Brunch Plans: Bagatelle’s New Menu
The MPD staple elevates its popular brunch parties with new food offerings.
April 12, 2013
If you like your brunch with a side of beats from a renowned DJ, then you probably already know Bagatelle. But with the Meatpacking staple’s recently revamped French-inspired brunch offerings, you’ve got another excuse to take part in one of New York’s most exciting brunch parties. Start your meal off with the popular Bagatelle pastry basket, or something lighter like the new tartare de Bagatelle—ahi tuna tartare, avocado salad, lime soy vinaigrette, and taro chips. Share plates of charcuterie, cheese, and crudités are also good first-course options.
New brunch dishes comprise creative French twists on lunch and breakfast favorites. If you’re craving a morning-centric meal, try the Nutella French toast served on homemade brioche with fresh raspberries, or the lobster omelet. Lunch-leaning dishes include a beef shortrib, tomato, and smoked mozzarella grilled sandwich, while those after a more substantial main will want to order the homemade gnocchi with black truffle pesto filling and pesto sauce. Appropriately upscale drink options, like bottles of Dom Perignon, a predominantly French wine list, or a signature twist on a mojito, wash it all down.
Despite its revised menu, Bagatelle’s touchstone—its Parisian bistro atmosphere—stays the same as when owners Aymeric Clemente and Remi Laba launched in early 2008. Expect an expansive marble bar, crisp white tablecloths, multiple hanging chandeliers, sumptuous upholstered banquettes, and clean white walls flecked with colorful contemporary art. Although it sounds like the last place for a full-scale soiree, that’s part of the charm here.
A DJ spins all throughout Saturday and Sunday brunch service (which runs from 11:30 am-4:30 pm with dinner service immediately following), but around 3:30 pm the curtains are drawn, the lights are dimmed, and the music turns up a notch. Add smoke, whistles, flashing lights, and a fully packed house at both the tables and the bar, and this is when the well-dressed partygoers sipping from bottles via neon straws really get into full swing. The early afternoon fête is the perfect prelude to a Saturday night out or a full-on Sunday funday—just be prepared for the shock of stepping outside and discovering it’s still daytime. 1 Little W. 12th St., Meatpacking District, 212-488-2110
Weekend Recommender: April 11-14
Julius Caesar at BAM, Alicia Keys at the Garden, and Blues for Smoke at the Whitney.
April 11, 2013
The Royal Shakespeare Company's Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar at BAM
April 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m., April 13 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., April 14 at 3 p.m.
Julius Caesar finds new life with the Royal Shakespeare Company's production, directed by the company's artistic director, Gregory Doran. Enjoying its U.S. premiere this week, the production has garnered wonderful reviews overseas and features an all black British cast. In fact, Doran was inspired by a Shakespeare text that had been passed around the prisoners of South Africa’s Robben Island and annotated by the likes of Nelson Mandela. As such, he brings a contemporary sensibility to this political thriller. BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St., Brooklyn, 718-636-4100
Alicia Keys at Madison Square Garden
Thursday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.
This girl is on fire! Songstress extraordinaire Alicia Keys brings her “Set the World on Fire” tour home to Madison Square Garden in support of her chart-topping Girl on Fire album. R&B sensation Miguel opens. Tickets are still available. 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, 212-465-6741
Blues for Smoke at the Whitney
April 11, 13, and 14 from 11 a.m.–6 p.m., April 12 from 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Martin Wong, Zoe Leonard, and Kerry James Marshall are just a few of the artists features in this great, blues-inspired show at the Whitney Museum of American art. As countless bluesmen have wondered, the musical style known as the blues is pretty much impossible to define. But by presenting contemporary art "through the lens" of blues aesthetics, this interdisciplinary exhibition does a pretty good job. Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave., 212-570-3600
Dispatch: Stars Step Out for Spring
Dispatch writer Jeffrey Slonim bumped into Robert Redford, Jack Black, and Natalia Vodianova at last week’s parties.
April 11, 2013
After a quiet winter, the spring social season is finally here. And Dispatches is already keeping great company, beginning at a premiere last Monday for The Company You Keep, directed by Robert Redford.
Redford plays a ’70s radical turned establishment lawyer being tracked by an ace reporter (Shia LaBeouf). At the debut hosted by Avión Espresso at the Museum of Modern Art, Stanley Tucci, also in the film, said he loves Reford. “He’s a wonderful actor, director, a champion of liberal causes, and of cinema as a whole,” he said. “Independent cinema is thriving because of him.”
“The hunter and the hunted has been a theme in a lot of the films I’ve done,” noted Redford. He also spoke of LaBeouf, a few steps down the arrivals line: “He’s got a very fast brain and gives 150 percent.”
Trance premieres, Housewives and Hubbies Hit Bravo Blue Carpet, Jenny McCarthy Talks Sex
Tuesday, The Cinema Society and Montblanc invited Dispatches to join Danny Boyle, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel at the debut of Trance. Onscreen, James McAvoy steals a Goya painting. Cassel, who plays a tough guy in the film, said that when he was young, he was actually a guard at the Louvre, where he occasionally passed the time by “smoking joints . . . but I was very young.”
Danny Boyle noted that he borrowed some of the darkness in the picture from Goya. “They say in the film he was the first great painter of the human mind,” said Boyle. “They call him the man who went into the bull ring, because he just went in there. The paintings are slightly surreal.”
Meanwhile, Dawson plays a sexy hypnotist. She told Dispatches she was playing a recording from a real hypnotist in a car, and the driver started “weaving on the highway.” And then she remembered that there was a warning on the label of the tape, “do not drive or operate heavy machinery.” Oops.
Speaking of sexy, during the screening, I ran out to a Durex’s “Hotel Durex” event at the Dream Downtown. “A lot of times, sex in American can be considered dirty,” Jenny McCarthy, who was hosting, told Dispatches. “And the Durex campaign talks about couples and sexploration, really being in love and enhancing their sexual experience. That really caught my attention. When I get into a relationship, I want to make sure my partner is happy,” she added.
And it was a cavalcade of sexy curves at the Bravo Blue Carpet during the network’s television Upfront on Wednesday at Pillars 37 Studios. Kim Zolciak, originally a cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, scared me on that show. But in person, she and her husband, NFL star Kroy Biermann, were delightful. “We just got back from Turks and Caicos,” they mentioned. Beverly Hills housewife Kyle Richards also brought her husband, Mauricio Umansky, who, when it comes to television, sticks to the Golf Channel.
Hale House Honors Sharon Bush, Kelly Rowland Drinks Up, Jack Black Drops Trou
Dispatches then changed into a tux and ran up to the Mandarin Oriental in time to catch the last speech at the fab Hale House Spring Gala honoring Sharon Bush. During her final trip to the podium, host Patricia Clarkson offered yuks, “This is the last time you’ll be seeing me, unless you’re single.”
On Thursday, back at Stage 37, where Bravo’s Upfront event took place, at SIR Studios, Courvoisier kicked off its Courvoisiology lab event series with Kelly Rowland performing songs from her new album, Talking a Good Game. Rowland had her bangs parted in the middle and was wearing long pants by Rachel Zoe and La Perla undergarments (she brought it up). “I try,” she told us when we mentioned that she looked sensational. “I did my hair and makeup myself.”
Dispatches got up early the next morning for the Friars Club Roast of Jack Black, hosted by Bob Sagat at the NY Hilton. On the carpet, while joking with Saget, Black’s pants hit the carpet, leaving him standing in relatively tight black underwear. “I didn’t pack a belt,” Black explained.
Lunch with Harvey Weinstein, Dinner with DVF
Same afternoon, over lunch at The Explorers Club, Harvey Weinstein and David De Rothschild touted the film Kon-Tiki. Weinstein said he loved the book when he was kid. “I’ll give you my show and tell report later,” he quipped. The original flag from Kon-Tiki was framed and hanging in the room.
And that night at the UN, where Robin Roberts and Natalia Vodianova were being honored at the fourth annual Diane von Furstenberg Awards, Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas, a presenter, admitted that her new life was quite different from the gymnastics world, which was, “like sweat pants and jeans.”
“I went to the White House,” Douglas said. “Me and my teammates walked into the oval office and the president came in and he was just like, “Guys, relax!”
Not Your Average Milkshake
Two out of the ordinary milkshake recipes from new restaurants Jeepney and SLIDE.
April 11, 2013
The Tagaytay avocado shake at Jeepney
Warmer weather makes any New Yorker want to spend an afternoon on a sun-kissed patio, sipping something cool and refreshing. Here are some creative shake recipes you can make at home for a well-deserved break. Put your feet up, grab a straw, and enjoy!
This unique avocado shake by Jeepney head bartender Tomas Delos Reyes is creamy, refreshing, and full of flavor.
1/2 of one Hass avocado
2 ounces coconut milk
4 ounces whole milk
2 tablespoons of sugar
Combine all ingredients in a blender, add a cup of ice, blend, and pour into a fountain glass. Garnish with toasted coconut shavings.
SLIDE "Hot" Chocolate
This sassy chocolate shake may not be hot temperature-wise, but its chili powder kick spices things up. Find it at new restaurant SLIDE, or whip it up at home.
10 ounces chocolate ice cream
2 ounces milk
1 tbsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
Blend together all ingredients and serve in a fountain glass.
Eighties Madonna Photos at W New York
A new exhibition by photographers Richard Corman and George DuBose.
April 10, 2013
When considering the cutting-edge art, music, and fashion of 1980s New York, few capture that era's renegade street style better than Madonna. Though the pop icon has certainly evolved over the years, during the ’80s, she was the poster girl for downtown New York. (For example, who can forget the incredible sequined boots she rocked in Desperately Seeking Susan?)
So strong was Madonna's style, in fact, that even before anyone knew who she was, photographers Richard Corman and George DuBose were busy shooting her now-legendary look—before she was the Material Girl, when she still lived in a Lower East Side apartment.
Shot in and around Madonna's fourth-floor walk up, 20 of these never-before-seen images, shot with a vintage Rolleiflex camera, are now the subjects of an exciting new traveling exhibition in conjunction with W Hotels Worldwide, Glaceau Vitaminwater, and Rock Paper Photo, the online photography gallery owned by Madonna's manager. Madonna: A Transformational Exhibition opened at W Mexico City, and is now on view at W New York through May 12. (Photographs are also being shown at W Union Square, W Downtown, and W Hoboken at this time.)
A grand opening party kicked off the show on April 11, with photographer Corman himself in attendance. Upping the New York ante was a live tagging session courtesy of graffiti artist Alec Monopoly, who transformed two of Corman's works. "The exhibition kind of pushed me to develop a new style," says the 27-year old, who prepared for the tour in his studio, using replicas of the photographs he would be painting live. "Basically, I put acetate on them, which is like clear paper, and I would just practice all day long."
The Corman/Monopoly collaborations will be available for sale online, with proceeds going to Jeffrey Fashion Cares. Madonna would surely approve. To purchase a photograph, go to rockpaperphoto.com/madonna. 1567 Broadway, 212-930-7444
Monkey Business at Baryshnikov Arts Center
Kathryn Hunter delights as a civilized West African chimp in Kafka’s Monkey.
April 10, 2013
A West African monkey named Red Peter takes center stage at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in Kafka's Monkey, a solo show based on a Franz Kafka story called A Report to an Academy. The monkey in question is played by Olivier Award-winning actress Kathryn Hunter, a Théâtre de Complicité founding member who, later this month, will also be appearing in Fragments, based on texts by Samuel Beckett.
Hunter's captivating physical performance has already been praised by critics, as she portrays this charismatic chimpanzee—clad in white tie and tails, no less—who shares his life story to a group of scientists curious about his more primitive roots. Is he a man? A monkey? A bit of both?
Directed by Walter Meierjohann and adapted by Colin Teevan, the play comments on human nature through the story of this highly civilized West African monkey, who learned to live and behave as humans do when he was captured by sailors. As the story goes, Red Peter began to emulate the sailors who “owned” him, and eventually, become a stage sensation. Kafka's Monkey continues through April 17.
When one door closes, another one opens, and another wonderful show follows. Directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, an 18-performance return engagement of Fragments begins performances on April 21 and continues through May 5. Starring Hunter, Marcello Magni (Hunter’s husband), and Jos Houben, these five Beckett shorts wowed audiences last season with their profundity, humor, and insight. Baryshnikov Arts Center’s Jerome Robbins Theater, 450 West 37th St., 646-731-3200
Jared Moshé Talks 'Dead Man’s Burden'
The producer turned writer and director gives us the scoop on his new indie Western.
April 10, 2013
Clare Bowen in a scene from Jared Moshe's Dead Man's Burden
Local filmmaker Jared Moshé didn’t cut himself any slack on his first writer-director credit, Dead Man’s Burden, hitting theaters this May. The New Yorker journeyed to New Mexico, along with a cast that includes virtual unknowns Barlow Jacobs and Clare Bowen (currently on ABC’s Nashville) and plenty of horses and guns, to tackle a genre nearly extinct in modern film, the Western. But scenarios like this are ideal for Moshé, who says, “I like to jump into the deep end and hopefully I'll swim and not sink,” when asked about his method. According to critics at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Moshé, who has produced such films as Kurt Kobain About a Son (nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award), is a strong swimmer. Here, the triple threat producer, writer, and director fills us in on what to expect in Dead Man’s Burden, set in the aftermath of the Civil War on a dusty-serene landscape that practically steals the show.
Dead Man's Burden is very unique in that it’s an independent Western. What inspired the film?
JARED MOSHÉ: The film is really inspired by the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which we’re in the midst of. The Western itself was actually created as a myth to sort of help heal the country after the war. When you have a country that's divided by north and south, what you do is you look west—and then those divisions become less apparent and we're all Westerners. A lot of those wounds are still festering beneath the surface, and I wanted to tell a story that explored those wounds through the lens of a family that was literally ripped apart by the Civil War.
How do you go about making a Western that resonates with modern-day audiences?
JM: The thing about Westerns is the genre is so familiar to audiences that you have to sort of embrace those familiar tropes. You have to have cowboy hats, you have to have a certain look; a certain aesthetic. How you make it modern, I think, is through the characters and the story. For example, in Dead Man's Burden there are two leads, and one of them is a very strong female character who really embraces a more modern perspective on what it means to be a strong woman.
You wrote the script and also directed. Is this the first feature you've directed, or the first project?
JM: This is the first anything I've directed. I'm the only idiot who decided to go out and make their first project a period Western shot on location in New Mexico with horses and guns . . . One of the important things about Dead Man's Burden is that we shot it on film, which is very rare nowadays, but it was incredibly important that we shoot on 35 millimeter to really capture the aesthetics of the landscape of the world we were in.
Landscape is such a fascinating thing, so loaded with meaning and emotion. It can really inform a film.
JM: I agree one hundred percent. Especially in this genre, the landscape is a character in the movie. In Dead Man's Burden, the land is both a place that’s beautiful and a blank slate where you can start out and recreate yourself—go west and rebuild your life. It also isolates you and keeps you completely separated from the rest of the world.
What's next for you?
JM: I'm working on a TV show that is a modern-day Western that takes the themes of the frontier and transports them into present day. And then I have a script that I would say is a Shakespearean action movie set in the world of private military contractors.
Grooming Tips from Barber & Supply
Thinking of growing a beard this spring/summer? Read this first.
April 09, 2013
As we ease into spring and look forward to summer, for gentleman, there is one question: to beard or not to beard? Indeed, there’s no doubt beards are a popular male trend both practical and stylish. But certain measures must be taken to properly pull of the look. “A lot of guys come in with kind of beard disasters,” says Mike Sposito, head barber at Williamsburg’s Barber & Supply (101 N 8th St., Brooklyn, 718-522-4959). “It is a balance to kind of keep it full and nice at the same time.” During beard season, even Sposito himself has one of his barber colleagues take care of his grooming needs. Apparently, these pro trims are addictive. “Once they have one, they're kind of hooked.” Sposito says of his bearded clients. Here, the seasoned barber gives advice on maintaining a sleek spring beard.
The look: “Having a big beard in winter is to keep you cheeks warm, but you can still maintain a fuller look [in the spring] by leaving it a little longer around the mustache and chin area than you would underneath the cheeks and the jaw. You want to give yourself that chiseled look, tighten up the beard around the jaw line, bring the cheeks in lower.”
Maintenance: Sposito recommends a stop in at the barber shop every three weeks to a month, “but if you want to keep a tighter look, you have to come in every couple of weeks.”
At-home trimming tip: “Hug the corner of the jaw, staying nice and tight to the corner of the jaw, and then gradually getting longer as you approach the chin line.”
Tool of the trade: “A quality electric beard trimmer with attachable guards—so you can change the length—is a key beard-grooming tool. Go for a lower guard on the cheek and underneath the jaw line on your chin and mustache area. You can graduate it from the tightest part being around the sideburn down to the jaw, and then the chin would be the longest.”
Need more inspiration? Take a look at these famous men who've stylishly "let themselves go" and donned a beard.
Early Spring Kaiseki at Brushstroke
This nine-course Japanese menu transforms the dinner table into an art gallery.
April 09, 2013
Chawanmushi with crab and truffle sauce graces the Early Spring Kaiseki menu at Brushstroke
Japanese cuisine is innately elegant, but Kaiseki, a highbrow style of food and service that evolved from sixteenth century tea ceremonies, is truly an art. In New York, one can experience this tradition at David Bouley’s Brushstroke, which recently rolled out its Early Spring Kaiseki menu ($135 per person).
Executive chef Isao Yamada uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to create the artful, nine-course meal balanced in taste, texture, and presentation. The menu starts with a delicate Scottish langoustine and goes on to include fresh sashimi, chawanmushi with crab and truffle sauce (and optional shaved truffles), both fish and meat courses, a lychee sorbet palate refresher, rice entrées, and dessert.
Of the fish course options, the seared Maine lobster with somen noodles, creamy uni sauce, and crushed uni flakes sounds divine. And then, following sorbet and sparkling wine, meat courses include a tea-infused duck breast with roasted sweet potato sauce, vanilla salt, and cocoa nibs; a sun-dried tomato marinated Canadian pork belly with tomato water and cauliflower purée; and Wagyu steak with Tasmanian mustard, Angkor pepper, and red wine reduction.
Chef Yamada's brand new vegetarian and tasting menus (six courses) are also available to satisfy your every Japanese craving. Of course, all menus feature fresh and unique ingredients, as well as optional wine and sake pairings by sommelier Eric Hastings. 30 Hudson St., 212-791-3771
Allison Williams Talks 'Girls'
The actress and new face of Simple Skincare talks about filming for season three.
April 08, 2013
With a famous father (newscaster Brian Williams) and flawless beauty, there’s more to Allison Williams than meets the eye. As Marnie Michaels on HBO’s critically acclaimed Girls, the actress proves that pretty girls have problems, too—big ones.
Now in the midst of shooting season three of the hit show created by director and lead actress Lena Dunham, Williams is also juggling a gig as brand ambassador for Simple Skincare. We caught up with her to talk beauty, season three, and working with executive producer Judd Apatow.
You’re now the face of Simple Skincare, so tell about your beauty regimen.
ALLISON WILLIAMS: I am currently obsessed with all of these [Simple Skincare] products, especially the foaming cleanser. I put a little bit of the foaming cleanser on in the morning on a piece of gauze, [and] I use it to really freshen my face up. And then I’ll use some of the makeup removal wipes just to make sure there’s no makeup remaining on my eyes. And those makeup removing wipes, by the way, are the best.
The season two finale of Girls recently aired, and you’re already filming season three. Anything you can tell us?
AW: Lena gave me a vague overview of what might happen to Marnie. But last year she told me something completely different than what ended up happening.
AW: Yeah, because from the minute we wrap she is already thinking about it. And because her brain just keeps one-upping itself, it’s really just her versus her. She keeps coming up with better and better ideas. It always ends up being the best idea, but it goes through a couple of incarnations between now and then.
You also work with Judd Apatow. What’s that like?
AW: He’s the best. The fact that he looked at it as a brand of comedy he could endorse is really amazing. Also, he really lets Lena do her thing. He’s around, and I know he reads every single draft and he watches all of the table reads and he looks at all of the cuts of the show, and it’s edited in his building. It’s really a lot his baby, as much as it is Lena’s, but he just lets it be her voice, which I think is awesome.
photography by Jessica Miglio/HBO