During last night's CB3 meeting, partner Andrew Salmon would reveal only that Momofuku Ko will hit capacity at fourteen, with no waiters and with fixed menus changing daily. “You sit directly across from the cook,” Salmon told the board. He kept the “vaguely Asian” food quiet, conceding only that it would include “all local ingredients all sustainable development.” Unfortunately, he didn’t take the time to make sure a petition was including in the application, so no motion could be passed. Projected opening date: two weeks' time!
Fashion Week brought the usual celebrity infestation to town last week for glitzy after-parties, but we’ve already covered those. The real question is, where did the “normals” catch a bite? And of course by normals we mean billionaires, Nobel Prize winners, and Super Bowl champs, all of whom made the scene this week.
The latest from the Waverly Inn’s blog brings the tale of a Spanish “lifestyle counselor” (hmm, we thought these only existed in the U.S.) being strangely content when only a 9:15 p.m. seating was available for a high-profile client. Yawn, we know Spaniards eat late — give us juicy stories about Lindsay Lohan showing up! Meanwhile innkeeper Graydon Carter, who once told the Guardian he’d be hesitant to seat Simon Cowell prominently (but no qualms about Lindsay?) can take solace in Gawker’s accounting that the Waverly Inn has eclipsed his old haunt, Da Silvano, in press mentions. But has his cachet been depleted at other restaurants? Gawker also brings the tale of someone who says he received shabby treatment at Gramercy Tavern despite the fact that Carter made a reservation for him. But come on, it’s not like this guy was Lindsay Lohan.
Ye Waverly Blog: The Spanish Visitor [Ye Waverly Blog/VF]
Graydon Carter: Restaurant Promoter [Gawker]
Is Graydon Carter’s Cachet Depleted? [Gawker]
Vanity Flair [Guardian]
When chef John DeLucie sold his memoir, we wondered whether the secrets of the Waverly Inn weren’t all being saved for a book. It turns out they were being saved for a blog — oh yes, Vanity Fair’s site has launched a chronicle of the goings-on at the Waverly, and though there’s a cloying Metropolitan Diary tone to anecdotes about the restaurant’s “manager and moat-minder” Emil Varda returning $100 bribes and “cougar lean maitre d’” Larry Poston fretting over a no-show pregnant diva, the voyeur in us appreciates the story about an impromptu knife juggler getting depantsed in the dining room. (It's better than the musings of, say, the Union Square Hospitality Group newsletter — Danny Meyer likes Meyer lemons!) But a note to the anonymous author: Bragging about having “a cosmetics tycoon, a Nascar champion, and a renowned humorist” on the books ain’t going to cut it. Name some names!
Ye Waverly Blog [VF]
Related:Waverly Inn Chef John DeLucie to Publish Tell-All
The city’s Board of Health is set to reenact its legally contested rule requiring all restaurants with fifteen or more eateries nationwide to post the caloric value of food items on their menus. [NYDN]
Related: Fast-Food Biz Wins Fight Against City Hall
Restaurants and nightclubs currently owe the city $14 million in health-code violation fines, which means that high-roller venues like the Rainbow Room can get away with stiffing the city out of $50. [NYP]
Times Square’s Spotlight Live became the latest scene of club violence when one man was killed and five others stabbed there yesterday morning. [NYDN]
The Zagat family has put their empire of burgundy books on the market, with Goldman Sachs handling the search for a buyer who will have to drop at least $200 million for the acquisition. [NYT]
Stereo, the club outside which a patron was shot last week, closed after a weekend police raid. [NYDN]
Howie Mandel’s mention of the Waverly Inn on Live With Regis & Kelly made Graydon Carter’s restaurant a highly searched Google item. [Gawker]
We’re not sure whether the Popeyes that opened three days ago right across from the mouth of the Manhattan Bridge (that’s right, the first thing motorists now see when entering the island is a Popeyes) has to do with the Bowery location that closed over the summer. But we do know from this floral arrangement festooned with ribbons and cards reading “Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits” that it's Chinese run, and enthusiastically so. Yesterday found the manager offering patrons free refills and giving away free chicken to everyone in the restaurant at closing time (might want to try your luck tonight around midnight). Says a friend of Grub who lives in the hood, “I’m overjoyed.” No kidding! Now he doesn’t have to trek to the Waverly for biscuits...
Earlier this week we linked to a Daily News item claiming Padma Lakshmi rudely refused complimentary dishes from Fiamma’s chef. A commenter wrote, “I was at Fiamma the night Padma was dining there and it absolutely did NOT go down that way. When the dishes arrived at the table, she thanked them profusely and apologized for being too full to eat any of them!” Whatever happened, Padma was just one of many celebs to chow down (or at least show up) at local restaurants this week, and here’s our gossip-column compendium of just who went where.
Every Friday a notable New Yorker tells us where they’ve been eating, but where are the rest of them chowing down? Starting this week we’ll sort through the gossip columns à la Ils Vont (RIP) to tell you who’s been seen where (casual sightings only — boring galas, vodka launches, and pluggy appearances don’t count). We’ll eventually compile a ranking of restaurants most often visited by celebs. Not that you care about that sort of thing! Oh, but if you do, won’t you please leave your own sightings in the comments?
The Guardian did a funny except maybe unintentional thing this week wherein they profiled Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter — in the exact style of a Vanity Fair celebrity profile. "Even early on he was adept at crafting an image," the writer explains, pausing to describe Carter's "impeccably tasteful" office before going on to say that, despite his grand stature, dude is really, like, down-to-earth. "I don't go to parties. I'm social but I'm not a socialite person," says Carter. "I walk down the street and people don't go, 'my God, there he is.' I lead as normal a life as you can lead in New York City." Graydon! He's just like us! Except when it comes to the Waverly seating chart, which Carter apparently does himself, every day, even if, we hear, it means infringing on a few minutes' worth of editorial meetings. For this very important project, he uses skills honed through years of Oscar parties. "I'm a very shy person but I forced myself during the Oscar evenings to go out and be engaging to people and make them feel comfortable," he tells the paper. "And then you learn how to seat people. Life is all about seating and lighting." But of course it's not just about seating and lighting! It's about separating the wheat from the chaff, weeding out the undesirables, not letting any dorks on the volleyball team. In other words: Exclusion!
Graydon Carter won’t be taking over the Plaza’s Oak Room, so you’ll still have to head downtown to the Waverly Inn for that truffled macaroni and cheese. [NYP]
Jean-Georges Vongerichten seeks the elusive fifth taste by serving “umami bombs” at his restaurants. [WSJ]
Related: Waiter, There’s a Fifth Element in My Soup
It’s possible that locally grown products have a comparable or even greater carbon footprint than food that travels long distances, so you can stop patting yourself on the back for being a greenmarket fanatic. [NYT]
Related: Local Schmocal [NYM]
Jenna “ex-porn honey-turned-businesswoman” Jameson and Heatherette designer Richie Rich plan to open a nightclub/clothing shop in Chinatown next year called the General Store. [NYP]
Part-owner of the Waverly Inn and Maritime Hotel Eric Goode enjoys retreating to small-town Ojai in California. [NYT]
Nobu executive chef Mark Edwards reveals not only that the restaurant’s infamous black cod is actually sablefish (which is so not endangered), but also that he can’t stand the dish anymore after tasting it day after day. [Bloomberg]
Catherine Zeta-Jones won't star in the movie adaptation of Broadway musical Nine because the director wouldn't beef up her role. Eight staffers have left CBS' The Early Show because they can't stand working with hotheaded senior exec producer Shelley Ross. Paris Hilton thinks the guys in New York are "so much better" than the ones in L.A. Since divorcing his wife, George Soros has been hanging out with young girls in their twenties at his home in Southampton. Sportscaster Ahmad Rashad and ex-socialite (and ex-wife of Jets owner Woody Johnson) Sale Johnson may be getting married today. Anna Wintour controlled the seating arrangements at the $50,000-a-table 7th on Sale event at the Lexington Armory. (Speaking of Anna, Tim Burton says that Johnny Depp based the haircut of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on hers.)
Lenny Kravitz complained that his 18-year-old daughter's skirt was too short. Nancy Reagan wants Mayor Bloomberg to run for president. New York Ranger Sean Avery may be cheating on Mary-Kate Olsen with ex-flame Lake Bell. Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson may or may not have made out at the Beatrice Inn. A lady clamoring to see Jessica Simpson at the Waverly Inn knocked over a table and tumbled into the fireplace. Leroy Barnes, a drug-dealing competitor of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), says American Gangster, portrayed him inaccurately. An ex-cop made a board game that highlights the incompetence surrounding the rebuilding of ground zero.
We have some bad news. The bagel, that beloved, affordable symbol of New York cuisine, has gentrified. Chef Frank Tujague of the Westin hotel in Times Square (where else?) has unveiled the $1,000 white-truffle bagel, "topped with white truffle cream cheese and goji berry infused Riesling jelly with golden leaves." Now we love all truffles, far too much to ever be so rash as to declare them to be so over, and there may not be a thing on earth that's not improved by them (we've even considered using truffle oil as conditioner — it probably works wonders for split ends). But now that truffles are toying with the doughy purity of simple bagels, we have to wonder: Is this white-truffle thing not getting just a bit too precious?
Former New York Stock Exchange chairman Dick Grasso may or may not have had an affair and fathered a love child. Steven Spielberg ate at the Waverley Inn with his family and a whole lot of other famous folks. Denise Rich sang a Rolling Stones song to an audience that included Donald Trump Jr. and Ivana Trump at new venue Espace. Benicio del Toro appeared at the Gay Men's Health Crisis Center as a sponsor for a meth-addict friend. One of Howard Stern's sidekicks filmed a porno inside Stern's studio with Ron Jeremy. Jay-Z may be "scrambling" because the lead single from his American Gangster album is not doing well.
We’ve always thought that what happens at the Waverly Inn stays at the Waverly Inn, but that may change, given this recent deal announcement on Publishers Marketplace:
Chef at New York's The Waverly Inn John DeLucie's THE HUNGER, a la Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, [sold] to Dan Halpern and Emily Takoudes at Ecco, for publication in Spring 2009, by Rebecca Oliver and Richard Abate at Endeavor (NA).
Okay, so we know it's totally possible that "Page Six" has been exaggerating the crap out of this Lance Armstrong and Ashley Olsen relationship. Like, we heard from an eyewitness that they weren't actually making out at Rose Bar the other night, they were just whispering. But anyway, they were spotted again at Waverly Inn on Tuesday, so maybe there's something to it. For our own amusement, we tried to imagine the conversation they had over delicious chicken pot pie at the trendy restaurant:
Lance: You know, I've been a fan of yours since Full House.
Ashley: Aw, thanks. That's so sweet. I was so fat then!
Lance: I thought you were adorable. I watch the reruns with my kids. You really pulled off all of those matching baby jumpers! I never dreamed I'd get to actually make out with you.
Ashley: I get that a lot. I really admire what you did with, you know, your ball cancer. You took lemons and made them into lemonade..