In 'Last Call at Elaine’s,' Brain McDonald, who tended bar at the Upper East Side saloon-cum-salon from 1986 to 1997, recalls his time as a recovering alcoholic, trying to stay sober in one of the city’s most glamorous drinking dens.
Construction in Gowanus blows a fetid wind across the land, babies terrorize Upper East Siders, and Chelsea residents tear apart Barnes & Noble with their bare hands in our daily roundup of neighborhood news.
Upper East Siders, tourists, and anyone else taking a spontaneous shopping trip after an afternoon at Dylan's with the kids, be warned: Tomorrow,Playboy will be dispatching a real-live Playmate (Lindsey Vuolo, Miss November 2001, if that means anything to you) to the men's department at the 59th Street Bloomingdale's.
East Village: Nomad on Second Avenue at 4th Street will spotlight Algerian wines and meze pairings for a month starting March 20, in honor of the restaurants third anniversary. [Grub Street]
Flatiron: Lunetta will serve a prix fixe Easter supper that offers roasted-beet salad with fennel and orange, and braised rabbit with Robiola agnolotti. [Grub Street]
Hell’s Kitchen: If the prices of your Broadway tickets get you down, a delicious, cheap meal at the new wine bar Gallo Nero is a good follow-up to a show. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Upper East Side: A new Persian restaurant called Shalizar is opening at 1420 Third Avenue between 80th and 81st streets. [Upper East Side Informer]
Upper West Side: The Empire Hotel plans to unveil a China Grill Management–renovated rooftop bar by this May. [Zagat Buzz]
Brooklyn Heights: In addition to being way over budget, long-planned Brooklyn Bridge Park may damage marine life with its expected rowing and kayaking facilities, says state enviro-honchos. [Brownstoner]
Chelsea: Work has been stopped on "car-chitect" (he-he) Annabelle Selldorf's much-hyped condo tower that allows folks to take their car right up to their own sky-high garages. "The pillars forming the exterior walls are misaligned," says a city buildings-department flack. "This could be characterized as a structural deficiency." Gee, you really think so? [Curbed]
Coney Island: In the era of whole hoods going bank branch and condo, don't you just want to smack someone for grumping that the historic Child's Restaurant building will become a roller rink this summer? Come on, Grumpums, that's cool! [NYDN]
Astoria: Wow, cheap-eats prices may be going up in elsewhere, but at Omonia (the café that baked the elaborate wedding cake for My Big Fat Greek Wedding), you can get a $12 brunch that includes an entrée, dessert, a morning cocktail, and coffee, tea, or juice. (And it’s good.) [Foodista]
Bronx: Peter Meehan found someone to drive him to Trattoria Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Avenue to try the margherita that’s been getting blog buzz as "the best Neapolitan pizza in New York City.” It’s good, he says, but needs work (and less sweet sauce). [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Slice’s Adam Kuban, Ed Levine’s, and DJ Bubbles also tried Zero Otto Nove and found potential not perfection. The grilled pizza from Coals at 1888 Eastchester Road was also dubbed "surprisingly good" during the same trip. [Slice]
Lower East Side: Chubo has closed, and it looks like it’s going to be turned into a Japanese cooking school that will sell its pastries out of a flagship café by this summer. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Upper East Side: Chef Michael Vernon has left Geisha to consult on new Serafina restaurants. [Strong Buzz]
Midtown East: The owner of now-closed Portofino Grille will open a steakhouse called Creston’s Bar & Grill in the same space come May. [Zagat Buzz]
Upper West Side: Spigolo chef Scott Fratangelo loves Land Thai restaurant. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Williamsburg: The state of neighborhood pizza here is weak overall, evidence being leftover slices you don’t even want to eat. [A Brooklyn Life]
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]