Does the Spotted Pig have music cred? Yeah, maybe just a little bit. Owner Ken Friedman used to be an industry player, and his partner Jay-Z is, well, Jay-Z. We recall being kicked out of the upstairs alcove so that Franz Ferdinand could take it over after a show (front man Alex Kapranos is a fan of the lamb shank with crusted celery root). With these musician types having their run of the place, what’s playing on a quiet Tuesday night?
We can only imagine why Times writer Anna Jane Grossman rang Ken Friedman when she was looking for a quote about why folks forgo deodorant, but, boy, was he forthcoming about his use of what we call “meodorant”:
For those who managed to avoid underarm products, the idea of using them is anathema. “I never use deodorant,” said Ken Friedman, an owner of the Spotted Pig, a restaurant in the West Village. “I like girls who don’t use anything. They sort of smell like sex.”
The Tenjune lads aren’t the only ones to recommend not-exactly-under-the-radar places in Belvedere’s “keys to the city” series: The interview with Marquee’s “head doorman/actor” Wass makes us want to hand him a douche card, Centro Vinoteca’s Anne Burrell plugs no fewer than four Batali restaurants, and pretty much everyone plugs the Spotted Pig.
Mix up your holiday charitable giving by entering a raffle for a coffee date with Per Se’s Thomas Keller or Ferran Adrià of Spain’s El Bulli. [NYT]
Related: Ferran Adrià, Molecular Gastronomist—Who, Me? [NYM]
On his No Reservations holiday special, Anthony Bourdain spoke with a veterinarian who explained that foie gras production is not the demonic act it has been portrayed as by animal-rights groups, so eat up! [Eat for Victory/VV]
If Amy Sacco didn’t convince you of the growing synergy between restaurants and real estate, consider that Centovini has just struck a deal with luxe condo Soho Mews that offers not only delivery to the building but also the option to have executive chef Patti Jackson provide in-home cooking. [NYP]
It looks like Tamsin Lonsdale, the London socialite looking to make a splash with her new private dinner club, might just have a flop on her hands. The Observer today chats with a couple of the club’s disgruntled ambassadors, one of whom says, “She’s not offering a service to the boldface names. She’s using these people to bring in the mass.” Shocking! You mean this wasn’t merely a way to get people together to talk about the new Ang Lee flick? It was a marketing gimmick? Hilariously, one member gripes that she paid $100 for a meal at the Spotted Pig that normally would’ve cost her $40, and Londsale defends herself by saying that Jay-Z ended up dancing with everyone. But really if Gawker types can rub elbows with Jay-Z at the Pig, can’t anyone?
BURP! Sykes Sister Strikes Out! ‘Exclusive’ Brit Supper Club Lays an Egg [NYO]
EarlierSocialite Tamsin Lonsdale’s Supper Club Probably Doesn’t Want You
When it comes to New York restaurants, the Gobbler’s views on the addled Mandarins at the Michelin Guides are well known. But when news came, the other day, that the first-ever Michelin Guide to restaurants in Tokyo had awarded our distant sister city a mind-boggling total of 191 stars (compared to 65 in Paris and 54 in New York), the Gobbler had to admit that those crazy fools might be on to something. Not long ago, we spent a week rampaging through Tokyo in a kind of epicurean daze. The Gobbler still isn’t sure exactly what he consumed (fugu sperm sacks, possibly; grilled chicken uterus, definitely; a very nice chocolate éclair flavored with bamboo), but one thing’s for sure. It was all pretty damn good. Here are a few rules for eating yourself silly in that great restaurant mecca, Tokyo, Japan.
Gordo’s back on Fox TV for another season of Kitchen Nightmares, and he’s looking for a floundering restaurateur to belittle on national TV. [Eater]
It’s hard out there for a chef, according to Thomas Keller: “No longer are critically-acclaimed chefs allowed — as they might have been even ten years ago — to call it a day after opening a single successful restaurant. Instead, he said, food wizards like him are … expected to pen best-sellers, give lectures, judge reality TV shows and host benefits like the one he gave last night.” [NYO]
The massive, multistory Pop Burger at 14 East 58th Street will start serving baby crab cakes and grilled filet mignon in addition to burger boxes by mid-November. [Strong Buzz]
Related: Massive New Pop Burger Popping Up in Midtown
We are hearing that Spotted Pig co-owner Ken Friedman is planning on doing a restaurant with former Top Chef winner Ilan Hall. The rumor chorus places the new eatery down the street from the Pig on far West 11th Street and says it may be only a few months out. Friedman did not confirm any of this, but he didn’t deny it, either. “I hope all those things are true,” he responded when we repeated the details.
Dear Grub Street,
I'm in New York on business for a little while and will have the opportunity to try a handful of restaurants while I'm here. What are some of the top spots in the city where the chef whose name is on the door is still in the kitchen? I've eaten at both Lupa and Otto, but I imagine Mr. Batali's clogs haven't graced either kitchen in some time (though the food and service at both were excellent, especially Frank behind the bar at Otto). It's not that I need to see a celebrity chef in person … I just want to try good food from good chefs who are still plying their trade. For example, my understanding is that Wylie Dufresne actually still works at wd-50 every day, and, as you recently mentioned in one post, Eric Ripert is always in the kitchen at Le Bernardin. Anywhere else?
Meet the Chef
We stopped by Soho House last night to speak to Fergus Henderson, the celebrated London chef whose gospel of offal, Nose to Tail Eating, conquered the culinary world back in 2004. Henderson and his friend Justin Piers Gellatly, his dessert chef at London’s St. John, have written a sequel to Nose to Tail called Beyond Nose to Tail (“It’s like Buzz Lightyear, isn’t it? Infinity and beyond?” Fergus said of the illogical title). Henderson will be cooking some of his signature dishes from St. John tomorrow night at Savoy and Wednesday at the Spotted Pig; both evenings are open to the public.
Executive pastry chef Tim Butler has left L’Impero and Alto after a two-year stint citing “creative differences” with recently installed former Fiamma chef Michael White; Alto’s chef de cuisine Kevin Sippel has also stepped down. [Restaurant Girl]
In a stunning upset, Dosa Man Thiru “Susan Lucci” Kumar won at the Vendy Awards on Saturday. [NYDN]
Manhattan sidewalk dining is ghetto, and the reasons New Yorkers suffer through it might include wanting to pretend they’re like Europeans and “if something is in limited supply, New Yorkers want it, period.” [NYT]
Market Table has opened for both lunch and dinner with little fanfare, and what we hear today predicts future success. Chef-owner Joey Campanero tells us that he did two and a half turns at lunch today (roughly 100 customers). Plus, the retail counter is cha-chinging away. The biggest seller, Campanero says, is the burger. No surprise, given that it's made from the same magic meat found in burgers at the Spotted Pig, Stand, Borough Food and Drink, City Hall, and even (though not exactly) the Shake Shack. Expect a tough table: the place is even smaller than the Little Owl, Campanero ’s perpetually packed West Village favorite.
Related:Shop Like a Chef (Preferably in His Own Store)
In true badass-with-a-softer-side form, the latest rock-star pastry chef Johnny Zs reveals he dreamed of becoming a stuntman before discovering his love for baking. [Restaurant Girl]
The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield is stepping into the ring this morning to battle an undisclosed Iron Chef. [Down by the Hipster]
True top chef André Soltner formerly of Lutece goes on about the pros and cons of food TV. [Newsday]
Last fall during Fashion Week, rising director and headwear-loving “alternasocialite” Arden Wohl was walking the runway for Imitation of Christ. This time around, she’s been holed up in pre-production for her movie starring Leelee Sobieski (the narrator of her student film Coven) which she’ll shoot later this month in Long Island City. “It’s about New York women, and life. It’s about dreams,” she breathlessly told us before running to a premiere party where she slowed down for just one second to let us photograph her catching a drink. What else did this confessed leather-wearing pescatarian eat this week?
A sharp-eyed Eater reader wondered if our report about Pat LaFrieda breaking into the retail market was inaccurate: “I believe they already supply retail markets. The Jubilee market at Trump Place gets deliveries from there all the time.” The answer? The trucks carry commodity meat, of the kind commonly found in supermarkets, but never the high-end stuff LaFrieda sells to the likes of the little owl, the Spotted Pig, and so on. VP Mark Pastore confirms this, telling us, “We sell them regular commodity items. However Market Table will be the first place to carry our chopped beef, burgers, and heritage meats direct from us to the customer. We do not sell LaFrieda burgers or heritage products to anyone but restaurants at this time.” So there you have it. If you’re going to hijack that LaFrieda meat truck, make sure it’s the one bound for the Shake Shack.
EaterWire: Trump Trumps LaFrieda, Petraske to LIC, More [Eater]
Earlier:Shake Shack Hamburger and Little Owl Pork Chops Can Soon Be Yours [Grub Street]
Chelsea: Patricia Yeo is out at Sapa. [Eater]
Lower East Side: Turns out La Esquina’s basement is illegal! [NYP]
Midtown West: Get your Charlie Murphy fix at El Centro; it’s his favorite Mexican restaurant. [Gridskipper]
Soho: Former 66 chef Josh Eden has taken over the kitchen at Goblin Market. [Strong Buzz]
Upper West Side: Yogurt Wars update: Pinkberry takes over Excel Fine Art’s space on Columbus Avenue. [Eat for Victory/VV]
West Village: Something's fishy about the seafood sister restaurant to the Spotted Pig: Diners at the original heard staff chatting about the location opening soon as the 10 Spot. [Down by the Hipster]
Orlando is a swell place to travel (preferably in a cherry-red Corvette) if you’re craving hash browns all-the-way at Waffle House, but what about Floridians who want a taste of the big city? Until recently, a restaurant called Babbo (unrelated) was one of their only options, but now it’s being renamed Nonna! (Too confusing?) Don’t worry this fall comes The Ravenous Pig: An American Gastropub, opened by a student at New York’s own Culinary Institute of America (or so the place’s MySpace page seems to indicate). Could this be the most egregious Spotted Pig knockoff since Chodorow’s ill-fated Spotted Dick? Either way, the Orlando Weekly hilariously assures: “If ‘gastropub’ sounds unappetizing, never fear. It just means upscale food served in a relaxed, pub-like setting.” And with that, Orlando’s culinary innocence is dead.
What’s Cooking [Orlando Weekly]
Profile: The Ravenous Pig [MySpace]
Related:The Pig and the Pudding [NYM]
The response to our Meatopia V contest has been overwhelming. Grub Street is populated by committed carnivores who have filled our meat cooler with brilliant ideas for next year’s edible animal gala. We’ll highlight some of the best throughout the day and announce the winners tomorrow. (Entry deadline is 6 p.m. today.) Here are three of our favorites.