Fire in Soho: Nobody Hurt
Well, we guess there won't be a BLT restaurant in Trump Soho after all. Such is the gist of a press release that just went out from BLT's representative, Bullfrog & Baum, which includes this telling quote: “BLT Restaurants are recognized for a particular style of food and service which ended up not being what the Trump Organization was interested in,” says Jimmy Haber, managing partner of BLT Restaurant Group. Did Trump want something cheaper or more casual than what BLT was ready to do? Or does this perhaps have to do with the rumor we've been hearing about a hip, young downtown chef being looked at for the space? Perhaps there was more to the rumor than we thought. BLT Restaurant Group and Trump SoHo Hotel Condominium New York Amicably Part Ways [PDF] Earlier: Laurent Tourondel to Do All-New Trump Soho Restaurant
Dumbo: Last night was the first night that passersby could see Adriana Varella's giant Applied Kinetics projection installation at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. There are no pictures yet, so go tonight and see it yourself. [DumboNYC] East Village: A funny guerilla-marketing tactic for a Black Lips show has finally made our favorite advertising blogger smile! With black lips! [Copyranter] Park Slope: After a kind of annoying string of posts on a couple of real-estate blogs about what neighborhoods are the "Park Slope"s of other cities, this blog just gets right down to business: What is the Park Slope of Iraq? [Gowanus Lounge]
Fiamma got a fair amount of heat last week, from Grub Street and other food sites, about a reduced menu. But B.R. Guest which did not respond to Grub Street’s requests for comments on the menu until yesterday vehemently disagrees. “No one had updated the Website,” says owner Steve Hanson. “They just got lazy.” We’d hate to be in their shoes now! Fiamma chef Fabio Trabocchi, meanwhile, explains that the confusion also lay in the fact that the Website wasn’t showing his daily specials or updating the tasting menu. “If you came in and ordered here, it’s the same amount of selections; you can choose from any part of the menu. It’s the same amount of dishes, just listed in a different way,” Trabocchi says. And those luxe ingredients we thought were missing from the menu? Not so, says Trabocchi. “We are using foie gras, truffles, Wagyu beef, ossabaw pig, and Grimaud Farm duck.” (The langoustines, which we also mentioned as having gone missing, are out of season, Trabocchi explains.) Unfortunately for Fiamma, even a full menu can't sate complaining diners like Nick Paumgarten of The New Yorker. Earlier: Fiamma’s Menu a Fraction of Its Former Self
Sometimes you read an interview and immediately you wish you were friends with the subject. Such is the case with Metromix’s sit-down with Ron Ciavolino, the head of wine studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, and a man who speaks his mind. Our favorite quotes: • On modern bartenders: “Most bartenders feel like they’re giving away something for nothing if they’re charming. I want schmaltz. There’s no schmaltz.” • On the downtown wine scene: “You go to those wine bars in Soho, they’re more bowling alleys — there’s no romance. Everybody’s 12 years old.” • What happens when a bartender allows ice to melt in a shaker: “You hemorrhage through all of your apertures.” Days of Wine and Poses [Metromix NY]
Astoria: Sweet shop Oleput is now offering a lot more savories in the form of small plates and panini. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Rustik Tavern has a warm interior, but the menu doesn’t sound too rustic: chili, wings, nachos, though for the last one the blogger liked "that it’s cheese sauce rather than real cheese." [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: Food writers including Kara Zuaro (I Like Food, Food Tastes Good), Phoebe Damrosch (Service Included) and David Wondrich (Imbibe) and Edible Brooklyn’s Gabrielle Langholtz will talk about — what else? — eating, at Powerhouse Arena next Tuesday. [A Brooklyn Life] East Village: Belgian Room has been closed for letting minors booze on Lambic. [Down by the Hipster] Soho: Vosges bacon chocolate now comes in the shape of flying pigs. But they can’t escape. [Snack] Upper East Side: Park Avenue Winter will turn into spring on March 26, just in time for Easter. [Zagat]
Bushwick: This Shwick blogger thinks the "Bushwick Initiative is just the City putting a sad little band-aid on the giant ax wound it created in New York’s housing situation." But these rehabbed buildings do look nicer [BushwickBK] Hoboken: Duders, the St. Patrick's Day parade is this Saturday! That's early, even for Hoboken! [East Village Idiot] New Springville: Staten Island cops are searching for a man who snatched a woman from a bus stop here and sexually assaulted her last night. He was 18–20 years old and 5'5", so keep your eyes peeled. [NY1]
The New Yorker’s “Tables for Two” reviews have generally been mordant little affairs, short on criticism and long on wry descriptions of restaurant culture. Not this week. Nick Paumgarten comes down hard on Fiamma, describing “FEMA-like” service, cold food, a martini made without vermouth, and, in general, the very picture of a major ripoff operation, subsisting on “a strong euro and the proximity of the Soho Grand hotel.” It’s a wild departure from the usual “Tables for Two” mold, and though it may or may not be reflective of Fiamma (practically all of the reviews have been very positive, including Adam Platt’s two-star job), it’s certainly a lot more fun to read. Something tells us Paumgarten had a lot of fun writing it. Tables for Two: Fiamma [NYer]
Supima Cotton is opening up a pop-up store in Soho on March 14, featuring pieces by fifteen contemporary designers like AG Adriano Goldschmied, Three Dots, Gilded Age, and Zooey. And what's a store opening, really, without a crazy promotional campaign? Before the store flings open its doors they plan to promote it with — we shit you not — a cotton field on the corner of Broadway and Houston.
Bay Ridge: Richard Martin, the "crazy super" who posts homicidally threatening signs about trash disposal, says of his tenants "They're Arab; they don't give a f*ck"; has a cute Pekinese named Pretty Girl; and worships Jeanine Pirro. Feast on his cranky, strangely lovable weirdness. [NYP] Chelsea: Facing lawsuits from folks who say it's too loud and polluting to be there, the 30th St. pier heliport floats a plan to move itself onto two barges offshore. And Curbed is right... this homespun sketch of the plan indeed features the quaintest, gentlest West Side Highway we've ever seen. [Villager via Curbed] Ditmas Park: Folks in these gentrifying, pretty parts know that the hatred currently directed at Park Slope will soon be visited upon them. And they're probably right. [Ditmas Park Blog]
Bay Ridge: Gotta love this "crazy super," whose psychotic signs routinely threaten to kill tenants who don't take out their trash properly. [Right in Bay Ridge] Bedford-Stuyvesant: Elation erupts upon news of an imminent Duane Reade: "No longer will we have to drink Tropical Fantasy ginger ale. We'll be able to step it up a notch with the effervescence of Schweppes." [Bed-Stuy Blog] Greenpoint: A colony of feral cats will have to be displaced as part of plans for a concrete waterfront park here, which will include a twelve-foot view-blocking fence. [Newyorkshitty]
Cobble Hill: Whether that house on Kane Street where the old lady lives is infested with rats or squirrels is now a moot point — the city's ordered her to vacate, and trusty NY1 is on the story! [Lost NYC] Greenwich Village: The Department of Buildings is bitter because the developer of the units that went up over landmark Circle in the Square theater lied and said they'd be used for dorms. They're not, meaning no zoning breaks. Meaning pare down those hideous balconies! [Villager] Lower Manhattan: Also bitter are Seaport locals, who laughed in the face of moguls last night who offered them community use of the Fulton Market floor where the "Bodies" exhibit is in exchange for development. Looks like they want waaaay more public space than that. [Downtown Express]
We've got some tasty new details on the new Soho Topshop, where we've confirmed construction is well under way (they finally signed the lease on Friday). The gargantuan store will be as similar to the London flagship as possible and will include the "sweet shop" candy section (beware, Dylan Lauren). Merch will include designer collections, the new Unique line, and, ahem, more from the Kate Moss collection.
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