P*Ong, the long-awaited all-dessert restaurant from former Spice Market pastry chef Pichet Ong, has been delayed yet again. Previously we had heard that the date was set for this week. Now, Ong tells us, he’s looking at mid-April. There’s final painting to be done, juicers and dehydrators still to come in, a sanitation inspection yet to be passed, and other typically troublesome details. “I’m doing all this by myself,” says the chef, who studied design at Berkeley and is laying out the restaurant. “But I kind of wanted to so that next time I’ll really know how to open a restaurant. The Department of Buildings has been my worry. So many restaurants have opened illegally, either applying for permits afterward or being grandfathered in; we want everything to be just right from the first day.”
Laura Dunlop worked at a pizza-and-pasta mill before coming to Lovely Day, the diminutive Nolita standby for cheap, fanciful Thai. In the two years she’s been there, the 40-seat canteen has evolved from an under-the-radar hangout for local boutique owners and artists to a genuine destination. “It’s a little sad,” she says. “Because we don’t get to spend as much time with each table.” We asked her about the place’s bohemian following, her method of dealing with obnoxious customers, and rumors of full-frontal nudity inside the restaurant.
It's not spring till tomorrow, but even in this last remaining dark day of winter, there's a glimmer of happy, summery news: The Shake Shack has reopened. It happened yesterday afternoon, Grub guru Josh Ozersky reports, and he spoke to Danny Meyer, the Shake Shack's owner and arguably New York's favorite restaurateur, about what new is in store at the Madison Square burgery. The part we find most exciting: Magic wands! Huh? Find out at Grub Street.
Danny Meyer on Shake Shack 2.0 [Grub Street]
• Mad Money host Jim Cramer (and New York columnist) recalls his good old days of stock manipulation. [YouTube via NYP]
• Activist shareholder Evelyn Y. Davis demands that the board of Goldman Sachs stop distributing stock options immediately. [DealBook/NYT]
• Wannabe buyer attacks Smith & Wollensky CEO, claiming that accepting another, lower bid would personally benefit Alan Stillman. [Crain's]
After all the excitement in this morning's tabs about Naomi Campbell's first day of community service yesterday — and, more important, about what she wore to it — let us be among the first to show you what she wore this morning, when she showed up at the Sanitation Department depot for day two. With that jaunty fedora, Naomi, you can throw your phone at us anytime.
Boot Camp [NYDN]
Naomi Makes Boot-y Call [NYP]
If there’s one rule about the weekly In Season recipe in the magazine’s Strategist section that we try to adhere to, it’s to keep things simple. This is due not only to limited space considerations, but also to the fact that we are of the let-the-ingredient-speak-for-itself school of cooking. Put another way, we’re lazy and hate cleaning up after ourselves. Still, this week’s recipe for fork-crushed Purple Majesty potatoes, courtesy of Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony, was so exceptionally simple (yet undeniably delicious), it had people around the office talking. “This really couldn’t be much easier, could it?” said one admitted foodie, with a haughty note of reproof in her voice. Another cranky copy editor was more direct: “Even a small and not very gifted child can crush potatoes with a fork,” he said.
We hate to reinforce Sex and the City stereotypes almost as much as Chris Noth does, so it is with mixed feelings that we report the following: They're kind of true. New York women are single, overeducated, creative, and moneyed, and there are new federal stats to prove it. According to an analysis of Census data, a New York woman is fourteen times more likely to be an actress than her average American counterpart; no easy feat, considering how heavily L.A. should be skewing the nationwide stats on that one. She's also nine times more likely to be an author, a lawyer, or a judge. Only 45 percent of adult New York City women have ever been married (that proportion drops to 37 percent in Manhattan); the national average is 61 percent. And one more sub-trend that caught our eye: Married women in Manhattan have "much higher household income" but lower earnings than the singles. Ergo, when female New Yorkers do succumb to matrimony, they tend to marry up. Hello, Trey MacDougal.
Women of New York City [Gotham Gazette]
Big Regrets From Former Mr. Big [NYM]
Famed midtown French restaurant Brasserie LCB was shuttered by the Health Department after the chef got into a spat with inspectors. Lindsay Lohan performed a stripper routine at the Box, and the crowd went wild. She also rebuffed a karaoke come-on from former flame Wilmer Valderrama. Richard Johnson and wife Sessa von Richthofen gave birth to a baby girl. Tom Brady and Gisele dined at the Spotted Pig on Saint Patrick's Day. Hillary supporters with $2,300 to burn can go biking with Bill Clinton on the Upper West Side as part of a fund-raising effort.
The Department of Health rampage claims its most eminent victim yet: the venerable Brasserie LCB (formerly known as La Cote Basque). Apparently chef Jean-Jacques Rachou had a few things to say to the inspectors when they arrived. [NYP]
According to the owner’s father, DiFara legend Dom De Marco, De Marco’s Pizza may close permanently in the wake of the recent shooting. [NYP]
A more palatable way of making foie gras: Let the geese gorge themselves. [BBC via Chow]
We've learned from this week's magazine that London's got a construction boom now — an interesting construction boom — plus an immigration influx, great theater, "a civic boldness," and plenty of good food. And here's one more accomplishment for our once-Dickensian rival across the pond: London is perhaps greener than New York, today producing more than twice the renewable energy we do. This news came at the latest PlaNYC 2030 forum, held at NYU yesterday, where electricity experts confirmed that New York's power supply will fail to meet demand by 2012 unless more buildings start generating and reusing their own electricity. And why don't we?
• The three cops indicted in the 50-shot shooting of Sean Bell pleaded not guilty yesterday. They have quite a bit to deny, too: The charges could get two of them 25 years in prison. [NYT]
• Yesterday's antiwar rally in the financial district brought a whopping 44 arrests for disorderly conduct. Considering the event involved a total of 70 people — in organizers' estimation! — that's quite a percentage. [amNY]
• Naomi Campbell started her community-service sentence yesterday, in a ritual that, once we've seen Boy George wield a broom, has become a kind of routine (if bizarre) photo op. The News lists the details of her work attire for the curious. [NYDN]
• Coming soon to NYU: the treasure trove of the Communist Party of America. Marvel at Joe Hill's rhyming will, Lenin buttons, and "smuggled directives from Moscow"! [NYT]
• And the Health Department is still on its rat-fueled, restaurant-shuttering rampage; the latest victim of the new zeal is Brasserie LCB on 55th Street, where the French owner says the inspectors "acted like the Gestapo." So he didn't mind closing, then? [NYP]