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]
We have rarely come across a press event as epically bad (and badly run) as last night’s opening of Justin Timberlake’s gratuitous addition to the city’s barbecue scene, Southern Hospitality. Press and fans waited for over three hours for the man of the hour to arrive. (The publicists explained that he was always scheduled to arrive late, but insisted that the explosion at Grand Central was to blame for tardy red carpet. Um, we work in midtown and we made it to 76th Street and Second Avenue — JT's new restaurant is across the street from frat-boy-heaven Brother Jimmy’s, naturally — in less than 30 minutes.) A weird mishmash of boldfacers were in attendance: Seth Green, Lance Bass, the Reverend Al Sharpton, local club owners, a dude from Making the Band 4 — few of whom would give print reporters more than one-word responses. (“A fire,” “three,” and “no,” if you must know.) Once Timberlake finally arrived, the publicists, in another brilliant move, placed security guards in front of the press line, rather than in front of the crowd that was surging toward the former boy-bander. Timberlake beelined for the television cameras, looking like a member of the world’s coolest barber-shop quartet in a vest and flat-brimmed hat.
• The Rent Guidelines Board last night split the difference between a tenants' proposal and one from landlords and settled on renewal increases of 3 and 5 percent for one- and two-year leases, respectively, in rent-stabilized apartments. Both sides, predictably enough, railed against the decision. [NYP]
• The Times spots an interesting pattern in the turnover pattern at a Brooklyn community board: Each of the five members tossed out this week by Borough President Marty Markowitz was a vocal opponent of Atlantic Yards. [NYT]
• A fire broke out at a stable in Chestnut Ridge, about 30 miles north of the city, killing two horses and eight ponies. Yes, eight dead ponies. Good morning to you too. [amNY]
• Closing arguments have sounded in the Braunstein case, which went to the jury last night. The defense memorably insisted the hapless kidnapper's "brain broke," and the prosecution, well, didn't really disagree — but still found intent in his actions. [NYDN]
• The latest restaurant added to the lawsuit over minimum-wage violations: Jay-Z's 40/40 Club, which joins the allegedly ultrastingy B.B. King Bar and Grill (wait, are they now just targeting musician-owned places?) and others. [Metro NY]
• And five young Long Islanders had to be Tasered at Disney World; after getting caught spitting at patrons, the four teenage siblings and a friend had apparently decided on "jumping a cop" as the optimal next-step strategy. [NYP]