard prodigy who stepped into Tom Colicchio’s shoes at Gramercy Tavern; Christopher Lee, a major rising talent who filled big shoes at Gilt; Kerry Simon, a Las Vegas–based Vongerichten lieutenant who is now doing the food for a giant karaoke bar; and finally Marco Canora and Asian dessert master Pichet Ong, whose long-awaited debuts, Insieme and P*Ong, respectively, open this week. All this star power, along with two short lists that couldn’t be more different, awaits in this week’s magazine.
Sam Mason Joins a Molecular Secret SocietyWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
Back of the House
More About That Hunky Sam MasonWe’re not the only ones following Sam Mason’s path to power at Tailor: The April issue of Food Arts has an excellent article on the cocktail program at the restaurant-lounge. (It’s not online, but we’ve scored a PDF.) Given that Mason’s mixologist, Eben Freeman, made his bones alongside the chef at the cutting-edge wd-50, it’s no surprise that the drinks are wild sounding. The magazine gives descriptions and recipes for four of them, including a Lychee Daiquiri With Soy Caramel, a Butternut and Falernum cocktail (“a bit like butternut squash soup –with a kick”), and a Brandy Truffle Flip. With drinks that rich, who’s going to be hungry enough to eat?
Tailor Made [Food Arts]
Related: The Launch
Sam Mason on the Sexiness of Japanese SteelWelcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
The Nitty-Gritty on Opening a RestaurantSo you’ve been thinking about opening a restaurant. (Just play along, okay?) If you’ve already read this cautionary Slate piece by Daily Intel writer Michael Idov and are still looking to get into the game, you’d better have a look at “The Fundamentals of Running a Restaurant,” a Forbes “Special Report.” What follows is our handy breakdown of a few issues put forth by the article. (For an inside look at an imminent opening, read the Launch, our series detailing the process of Sam Mason opening Tailor.)
Sam Mason and the Fabulous Egg MachineSam Mason, the former star pastry chef at wd-50, will be launching his own restaurant and lounge, Tailor, at the beginning of March. In the weeks leading up to then, he’ll take us behind the scenes of a hot restaurant opening.
Sam Mason’s Plans on How to, You Know, Make MoneySam Mason, the former star pastry chef at wd-50, will be launching his own restaurant and lounge, Tailor, at the beginning of March. In the weeks leading up to this, he’ll take us behind the scenes of a hot restaurant opening.
Sam Mason Devises Oddball Combos of Sweet and SavorySam Mason, the former star pastry chef at wd-50, will be launching his own restaurant and lounge, Tailor, at the beginning of March. In the weeks leading up to that, he’ll take us behind the scenes of a hot restaurant opening.
Sam Mason Reckons With GarbageSam Mason, the former star pastry chef at wd-50, will be launching his own restaurant and lounge, Tailor, at the beginning of March. In the weeks leading up to then, he’ll take us behind the scenes of a hot restaurant opening.