Chatwal, Zakarian, and the Lotus Boys Teaming Up for Midtown HotelVikram Chatwal, who tells us Dream Downtown is about a year and a half from landing in the meatpacking district (he’s in talks with a Barcelona chef about the restaurant), reveals to us that he’s teaming up with Geoffrey Zakarian and designer Thierry Despont (who did the Carlyle Hotel and Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in London) on his other project, the Lamb’s Club, opening at 130 West 44th Street in August of next year. Zakarian was hesitant to discuss his involvement but indicated that David Rabin and Will Regan of Lotus were also partners. Rabin certainly has his hands full these days between the relocation of Double Seven and the opening of Los Dedos, the Mexican restaurant he and chef Sue Torres are launching next month in the old Meet space, but he found a moment to clue us in about the hotel.
Per Se Mixologist to Light a Flaming Lemon Peel Under Bemelmans’ AssSasha Petraske of Milk and Honey recently put his stamp on the drinks menu at the Carlyle Hotel’s Bemelmans Bar, but let’s face it, the place still isn’t what it was when it was helmed by legends Dale DeGroff and, later, Audrey Saunders. Brian Van Flandern, former head mixologist at Per Se, hopes to change that. Within six weeks, the star stirrer, known for making his own ginger beer and tonic water at Per Se’s stand-up bar, will unveil a revamped menu. Along with holdovers like DeGroff’s Whiskey Smash and Saunders’s Gin Gin Mule, it will include cocktails like a variation of his Flaming Dutchman a concoction of cognac, sherry, gin, lemon juice, and bitters (finished off with a spectacular shower of lemon juice over an open flame). It’s the same drink that prompted a Dutch company to rank him the No. 2 bartender in the world. And rest assured, the murals by Ludwig Bemelmans aren’t going anywhere, nor are the bartenders who’ve been there for years some of the drinks may actually be named after them. Daniel Maurer
Danny Meyer Reviews His Critics, InhospitablyDanny Meyer doesn’t much appreciate the (mostly laudatory) reviews given to his restaurants by Frank Bruni et al, and lets them know it in his new book. Sean Lennon isn’t exactly a hit with the critics, either. Kevin Federline is trying to sell some amateur video footage to make some extra dough. (No, it’s not that kind of footage.) City Council speaker Christine Quinn cut the check-in line at JFK, and it angered her fellow passengers. Netscape founder James Clark’s divorce cost him $125 million; his new girlfriend won’t be nearly as fortunate. Media prankster Joey Skaggs is getting into the watch business. Katie Holmes couldn’t stick to Victoria Beckham’s recommended post-pregnancy diet of edamame, pretzels, sushi, and Diet Coke. John Krasinski loves David Foster Wallace. Dustin Hoffman makes sure that the hired help get to watch a screening of his movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is GQ’s Man of the Year. (GQ likes Lindsay Lohan, too). Arab royalty laughs at President Bush in Qatar, raises a lot of money for Asia. Former Hell’s Angel Chuck Zito — a.k.a. the guy who beat up Jean-Claude Van Damme — is launching his own radio talk show for men. You know, unlike all the other radio talk shows. A wealthy businessman was turned down by the co-op board at the Carlyle because he’s too much of a playboy. Know any unemployed grandmothers? The New Jersey Nets are hiring.
Stalkers, Anchors, and a Show Tune–Lovin' GeneralStalkers are threatening Audioslave front man Chris Cornell’s children, prompting him to install a high-end security system. Diane Sawyer skipped a GMA party, either because she was sick or because she’s leaving the show. General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, went to see Hairspray. Christie Brinkley makes wake-up calls at Hyatt hotels. Ellen Barkin didn’t want to work when she was married. Quentin Tarantino has a new girlfriend, who sucked his fingers. Barbra Streisand didn’t like her suite at the Carlyle. Neither Robin Williams nor Jon Stewart is running for president. Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett went to a Titanic exhibit in San Francisco. Cheeta, Tarzan’s retired, now-74-year-old chimp sidekick, wouldn’t sit for an interview, drank Diet Coke instead. Candace Bushnell’s Sirius radio show launches today. Hillary Swank went on vacation at Donatella Versace’s house. Diddy bought an eight-foot teddy bear. Bobby Kennedy’s family likes Bobby. Three West 27th Street club owners also have roles in movies. Jimmy Buffet takes vitamins, not Ecstasy.