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Restroom Report

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Hanging in the Box's S&M Restrooms

During the year and a half Simon Hammerstein spent converting a former abattoir (and later, sign factory) into his dinner theater the Box, he hauled in an imposing set of doors from an insane asylum using his pimpmobile. We suspected the restroom décor would be similarly eccentric, and sure enough, the door to the wheelchair-accessible ground-floor WC comes from an old public schoolhouse. Then again, we’ve seen that before. The real action lay on the other side of the portals found down a narrow staircase, and at the end of the same sconce-lit hallway that leads to dressing rooms intended for circus freaks, S&M performers, and acrobats — whenever the place finally opens, that is.

Read Poe on the Pot at Zucco: Le French Diner

With just twenty seats (most wedged between the bar and a wall), Zucco: Le French Diner is one of the most lilliputian eateries in the city. Once we located the bathroom jammed in the back corner next to a prep table — and tapped on the cook’s shoulder so he could make room for us to open the door — we weren’t surprised to find that it's also tres petite. Thankfully, what the loo lacks in size, it makes up for with Godardian flair.

Trans Fats Versus Razor Blades; ‘Times’ Inspired by Our Restroom Report

Bruni ponders bathrooms, giving a shout-out to Grub Street's Restroom Report; apparently the Sultan had a pretty nasty encounter with the ones at Gordon Ramsay. [NYT] Hamptons officials loosen up and consider lifting the music ban in restaurants — if there's very tight regulation of it. [NYP] E! wrap-up on the Top Chef finale, including a plate-by-plate account of the competition’s Last Supper, which is more interesting, to us anyway, than whether Ilan got his money and new oven. [E!] Related: Ilan Won, Yes, But What Does It All Mean?

Tinkling at Tasca, the Latest Tapas Bar

When we heard that new West Village tapas bar Tasca professed to have an interior design worthy of Gaudi (or, er, Gaudy, as the press release has it), we knew we had to feast our eyes on colorful floor tiles, the teardrop lights over the tile bar, and most importantly, those handsome barrels of sangria. It turned out to be a worthy backdrop for seducing a date with stories of a recent trip to Barcelona, but it's not exactly the Sagrada Familia. So, did the restrooms, at least, live up to the master?

Do the Restrooms at Death & Co. Have a Pot to Piss In?

We're not saying that cocktail lounge Death & Co. is the new Milk and Honey (for one, they’re willing to make you a Sex on the Beach, albeit a very highfalutin one), but there are certain undeniable similarities: the curtained, unmarked entry; uniformed barkeeps deploying squeezed juices and an arsenal of bitters; jazz on the speakers. We couldn’t help but wonder, then, whether the bathrooms lived up to the notorious ones at Sasha Petraske’s joint. Camera in hand, we peeled ourselves away from our top-shelf mescal to find out.

Secret Stalls and Wacky Waterfalls at 44

We didn’t think it got much more futuristic than the automated Japanese toilets at Morimoto, but then we heard of a stainless steel urinal that triggers a waterfall when you step up to bat. We were so intrigued that we ordered a $15 mint julep at the Royalton hotel’s 44 bar and waited until the coast was clear. Were these facilities worthy of being showered with praise?

Public's Award-Winning Restrooms

It’s not every restroom that wins a James Beard Award, but design firm AvroKO clinched one when they remodeled a former warehouse in the style of a fifties municipal building, using mechanized pullies, a card catalog, and post office boxes–cum–bottle holders. The result was Public. We thought the restaurant’s new lounge, the Monday Room, was a good enough excuse to drop in, No. 2 pencils sharpened, and ponder those award-winning loos.

Loos Fit for a ‘Luchador’: La Esquina's Restrooms Reassessed

As Serge Becker prepares to lift the curtain on his Wild West saloon–cum–dinner theater, the Box, we thought we'd check in on his old joint, La Esquina. Sure, the subterranean cavern still gets its share of taco-nibbling waifs, but have the luchador-themed restrooms withstood the test of time, especially after Nacho Libre copped their look?

Heads Up: Park Chinois's Restrooms, Ready in January or February

Alan Yau's restaurant-to-be in the Gramercy Park Hotel is now poised to open in late January or early February, or so a beleaguered manager told us. In the meantime, private-partygoers have gotten a look at the surprisingly demure and loungy L-shaped room where the eatery will be located (provided the Chinese chefs' visas come through). At the Svedka-sponsored event featuring "erotic readers" Jay McInerney and Candace Bushnell, we scoped out the one area that probably won't change much before the place opens: the restrooms.

London-Style Loos Are Calling

When we heard that Gordon Ramsay's new joint was designed by David Collins, the man behind London's Nobu Berkeley and J Sheekey, we suspected the restrooms would be as high-flying as the 80-chef kitchen. Gord has threatened to ban anyone who photographs the food, but we chanced taking a camera into the loos.

Head to Head, Round Two: The Loos at the Inns

Earlier this week we noted that Paul Sevigny's the Beatrice is shaping up to be the downtown set's own private Ye Waverly Inn. Only time will tell which of the historic, soon-to-officially-reopen West Village taverns will become the more chic destination. But at least you'll know what to expect from the bathrooms.

Inside Room Service's VIPee

At her most recent record-release party, Janet Jackson reportedly commandeered the VIPee at the much-ballyhooed restaurant-club Room Service. We knew we had to investigate. At the grand opening last night, the curtained cabanas that come with a key to the private washroom were reserved for the likes of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Adrian Grenier, but when no one was looking, we crashed the special commode.

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.

A Pot in the Dark: Deep Down in Thor

After some duck ravioli and cod fritters at the sleek Thor, inside the Hotel Rivington, we located what appears to be a sentry box between the bar and cheery-bright, glass-ceilinged dining room that actually cloaks stairs leading down to a gloomy bathroom lair.

Beam Me Up, Potty: Sea's Space-Age Restrooms

Welcome to the Restroom Report, inspired by the city's most curious lavatories. When nature calls, we take notes. The suspended pod seats in the lounge of Williamsburg's perennial Thai-eatery-cum-time-machine aren't the only nods to the future. In the co-ed bathroom, we encountered stalls that resemble VIP cryogenic tubes — complete with personal speakers and video monitors.