Momofuku Ko Hoping to Open in Two Weeks; No Malice Palace PrevailsDuring last night’s CB3 meeting, partner Andrew Salmon would reveal only that Momofuku Ko will hit capacity at fourteen, with no waiters and with fixed menus changing daily. “You sit directly across from the cook,” Salmon told the board. He kept the “vaguely Asian” food quiet, conceding only that it would include “all local ingredients … all sustainable development.” Unfortunately, he didn’t take the time to make sure a petition was including in the application, so no motion could be passed. Projected opening date: two weeks’ time!
Momofuku, Freemans, Spotted Pig Honchos Break Bread With Stephen Starr
Our favorite celebrity sighting of the week was, of course, Lindsay Lohan at Peter Luger on Tuesday night — that’s because we saw her with our own eyes. Of course, we can’t be everywhere and see everyone, so as usual we’ve combed the gossip columns for other stop-ins. We’re sorry we missed Tracy Morgan at the Plumm, shirtless and offering to father babies as usual, and boy do we wish we were a fly on the wall when partners Ken Friedman and Taavo Somer, along with David Chang, dined with Stephen Starr at Buddakan. Is there a Spotted Buddafuku in the works?
David Rabin Says Tenjune Will Join in Lotus, Finds Suzie Wong Logo Odd
Lotus partner David Rabin has confirmed rumors that Tenjune’s Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm will be involved in the club. “The plan for the new venue and the timing are not set yet,” he writes in an email to us, “but it’ll be a JV [joint venture]. We are enthused about Mark and Eugene’s involvement. Fortunately, Lotus is still holding its own.” So much so, in fact, that as we pointed out yesterday, new nightclub Suzie Wong might just have taken inspiration from Lotus’s logo. “The similarity in logos is more than a bit odd,” Rabin says. “Maybe they want to buy our old Suzie Wong neon sign at a discount? I hope they have better luck with the concept than we did.” Adding to the intrigue, Down by the Hipster e-mails to point us to the logo of popular cocktail bar Suzy Wong in Amsterdam, shown above. Cue “Double Vision.”
Earlier: Suzie Wong Gives Us a Case of Déjà Vu
Tenjune and Stereo Owners Too Busy to Sweat Rumors of Houston’s SlapfestA tipster tells Down by the Hipster that Michael Satsky, owner of the recently raided Stereo, approached Tenjune partner Mark Birnbaum at Houston’s and “walked directly up to him and hit him ‘openhanded’ out of his chair. He then proceeded to put him in a headlock.” The catalyst of that brawl, the source says, is that Tenjune stole DJ Suss One away from Stereo. We asked both parties for comments, and they were quick to offer statements.
Dave Chappelle Tiffs With the Wife at Coffee Shop, ‘Entourage’-ers
This week’s juiciest bit of celeb-sighting gossip was, of course, the Post’s report that after a performer dumped a drink on Demi and Ashton, Box honcho Simon Hammerstein sent an e-mail to his partner and a GM saying, “I can’t stand those two” — apparently because they’re “so far up their own arses” and “don’t spend anything” — “and I applaud whoever spilt a drink on them.” We’re thinking Kid Rock got kinder treatment when he went to Southern Hospitality, or there would’ve been a Tommy Lee–style throwdown.
Daniel Boulud and Ken Friedman Reveal New Projects in Cheesy Belvedere AdsThe Tenjune lads aren’t the only ones to recommend not-exactly-under-the-radar places in Belvedere’s “keys to the city” series: The interview with Marquee’s “head doorman/actor” Wass makes us want to hand him a douche card, Centro Vinoteca’s Anne Burrell plugs no fewer than four Batali restaurants, and pretty much everyone plugs the Spotted Pig.
Meatpacking Moguls Remm, Birnbaum, and Rabin on How to Be CoolOur fave waitress Courtney Yates isn’t the only face Belvedere Vodka is using to try to look cool — the company, in association with UrbanDaddy, is running Web interviews with David Rabin, owner of Los Dados and Lotus, and Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum, owners of Tenjune. Remm and Birnbaum don’t exactly steer toward the underexposed when asked for their favorite restaurants: BondSt, Nobu, Bar Pitti, Los Dados, Mr. Chow, the Spotted Pig, Pastis, Buddakan, Dos Caminos Soho, Cipriani, Butter, Rose Bar, and Waverly Inn.
Ben Stiller Crashes a Party at Fiamma, Penélope Cruz Makes Out at
Every Friday a notable New Yorker tells us where they’ve been eating, but where are the rest of them chowing down? Starting this week we’ll sort through the gossip columns à la Ils Vont (RIP) to tell you who’s been seen where (casual sightings only — boring galas, vodka launches, and pluggy appearances don’t count). We’ll eventually compile a ranking of restaurants most often visited by celebs. Not that you care about that sort of thing! Oh, but if you do, won’t you please leave your own sightings in the comments?
Lotus Changing Hands; Pedigreed Smoked Fish Now Served in TribecaMeatpacking District: Tenjune’s Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum are reportedly poised to take over Lotus from David Rabin after eyeing the space back in September, but we’re not sure of the fate the waitress who dubbed the club a “tourist attraction.” [Down by the Hipster]
Midtown East: Café St. Bart’s may change its name to Inside Park at St. Bart’s by early 2008 when the restaurant reopens to show off its new renovations. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Lime, the new bar opening on Flatbush, has hoisted a sign, which has been described, possibly with sarcasm, as “pretty damn spiffy.” [Across the Park]
South Bronx: The produce is speaking for itself at the smallest food co-op in the city, which began operations in September and now has 30 members. Who wouldn’t want better-priced tomatoes whose “juices just burst in your mouth and you have that sensation of loveliness growing in your mouth”? [NYT]
Tribeca: Murray’s sibling Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish, on Chambers near West Broadway, had its grand opening this weekend. [Grub Street]
The Last Days of Double HappinessThough rumor had Double Happiness and its upstairs bar Palais Royale closing in late August to make way for former Tenjune promoter Emma Cleary’s restaurant and lounge Femme Fatale, it remains open. Now we can report that September 29 will be the place’s last night, when we can only assume that nostalgic types who did their first bump in the bathroom will tear the abacuses from the wall before the double doors are chained shut once and for all. Don’t like the idea of another velvet rope in the neighborhood? Just remember, the current incarnation was supposedly a gay social club and mafia hangout. Emma’s door will be a breeze in comparison.
Earlier: Double Happiness to Get $1 Million Makeover, Reopen to Privileged Few
Ask a Waiter
Lifestylist Michael Lerner Will Help You With That Parisian Wedding Proposal
We normally reserve our Ask a Waiter column for, well, waiters (and bartenders, maître d’s, sommeliers, and the like), but if you’ve got $7,500 a year to blow on a service like Four Hundred — started in March by Tony Abrams along with Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum of Tenjune— you can also call upon still another industry professional: the lifestylist. Assuming you have his unlisted office number, you can contact Michael Lerner and ask him to make your every wish and whim come true, whether it be scoring you a table at Per Se or flying Kobe beef to your derby party in Kentucky. We asked Lerner how he works his magic.
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.