Home Page / Insights

Brunch Plans: The General

Chef Hung Huynh churns out cereal-stuffed donuts, peking duck hash, and more.

May 17, 2013



What We're Reading

Richard Wagner's New York, Sofia Coppola at Cannes, an epic Versace party at the Armory...

May 17, 2013

Donatella Versace and J.W. Anderson 

Bullet's Fiona Duncan attended this week's launch party and runway show for J.W. Anderson's capsule collection for Versus Versace (Donatella's project) at the Lexington Ave. Armory, and lived to tell the tale. The late-night party featured performances by Grimes, Maxwell, and Angel Haze. And apparently, she says, Woody Allen was in the house. [Bullet

While British folklore often paints gin (aka "mother's ruin") in a depressing light, New York Times Magazine writer Rosie Schapp sings the praises of this spirit's summertime value, from gimlet to martini. [The New York Times Magazine

As Cannes is in full swing, Sofia Coppola's new flick The Bling Ring stars Emma Watson in a surprising performance (as in "tramp-stamped" and "wild child"), writes New York magazine's Kyle Buchanan on Vulture. [New York

In honor of famed composer Richard Wagner's 200th birthday on May 22, The New Yorker's Alex Ross offers up a fantasy walking tour of Wagner's New York —had the German composer ever made it to the new world. [The New Yorker

—Simona Rabinovitch
photography by Rabbani and Solimene/wireimage.com


Q&A: Daniel Boulud on 20 Years of Daniel

"It’s the restaurant I wanted to reach the top with," says Boulud of his culinary crown jewel.

May 16, 2013

Daniel Boulud

Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire extends from Bowery favorite DBGB Kitchen and Bar to the elegant Maison Boulud in Beijing. But it was on New York's Upper East Side that Boulud made his name with Restaurant Daniel, which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Over the past two decades, the iconic restaurant's kitchen relocated once, garnered all stars from acclaimed critics, and most of all, sewed itself into the fabric of New York. Here, Boulud reflects on the milestone and ensures that Daniel—the restaurant and chef—is here to stay.   

What sets apart Daniel from your other restaurants? 
DANIEL BOULUD: Daniel was the first restaurant I wanted to open. It’s the restaurant I wanted to reach the top with. If I had one choice, this would be the restaurant I would open. Daniel developed to be more contemporary in some ways, but it has the foundation of classic cooking and evolved and adapted to being in New York with having all these wonderful sources of ingredients. You could say, ‘Born in France, made in America.’

Does any one moment stick out in your mind in Daniel’s 20 years?
DB: I didn’t see them passing by. I have enjoyed every year of those 20 with excitement, with sometimes stress, sometimes joy, but always with a sense of accomplishment. I feel like we can’t change everything all the time, but we can change ourselves all the time. In those past 20 years, maybe 50 percent of the staff has been with me for more than half of those 20 years. They’re loyal to me, and I try to be loyal to them.  

Is there a dish that truly personifies the restaurant?
DB: For 20 years, the paupiette of sea bass. I created that dish at Le Cirque, moved it to Daniel, and kept making that dish perfect. After 15 years, a chef said we need to change it. We had changed the look of the restaurant, the direction, etc., so I said yes and said we will change the dish, but I wanted to keep the components of the dish.

In celebrating your anniversary, you’ve talked a lot about the team of people supporting you. Has this always been your philosophy?
DB: I worked with chefs in France, who really have a sense of community and camaraderie. There’s a sense of fraternity. A sense of caring. I try to have the same type of relationship with everyone associated with me on the team.

What have you aimed to teach the generation of chefs that have worked in your kitchens?
DB: To really learn how to cook properly. Learn what it takes to be a great chef. They also need patience and confidence. Some kitchens, there may be a lot of cooks, but they may not have the opportunity to learn everything. I think at Daniel the good thing is those who succeed in the first task, we will keep training them over the years.

What do you want to achieve in the next 20 years with Daniel?
DB: To continue to maintain a high standard. To continue to evolve with Daniel. To continue to make it one of the best restaurants in this country. There’s a serious commitment on our part to do it. I’m sure five to ten years from now, we’ll be a little different, but we’ll very much still have the DNA of Daniel. Every restaurant has to find its identity, its personality, its image. Also, it’s not about being like the same guy next to me but to be myself. We believe in what we do.



The Ultimate Summer Rosé

A non-conformist pink Champagne for elegant spring entertaining.

May 16, 2013

Did you know that Champagne is one of the most versatile wine pairings in the world? Festive, refreshing, and elegant, a good Champagne is therefore your dream date while entertaining during this season's special occasions. So with that, we recommend Krug Rosé, a fine pink Champagne with an aromatic bouquet. 

Aged for a minimum of six years and made from three different grapes (and several different years) this surprisingly dry Champagne's structure and volume can be traced to Pinot Noir wine. In terms of its texture, taste, and color (a pale salmon), this rosé is a non-conformist. Which begs the question? How does a host treat this unique Champagne right?

First, be bold. "Ignore the classic stereotypes," says Carl Heline, Krug's U.S. Director. "Contrary to popular belief, Champagne is best when served in an all purpose wine glass, rather than a flute. A flute tends to mask flavors. Its design is more focused on showcasing the bubbles, thus hindering the wine from breathing. A wine glass lets the wine fully come to life and breathe."

In this same non-conformist spirit, Heline points out that colder doesn’t always mean better. "One of the worst possible things to do is serve Champagne super cold," he attests. "When frosty, Champagnes become shy and the personality is lost. (An inside tip is to take the Champagne out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before drinking.) And finally, remember, Champagne is meant to be shared among friends and family. It may do its own thing, but Krug Rosé was created, like all Krug Champagnes, with the philosophy of pleasure and conviviality.

—Simona Rabinovitch


Weekend Recommender: May 16-19

"Four Seasons" at The New York Botanical Gardens, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, and the Great GoogaMooga.

May 16, 2013

Selected work form "Four Seasons" by Philip Haas

"Four Seasons" by Philip Haas at The New York Botanical Garden
Opens Thursday, May 16
Spring blooms in style this weekend with the opening of a solo show by internationally-renowned contemporary artist Philip Haas. Titled "Four Seasons," this latest commission of The New York Botanical Garden’s art program consists of four 15-foot tall "portrait busts," one for each season. Inspired by Renaissance master Giuseppe Arcimboldo's series of the same name, the exhibition is on view through October 27. 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, 718-817-8700

Great GoogaMooga Celebrates Food and Music at Prospect Park
May 17 from 4 to 10 p.m., May 18-19 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Flaming Lips, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and De La Soul are just a few of the 20 musical acts performing in Prospect Park this weekend as part of the second annual Great GoogaMooga. In addition to music, three-day festival features food by 85 New York eateries, including The Meatball Shop, Salvation Taco, Umami Burger, Momofuku Milk Bar, Colicchio & Sons, as well as beer, wine, and cocktail "experiences." Plus, a special Culinary Masters program will present cooking demonstrations by chefs Daniel Boulud, Christopher Kostow, and Michelle Bernstein. While free general admission tickets are at capacity and $79.50 tickets to the VIP cocktail experience are sold out, tickets to the Friday night kickoff concert are still available for $54.50. Nethermead Meadow, Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Manhattan Cocktail Classic
May 17-21  
Cocktail culture abounds with more than 100 events taking place at various bars, restaurants, museums, galleries, and event spaces across the city, plus a trade conference for cocktail professionals. From Friday's opening night gala at The New York Public Library (featuring 25,000 cocktails) to a bevy of seminars, tastings, parties, and parings around town, and of course, the three-day Industry Invitational, this annual fiesta is all about the cocktail.   

—Simona Rabinovitch


Q&A: The Artist Behind 'Inside Out'

TED Prize-winner JR talks about his global art project and accompanying HBO documentary.

May 15, 2013

A new HBO documentary follows 2011 TED Prize-winning French artist JR as he creates and executes the world's largest participatory art project. Entitled Inside Out, the project's concept is simple: submit a photograph of yourself (or have one taken by the artist) and JR will print it into a massive black-and-white poster and send it back to you to post in your community, perhaps alongside other Inside Out posters. 

Over the past two years, more than 130,000 people from 100 plus countries have participated, pasting posters in places ranging from the Berlin Russian Embassy to the old city of Kabul, Afghanistan to Times Square. Interestingly, not only do the posters become pieces of art, sometimes, especially in politically unstable environments where the act can have dire consequences, they resonate as political statements of identity, and the joy of the human spirit. Here, we speak with the artist himself about the project and the accompanying documentary, Inside Out: The People's Art Project, which will air on HBO next Monday, May 20 at 9 p.m.  

Are you surprised at the level of participation this project has garnered?
JR: For 13 years I've been doing photos in communities and asking them to help. Slowly, I realized I could step back, to let them do the process completely. In Inside Out, I decided to really step over and be like, 'Now it's in your hands, you take the photo, you choose where you want to paste it, and I'm just sending you the poster.' I'm just the printer. And it's been a really incredible experience just to watch them expressing themselves on walls.

Why do you think people have been so compelled submit photos? 
JR: The interesting thing is, people do it for different reasons. In [one community in Park Slope] Brooklyn, the neighbors wanted to keep their corner store . . . They sent over photos, we sent them back, and then they pasted it on the steps in front of their house. They had a great article in The New York Times [where] they explained why they did that, and it had an impact on the community and on the shopkeeper.  

Does the documentary follow the project from start to present?
JR: The movie is following the whole process from the real beginning of the project. I knew the director, that's why I was like, 'Do you want to film that? I'm starting this project, but I have no idea what impact it might have, if it might work.' Because when you think of the idea at the beginning, it sounds kind of crazy: whoever wants, with no selection, and it's free to everyone. 

Did being the subject of a documentary affect the way you went about your work?
JR: I knew I needed to give a bit more of myself for that, to show how it's made and to go to some of the Inside Out places, where I normally don't like to go, because if you go there people think it's your project, and if you don't go, they really take complete ownership. Inside Out is just at the beginning, it's only two-years-old. This movie is coming out when the project is just starting, so it can grow and grow.

—Simona Rabinovitch


Dispatch: Met Gala Mania

Jeffrey Slonim chats with Madonna, Beyoncé, Anne Hathaway, and more.

May 15, 2013

Anne Hathaway and Valentino Garavani; Beyoncé at the 2013 Met Gala 

Gatsby at MoMA, Punk Style at the 2013 Met Gala 
The starriest New York party I ever attended was The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala benefit last Monday. But lets take it back 24 hours, to Sunday night, when Dispatches caught a screening of The Great Gatsby at The Museum of Modern Art. Host Quintessentially Lifestyle invited a flood of notables: Eve, Prabal Gurung, David Schwimmer.     

Carey Mulligan talked to Dispatches about director Baz Luhrmann's elaborate sets. “They’re amazingly helpful getting into character,” she said. Luhrmann himself noted that Leonardo DiCpario hooked him up with Jay-Z, one of the film's executive producers. “I told him my hip hop idea,” said Luhrmann. “And DiCaprio said, ‘Jay-Z is up at The Mercer, come meet him.’” Jay-Z happened to be working on a song when the trio met up—a song which ended up on the film's soundtrack. 

On to Monday: The Met Gala was a real life 2013 update of a Gastby fête (multiplied by 100)—with punk styling. Held in celebration of the new exhibit "Punk: Chaos to Couture," the gala was hosted by Anna Wintour and Vogue. Co-host Rooney Mara arrived in a sheer zipped-down gown with Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci on her arm. “I’ve been dressing people I respect,” said Tisci. “And I’ve been working with Rooney and my gang very closely, to make a second skin.”      

Fellow designer Tom Ford dressed in a classic tux, but the Mudd Club regular mentioned that his punk moment was New Wave. And I was jealous of Amare Stoudemire, because Calvin Klein loaned him a thin black leather tie, something I'd been hunting for all week.  

Karolina Kurkova wore tons of first nuckle gold rings, one of which slipped off. She doubled back to Dispatches' spot on the carpet (while I was talking to Katie Holmes, also in Calvin Klein) searching for the lost bauble.  

Madonna; Rooney Mara and Riccardo Tisci at the 2013 Met Gala 

Zac Posen designed what he called a “mean and green” dress for Uma Thurman. “We both have punk inside us,” he offered. But Posen may have accidentally punked Thurman with the low cut of her dress. 

The big names just didn’t stop arriving: Tiger Woods, Jennifer Lopez, my head couldn’t even bother turning for Kristen Stewart—although mobs of fans across Fifth Avenue were shrieking.    

Kate Beckinsale wore Alberta Ferretti. “We went for rich punk,” she joked. And Hilaria Baldwin, dressed in Carmen Marc Valvo, said that she and fellow expectant mom Kim Kardashian bumped bellies when they hugged.

I took a deep breath from the heady celeb action; then Anne Hathaway and Valentino Garavani extended a cheery welcome. "I created this dress in 1992," said Valentino of Hathaway’s gown. She said she asked him if he’d ever done punk, and he said, “I don’t think so.”    

Miranda Kerr had sharp silver spikes sticking out of the side of her purse. And not to be outdone, Sarah Jessica Parker wore a Philip Treacy mohawk headpiece. Vogue’s Hamish Bowles was her date. “Hamish has the after-afterparty to go to,” kidded SJP.   

Beyoncé’s Givenchy boots laced way up her calves. I asked if Jay-Z had helped her tie them. “Jay is out of town!” she cried out, exasperated.   

“Punk means not caring what people think [and] enjoying who I am!” said Madonna, who summed up how she was able to look hip in a short dress with a cross hanging from her ass on a chain in one word: "'tude." This gala was a ball. 

Joseph Altuzarra at the New York City Ballet Spring Opening Night Gala; Chris Pine at the Star Trek Into Darkness premiere 

Baz Luhrmann Talks Met Gala, New York City Ballet Fêtes Spring Opening Night 
And on Tuesday, believe it or not, The Cinema Society and Town & Country magazine hosted yet another screening of The Great Gatsby. Lady Gaga and beau Taylor Kinney snuck in just before the film ran. She had long, straight blonde hair, a black dress, and big shoulders.

I chatted with Baz Luhrmann for 20 minutes, mostly about the previous night's Met Gala. “For me it was just the image of Rooney Mara in the punk look shaking everyone’s hands in the receiving line, very formally, with all the punk models running down the stairs,” he said. Luhrmann also said that he’d dreamed up the idea to do the film while traveling aboard the Orient-Express, drinking wine, and listening to The Great Gastby on Books on Tape.  

As I had already seen the picture, I snuck off to designer (and collector) Jean Pigozzi’s apartment for the launch of his LimoLand swimwear for Barneys. Designed by Ettore Sottsass, the apartment is filled with Pigozzi’s collection of Japanese and African art. As for the swimwear, boat and airplane prints are inspired by the designer's friends' yachts and private planes. Loved that.      

Then on Wednesday, designer Joseph Altuzarra debuted costumes that he created for the New York City Ballet at its Opening Night Spring Gala. Vacheron Constantin, the Swiss watch company, circa 1755, sponsored the event. “I'm wearing Band of Outsiders,” Altuzarra told Dispatches. “This freed me to do things I wouldn't normally,” he said of working with the Ballet. “It felt amazing!”   

The next night, at the New York debut of Star Trek Into Darkness, Chris Pine let it slip that if asked he will play Captain Kirk yet again, “Whether I’m up for it or not,” he said, “I’m contractually obligated, but I can’t wait!” A thousand Trekies screamed as he signed autographs.     

After Star Trek, I raced over to author Alexandra Lebenthal’s stately pad for the launch of her sister Claudia’s new website, Style of Sport. At the door, I told designer Bibhu Mohapatra (nice guy) how great Alexandra had looked in his gown at the Ballet's opening night.     

For more entertainment and society news, visit jeffreyslonim.com or follow @JeffreyJSlo on Twitter


Jeff Koons Debuts New Work at Gagosian Gallery

The anticipated solo show features some new paintings and sculptures.

May 15, 2013

New works by New York contemporary artist Jeff Koons are among the highlights of the artist's anticipated solo show at Gagosian New York. Running through June 29, the exhibition features paintings and sculptures that, together, represent a sampling of the Koons' major bodies of work.

Since his first solo show in 1980, Koons' conceptual constructs have spanned the spectrum of literal to Baroque. Whether his work finds inspiration in comic book characters, classical art, or iconic pop culture figures, recurring themes include innocence, beauty, sexuality, and happiness.

Among the works being shown at the new exhibition are Koons' Antiquity paintings. Against a highly detailed backdrop (ranging from expressionistic abstraction to an Arcadian vision), each scene features an oil painting rendering of a famous ancient or classical sculpture, symbolizing love, ardor, potency, or fertility. Surrounding this central image are paintings of other figurines, figures sourced from popular culture. The Antiquity series also includes two "Venus" sculptures made from mirror-polished stainless steel.

Consisting of paintings, precision-machined bronze sculptures, and granite monoliths inspired by inflatable toys and cartoons, the Hulk Elvis series is sure to be another exhibition treat. The eight-foot tall black granite Gorilla sculpture, for example, is based on a toy that Koons bought from a vending machine at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Finally, three new mesmerizing, large-scale sculptures, Balloon Swan (Blue), Balloon Rabbit (Yellow), and Balloon Monkey (Red), sit in dialogue for Koons' Celebration series, which is inspired by childlike consciousness. Sounds like a dreamland worth visiting. 555 West 24th St., 212-741-1111

—Simona Rabinovitch


La Palina Launches Limited Edition Cigar

The Goldie Laguito No. 5 is named after the company's matron and rolled by Cuba's first female cigar roller.

May 15, 2013

La Palina Goldie Laguito No. 5 

Meet the Goldie Laguito No. 5, the latest cigar from luxury cigar brand La Palina. Limited to 2,500 numbered boxes, the cigar is named after Goldie Drell Paley, wife of La Palina founder Samuel Paley, and celebrates women in the cigar industry. As such, the Goldie Laguito No. 5 is produced at Miami's El Titan de Bronze factory by master roller Maria Sierra. As one of the very first women trained to roll cigars in Cuba, Sierra's 32 year career includes training by Fidel Castro’s personal cigar roller.

“Whether experienced alone, or in the company of old friends or new acquaintances, smoking a cigar is a supremely pleasant gift to oneself,” says Bill Paley, who relaunched La Palina in 2010 and is excited to introduce the new Goldie Laguito No. 5. And Paley knows of what he speaks—he is, after all, the grandson of Samuel Paley. “The first thing that one experiences with a cigar is how it looks. A cigar, like fine food, should excite the consumer visually. It should promise the smoker a sensual event. The color, whether dark rich brown or black, light tan, or rosy, should communicate the essence of the product within.”

From the cigar's look to how it feels in the hand to, of course, the “cutting of the cigar,” and then, Paley explains, the “dry draw,” in which the cigar is placed between the lips and cool air is brought through and tasted, every moment of the ritual is part of the experience. On taste, Paley instructs that “the tongue is sensitive to four tastes: sweet, bitter, acidic, and salt.” The balance of these elements is the cigar maker’s most important task. And with Sierra attending to the new Goldie Laguito No. 5, a harmonious mix is ensured.

—Simona Rabinovitch


Spring at The Lambs Club; NYC 4 Boston at Porter House New York

Plus: the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, a Portuguese seafood boil at Louro, and more food news.

May 14, 2013

Roasted beets with fromage blanc, watercress and blis elixir at The Lambs Club

New Spring Menu at The Lambs Club: Geoffrey Zakarian’s The Lambs Club has a new spring menu that, like the restaurant itself, is both classic and elegant. Try the house-made spaghetti with Maryland blue crab, black trumpet mushrooms, chili flake, and fish roe. Also perfect for the warmer months ahead is the roasted Chatham cod with artichokes, polenta, Castelvetrano olives, crispy garlic, and grilled ramp vinaigrette. “We really tried to creatively embrace the spring products in two ways: one, simply served by themselves with a minimum of fuss, and second, married to an appropriate dish or protein to really highlight the creativity of the chefs involved,” says Zakarian.132 West 44th St., 212-997-5262

NYC 4 Boston at Porter House New York: On Wednesday, May 15, chef Michael Lomonaco invites New Yorkers to help raise funds for The One Fund Boston. Dine at Porter House New York or Center Bar and ten percent of your tab will go straight to the cause. Part of a citywide NYC 4 Boston campaign, other nearby spots, including the Stone Rose Lounge and Epicerie Boulud, will also take part in the fundraiser on this night. 10 Columbus Cir., 212-823-9500

Portuguese Seafood Boil at Louro: Chef Dave Santos (an alum of kitchens at Per Se and Bouley) has quietly made his restaurant Louro a gem in the West Village. A new spring menu and a Monday night "Nossa Mesa" supper club add to to the draw. At the supper club ($55-$75, BYO), expect everything from guest chefs to a Portuguese seafood boil on May 28.142 West 10th St., 212-206-0606

Women's Speed Rack National Finals: Top female mixologists take center stage at the Speed Rack National Finals on May 16 at Element Night Club. They’ll be competing shaker-to-shaker to see who can make the tastiest Negroni or Tom Collins in the shortest amount of time. Tickets, $30 in advance or $35 at the door, get you drinks and bites beginning at 6 p.m. The competition is also helping raise funds for breast cancer research. [Tickets225 East Houston St.

Manhattan Cocktail Classic Kickoff Gala: With a slew of events, lectures, and both parties and afterparties, this five-day event kicks off on May 17 with a hugely popular gala at The New York Public Library in Bryant Park. While many of the Classic's events have sold out, some tickets are still available. [Tickets]  


Around The Web
Aspen Peak Magazine Austin Way Magazine Boston Common Magazine Capitol File Magazine Gotham Magazine Hamptons Magazine Los Angeles Confidential Michigan Avenue Magazine Ocean Drive Magazine Philadelphia Style Magazine Vegas Magazine