All You Need to Know About Saint Patrick’s DayFaith and begob! It’s that time of year again! Time to swill green beer, be elbowed and hectored by snaggletoothed drunks in soccer jerseys, and be ralphed on by tubby blondes in dank, moist bars. It’s Saint Patrick’s Day! Happily, this paradise we call a city has some better options, from relatively low-key Irish bars to the best place to be on the parade route.
Saint Patrick’s Day Guide 2008
Conan O’Brien Will Be Drinking Diet Coke on Saint Patrick’s DayAt the American Ireland Fund’s St. Patrick Day party last night, Conan O’Brien picked up an Irish Spirit award for his work with the charity Labels Are for Jars. But as it turns out, the funnyman sadly isn’t stereotypically Irish. He didn’t even like fairies as a kid! “My only connection to Irish lore was through the breakfast cereal Lucky Charms,” said O’Brien. “And the Leprechaun horror movies. Leprechaun in the Hood!” But any self-respecting Irishman, leprechaun-loving or otherwise, should at least be able to put a few beers back every March 17, right? Not so for O’Brien. “I get very self-conscious around a lot of Italian men and African-American men pretending to be Irish,” said O’Brien. “Of course, on Saint Patrick’s Day someone like me just becomes an Irish piñata. ‘It’s Conan O’Brien — ARRRRRRR!!!’” The late-night host has had to deal with his fair share of drunken Irish fans — though the madness has calmed down with upped security budgets — and now chooses the “less obvious” holiday route. “I want to have a Diet Coke, eat some melba toast, and go to bed early. Pretty sexy, huh?” —Jocelyn Guest
Pelaccio Focusing on Fatty ‘Cue; Bruni Gets the Fiamma MemoAstoria: Leng Thai’s brown rice is delicious; they mix in red grains. [Joey in Astoria]
Clinton Hill: A new bakery is supposed to open around June on Fulton near the Met. Baker: “When I was young, we’d go to the bakery every Sunday after church for a fresh loaf of French bread, soft and still warm from the oven. I’d love to re-create that here.” Blogger: “OMGYAY!” [Clinton Hill Blog]
Murray Hill/Kips Bay: A former Sapa chef will head the kitchen at a new Pan-Asian restaurant called Prana, set to open in June in the old Scopa space. [Zagat]
Soho: Fabio Trabocchi has written a personal note to Bruni and has worked with B.R. Guest to lower prices across the board at Fiamma (including dropping the price of the seven-course menu from $138 to $125). Sorry to those who ate at Fiamma last week. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Williamsburg: Zak Pelaccio’s project with Robbie Richter might be called Fatty ‘Cue. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Related: Breaking: Zak Pelaccio and Robbie Richter to Collaborate on Asian Barbecue in Williamsburg
West Village: If you want to celebrate the Irish all next week, August will be “toasting the Irish” through March 21 by serving Guinness Extra Stout and specials like house-made corned beef and cabbage. [Strong Buzz]
Chef Counters on the Rise; Chefs Put in Their Time on the LineAs chefs and cooks take on more roles of service, they cut out more costs and create a more intimate dining experience, especially at restaurants with counters overlooking the food preparation. [NYT]
Related: Ringside Seats at the Chef’s Counter
Apparently, restaurants’ hanging of red velvet curtains in colder months signals metaphors of birth and womblike spaces for diners. Ew. [NYO]
Chefs like Akhtar Nawab of Elettaria and Josh Eden of Shorty’s.32 both spent years cooking on the line before being able to fly solo. [TONY]
in other news
Countdown to Saint Patrick’s Day: C Is for Cookie
At Saint Patrick’s Day approaches, the man who might be New York’s angriest blogger, Copyranter Mark Duffy, reminds us of an artifact of our not particularly Irish New York youth: Carvel’s Cookie O’Puss. Specifically, he found what we think is the TV commercial that initially introduced regular Cookie Puss’s Irish friend. It’s from 1982, and dig those low-fi special effects. Copyranter, we thank you for your patronage.
Cookie Puss [Copyranter]
You Can Eat on Saint Patrick’s Day, TooSaint Patrick’s Day is to drinking as Easter is to puking Peeps in church. But even the most dissipated sots need nourishment too, and it’s a shame to leave your Irish pub of choice to get it. Great food and great Irish bars rarely mix. Somehow, we know a few of the exceptions.