Chatwal, Zakarian, and the Lotus Boys Teaming Up for Midtown HotelVikram Chatwal, who tells us Dream Downtown is about a year and a half from landing in the meatpacking district (he’s in talks with a Barcelona chef about the restaurant), reveals to us that he’s teaming up with Geoffrey Zakarian and designer Thierry Despont (who did the Carlyle Hotel and Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in London) on his other project, the Lamb’s Club, opening at 130 West 44th Street in August of next year. Zakarian was hesitant to discuss his involvement but indicated that David Rabin and Will Regan of Lotus were also partners. Rabin certainly has his hands full these days between the relocation of Double Seven and the opening of Los Dedos, the Mexican restaurant he and chef Sue Torres are launching next month in the old Meet space, but he found a moment to clue us in about the hotel.
Per Se Mixologist to Light a Flaming Lemon Peel Under Bemelmans’ AssSasha Petraske of Milk and Honey recently put his stamp on the drinks menu at the Carlyle Hotel’s Bemelmans Bar, but let’s face it, the place still isn’t what it was when it was helmed by legends Dale DeGroff and, later, Audrey Saunders. Brian Van Flandern, former head mixologist at Per Se, hopes to change that. Within six weeks, the star stirrer, known for making his own ginger beer and tonic water at Per Se’s stand-up bar, will unveil a revamped menu. Along with holdovers like DeGroff’s Whiskey Smash and Saunders’s Gin Gin Mule, it will include cocktails like a variation of his Flaming Dutchman — a concoction of cognac, sherry, gin, lemon juice, and bitters (finished off with a spectacular shower of lemon juice over an open flame). It’s the same drink that prompted a Dutch company to rank him the No. 2 bartender in the world. And rest assured, the murals by Ludwig Bemelmans aren’t going anywhere, nor are the bartenders who’ve been there for years — some of the drinks may actually be named after them. —Daniel Maurer