Remember our news that BBQ Chicken, Korea’s leading fried chicken chain, was coming to St. Marks Place and aiming to move past McDonald’s in worldwide ubiquity? That goal now seems just a smidge ambitious, because after two months the chicken has yet to hit the olive oil. We were worried the employees had been held back at Chicken University, but it seems the problems lie elsewhere. “They’ve been having trouble with the gas for the chicken,” a counter person tells us. “[The opening] will probably be about two weeks, but they’ve been saying that for about a week so I’m not sure.” In the meantime, there’s always that decidedly not health-conscious BBQ at the end of the block.
Update: Well, there’s this, at least— The BBQ Chicken on Seventh Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets is up and oiling, as our photographer Melissa Hom discovered during her fried chicken odyssey.
Earlier:Korea’s Favorite Chicken Chain Invades, Bubble-Tea War Is Brewing
We’re used to seeing misleading pull quotes on movie posters and book jackets, but takeout menus? Los Dados has plastered the paper menus of its recently opened taqueria with quotes from Thrillist, UrbanDaddy, DailyCandy, Andrea Strong, and others not exactly known for applying a critical eye. Front and center is a line from a Daily News piece: “TACO NIGHT IS NOW EVEN BETTER.” Riiight.
There’s no doubt that when the new Meadowlands launches two years hence, the food will be a huge upgrade from the current swill. But will it match the heavenly food court that Citi Field (a.k.a. the new Shea) has in store? No chance, a source close to the action tells us. While both venues are powered by the need to feed luxury-box owners, Citi Field is open to multiple restaurateurs. So not only will there be a Shake Shack and another TBA Danny Meyer restaurant, but Mets fans might also get a Batali-Bastianich joint and a Myriad Restaurant Group offering.
We didn’t think things could get any better at L’asso, the hipster’s go-to pizza place in Nolita. After all: Nutella pies! Marshmallow pies! But after over three years of tossing them into the wood-fired brick oven, L'asso finally has a liquor license. They’re adjusting from wine and beer slowly (last night our server didn’t know what a Dark and Stormy was, though it was on the menu), but once they come around, we’re confident there will never again be a reason to join the line at Lombardi’s.
We get pitches for preposterously named cocktails all the time, but this???
Just a quick note to let you know about a new signature cocktail being served up at the W Times Square to help tourists (and weary picketers) cope with the Broadway Strike. Available at the hotel’s Living Room Lounge and Whiskey Bar, it is made with bourbon, Grand Marnier and white cranberry juice and is dark in color as a result of the dark lights on Broadway.
This is ridiculous enough to make us pound a Gisele, made with CABANA CACHACA and being served at D’Or (are you happy Nike Communications — we finally got an excuse to mention it!).
Considering they blew $2 million on the place, we assumed the proprietors of the Box had the building all to themselves, but apparently even the hottest club in the city can’t afford to live without a roommate. To that end, if you want a nice quiet workspace right above the S&M shows, it can be yours for a little over $115,000 per month year. According to the broker’s listing, “all uses [will be] considered”— so feel free to set up a fake VIP room and convince eager cover-payers they’re actually inside of the Box. After all, remember Noel Ashman’s “Upstairs at Studio 54”?
Walker Malloy [Official site]
We’re always amused when we see words to the effect of “ask for assistance” on an izakaya menu (if we remember correctly there’s such a disclaimer on the bull’s penis at Kenka), but the long-standing menu description of bonito shuto (a type of aged bonito fish) at Zenkichi really takes the cake:
The clubwear trend of plastering skulls all over everything to make it “edgy” simply will not die. In fact, it has just reached the height of absurdity thanks to some D.J.'s-cum-designers at GoldBar. Per Down by the Hipster, they've slapped the club’s name and an image of one of its super-cool golden skulls on a limited-edition T-shirt. Apparently, this piece of low couture is being given only to the club’s “elite,” which makes us wonder: After being banned from the place thanks to our less than favorable opening-night musings, is sporting one of these the only way we’ll be able to get past the venue's golden ropes? Either way, we’re sticking to our stodgily skull-free Wo Hop shirts.
Related:Golden Years [Down by the Hipster]
Earlier:GoldBar Finally Emerges from the Vault
What is it with cockroaches that DOH inspectors always seem to spot them in multiples of 100? First Serendipity is shuttered partially for hosting over 100 live cockroaches, and now we get the official word about Bubby’s: Inspectors spotted no less than 200 live cockroaches in four areas, fly infestations in four areas, bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food (does the place serve Corona?), and a multitude of infestation-causing conditions like standing water. Well! We're not even going to get into how inspectors can accurately count "over 200 live cockroaches," but if your restaurant is going to go out infested, you might as well go hard.
The DOH’s official statement follows:
While we're still waiting to hear the final vermin count on Bubby's, the beloved Tribeca joint that the DOH unceremoniously shut down this morning, owner Ron Silver has appeared in Eater's comments, revealing that the final, fatal inspection was due to a neighborhood complaint; he also calls bullshit on something regarding an open-can count. Right, right — there are always these nitpicky problems. But was there something more? We decided to take a look at their last inspection, which was October 25, wherein they racked up an impressive 43 violation points. We can't say how many of the previous wrongs have since been righted, but we hope they had at least cleaned up that roach problem in the past few weeks.
Construction has just started in earnest on Emma Cleary’s super-exclusive boîte Femme Fatale. This morning we peeped debris being hauled out of the former Double Happiness and Palais Royale spaces, meaning it’s just a matter of time before the coveted skylit alcove — scene of so many freshman birthday parties — becomes what we imagine will be the teeniest, tiniest VIP in the city. We invite you to take one last nostalgic look at it before you find yourself telling the teenage model you’re with, “You know, you didn’t always have to buy a $7,500 bottle of Veuve to sit here ”
Earlier:The Last Days of Double Happiness
When we read Eater’s headline "Live From Red Hook: Pioneer Bar’s Dirty Little Secret," we nearly spit out our spiked coffee, worrying that the general public had finally gotten wise to the fact that the place — shuttered since late June after a DOH violation and now under new ownership — routinely did the “lock-in” thing, along with at least a couple of other bars in Red Hook (hence the time a friend almost convinced us to sneak onto the Queen Elizabeth 2 before sunup). But no, the “secret” (readily apparent on the Department of Health’s page) is that the bar racked up a ton of health-code violations. Now that the place is owned by the parents of a 5-year-old, we doubt the after-hours tradition will live on when it reopens next year, and the fact that actual policing authorities exist in the Hook (the first we had heard of the law making it down there) makes us nervous that we’re going to lose the rest of our favorite after-hours spots, and we'll have to quit drinking at 4 a.m. like every other chump. Perhaps a 6 a.m. live-blogging session is in order … before it's too late.
Related, and Inspired by:The Embers of Gentrification [NYM]
The Third Avenue outpost of Go Sushi has closed, leaving Murray Hillers lost, confused, and desperately seeking sashimi. Remain. Calm. We’re told the midtown restaurant is valiantly picking up slack and covering the shuttered outpost’s delivery area. A clerk at that location assures, “Delivery is still 25 to 30 minutes, unless it’s extremely far and the order is extremely large.” So, easy on the dragon boats.
A Timesrestaurant preview had Alain Ducasse’s latest, Adour, opening at the St. Regis Hotel in late November. Also slated to open its doors this month was the restaurant that’s replacing Ducasse’s old joint in the Essex House: 154 South Gate, helmed by former 11 Madison Park chef Kerry Heffernan. In the spirit of competition, we were curious to see if Ducasse could open Ardour before his Essex House replacement—but folks on the inside have informed us that everyone will be waiting 'til at least next year to see either place cross the finish line. Adour is poised to open late January; no official date is set for 154 South Gate, though hotel sources said it’s also looking more like January. For now, we regretfully release our sweaty grip on our stopwatches.
This concludes your Future Fine Dining update.
Related:Here Come the Chefs
So they're not the best pictures—but did you really want to see close-ups of mice poo? (Don't answer that.) Nevertheless, a sad scene. Between the Broadway strike and this latest development, the holidays are headed towards a touristy triage.
Earlier:Breaking: Serendipity 3 Closed by DOH
It’s been a while since we first got wind of it, but the Hearth's long-awaited spinoff wine bar, Terroir, is finally close to becoming a reality. The space, known in its former life as Bikes by George, will begin its transformation right after Thanksgiving, and co-owners Paul Grieco and Marco Canora hope to open the place by New Year’s. Grieco, the wine director, is a wine geek’s wine geek, which means he's got some lofty plans.
Liquor Marketing Gimmick #2,391— randomly hand out awards! Tonight Chopin Vodka honors eight “Unconventional Geniuses,” and among them are Wylie Dufresne, the AvroKo design firm, and (per the press release) “pioneer in the pastry movement” Will Goldfarb. Apparently a whopping three-eighths of today’s unconventional geniuses are associated with the restaurant world! (Non-chef picks include director John Cameron Mitchell and artist Kenny Scharf, if you're looking for perspective.) You’ll have to attend the party tonight at Peter White Studio to find out what the top-secret award looks like, but, as a point of reference, Johnnie Walker’s “30 Under 30” (none of them chefs) received personally engraved bottles of Johnnie Black. Dare to dream, unconventional geniuses!
Community Board 4’s licensing committee met last night to again consider the curious case of the Butter boys’ new project 1OAK. The nitty-gritty on this one: The club’s space is licensed by the SLA to hold a piano bar (probably the plans of a previous tenant); Sartiano and Akiva have now submitted an alteration request reflecting their new plan for a restaurant. The request was met with a 4-4 deadlock that will be mulled over by full community board on December 5 — meaning the club won’t be opening quite as soon as we had hoped.