Guest Blog: Manhattan Cocktail Classic Trends
Milk & Honey's Theo Lieberman spots two major trends at the five-day cocktail extravaganza.
May 23, 2013
Milk & Honey head bartender Theo Lieberman
While Gotham attended its fair share of Manhattan Cocktail Classic (May 17-21) events, there's no way we could have attended them all—there were nearly 100. And frankly, with all of our, ahem, research (aka drinking), the details are a bit hazy. Enter Theo Lieberman, head bartender at the Flatiron District's Milk & Honey and our MCC eyes, ears, and palate. Brought into the business by Sasha Petraske, Lieberman helped run the bar at John Dory Oyster Bar before shuffling over to Petraske's original LES Milk & Honey. And according to him, these are the MCC cocktail trends you'll be seeing a lot more of:
Fortified Wines and Low Alcohol Cocktails: "From what I saw at the MCC Gala, a lot of drinks had fortified wines, sherries and amaros like Campari, Cocchi Americano Rosa, Pineau des Charentes, and more. There’s also a desire recently for cocktails with low alcohol content—people aren’t drinking to get drunk anymore, they’re drinking to experience new things. Campari is a great example of why the low alcohol trend works; it packs so much flavor, so you can enjoy an amazing drink like a Campari & Soda or Rome with a View (Campari, dry vermouth, fresh lime, soda and sugar served in a Collins glass) without feeling like you’re missing out on something."
Interesting Garnishes: "Presentation is definitely becoming more important. You’re not going to just see a crappy little orange twist, but you really see bartenders putting time and effort into how the drink appears, like the way they do at The Aviary in Chicago. The drink I created for Campari’s Bartender Bash (part of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic) featured a pineapple ring dehydrated with Campari, which not only made for a beautiful presentation, but also gave an additional element of texture and made the drink that much more interesting. The textural component is such a big part of eating, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be considered in drinking as well."
Dispatch: Princely Polo and a Starry Ballet
Jeffrey Slonim reports on last week's most exclusive social events.
May 23, 2013
Photo: Gary Gershoff (Simpson); Stephen Lovekin (Neuwirth) via gettyimages.com
Monday, May 13: Ashlee Simpson and Bebe Neuwirth at the Ballet
When I overheard that the performance at the American Ballet Theatre opening night gala, a veritable tasting menu of ballet, might last up to three hours, I panicked. At the event, I mentioned this possibility to actress and dancer Bebe Neuwirth and her eyes looked up to heaven. “Yes, but it’s going to be three gorgeous hours,” she said. And not only was it really only two-and-a-half hours, the dance was so beautiful, time flew. The very last piece, Georges Bizet’s Symphony in C, choreographed by George Balanchine, was extraordinary. Scores of dancers in crisp tutus danced in sublime synchronization. Another highlight of the evening: Ashlee Simpson, wearing a pair of take-notice emerald green earrings, smooched me on the cheek when we both arrived at a ticket-taker simultaneously. Love her.
Tuesday, May 14: Upfronts with Debra Messing and Megan Hilty
The Gersh Agency invited Dispatches to Catch for its annual fanny-bumper of an upfront cocktail fête. Debra Messing was in the house, but not talking to press, because Smash had sadly just been cancelled. My heart goes out to her and costar Megan Hilty, who also popped by. Also spotted: Josh Radnor and Taylor Schilling (The Lucky One), wearing a pretty blouse from A.L.C.
Photo: Chris Jackson (Prince Harry); Michael Loccisano (Stam) via gettyimages.com
Wednesday, May 15: Polo in Greenwich with Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras
The next morning, a car whisked me off to Greenwich to witness Prince Harry’s Sentebale polo team face off against the St. Regis team, captained by Nacho Figueras. Rain poured in the a.m., but by the time I reached the lunch tent (the driver forgot my ticket and the Greenwich police nearly arrested me), the sun had come out. And the event bloomed into a delightful, sunny afternoon sponsored by Peter Brant and wife Stephanie Seymour and Royal Salute whisky. St. Regis hotels hosted my fun table with Jessica Stam.
Addressing the crowd, HRH Prince Harry talked about how wonderful it is to visit the orphans in Lesotho who benefit from his Sentebale charity, adding that the feeling could be attested to by "the good looking Nacho," who is an ambassador for the cause. And when it was Figueras' turn to speak, he ribbed the Prince. “Very secretly, we are taking bets for the game,” said Figueras. “If you want to make a smart move, you obviously know you have to be for my team.” However, on the field, after Nacho fired in two goals, his Royal Highness won the match by knocking in the final shot.
Thursday, May 16: USA Upfronts and Aby Rosen's Star-Studded B-Day
Back in New York, at the USA Network upfront, Royal Pains star Mark Feuerstein mentioned that before he dated his wife, he had slept with at least three of his wife’s future bridesmaids. One was a longish relationship, one, maybe two weeks, and another, he indicated, “one night.” Ahem. Also spotted: Sofia Vergara.
That night, Aby Rosen (who owns the Seagram building and Lever House) celebrated his birthday at The Paramount Hotel. Bronson van Wyck had decorated a balcony window with giant red swags. And a woman in a white dress with a 20-foot train worked a swing near Bono and Guy Oseary. Upstairs, the Olsen twins were suckin’ on ciggies. And that was Owen Wilson in a plaid flannel shirt on the balcony.
Photo: Astrid Stawiarz via gettyimages.com
Saturday, May 18: Epic New York Screening
“There is violence in the film, but none of it is pulled off with any sense of malice or true terror,” kindly explained Colin Farrell, who stars in Epic, a kids' film about saving the environment. “I play Mub, he’s a slug,” offered Aziz Ansari. Jason Sudeikis’ big thrill about working on this project? “Oh, gosh, officially now working with Beyonce,” he quipped. The newly pregnant Beyoncé (who was absent from the premiere) lends her voice to the film's Queen Tara character, a magical forest queen.
Memorial Day Weekend Recommender
Barbecue at Windsor West Village, Rooftop Films, and a new samurai-inspired play.
May 23, 2013
Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon! is this weekend's must-see theater pick
Windsor West Village Memorial Day BBQ
May 27, from 12 p.m.
Just because you're staying in the city this Memorial Day weekend doesn't mean you can't celebrate. Upscale sports bar the Windsor West Village presents a special Memorial Day barbecue with food and drink specials. From peach barbecue chicken wings to bourbon barbecue ribs, summer is on. 234 West 4th St., 212-206-1208
Love Hurts at Rooftop Films
May 24, 8 p.m.
Rain or shine, Love Hurts. Enjoy a screening of short films about "the beauty and anguish of love," from the comedic to bizarre. Love Hurts is part of a summer series by Rooftop Films, a non-profit that shows underground movies outdoors all summer long. Tickets are $13. Open Road Rooftop, 350 Grand St.
Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon! at La MaMa
May 24 at 7:30 p.m., May 25 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., May 26 at 2:30 p.m.
Japanese Manga and experimental East Village theater may seem like unlikely Memorial Day bedfellows, but in the samurai-inspired new play Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon!, recently opened at La MaMa for an all-to-brief run, they work. Directed by Sonoko Kawahara, the physical work presents graceful sword battles and epic martial arts that take movement to the level of dance. Written by Fred Ho and Ruth Margraff, the show features music by The Afro American Music Ensemble led by Masaru Koga. Tickets range from $25 to $30. La MaMa Experimental Theatre - Ellen Stewart Theater (Annex), 66 E. 4th St. 212-475-7710
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
Artist Uses Met Rooftop as Canvas
Imran Qureshi splatters red paint and hope on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's rooftop.
May 22, 2013
The floor of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art served as the canvas (which viewers are welcome to walk on) for artist Imran Qureshi's latest work, The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi. In this acclaimed, site-specific installation, Qureshi explores his emotional response to violence around the world, but specifically in his home country of Pakistan. Yet despite the intense subject matter, at its essence, this project is actually a work of hope.
In splashes and spills of red acrylic paint, the piece is painted directly upon the nearly 8,000 square-foot surface. “The dialogue between life and death is an important element in my work," says Qureshi. "Leaves and nature, for example, represent the idea of life. And the particular color of red that I have been using in recent years can look so real, like blood. The red reminds me of the situation today in my country, Pakistan, and in the world around us, where violence is almost a daily occurrence. But somehow, people still have hope. The flowers that seem to emerge from the red paint in my work represent the hope that—despite everything—the people sustain somehow, their hope for a better future.”
Qureshi is known for combining Islamic motifs, symbolism, and techniques with the approach of conceptual modern art. His signature aesthetic references 16th century "miniature painting," a style of art popular in the Mughal courts of India at that time. The Roof Garden Commission is no exception: certain areas of red paint are worked into patterns of ornamental leaves—reminiscent of the Mughal courts of yore, but also present day Central Park.
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
Adam Richman Talks New Taste of the UWS
A former Upper West Sider, Richman will host the event which kicks off next Friday.
May 22, 2013
Along with Top Chef judge Gail Simmons, the Travel Channel's Adam Richman (Man vs. Food, Fandemonium) will host the sixth annual New Taste of the Upper West Side, taking place May 29 to June 1. With more than 70 participating restaurants (think Dovetail, Red Farm, Bar Boulud) this year's event honors Union Square Hospitality Group's Danny Meyer and Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti. All proceeds from this community culinary festival benefit the Columbus Avenue Beautification Project and the O’Shea Wellness In Schools program. To get more insight on the event, and the neighborhood it honors, we chatted with co-host and former Upper West Sider Adam Richman.
For the third consecutive year, you'll be hosting this Friday's Comfort Classics at New Taste of the Upper West Side. What do you love about this community food festival?
ADAM RICHMAN: I used to live at 104 West End. I'm a Brooklyn kid, but I sublet up there, and I feel the UWS is one of the last vestiges of true neighborhoods on the island of Manhattan. What the Upper West Side still has, a little bit, is that great Woody Allen aesthetic; it's very evocative of Brooklyn in many respects—because of that community. You start out with this cultural touchstone of Lincoln Center, in the sixties. You have Time Warner Center, which is really beautiful, [and] restaurants like Landmarc and great chefs like Marc Murphy, but then you can go uptown and find cultural institutions; places like Barney Greengrass that are as much a part of New York as the Empire State Building.
The UWS certainly is a unique neighborhood with its own spirit.
AR: This is one neighborhood that has a culinary identity that the world may not necessarily know about. That's a very special thing as a native New Yorker, to be able to say, 'Hey, I live here, I love it here, my love of food was fostered by being here,' and this event will hopefully let you know why.
What are the great restaurant gems of the Upper West Side, in your opinion?
AR: The UWS has got that great Chino-Latino thing that's really only maybe found in a couple of restaurants on the West End of 14th Street as you approach Meatpacking. From Flor de Mayo and La Caridad 78 to the touchstones of the Upper West Side like V&T Pizza, Koronet, Zabar's, these are the major icons that typify the [neighborhood].
Your upcoming NBC game show, Food Fighters, features home cooks. In this era of celebrity chefs, where do talented home cooks fit in?
AR: I think a lot of people throw that [chef] title around, and in a million years, I would never be arrogant enough to consider myself a chef. A chef is really someone who has dedicated themselves, that has studied and run restaurants . . . there's a degree of training that's commensurate with that title, and I just think I'm an above average cook, not just on the job, but I learned from my mom, my aunt, my dad, my grandma, and also my friends' moms, and my friends' grandmas. Maybe the Brooklyn in me makes me root for the underdog, because I respect home cooks, maybe because I'm categorically opposed to the exclusionary nature of being very precious with food. I think it's cool to show that these dishes have their own culinary merit—as do the people who make them.
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
Roche Bobois Opens on the UES
The European luxury home furnishings brand debuts a sprawling new showroom.
May 22, 2013
An exclusive slice of domestic luxury hits the Upper East Side in the form of Roche Bobois' brand new showroom. Born in 1961 France, Roche Bobois is known for European furniture and accessories, like its iconic Mah Jong modular seating created by legendary designer Hans Hopfer.
With 11-foot mirrored walls and ceilings, custom wallpaper, and a massive floor-to-ceiling multimedia screen, the stunning new space—designed by Hopfer's daugher, Jacqueline—showcases the best of Roche Bobois’ "Les Contemporains" collection. Furniture highlights include the Mah Jong sofa, available in a brand new fabric collection courtesy of Missoni Home; the sculptural Voiles dining table made from a single sheet of steel; and newly-launched accent pieces by designer Cédric Ragot.
On its multimedia screen, the showroom will present Roche Bobois' new commercial film, La Jubilation, directed by Christian Larson, who has done music videos for the likes of Sigur Ros and Swedish House Mafia. Since opening its first New York City shop in 1974, Roche Bobois' North American network has grown to 28 stores (this marks number 29) and 240 showrooms around the world. 207 East 57th St., 212-980-2574
BY SIMONA RABINOVITCH
La Terrazza Opens; GoldBar Debuts Spring Cocktails
Plus: Dominique Ansel's "cronut" and Blue Ribbon's new LES beer garden.
May 21, 2013
La Terrazza at Lincoln Center
La Terrazza Opens in Lincoln Center: While it’s not quite on par with the piazzas of Italy, the plaza at Lincoln Center is one of our favorite spring lounging spots. And since Lincoln Ristorante opened La Terrazza for the season, the plaza is feeling more Italian every day. Stop by for a glass of prosecco and chef Jonathan Benno’s take on alfresco Italian fare, with a number of small plate and antipasti options. 142 West 65th St., 212-359-6500
Spring Cocktails at GoldBar: Head bartender Tim Cooper has crafted a roster of new spring cocktails to match this Nolita boîte's gilded atmosphere. Mix-ins range from peach purée to lavender syrup to Muscato grapes while spirits run the gamut from Vida mezcal to Elijah Craig bourbon. Try the Bluegrass Fire, made with bourbon, pok pok apple vinegar, ginger syrup, and chipotle tabasco, among other ingredients. 389 Broome St., 212-274-1566
Blue Ribbon Opening LES Beer Garden: Just in time for the official start of summer (aka Memorial Day weekend), the Bromberg brothers’ Blue Ribbon restaurants expands this week with the opening of a beer garden on the Lower East Side. Expect a variety of barbecue and classic sides like coleslaw, cornbread, and black-eyed pea salad. Of course, beer will flow in the outdoor space replete with a ping pong table, board games, and music. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. weekdays and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends. 190 Allen St., 212-466-0404
Dominique Ansel Debuts "Cronut": People are lining up at Ansel's Soho bakery for a taste of this hybrid croissant-meets-donut treat. Made of deep-fried croissant dough with vanilla cream filling and rose-flavored frosting, the "cronut" is chewy on the outside and flaky on the inside. Go early to try it—the new pastry has sold out every day it has been offered. 189 Spring St., 212-219-2773
BY BAO ONG
Oscar de la Renta Launches Stationery
Paperless Post brings de la Renta's designs to your mailbox (and your inbox).
May 20, 2013
Oscar de la Renta has partnered with Paperless Post to bring the timeless elegance of his Fall 2013 bridal and ready to wear collections to stationery. The gorgeous new collaboration is replete with 30 original wedding designs, and soon to come later this year will be children's entertaining, general entertaining, and personal stationery.
Available on engraved and letter-pressed fine paper, digitally-printed card stock, as well as on web, mobile web, and iPhone app options, the Oscar de la Renta for Paperless Post wedding collection is inspired by the designer's personal style, his home in Punta Cana, and of course, the stunning prints and embroideries seen on his latest runway looks. Showcased in the collection are de la Renta's famously delicate Chantilly, Alençon, and guipure laces, plus some of his prints and plaids. And with some items being an exact match to the lacework on the designer's bridal gowns, you can even match your wedding invitation to your dress. Now that's something to write home about.
Prince Harry Takes Greenwich
The prince bests Nacho Figueras at the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup.
May 17, 2013
Prince Harry, HRH Prince Henry of Wales, dazzled guests and spectators this week when he visited the Greenwich Polo Club in Connecticut for a luncheon and an afternoon of polo sponsored by St. Regis Hotels and Resorts to benefit his Sentebale charity.
Third in line to the British throne (at least until Kate Middleton gives birth), the prince charmed guests with a short, heartfelt speech before lunch, describing Sentebale's efforts on behalf of Lesotho youngsters' education and healthcare.
Every table in the tent, specially set up on the polo club grounds, was packed with New York socials and designers including Valentino Garavani, Giancarlo Giammetti, Jason Wu, Indre Rockefeller, Gayle King, Amanda Hearst, Hayley Bloomingdale, art collector and Greenwich Polo Club co-founder Peter Brant and his wife Stephanie Seymour, and Prince Harry's compatriot Torquhil Ian Campbell, the Duke of Argyll.
The prince, captain of the Land Rover Sentebale team, tore up the playing fields. He scored the winning goal, defeating Nacho Figueras' St. Regis team for a final score of 4 to 3.
Brunch Plans: The General
Chef Hung Huynh churns out cereal-stuffed donuts, peking duck hash, and more.
May 17, 2013