Minetta Tavern Will Close for McNally Makeover May 6If you’re the nostalgic type, rather than the “can’t wait to see what Keith McNally does with it” type, you might want to get to onetime speakeasy Minetta Tavern before its last night under the current ownership.
Taste a Whole Lot of Wine Tonight; Thai Red Bull Firing Up ElmhurstGreenwich Village: If you can finish a “Can you take the heat?” tasting menu (which gets spicier with each course) on March 15 at Thai restaurant Rhong-Tiam on La Guardia Place, the chef will give you dinner for two at a new restaurant he’s opening called Kurve. [Grub Street]
Elmhurst: You can find “those scary-looking little bottles of Thai Red Bull” at Sugar Club, a little Thai grocery and video store at 81-20 Broadway. (They have curry pastes, too.) [Gothamist]
Hell’s Kitchen: The city’s first Wine Expo will be open tonight and tomorrow afternoon at the Javits Center; get excited about seminars on Argentine Malbecs (oh, and 600 WINES to sample). [New York Wine Expo]
Midtown East: Construction seems under way for the Times-announced first U.S. outlet of Brussels-based chain Rouge Tomate. [Eater]
West Village: The Waverly Inn has a secret cocktail on its menu, and they won’t tell you what’s in it. But maybe that’s why LeBron really wanted to go to the bathroom. [Down by the Hipster]
LeBron James and Anna Wintour Cozy Up at Waverly; Moby Makes Out at R BarWe weren’t surprised to read in “Page Six” today that Anna Wintour dined with LeBron James at the Waverly Inn. We passed their table on Tuesday, and when the ceilings are that low, it’s impossible to miss a six-foot-eight baller extracting himself from the center of a corner booth. James was patiently sitting next to the bathroom when we emerged, causing our waiter to remark, “You made LeBron James wait!” We couldn’t tell whether he was chastising us or congratulating us for no doubt costing the man a Benjamin of his time, but either way we felt a sense of accomplishment unknown since Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand queued up behind us at the Spotted Pig. The rest of this week’s sightings are heavy on the PDA.
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!
Kobe Dines on Kobe at Kobe; Nobu Gives Manning a Standing OFashion Week brought the usual celebrity infestation to town last week for glitzy after-parties, but we’ve already covered those. The real question is, where did the “normals” catch a bite? And of course by normals we mean billionaires, Nobel Prize winners, and Super Bowl champs, all of whom made the scene this week.
Padma Wants to Be a Human Fondue Stick, Poses for Padmarazzi
How did we miss this? According to Rush & Molloy, “chef-vixen” Padma Lakshmi has offered to pose on the cover of Men’s Health wearing nothing but chocolate. (Perhaps she was inspired by Lydia Hearst smothered in caviar?) Laddy gossip site F-listed has wasted no time jumping on this news and posted no fewer than a dozen photos of Padma outside of the Waverly Inn a few nights ago. (If you prefer video, TMZ has just that.) Or did you think that because she just bought a place in Alphabet City she’d be spending her nights at Lakeside Lounge?
Padma Lakshmi in the Nude [F-listed]
“Top Chef” Tap Dance [TMZ]
Mmmm … Padma Lakshmi Buys in East Village for $1.65 M., Replaces Fifth Avenue-Bound Parker Posey [NYO]
Waverly Inn Eclipses Da Silvano in Press, But Blog Still a Snooze
The latest from the Waverly Inn’s blog brings the tale of a Spanish “lifestyle counselor” (hmm, we thought these only existed in the U.S.) being strangely content when only a 9:15 p.m. seating was available for a high-profile client. Yawn, we know Spaniards eat late — give us juicy stories about Lindsay Lohan showing up! Meanwhile innkeeper Graydon Carter, who once told the Guardian he’d be hesitant to seat Simon Cowell prominently (but no qualms about Lindsay?) can take solace in Gawker’s accounting that the Waverly Inn has eclipsed his old haunt, Da Silvano, in press mentions. But has his cachet been depleted at other restaurants? Gawker also brings the tale of someone who says he received shabby treatment at Gramercy Tavern despite the fact that Carter made a reservation for him. But come on, it’s not like this guy was Lindsay Lohan.
Ye Waverly Blog: The Spanish Visitor [Ye Waverly Blog/VF]
Graydon Carter: Restaurant Promoter [Gawker]
Is Graydon Carter’s Cachet Depleted? [Gawker]
Vanity Flair [Guardian]
What Happens at the Waverly Inn Stays on the Waverly Inn’s New Blog!When chef John DeLucie sold his memoir, we wondered whether the secrets of the Waverly Inn weren’t all being saved for a book. It turns out they were being saved for a blog — oh yes, Vanity Fair’s site has launched a chronicle of the goings-on at the Waverly, and though there’s a cloying Metropolitan Diary tone to anecdotes about the restaurant’s “manager and moat-minder” Emil Varda returning $100 bribes and “cougar lean maitre d’” Larry Poston fretting over a no-show pregnant diva, the voyeur in us appreciates the story about an impromptu knife juggler getting depantsed in the dining room. (It’s better than the musings of, say, the Union Square Hospitality Group newsletter — Danny Meyer likes Meyer lemons!) But a note to the anonymous author: Bragging about having “a cosmetics tycoon, a Nascar champion, and a renowned humorist” on the books ain’t going to cut it. Name some names!
Ye Waverly Blog [VF]
Related: Waverly Inn Chef John DeLucie to Publish Tell-All
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]
Zagat Empire for Sale; New Low-Cal Girl Scout CookiesThe Zagat family has put their empire of burgundy books on the market, with Goldman Sachs handling the search for a buyer who will have to drop at least $200 million for the acquisition. [NYT]
Stereo, the club outside which a patron was shot last week, closed after a weekend police raid. [NYDN]
Howie Mandel’s mention of the Waverly Inn on Live With Regis & Kelly made Graydon Carter’s restaurant a highly searched Google item. [Gawker]
Popeyes Brings Chicken and Biscuits Shrine to ChinatownWe’re not sure whether the Popeyes that opened three days ago right across from the mouth of the Manhattan Bridge (that’s right, the first thing motorists now see when entering the island is a Popeyes) has to do with the Bowery location that closed over the summer. But we do know from this floral arrangement festooned with ribbons and cards reading “Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits” that it’s Chinese run, and enthusiastically so. Yesterday found the manager offering patrons free refills and giving away free chicken to everyone in the restaurant at closing time (might want to try your luck tonight around midnight). Says a friend of Grub who lives in the hood, “I’m overjoyed.” No kidding! Now he doesn’t have to trek to the Waverly for biscuits…
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.
Tom and Gisele Lock Lips at Nobu, ‘Full House’ Cast and the B-52sEarlier this week we linked to a Daily News item claiming Padma Lakshmi rudely refused complimentary dishes from Fiamma’s chef. A commenter wrote, “I was at Fiamma the night Padma was dining there and it absolutely did NOT go down that way. When the dishes arrived at the table, she thanked them profusely and apologized for being too full to eat any of them!” Whatever happened, Padma was just one of many celebs to chow down (or at least show up) at local restaurants this week, and here’s our gossip-column compendium of just who went where.
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?
No Plaza for Graydon; Mr. Rachael Ray Drops $35K for LunchboxGraydon Carter won’t be taking over the Plaza’s Oak Room, so you’ll still have to head downtown to the Waverly Inn for that truffled macaroni and cheese. [NYP]
Jean-Georges Vongerichten seeks the elusive fifth taste by serving “umami bombs” at his restaurants. [WSJ]
Related: Waiter, There’s a Fifth Element in My Soup
It’s possible that locally grown products have a comparable or even greater carbon footprint than food that travels long distances, so you can stop patting yourself on the back for being a greenmarket fanatic. [NYT]
Related: Local Schmocal [NYM]
Jenna Jameson Does Chinatown; Nobu’s Fish Not That ExclusiveJenna “ex-porn honey-turned-businesswoman” Jameson and Heatherette designer Richie Rich plan to open a nightclub/clothing shop in Chinatown next year called the General Store. [NYP]
Part-owner of the Waverly Inn and Maritime Hotel Eric Goode enjoys retreating to small-town Ojai in California. [NYT]
Nobu executive chef Mark Edwards reveals not only that the restaurant’s infamous black cod is actually sablefish (which is so not endangered), but also that he can’t stand the dish anymore after tasting it day after day. [Bloomberg]
Have White Truffles Finally Gone Too Far?We have some bad news. The bagel, that beloved, affordable symbol of New York cuisine, has gentrified. Chef Frank Tujague of the Westin hotel in Times Square (where else?) has unveiled the $1,000 white-truffle bagel, “topped with white truffle cream cheese and goji berry infused Riesling jelly with golden leaves.” Now we love all truffles, far too much to ever be so rash as to declare them to be so over, and there may not be a thing on earth that’s not improved by them (we’ve even considered using truffle oil as conditioner — it probably works wonders for split ends). But now that truffles are toying with the doughy purity of simple bagels, we have to wonder: Is this white-truffle thing not getting just a bit too precious?
Waverly Inn Chef John DeLucie to Publish Tell-AllFrom toque to bard.Photo: Patrick McMullan
We’ve always thought that what happens at the Waverly Inn stays at the Waverly Inn, but that may change, given this recent deal announcement on Publishers Marketplace:
Chef at New York’s The Waverly Inn John DeLucie’s THE HUNGER, a la Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, [sold] to Dan Halpern and Emily Takoudes at Ecco, for publication in Spring 2009, by Rebecca Oliver and Richard Abate at Endeavor (NA).
Another Look at Bar BouludDavid Bouley is expanding his Tribeca empire with “an upscale Japanese-themed restaurant called Brushstrokes” which will take over the soon-to-be-former Delphi space. [NYS]
Gael Greene was on hand for last night’s first taste of Bar Boulud even though the opening has been pushed back a month or so. [Food Writer’s Diary/Nation’s Restaurant News]
Related: Exclusive: Feast Your Eyes on Bar Boulud, Coming in November
The next Next Iron Chef challenge is “cooking gourmet airline food with all the constraints of airline galleys. Holy smokes. It’s the exact same challenge as Top Chef.” [Serious Eats]
The New York Diet
Single Girl Imogen Lloyd Webber Hops Between the Waverly and Beatrice Inns
Imogen Lloyd Webber says she relishes dining as a single woman — “You can eat cereal for dinner if you want to” — and she should know. She’s the author of the recently published Single Girl’s Survival Guide. “When you’re dating someone,” she says, “you tend to keep up with their eating habits.” (Not that she wasn’t happy, when in town from London, to keep up with her father Andrew’s dinners at the late Manhattan Ocean Club). This week, though, she struck out on her own and hit some more au courant restaurants.
Vive Les Classiques at Payard on the UES; Snorting Not a Problem at the WaverlyDumbo: Pie Social! This Sunday at Bubby’s! Noon to 3 p.m. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: Mo Pitkin’s gives up the ghost October 20. [Eater]
Greenwich Village: One of the best places to get risotto in the city is … surprise! Risotteria. [amNY]
Meatpacking District: The first rule of Clubland: “You must bring something to the party … Good looks, money, personality, or women.” [NYDN]
Upper East Side: Payard chef Philippe Bertineau is resurrecting classics like bouillabaisse and crispy pig’s feet for the restaurant’s tenth anniversary. [Restaurant Girl]
West Village: A Radar mole tests the cocaine limits of popular nightspots and “here he is at Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter’s Waverly Inn, where it is apparently completely okay to get your snort on.” [Radar via Gawker]
The New York Diet
Butter’s Richie Akiva Dines With Puffy, Cooks for the ‘Wifey’
Richie Akiva, owner of celebrity favorite Butter, tells us that he and his partner Scott Sartiano’s next project 1OAK is set to open at 453 West 17th Street on October 19. He won’t tell us much more: “I really want it to be a surprise. It’s going to change the face of nightlife in New York.” He’s also working on opening clubs in Los Angeles and Miami (the latter, we can report, will be an outpost of Butter). So when he’s not starving himself for the Jewish holidays or enjoying “wifey day” with his current girlfriend (past lucky ladies: Mary-Kate, Lindsay, Carmen Kass, etc.), where does he butter his bread?
Kyotofu South; Soup Nazi Not Feeling the Love Out of N.Y.Kyotofu really is expanding downtown with a second outlet that should be completed by next summer. In the meantime, its delicate Japanese treats will also be available at a new midtown tea shop opening this month. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
The Bleecker Street Magnolia Bakery has renewed its lease for another ten years. [Eater]
CJ continues to fantasize openly about cooking Padma breakfast. [Eater LA]
Related: ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner CJ on the Broccolini Backstory, and Why Hung’s Food Is Soulless
Is Southern Hospitality Really the New Waverly Inn?
We often check into Ils Vont, the newish Website that tracks celeb sightings at local eateries, to see where Jeremy Piven is chewing out his mom these days (actually, that happened at Nobu Malibu). Imagine our surprise when we saw that last week, Southern Hospitality overtook the Waverly Inn as the most celeb-infested restaurant in town. Given that Gael Greene, during her recent visit to Justin’s, saw little more than “a clutch of babes pretending to eat [and] an army of guys sucking beer from the bottle,” we can only conclude the place’s flack is milking those occasional boy-band drop-ins for all they’re worth — which kind of belies owner Eytan Sugarman’s pre-opening statement, “We’re not trying to be trendy.” Not you, maybe. But your publicist just might be.
Ils Vont [Official site]
Insatiable Critic: Southern Hospitality [NYM]
Doug E. Fresh Bringing Boxes of Chicken and Waffles to HarlemHarlem: Doug E. Fresh’s chicken-and-waffles restaurant is opening on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard at 132nd Street. [Uptown Flavor]
Long Island City: It was an orgy of animal fats at Saturday’s burger bash at Water Taxi Beach, as this slideshow dramatically demonstrates. [Off the Broiler]
Park Slope: Hotel Le Bleu (and its rooftop restaurant, Vue) has pushed back its opening to August 13. [NewYorkology]
Upper West Side: Grom has been stealing Beard Papa’s thunder, but the latter’s mango ice shower is just as refreshing as any gelato. And cheaper. [Ed Levine Eats]
West Village: Jody Williams’s new wine bar, Gottino, is coming along nicely on Greenwich Avenue. [Eater]
Williamsburg: The grubby Chinese place on Bedford Avenue by North 7th Street is turning Japanese. [Lost City]
Delis Are Dying, But Not Katz’s; Per Se Staff Is on the ClockThe classic New York deli is on the way out, thanks to aging owners, waistline-conscious eaters, and general apathy — but, we learn, Katz’s should stick around. An owner, as we predicted he might, goes on record saying, “If we did sell, we’d want to somehow tie in keeping the place — they could literally build on top of us.” [TONY]
Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s?
Per Se’s notoriously high-pressure kitchen apparently works under the shadow of a clock with Paul Bocuse’s name on its center and the words “Sense of Urgency” underneath. [Gawker]
Coney Island has its own beer, and while we’ve never tasted a bottle, it has what may be the greatest label of all time. [NYDN]