Cumming Sprays Everyone at Le RoyaleHeath Ledger allegedly did so much coke and heroin that Michelle Williams kicked him out of their Brooklyn home. (His publicist denies that he opted not to check into rehab.) Farrah Fawcett got $500,000 for allowing The Insider to videotape her chemotherapy. Alan Cumming ripped the disco ball off the roof at Le Royale, and then sprayed partygoers with Champagne.
Breaking: Hotel to Take Over Good World?
Richie Rich and Jenna Jameson may be opening a yet-to-be-named Chinatown bar in a former brothel, but the true original is rumored to be on its way out. A source close to Good World says the bar has lost its lease and its days are numbered. That source has heard that Ian Schrager is buying the block and will erect a W Hotel there — easily the most disturbing rumor since the one about the Bulgarian Bar being replaced by a Best Western. Good World GM Anna Ahlin firmly denies it, saying, “They sold the building we’re located in, and that has been a big misconception for some people.” Ahlin told us she can’t recall the term of Good World’s lease, but drinkers are safe for the foreseeable future.
in other news
Ian Schrager Is Kind of ‘Meh’ on the New Royalton LobbyWe’re kind of falling in love with Lloyd Grove’s rambling, sprawled interviews with business celebrities on Portfolio.com. This week, he sits down with Ian Schrager, who is two years into his massive partnership with Bill Marriot, the hospitality king, to build 100 chic hotels worldwide. Below, we’ve selected some of our favorite moments with the man who brought you the Delano, the Hudson, the Royalton, the Shore Club, the new Gramercy Park Hotel, 40 Bond Street, and that little club he used to run in the late seventies
• On the destruction of his legendary Philippe Starck lobby in the Royalton Hotel by his Morgans successors, who replaced it with a dark-amber jewel box this year: Uh, you know, I think it’s nice. Um, I can’t second-guess what those guys had in mind. I had no emotional attachment to it, quite frankly. But I think from a business point of view, I would’ve done something different. But I don’t know what criteria they were using and why they did it. And I think it was a very risky move But basically we liked to think that what we did was classic and timeless and would stay, even though it was incredibly provocative. I mean, I’ve never changed any of my other lobbies.
Video: Take a Walk Through 40 Bond
Ian Schrager’s 40 Bond has barely opened, and already someone wants to sell. New York’s S. Jhoanna Robledo takes you inside a $3.6 million apartment at 40 Bond that’s on the market. Prospective buyers, keep in mind that most other owners at 40 Bond have their own plane. However, you will have access to common spaces clad in cedar and the graffiti-inspired façade that is both beloved and loathed. And if you need dinner, you can get room service from the Gramercy Park Hotel. This apartment is actually starting to sound like a steal.
Video: Inside 40 Bond
The Annotated Dish
Wakiya’s Only Slightly Japanese Bang Bang ChickenAlthough Wakiya, the new high-end Chinese restaurant in Ian Schrager’s Gramercy Park Hotel, is staffed almost entirely by Japanese chefs, the food is traditional Chinese, only slightly modernized. A good example is this “Bang Bang Chicken,” a classic Szechuan recipe in which, historically, a stick was used to soften the meat (hence the name). As prepared by Yuji Wakiya’s able chef de cuisine, Koji Hagihara, there are some hidden Japanese elements as well, but none that the eye can easily detect. As always, mouse over the different elements to see them described in Hagihara’s own words.
Related: We Catch Wakiya’s First Guests on the Street
We Catch Wakiya’s First Guests on the StreetIan Schrager’s Wakiya opened last night, bringing a much-awaited conclusion to the search for a luxury restaurant for the Gramercy Park Hotel. After an aborted engagement with Allen Yau, Schrager was able to bring over famed Japanese chef Yuji Wakiya to create a Chinese restaurant in the hotel. Grub Street correspondent Alexandra Vallis was on the spot to see what guests thought – including, we were happy to see, none other than Benihana founder Rocky Aoki, who noted approvingly that “this is what American people want.” Did the other diners agree? Check out the video and see.
The Continuing Education of Mrs. Ross ContinuesCourtney Sale Ross, founder of the Ross School in the Hamptons and the new Ross Global Academy charter school in the Tweed Courthouse, is not the easiest person to work for (as Phoebe Eaton reports in this week’s New York.) Construction on Ann Curry’s townhouse on West 71st Street has led to four lawsuits from angry neighbors. Bruce Willis got a make-out session with Courtney Love on his 52nd birthday. Michael Jackson is in talks to build a 50-foot robotic replica of himself in — where else? — Vegas. Governor Eliot Spitzer is liberal with the compliments. Former Studio 54 busboy and current Nobu managing partner Richie Notar will run Ian Schrager’s Asian fusion restaurant in the Gramercy Park Hotel. The former chef at 44 used to serve Calvin Klein McDonald’s French fries for lunch, and Klein was none the wiser.
Gordon Ramsay’s Dark Side Revealed; Staten Island Pizza Conquers the WorldAccording to a revealing new profile by Heat author Bill Buford, Gordon Ramsay isn’t a bad guy, “but he does get angry, helplessly and uncontrollably angry — not an earthly anger but something darker — and has trouble knowing how to stop.” [NYer]
State legislator proposes an A through F system of grading restaurant hygiene, but the Department of Health is against it. [amNY]
A Staten Island pizzeria beats out a field of 65 from six countries to win the 23rd International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. It’s Denino’s, right? Joe and Pat’s? No. It’s Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza. [NYDN]
Back of the House
Yau Already Replaced at Gramercy Park; Everybody’s BloggingIan Schrager has already found a star chef to replace Allen Yau at the Gramercy Park Hotel: The Japanese-born nouvelle-Chinese star Yuji Wakiya, who almost came here two years ago to do a restaurant at the Bryant Park Hotel. [NYP]
Related: Restaurant Happenings: Sirio’s New Address? [NYM]
Bruni won’t have to bear the Diner’s Journal load alone anymore; we can now also look forward to the musings of Julia Moskin, Kim Seversen, and other contemplative food writers. [NYT]
Meanwhile, Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert and the Food & Wine staff have launched their own blogs. (The Ripper’s requires a subscription to The Wine Spectator.) [Snack]
Brit Bares It in Meatpacking BarBritney Spears changed out of her dress and into a bikini at One Little West 12th. Beyoncé is jealous of Jennifer Hudson. The New Republic is going bi-weekly but is not cutting any staff. Chelsea club BED was set to be closed for renovation, and the fatal brawl there earlier this month isn’t helping matters. Ian Schrager’s Chinese restaurant at the Gramercy Park Hotel is back on but will be helmed by a Japanese chef. Zac Posen kicked socialite Arden Wohl out of his Fashion Week after-party because she didn’t come to his show or wear his clothes to the after-party. Paris Hilton is jealous of fellow sex-tape star Kim Kardashian.