Is Ago Cooked?

cityfile · 11/21/08 03:01PM

♦ Rumor has it Robert De Niro's Ago in Tribeca will be shutting down to make way for a new project by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. [Eater]
♦ John Dory hasn't opened yet, but the restaurant's reservation line has and it's booked through December 4th. [GS]
Eric Ripert's suggestions on where to find the best fish tacos in NYC. [GS]
♦ Brother Jimmy's is being sued by a woman who says she was "engulfed in flames" after a bartender's stunt went wrong. [NYP]
♦ New York waiters report customers have been tipping less since the recession began. [GS]

New York City Wine & Food Festival: A Recap

cityfile · 10/13/08 01:47PM

♦ The NYC Wine & Food Festival came to town this past weekend and just about every chef, foodie, and critic was on hand. Among the highlights: Rachael Ray hosted a Burger Bash on Friday (Katie Lee Joel took first prize); Tom Colicchio broke out his guitar and later chatted with Eater about his upcoming plans; Ferran Adria took the stage with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Asimov; Gordon Ramsay vented; Rocco DiSpirito showed off his dancing skills; Bobby Flay mentioned his plans to re-open Bolo; Scott Conant talked about his upcoming eatery in Miami; Marco Maccioni gave details on the restaurant he has planned for the Beekman Hotel; and everyone in attendance generally ate and drank way too much. More here and here.

Nobu Continues to Conquer the Mideast

cityfile · 10/03/08 07:18AM

New York restaurateurs may be panicked about the economy, but all is well in Qatar! This week it was reported that the Four Seasons in Doha will be home to the latest incarnation of Nobu. (A Dubai outpost opened earlier this month.) Gordon Ramsay is supposedly looking at two different sites in town for an eatery he has planned. And when Doha's new W Hotel opens in a couple of months, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market will be located in the lobby. Less exciting news, at least as far as New Yorkers are concerned: "Bollywood legend" Asha Bhosle has also opened a high-profile restaurant in Doha, and a branch of the Hard Rock Café is coming, too. [The Penninsula via Luxist]

Convivio Nabs Three Stars, Changes at Bungalow

cityfile · 10/01/08 01:35PM

♦ Convivio earned a three-star review in the Times today; chef Michael White, says Frank Bruni, "can do it all." [NYT]
Armin Amiri's plans for Cafe Socialista? He says he's turning it into an "exclusive" 24-hour diner. [NYO]
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's next project is a restaurant in the Mark Hotel. [Page 6]
Amy Sacco just renovated Bungalow 8, but whether that's enough to bring back her A-list clientele is still up for debate. [NYO, GofaG]
♦ Chef Paul Liebrandt chats about his new restaurant, Corton, which he's opening with Drew Nieporent. [Metromix]
♦ Le Parker Meridian is opening a new bar called Knave. [NYT]
♦ JE Englebert, the publicity-seeking owner Prime and Suzie Wong, says he's starting a group called New Yorkers Against Bottle Service. [GS]

Clay Aiken Comes Out, Surprises No One

cityfile · 09/24/08 06:15AM

♦ You probably heard the news yesterday that Clay Aiken is coming out of the closet. We thought we'd remind you again since you're undoubtedly still in a state of shock and disbelief. [P6, People]
Anna Wintour took the trash out of her West Village townhouse wearing sweatpants, a t-shirt, and slippers. [R&M]
Olivia Palermo's role in Whitney Port's new Hills spinoff will earn her $12,000 an episode. [P6]
♦ In response to her father's recent rants, Lindsay Lohan says her dad is out of line and "obviously needs to be on medication to control his moods." [P6]
♦ Jude Law was spotted with protestors outside the UN this week, although he was acting like "more of an observer than a protestor." [MSNBC]

Late Night Eats, Legal Troubles and TV Chefs

cityfile · 09/19/08 01:33PM

♦ Ten places to feed your midnight cravings, including the usual suspects like Blue Ribbon and the Spotted Pig . [NYO]
Jean-Georges isn't the only restaurateur who landed in hot water for skimming tips: A roundup of the dozen or so big-name venues that have faced similar legal trouble over the past year. [Reuters]
♦ The Food Network is looking for a "young, irreverent chef" with a "Yoga-like ability" to host a new show. [Eater]
Frank Bruni offers up his take on Williamsburg's Marlow & Sons. [NYT]
♦ Sweet & Vicious is back in business. [Eater]
♦ Lucky Cheng's might be leaving the East Village for a new spot in Times Square. [GNML via DBTH]
♦ A peek at the new menu at Grayz. [GS]

Noah on Bottle Service, A Settlement for Jean-Georges

cityfile · 09/18/08 02:20PM

♦ Nightlife impresario Noah Tepperberg (left) says bottle sales at Marquee have slipped 10 percent this quarter. [GS]
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is paying $1.75 million to settle a lawsuit brought by waiters over skimmed tips at his restaurants. [Reuters]
♦ Todd English's Libertine opened inside Jason Pomeranc's Gild Hall hotel last night. [NYO]
♦ The city's best restaurants are in Hell's Kitchen; the best bars are in the East Village. At least that's what Time Out says. [TONY]
♦ Now that Dessert Studio has closed, Will Goldfarb is planning a move to Bali. [NRN via GS]
♦ Armed robbers are targeting Starbucks locations. [NY1 via Eater]
♦ JE Englebert, the owner of Suzie Wong and Prime, may sue the developers of the Gramercy Starck building on East 23rd Street because he doesn't like the small emanating from the McDonald's on the ground floor. [NYP]

The Russian-Georgian War & Free Ribs

cityfile · 08/14/08 11:44AM
  • The war between between Georgia and Russia is having an impact on the local restaurant biz: Russians are avoiding Café Georgia in Brighton Beach. [NYDN]

On Tonight's Menu: Sexual Harassment

cityfile · 07/02/08 09:37AM

Today the Times details the pervy nightmare endured by Martha Nyakim Gatkuoth, a 25-year-old former hostess at Tavern on the Green and the lead complainant in a federal discrimination lawsuit against the restaurant that was settled last month for $2.2 million. Among the indignities Gatkuoth says she had to put up with: regular boob and butt-grabbings by the restaurant's director of operations; docked pay when she refused to perform sexual favors on said director; and frequent racial epithets (she's an Ethiopian immigrant). Of course, restaurants have long had a rep as ridiculously brutal places to work—see Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential or Bill Buford's Heat—but the proliferation of suits also has some (like, uh, the restaurateurs who are getting sued) wondering if it's all part of a shakedown to extract cash. (Presumably, a multi-million dollar settlement is cushier than collecting 18% tips every night for the next decade; when you factor in having to deal with the press—and lawyers!—perhaps not so much.) A sampling of sexual harassment suits at high-profile restaurants—including both the absolutely horrific and not-so-serious—below.

Revolt at Central Park Boathouse, Matsugen Bows!

cityfile · 06/13/08 02:42PM
  • High drama at Central Park Boathouse yesterday: two employees were abruptly canned and 14 others briefly stormed out in protest before management caved. And yet by day's end it was the most boring restaurant in the city again. [NY Post]

BBQ Under the Sun

cityfile · 06/06/08 12:44PM
  • A throng of more than 120,000 pig eaters is expected to descend on Danny Meyer's annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in Madison Square Park on Sunday. The temperature is supposed to be 95 degrees. Hope you like other people's sweat on your pulled pork. [NY Sun]

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

cityfile · 02/03/08 09:36PM

As acclaimed as he is prolific, Vongerichten is best known for his four-star French restaurant Jean-Georges. Along with Phil Suarez, Vongerichten also owns high-profile dining spots like Vong, Spice Market, JoJo, Mercer Kitchen, and Matsugen.