It’s Memorial Day weekend, folks, which means that until Tuesday, we’re peace outtie in our leased Audi. If you’re not going to the Hamptons for the opening of Stereo by the Seashore this weekend, and you don’t feel like being cooped up at one of PDT’s pre-opening parties, allow us to suggest a rooftop bar — twenty of them, in fact, from the don’t-even-think-about-it Private Roof Club and Garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel to Mé Bar, where you can simply order pizza and crack a cheap beer in the glow of the Empire State Building. Heck, maybe we’ll stay in town after all
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Tonight’s launch of D’Or (pictured above), the lounge underneath the Dream Hotel’s newly opened Amalia, isn’t the most exciting thing owner Greg Brier has going. He tells us that on July 1 he’ll open a 4,000 sq. ft. rooftop on the 16th floor of the Hilton Gardens hotel on 48th Street and Eighth Avenue — a space he believes will trump 230 Fifth in size. A two-minute walk through a utility corridor and a high-speed elevator trip will lead visitors to an enclosed fifteenth-floor lounge with a glass fireplace. And the roof? “It’s going to have a Japanese garden-type feel,” Brier says, “with teak decking and little plots so people can break away from the crowd.” More than likely, he’ll ask Amalia chef Ivy Stark to consult on a menu of “real American barbecue.”
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A lot of chefs — particularly of the Haute Barnyard breed — advertise their love of farms. But how many actually mastermind a breeding program, and then invite other chefs to the country to see the results? Cesare Casella, the Tuscan cook behind Maremma, has been breeding two types of pigs (and snow-white Chianina cattle) at Stonewall Preserve upstate. On Monday, he invited Mark Ladner of Del Posto, April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, Zak Pelaccio of Fatty Crab, Kevin Garcia of 'Cesca, and Mary Ellen Heavner of 5 Ninth to come up and sample the Stonewall pig.
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It was a sad day a couple of years back when Sample chef and co-owner Josh Cohen closed Biscuit, his Park Slope barbecue restaurant. By now, you may have gotten over it. Which makes this an extra-special surprise: Biscuit is coming back. On Monday, Cohen finalized plans to convert Night and Day, at 230 Fifth Avenue (not to be confused with 230 Fifth Avenue, the Manhattan restaurant), into a bigger and better version of Biscuit, scheduled to open on October 30. His slow-smoked pork, spareribs, point-cut brisket, and chicken, along with other southern standards like fried chicken and u-peel-'em shrimp, will all be making a triumphant return. There will also be a full bar and blues and bluegrass music. "I think we have a chance to really do Biscuit right this time," Cohen told us. Hey, we liked it the last time.
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