We just got a look at the Ssäm Bar New Year’s Eve party, and while we won’t be attending (that $300 is earmarked for a new car), we have to say that it looks pretty impressive. For your three bills, you get open bar (beer, sake and wine only), plus Champagne (but for how long?), and, in the food department, such Ssäm standbys as artisanal-ham plates, aged steak, and a slow-cooked pork butt, d.b.a. Bo Ssäm usually $180 when you order it on the menu. We still can't figure out the economics of Ssäm Bar, but given Chang's resistance to moneymaking (through expansion, cookbooks, etc.), we doubt he's looking to make much money. And if the “unlimited beer, wine, and sake” really are unlimited, the Soupman could well end up on the red side of the ledger.
David Chang's New Year's Party
It looks like Tamsin Lonsdale, the London socialite looking to make a splash with her new private dinner club, might just have a flop on her hands. The Observer today chats with a couple of the club’s disgruntled ambassadors, one of whom says, “She’s not offering a service to the boldface names. She’s using these people to bring in the mass.” Shocking! You mean this wasn’t merely a way to get people together to talk about the new Ang Lee flick? It was a marketing gimmick? Hilariously, one member gripes that she paid $100 for a meal at the Spotted Pig that normally would’ve cost her $40, and Londsale defends herself by saying that Jay-Z ended up dancing with everyone. But really if Gawker types can rub elbows with Jay-Z at the Pig, can’t anyone?
BURP! Sykes Sister Strikes Out! ‘Exclusive’ Brit Supper Club Lays an Egg [NYO]
EarlierSocialite Tamsin Lonsdale’s Supper Club Probably Doesn’t Want You
Clinton Hill: Beware of undesirables who sneak into your apartment building to smoke butts, do drugs, copulate, urinate, and drink coffee. Because it's happening. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: The latest bank branch hopes that if it puts up a big photo of the hood in Ye Olden Days, no one will notice that it's filled mostly with bank branches now. [Vanishing New York]
Flushing: Local Quaker farmers demand freedom of worship! Well, they did in 1657. But the tatty document in which they listed their demands, called "The religious Magna Carta of the New World," is on display up in here. [NYT]
In 1978, before we knew we really like boys, we had the mad hots for our bubbly 13-year-old babysitter, Lisa, who rocked gym shorts, knee-length Jox socks, and two perfect, feathered brunette wings over her forehead. But why did we really worship her? Because she was a dead ringer for Valerie Bertinelli, that spunky Italian nymphette who, back then, played youngest daughter Barbara on One Day at a Time. (Today, she duels with Kirstie Alley in those Jenny Craig commercials.)
So, in this new NY1 clip, when our (sometimes) bubbly, openly lesbian City Council speaker Christine Quinn said that she likes to chill out by watching Lifetime flicks starring the adult, still-perky Val, we knew just what she was talking about: "Anything with Valerie Bertinelli is usually a good show because there are struggles," said Quinn, who also did the usual dodge of the usual probe into her mayoral ambitions. "They are strong women, and it usually ends on an up note."
Chelsea: It doesn’t look good for those who are just getting used to the belly; pig’s ears are the latest trend, and even the version at stellar tapas spot Tía Pol was described by Peter Meehan as "crunchy and sticky with a funky pigskin flavor." [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Financial District: Don’t forget, the trial run for the proposed year-round seasonal market at South Street Seaport starts on December 16 (and Molto Mario will be there). [Grub Street]
Park Slope: Tempo Presto is closing this Friday because the restaurant can’t keep up with the pricey rent. [Gowanus Lounge]
Upper West Side: Dovetail‘s opening next week. [Zagat]
West Village: Sasha Muniak must feel really good about the Centro Vinoteca formula; after tapping chef Anne Burrell to take over for Amanda Freitag, he plans to redesign the Gusto space by next year with help from Centro Vinoteca and Jean Georges designer Thomas Juul-Hansen. [Restaurant Girl] Andrea Strong unveils renderings of Jason Neroni’s new gig, 10 Downing. [Strong Buzz via Eater] Magnolia Bakery will be open regular hours every day this holiday season except for Christmas, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24, kids can pick up a cupcake that comes with a note to Santa. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Williamsburg: A benefit party at Supreme Trading tomorrow night promises an open Bass Ale Beer bar from 7 to 8 p.m. and "one of the most difficult cuisines to find in New York City: Rwandan." [Cakehead]
In Two Flags, Israeli artist Rona Yefman reimagines conflict in the Middle East as a Capture the Flag–like game. We'd imagine whoever is standing at the bottom of this stairwell is, well, totally screwed.
Richie Rich and Jenna Jameson may be opening a yet-to-be-named Chinatown bar in a former brothel, but the true original is rumored to be on its way out. A source close to Good World says the bar has lost its lease and its days are numbered. That source has heard that Ian Schrager is buying the block and will erect a W Hotel there — easily the most disturbing rumor since the one about the Bulgarian Bar being replaced by a Best Western. Good World GM Anna Ahlin firmly denies it, saying, “They sold the building we’re located in, and that has been a big misconception for some people.” Ahlin told us she can’t recall the term of Good World’s lease, but drinkers are safe for the foreseeable future.