Baird Jones Memorial Party at the Plumm Might Have Actually Pissed Him OffSo on Friday night there will be a big, open-to-all bash to celebrate the memory of New York nightlife mainstay Baird Jones at the Plumm. The art collector, promoter, and gossip stringer died two weeks ago of a heart attack, and now everyone’s invited to toast his memory. Except, according to Grub Street, the venue might not be one that Baird himself would have been too happy about. In fact, at times he even worked to shut the club down. Baird called New York to complain of some of Plumm owner Noel Ashman’s poor business practices, including paying for underage models to visit the club and ripping off promoters. (He didn’t complain about how Plumm publicists incessantly exaggerated celebrity items to gossip columnists, but we’ll throw that in there because it’s always annoyed us.) Baird’s fellow promoter, Ivy Supersonic, says that she and the Webster Hall curator had a whole bunch of correspondence over the issue. Click on through to Grub for the whole story and Noel Ashman’s response.
Baird Jones’s Memorial Party to Be Held at Club He Secretly Tried to Close [Grub Street]
Related: Gossip Guru Baird Jones Reported Dead
Grub Street Comments Now Open for BusinessSince the birth of Grub Street, we’ve been aware of the need for some kind of interactive feedback. And it’s not that we weren’t listening; we just didn’t do anything about it. But now we have, and after a herculean investment of time, labor, and funds, we are officially unveiling our spanking-new commenting system. Yes, all of your “worst post ever!” and “I saw Daniel Maurer drinking ouzo at 4 o’clock yesterday morning” insights can now be shared with the world, for the low, low price of registering and typing them out.
Egad! Change at Peter Luger!
How’d we miss this yesterday? Our compatriots at Grub Street report that — are you sitting down? — Peter Luger has changed its menu. (The south-Williamsburg beef temple does, by the way, officially have a menu, though one rarely actually sees, much less uses, one.) After 120 years of serving porterhouse, Luger has added the option of rib eye. Why the change? It seems there just isn’t enough good porterhouse in the city to meet the restaurant’s needs, so the only alternative was to start offering other cuts (or to, as the Grubbies say has recently happened, force some diners to eat fish). Grub Street is not displeased with this development: “Truly great porterhouses are hard to come by; they’re not marbled the way rib eyes are, and they don’t have the same depth of flavor.” Perhaps, but we won’t be eating them. You go to Luger for the experience as much as for the food, and the experience includes porterhouse. We could get a good rib eye without riding the J train.
After 120 Years, Peter Luger Introduces a New Steak [Grub Street]
Lobster Rolls and Live FleshThe Spiegeltent at South Street Seaport’s 2007 season officially kicked off this week, and the lineup for this year’s Euro-style cabaret — Ute Lemper, Absinthe, Jose Gonzalez, the Shout Out Louds — is sure to bring out the spectacle-loving masses. Our cohorts over at Grub Street have the full scoop on the Spiegeltent’s other main draw: the mouthwatering seasonal menu at the temporary venue’s Green Room.
Boxed OutRemember when we told you that the Box, Simon Hammerstein’s new, insufferably pretentious so-called “dinner theater” non-club on the Lower East Side was in fact so insufferably pretentious that we’d never set foot in the place again? Well, we rest our case.
Michael Herr of the Box Serves Scarlett Johansson, Experiences a ‘Brush of Excitement’ [Grub Street]
Earlier: ‘Radar’ Throws a Party, and We Discover We Are Not Cool Enough to Buy Drinks
Related: What’s In the Box? [NYM]
Will Katz’s Make Way for Condos?
We had to give smelling salts to Grub Street’s Josh Ozersky after he heard a rumor that Katz’s Deli might be the next victim of a new Lower East Side condo. Working all night, sustained only by a crust of rye and one slice of pastrami, Josh uncovered the truth. Or at least some more reliable rumors. Look to Grub Street for reassurance.
Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s [Grub Street]
The Cheese Commutes Alone
Whatever your plans are for today, they should include a stop at Grand Central to see “The World’s Largest Cheese.” Murray’s Cheese and the Dutch cheesemaker Beemster have somehow rolled a Guinness-record-holding Gouda into the train station. Besides a tasting, the cheese gets its own press conference (gleefully imagined, above). We’re not sure what you do with a cheese that big, but Grub Street has some excellent suggestions.
World’s Biggest Cheese in Town Today [Grub Street]
‘Top Chef’s Marcel Still Viewed as Bad Guy
Remember Marcel Vigneron, the foamy villain from last season of Top Chef? He may not be on TV anymore, but he’s still causing trouble in the kitchen. The staff of wd-50 believes Vigneron ripped off a Wylie Dufresne dish in a recent issue of Wired. Grub Street has all the dirt. Or foam.
Did Marcel From ‘Top Chef’ Really Just Rip Off Wylie Dufresne? [Grub Street]
Pork: It’s What’s for Lunch
If you’re looking for an inspired lunch to grab this week, go no further than Grub Street’s “Sandwich of the Week.” This week, sandwich seekers Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld happily discover the tamarind-pork sandwich (above) from Lassi. This “Indian-Dominican powerhouse” includes pork, garlic, chiles, cilantro, ginger, salt, and a tandoori masala, among other ingredients. Too bad it’s only available Wednesday through Sunday.
Sandwich of the Week: Lassi’s Tamarind-Pork Sandwich [Grub Street]
N.Y. Diet: What Rapper Sean Mims Eats on the Road
While rapper Sean Mims is off tearing up clubs performing “This Is Why I’m Hot,” he thinks longingly of the habichuela con dulce from his native Washington Heights. Mims loves shrimp, is working his way toward sushi, and refuses to eat on planes (not even in first class). Find out what Mims puts on his rider and how you balance Blue Fin with Sonic over on Grub Street.
This Is Why Rapper Mims Likes His Tea Hot [Grub Street]
When Brunch Goes Bad Meet Lynnea Scalora, a waiter-bartender (and bassist-artist) treading the fine line between the “dolled-up” LES cool and the “messy” Greenpoint cool: She slings booze at the Annex, where “people are very concerned about their image” but prefers waiting tables at the laid-back Enid’s. How laid-back? Well, they toss Polish locals out for talking to customers. And scoff at the rubes who order dirty martinis, or coffee-and-dessert, or decaf, or Splenda (“these things aren’t what happens at Enid’s”). And snicker at bickering couples. Otherwise, it’s an oasis of tolerance! There’s more Lynnea at Grub Street.
Lynnea Scalora of Enid’s and the Annex Can Tell Her Hipsters Apart [Grub Street]
Pure Food and Wine Is Turning French-ish, Bro
David Moltz has been a waiter at the raw-food mecca Pure Food and Wine for a little more than a year. So how does he withstand the onslaught of celebrities, raw-food obsessives, and irritable vegans? By talking to the new chef. “Our new chef makes French-style cuisine,” he says. “Me and him totally bro down about French stuff.” To learn more about bro-ing down and why the staff had to stop ordering nachos and what goes down on the “hump couch,” head to Grub Street.
Pure Food and Wine’s David Moltz Hangs With Gisele, Chases Raw Foodists for Tips [Grub Street]
Taking Food Snobbery to the Next Level; Paula Deen and the Pork Giant“Localvores” are highly virtuous and a big pain in the ass. [NYDN]
Paula Deen finds herself on the wrong side of a Smithfield Foods labor dispute, and striking workers are calling for her to sever ties with the pork giant. [NYT]
It’s not just red wine with fish anymore: Celebrity chefs are leading the way toward more imaginative wine and beer pairings, from Joe Bastianich’s pouring Dom Pérignon rosé with roast pheasant to Laurent Tourondel’s quaffing beer with his steak. [Forbes]
Not the Nosh!
When they came for John’s Pizzeria, we did not stand up, because we do not frequent John’s Pizzeria. But who’s left to stand up now? Everyone loves the Inhouse Nosh Café, the, well, in-house noshery in the lobby of New YorkHQ, 444 Madison Avenue. Or, at least, everyone does with the notable exception of city’s Health Department, which in its ongoing, rats-video-fueled crackdown yesterday closed the place, claiming 110 violation points. (Twenty-eight or more points necessitates a reinspection.) Grub Street is crushed, and, in this rare case, we’ve got to say we agree. Poor Nosh.
Health Department Rampage Hits Grub Street Close to Home [Grub Street]
It’d Be Better With Oompa-Loompas
Looks like Max Brenner, the nonexistent “Bald Man” of high-concept choco-bar infamy, has started a trend: Call it the Willie Wonka–fication of the coffeehouse experience. The weirdness continues at the Roasting Plant, where freshly roasted coffee beans are sucked out of transparent vessels through overhead pipes and into a souped-up espresso machine. We’re as baffled as anyone, but we also have to grudgingly admit that the shop’s main attraction, a Rube Goldberg–meets–H.R. Giger device, looks pretty damn cool. And, who knows, perhaps the beans do stay fresher this way. We’ll let Rob and Robin provide further explanation over at Grub Street.
The Roasting Plant’s Coffee Beans Dance Overhead [Grub Street]
God Save the King Burger
Ever feel like a big, juicy, greasy hamburger doesn’t pack quite big enough of a fat-and-cholesterol punch for you? The line cooks at BLT Burger to the rescue, then. Killing time at the end of a shift one night, the kitchen crew at Laurent Tourondel’s Sixth Avenue outpost threw a burger in the deep fryer to see what would happen. The magnificent result was the King Burger, a five-ounce hunk of ground beef coated, fried, and served on a soft bun with lettuce, tomato, and onion. There’s more to it, and it’s this week’s Sandwich of the Week.
Sandwich of the Week: BLT’s King Burger, in All Its Deep-Fried Glory [Grub Street]
Sam Mason Always Has Room for Dessert
Last time Grub Street checked in with Sam Mason, the former wd-50 pastry chef who’s slowly working toward opening his own spot, Tailor, he was worried about the floor. Would the hardwood acclimate to the humidity? Would he have to have grout in his kitchen? This week, it’s on to the ceiling and the stairs — who knew there are specific “staircase architects”? — and to that little manner of the menu. But first, it’s time to get dessert with members of the Experimental Cuisine Collective. What’s that? Find out at Grub Street.
Sam Mason Joins a Molecular Secret Society [Grub Street]
Employees Only Is Always Crowded, Sometimes With a Brass BandAt West Village cocktail joint Employees Only, the place is jammed from eight till midnight or so nearly every night, on weekends the line to get in runs down the block, and the upstairs neighbors sometimes throw fruit on revelers in the back garden, according to manager and maître d’ Dagny Mendelsohn. But it’s also just about impossible to get a bad drink from one of the expert bartenders, she says, and there’s a decent chance you might snag yourself a barback. Find out the other secrets of Employees Only at Grub Street, where Mendelsohn is this week’s Ask a Waiter.
Dagny Mendelsohn of Employees Only Defends Her Customers From Flying Fruit [Grub Street]
Happy National Grilled-Cheese Sandwich Month! We presume Hallmark has a card for the occasion — how could they not? — but Grub Street has an even better way to send cheesily good tidings: The Underground Gourmet’s list of the eight best grilled-cheese sandwiches in New York. They all sound delicious, and they’re this week’s Sandwiches of the Week.
Sandwiches of the Week: In Celebration of National Grilled-Cheese Sandwich Month [Grub Street]
Born to Be Wild Salmon
Over-the-top restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow — the man behind the near-universally reviled Kobe Club, which has caused him to revile, in turn, critics like our Adam Platt and the Times’ Frank Bruni — opens his latest offering, Wild Salmon, today. Grub Street got a look inside the place yesterday, and a look at the menu, and based on that — and not, mind you, on actually eating anything there — pronounces it “the best hand he’s dealt himself in a while.” Why? Find out at Grub Street.
Wild Salmon Swims Into View. Yes, ‘Pun Intended’ [Grub Street]
Sam Mason Waits for His Wood
It’s time for another Grub Street check-in with Sam Mason, the former wd-50 pastry chef who’s working (and working and working) to open his own Soho spot, Tailor. Today we learn of yet another hiccup. Who knew you have to wait three days before laying hardwood floors? But there’s an upside to that delay: It gave Sam time to go shopping for sexy Japanese knives. Everything you ever wanted to know about humidity, grout, and Japanese carbon steel awaits in The Launch at Grub Street.
Sam Mason on the Sexiness of Japanese Steel [Grub Street]
Mom Always Said Not to Play Ball in the Fancy French Restaurant
You think it’s easy being a waiter at a high-end French restaurant? Hardly. Chanterelle server Ian Tomaschik has to serve and clear a six-course tasting menu while also replenishing bread and silverware and making drinks and coffees. “In the beginning,” he told Grub Street, “I didn’t think I could pull it off.” But he has, for six years, and it’s worth it: “Once I saw the name Barry Williams on the reservation list. I was like, I can’t believe I’m waiting on Greg Brady.” Tomaschik is this week’s Ask a Waiter.
Ian Tomaschik of Chanterelle Will Serve You Fake Wine If Your Secretary Asks [Grub Street]
Welcome, Whole Foods Backlash!With a brand new Whole Foods on Bowery (and, seemingly, everywhere else), will neighborhood organic markets wither? Indie rocker Jason Trachtenberg, who leads the Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players when he’s not stocking shelves at the all-volunteer 4th Street Co-op, fears losing customers to the giant supermarket. “They’ve completely oversaturated the organic market, and they’re not even all organic,” says Trachtenberg . What did Whole Foods say in its defense? Find out about the benefits of foot traffic over on Grub Street.
Bowery Whole Foods: An Effing Steamroller? [Grub Street]
You Deserve a Big, Fishy Break Today
Something’s particularly fishy around town right now, and it’s not just all those Catholics abandoning meat. Or, actually, it ever so slightly is: Loosely timed to coincide with the Lenten season, McDonald’s has debuted the Double Filet-o-Fish — and the Underground Gourmet is giddy. There’s more to the sandwich than just a double dose of deep-fried mystery fish. What’s the special twist? The UG tells all at Grub Street, where it’s the Sandwich of the Week.
Filet-o-Fish Sandwich Now Twice As Delicious [Grub Street]
Morgan Spurlock Is Getting FatSelf-styled muckraker Morgan Spurlock — whose facial hair, if you can believe it, is now even more irritating than when he first ate his way to prominence in Super Size Me — claims he’s getting fat. And that’s hardly a surprise when you consider what he’s been eating: chicken parm, doughnuts, dinner at Per Se. He even had a burger! (Though it wasn’t McDonald’s.) Find out how else he’s super-sizing himself in this week’s New York Diet.
Morgan Spurlock Splurges at Per Se, Loves Peanut-Butter Doughnuts [Grub Street]
Sam Mason’s Floor Won’t Weather Itself
Former wd-50 pastry chef Sam Mason may have run into some speed bumps on the road to opening his Tailor, on Broome Street, but he’s still chugging along, and he’s still chronicling said chugging for Grub Street. In the latest installment, Mason sees his restaurant taking shape — literally: They’re framing the kitchen and laying floors — and wonders how he’ll make those floors look as weathered as he wants them to be. Stiletto-heeled dancing, anyone?
Sam Mason Needs Fifteen Women in Stilettos to Complete Construction [Grub Street]