Beaumarchais’ Jazz Series: Your New Tuesday Night Party

Tuesday nights are an enigma. Do we continue our gin-and-tonic-and-cocktails parade and devour a plate of tilapia tacos at Barrio Chino with a date from Tinder, or do we subscribe to an evening of Netflix and pad Thai-spring roll delivery? How about none of the above. At Brasserie Beaumarchais bi-monthly Tuesday Jazz Series, you get the relaxation of a night in with Netflix and the indulgence of a night out drinking martinis, eating seafood, and being among good-looking people for five-plus hours.

What you can expect at Beaumarchais: live, 1940s Parisian and bohemian music from swing-French jazz troop Avalon Jazz Band starting at 7pm, $5 wine and $10 cocktails during the 5:30pm-7:30pm Happy Hour, Parisian black-truffle gnocchi topped with parmesan,  grilled lamb chops with eggplant and goat cheese-filled cannelloni, and more cheesy, flaky, creamy bites.

And when you’ve finished lounging and feasting, go back even further in time and catch a late-night showing of the ’20s-era blockbuster The Great Gatsby. And by the time you’re done, try – just try to log in to Netflix. Chances are, you won’t remember how.

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Because Size Matters: The Vegas-Style Party Launches Tonight

Whether size matters in the bedroom is still under debate, but the size of a party in a nightclub? Oh, the bigger, the better. And one party in particular is as big as it gets: Magnum Mondays. You know, like the large-sized condom company. Tonight, the party – which first began at STK Vegas by The ONE Group – is launching at its resident NY spot: STK Downtown, a restaurant in Meatpacking known for its ribeye dipped in truffle butter and creamed spinach.

Unlike the sparkler-filled brunch parties at Beaumarchais and Bagatelle, Magnum Mondays offers dinner and a party on the first day of the workweek – officially extending the weekend spirit to a three-day, DJ-filled affair. Beginning weekly at 7pm, the dinner parties start with steaks and celebrity DJs, and end with STK’s signature ménage a trios carnival dessert: a threesome of caramel corn, cotton candy, and a mini funnel cake.

Tonight kicks off with celeb DJ Ross One, who’s DJed with Jay-Z and Kanye, and continues each week after with talents like D-Nice (DJd for Stevie Wonder) and R&B, hip-hop DJ Reach.

Now if you can just recover from Sunday’s revelries and make it to tonight’s. I think you can do it.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here

Boobs, Bubbles, and Beaumarchais

Most people know Beaumarchais for their wild brunch parties on the weekends that start soft and end up with dancing on the tables. Last night, though no one got higher than a chair, I was pleased to see Wednesdays are also hot, and that after 11pm, the swanky French restaurant turns into a mini nightclub.

This, of course, didn’t come on sporadically. The party fire was fueled by an unbelievably sexy and classy performance by a troop of burlesque dancers, courtesy of Dances of Vice, an entertainment and party organization run by vintage-goth Shien Lee. Every week these ladies tease the stage and audience with Nuit Blanche, their theme-based weekly show that runs from 9:30 to 11pm right in the middle of the dining room. This week we were treated to a Boardwalk Empire premise, flapper dresses, bee-stung lips, and feather boas included.

For guests it’s complimentary, though don’t be surprised if a foxy lady or two saunters over to your table, tassels shaking, and steals a kiss and sip of your Champaign. It’s all in good fun.

While your there, take a gander at the menu, the food, I was surprised to find, is actually high-class. True, executive chef David E Diaz makes dishes that are as exuberant as the space and vibe, but who doesn’t want to tuck into a plate of uber creamy gnocchi with truffle, a pot of lobster topped with caviar, or a classy crock of salmon tartare, roe included. Chase that down with their jalapeño-infused tequila cocktail, or a giant glass of Rioja, and you have got yourself a night to remember.

Photo by Ben Goldstein.

Happy Halloween. Now Eat and Drink Up!

No matter if you are a zombie, a binder full of women, some Marvel superhero, or a sexy what-have-you, there is no excuse not to enjoy eating and partaking in a tipple or eight during this spirit-filled holiday. We have already told you were to party, and Steve Lewis has intel on how he will spend his Halloween; now, here are some special snacks and drinks full of gore(geous) boo(ze).

First up, Richard Sandoval celebrates the dead with an all-night Halloween happy hour at his restaurant Zengo, which includes $8 cocktails, $5 small plates, and on the 31st if you wear a costume, you get a complimentary Witch’s Eye Cocktail. His midtown restaurant Pampano also gets down with the spirits, and from October 26 until November 1, you can try his Day of the Dead specials like the Chicken Tamale, Croquetas de Camote, and raise your own demons with the Flor de Muertos Margarita. Plus, on Halloween, they have $6 margaritas, wine, and mojiotos from 5pm to close. 

There is no time like the present to attend Sleep No More, the eerie, spirit-filled, interactive-play by Punchdrunk. What makes this Sleep No More performance even more enticing is the Carnival des Corbeaux, where they have added a circus bent to the festivities. Plus, starting tonight until the 31st, they have a “Yelloween” after party featuring Veuve Clicquot, an ancient and honorable champagne to go with what one day may be a classic performance. 

Starting Saturday, if you howl like a wolf at Edi & the Wolf, they will reward you with the bright red Wolf’s Blood cocktail, which is made with rye whiskey, Italian vermouth, blood orange liqueur and bitters. You can also enjoy “Tequilaween,” at Barrio 47. Here, feast on blood sausage, cow heart skewers, and sip their special Bloody Punch. DJs spin this Friday, Saturday and on the 31st. On Halloween alone, you can head to Beaumarchais for their epic party celebrating their namesake, author Pierre Beaumarchais, who wrote The Barber of Seville. Hence, they have The Demon Barber of Meatpacking feast featuring Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies and bloody drinks. 

Scared? You should be. If you managed to do all of this you will surly be one of the zombies stumbling to work on November 1, the Day of the Dead. Not that that should stop you.

Despite the Naysayers, It Was the Best Season Out East In Years

At the start of every season in the Hamptons a pall of despair, cast by bellwethers of doom, predicts that this will be the year it all falls apart. This will be the summer that the septic system in Montauk finally succumbs and fills Fort Pond with raw sewage. The year that the East Hampton Town Board pawns their power for a fat check from Ralph Lauren and absconds to Argentina. The year the piping plover finally falls victim to rising oceanfront real estate prices and cashes out of this world forever. And every season, Labor Day slips by with about as much ceremony as a wet fart, leaving locals slack-jawed and staring at each other with glazed eyes, like six-year-olds after a Pixy Stix binge. 

After breathless predictions that when the rising tide of excess, self importance, and big city ‘tude finally breaks the East End will be a desolate wasteland of empty Moët bottles, snapped stilettos, and the acrid smell of precision-engineered German rubber lingering over still-smoking patches in the westbound lanes of Route 27, one can almost hear the wah-wah of a muted trombone over the collective sigh of service and retail industry personnel headed to newly-deserted beaches with their pockets full of Benjamins. 
The Hamptons are embodied by hyperbole: big houses, big bank accounts, big events, and big personalities. Because of this, for the three months and change that the Hamptons are, well, the Hamptons, they personify everything we love to hate, and perhaps more tellingly, hate to love. These dour perennial premonitions stem from the fact that the Hamptons represent something special to everyone—whether it be as a home, an escape, a party, or another notch on the social ladder—and when it appears that something is about to change that sacred place we all hold dear in our collective unconscious, it kindles the irrational, almost xenophobic the-end-is-nigh fear that fosters overblown rants about zoning laws, the fluoridation of water, and insidious plots from the far right.
Truth be told, this season ranks as one of the best. After a few touch-and-go years, Montauk’s social scene emerged from its chrysalis as something far more fun, yet far less reckless, than the whistleblowers foretold. The Surf Lodge had a solid season with its summer concert series, with no repeat of the potential septic nightmares and stack of citations of last year. Montauk Beach House committed no heinous offences and certainly did not herald the undoing of the sleepy fishing village aura some in the town have tried so hard to preserve. We’re not about to embark on a discourse of the problems facing small scale commercial fisheries in this economy, but seriously, nobody is really complaining about having dingy and dying business give way to popular new sources of revenue, even if some visitors don’t know how to clean up after themselves. 
Moby Dick’s was a seriously chill, laid back spot that popped up this summer and somehow stayed somewhat under the radar, and when Swallow East finally went live, the place was a hit (the end of season employee party featured tattoo artists, and no one gets tattoos to commemorate an awful summer). And the first public incarnation of SUPERBURGER was an end-of-summer coup de grace. Trust us, we were there, glistening, greasy, fat, and happy, reveling in the August sunshine. Let’s not forget Momofuku: please, please come back next summer, we promise to eat so much pie.
Elsewhere, things were business as usual. Sag Harbor got a few new restaurants, the yachties kept doling out their owners’ loot on Main Street, chef Matthew Guiffrida found a new home with his restaurant Muse on the Harbor and David Lowenberg’s new venture The Bell and Anchor kept the North Haven celebrity quotient suitably stuffed. 
Heading south to Bridgehampton, the big news was that the Polo Classic toned down the spectacle, um, debacle, under the VIP tent into something that actually resembled a VIP tent and not a slightly damp, champagne fueled upscale bacchanalian frat party with a horse thing happening somewhere. 
With so much focus on Montauk, the two Hamptonian juggernauts—East Hampton and Southampton—were almost forgotten in the social media grist mill. Even though the venues change, it all really stays the same. Southampton Social Club kept things social, no big news there, and Nammos repping the luxe Mediterranean vibe in place of Nello’s made sure the Euro set had a place to spend 15 bucks on a beer.
Even in East Hampton, boozy brunches on Three Mile Harbor Road barely raised any eyebrows or tongue clucks from the village fun police and the jeroboams of rosé kept coming at Beaumarchais, but the real party, as revealed by the ladies at Guest of a Guest, was down at Indian Wells beach, where a week after their story ran, nervous nellies started reporting about nudity and people drinking hard alcohol on the beach. Well, um, that’s kind of what happens on a beach, in the summer, populated by young people who are mostly nude to begin with. What a shocker.
Now that another tumbleweed Tuesday has come and gone, plans for the postseason get underway.  The weeks after Labor Day aren’t quite like most people imagine, with sheets of plywood in short supply as business owners close shop and McMansions are locked down for the winter months. September is quite easily the best month to be out East, especially if you’ve been working the whole summer, you know, making hay while the sun shines. The ocean is as warm at it ever gets, the crowds are gone, and everything is on sale and up for grabs. It’s sort of an inside wink among those who slog, heads down, working through the summer months while the rest of the world is on vacation. Hotels have vacancy, tables are available for 7pm dinners almost everywhere, but it certainly isn’t desolate. It’s still the Hamptons, just a little bit more reasonable. It’s also far from over, the Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton has yet to open its doors, and we are interested in what Tom Colicchio will be putting on the menu.
So where does this leave us? New stores and restaurants have opened, Montauk’s nightlife scene turned it up to 11 (but was considerate enough to turn it back down after 2am) parties were had, charities funded, share houses shared, and at the end of it all, there were fewer tears (and code violations) than in years past. Despite the traffic, the crowds, and the near-record level of DUI traffic stops, the sanctity of the Hamptons has emerged intact. Thanks for a great season. Now leave us alone, we have a beach to enjoy. 
For a complete rundown of all the hotspots, check out the BlackBook Guide to the Hamptons

Go French! A Bastille Day to Celebrate

America had its birthday, now it’s the French expats’ turn to celebrate the storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution.Whether or not you like the French lifestyle, French food, or the French people in general, it’s a good excuse to continue the summer party and get your escargot quota in for the year with a week of French-themed events.

First up, get classic and classy with Michael Arenella & His Hot Eight band playing July 12 from 2 to 6pm in front of owner Georges Forgeois’ Cercle Rouge Brasserie in Tribeca. They will be offering games of petanque (which involves circles and balls), can-can dancing by The Love Show, and pommes frittes galore. Forgeois’ other bistro, Bar Tabac in Brooklyn, will also be celebrating on Sunday, July 15 starting at 11am with Pastis-laden drinks and croque monsieur. Of course, that’s not all for Cobble Hill, the whole block by Bar Tabac will be celebrating with music and the nation’s largest live petanque tournament.

Naturally, Beaumarchais in the Meatpacking will also be reveling in French independence on Saturday, July 14 by playing petanque to the beats of DJ Marco Peruzzi. For a mellower Saturday celebration on the Upper East Side, Brasserie Julien features dinner and jazz with Myriam Phiro from 7pm to 12am. Also on Saturday, Hotel Americano hosts a Bastille Day dinner by chef Thomas Boullault, which features his Presse de Homard appetizer, organic chicken with chanterelles, and his stripped bass dish, Bar de Ligne–all paired all paired with various bubbles by Billecart.

Of course, you can hit up the annual Bastille Day on 60th Street on Sunday, July 15 from 12 to 5pm. There not only will French goods being peddled, but you can fill up on crepes from Yorkville Creperie and other nibbles by Brasserie Cognac, Bel Ami Café, Rouge Tomate, and many others. Finally, if settling down for a French celebration on your own time is more your speed, make merry by heading to Astor Wines and Spirits and pick up a bottle of sparkling Cremant d’Alsace ($17.99) or change things up and try the Armagnac from Tariquet ($28.99). Grab some creamy Camembert or blue du Bocage and a baguette at Murray’s Cheese, it’s what the French would do.

Where to Eat, Drink, and Be Patriotic This Fourth of July

Time to don your red, white, and blue and settle into this country’s most exciting holiday. The weather is perfect, and when else does your boss condone drinking cold beer, eating a lot of barbecue, and chilling out in the middle of the week? Since all your friends have the day off, too, it’s like Saturday on a Wednesday_ plus fireworks.

For the party animal, check out the waterfront at Pier 92, where not only is there a killer view of the pyrotechnics, but you get to munch on southern goodies by Virgil’s Real Barbecue while DJs like Hook N Sling and Ken Loi provide fodder for dancing. Hosted by ARRIVAL NYC, the 12-hour rooftop-beach party starts at noon and features performances by Lil Jon, a tanning deck, and, aside from the tasty barbecue, they will have grub from food trucks too, including Cupcake Crew, Milk Truck, Souvlaki GR, and Valducci’s Pizza. Tickets are available here.

Another great view of the fireworks can be taken in at Hotel Chantelle, where this rooftop bar has a full on barbecue party going on starting at 1pm and running late. In Times Square at the Sky Room, $100 gets you a spot in the highest rooftop lounge in the city, plus five an open bar and picnic-themed nibbles like pigs-in-a-blanket, burgers, chicken fingers, and potato chips.

At Beaumarchais, they will be celebrating the Fourth of July with a cookout and brunch party that goes into the evening. For your eating pleasure, chef David E. Diaz will be grilling up specials like honey-glazed shrimp skewers, and, for your listening enjoyment, DJ Marco Peruzzi will be spinning all night. If you want a more sit down celebration, 508 GastroBrewery debuts their tantalizing sloppy Joe menu just in time for the fourth. Plus, the Hudson River is right around the corner, making firework viewing easy, that is, if you can get up after the meaty feast.

Across the East River in Brooklyn, the artsy group Secret Project Robot hosts their IndepenDance, a party and potluck from 3 to 9pm, which includes reggae and dub music spun by DJ Sweet V, Grace of Spades, and Queen Majesty. In case you are too lazy to make food, nearby you can pick up tacos at Taqueria El Fogon or go super lowbrow and order a bucket of fried chicken from Kennedy Fried Chicken and Pizza.

Of course, it Macy’s annual firework display doesn’t move you, forget trying to get above ground and head to Coney Island. During the day, you can root for your favorite professional eater at Nathan’s Famous July Fouth International Hot Dog-Eating Contest. Grab a sausage and fries yourself from their outlet and, as the sky turns dark, head to the Wonder Wheel and see all the glittering lights of the amusement park, plus a few stray fireworks to boot. Happy Birthday, America. 

The Three Faces of Beaumarchais

Behind every good bar and drink is a talented, charismatic, and profoundly good-looking bartender who steers you toward the most delicious, refreshing, (and potent) tipple they have to offer, sending you on your way to a very good night. At renowned weekend brunch and day club/ nightly dinner spot Beaumarchais, there are three: Giuseppe Cavallo, Adrien Lefort, and William Pacot.

Just like the French Riviera-inspired Beaumarchais itself is unique (where else can you experience the best weekend of your life in a matter of four hours, in one place?), so are these guys who have established such a following, they’ve garnered their own respective titles: The Entertainer, The Mixologist, and The Personality.

And with last week’s opening of Beaumarchais in East Hampton, and the New York location consistently packed with champagne, eggs Benedict, and people dancing on tables – it’s time we meet the guys who are behind it all.

Giuseppe Cavallo: The Entertainer

Specialty: Adding a touch of flair with your stiff drink
First trick learned: “How to throw a bottle behind my back.”
Best-received trick: “Whatever looks hard and theatrical. People don’t want to see something that looks easy.”
Brunch vs. Dinner: “Brunch is CRAZY. The atmosphere, people are going nuts. Flairing adds excitement to the day, keeps the energy up.”
Any accidents?: “It’s actually more common to accidentally hit someone than break a bottle! I rarely drop one but I have hit my fellow bartenders. While working in my hometown In Italy I accidentally missed a bottle and it hit my co-workers knee, hurt him pretty bad. Oops.”
Win any awards?: “I used to do a lot of competitions with Red Bull, Campari, and Sky Vodka- participating and hosting their competitions on the beaches in Italy. There’s a big subset of flair bartenders worldwide. Italy, France, London, and Vegas are big hotspots. New York’s is small in comparison.”
Partier or health nut?: “Hardcore partier, drinker, and I drive over the limit for fun! No, I am a vegan and avid rock climber and runner.”

Adrien Lefort: The Mixologist

Specialty: Creating, mixing, and shaking addictive cocktails
Most popular cocktails: “Martinis.”
The nightly routine: “People usually start with their favorite cocktail, switch to wine with the meal, then highball drinks (a mix of two products in a highball glass, ex. vodka soda). After they have finished their meal, they often move to shots, particularly during our “clubby” hours at brunch. Saturdays are good cocktail nights. We have a more refined crowd on Saturday nights.”
Least favorite drink to make: “Besides mojitos, which are universally hated by bartenders, nothing! It’s my job. I love it!
Never-fail drinks: "Passion fruit puree vodka shots or a shot of Don Julio.  For girls, passion fruit and Stoli Vanilla go well together, as well as a glass of white wine. For guys, a glass of red.”
Entered any contests?: “Three.  One of them was the Coupe Scott- a contest for bartenders under 27 years of age. I finished sixth. I won a trip to Scotland and visited the Glenfiddich distillery!”
Favorite drink: "Rum and coke."

William Pacot: The Personality

Specialty: Being so charismatic, you can’t help but order 10 drinks from him
Best job perk: “I can talk to a lawyer and then a construction guy but you can’t tell the difference because they are all dressed alike at Beaumarchais (blazers, nice shirts). That is cool! You don’t know someone’s background until you speak with them."
Least-enjoyable people: “Fake people. We’re all the same at the end of the day! The people who are extra friendly and fake at the bar when you are giving them drinks but then won’t say anything to you the next day when you cross the street- no one likes those people.”
What NOT to say to the bartender: “’What is that?’ or ‘I want the same.’ You don’t even know what’s in it! How do you know you want it?!”
The bar is like…: “My playground. It’s like a stage; you’re here, everyone is expecting something from you, and you can transfer your energy to the crowd in front of you.”
How to cut off an irritating guest: “Always with a big smile, so that they only have two options: leave or be quiet. Always be polite.”
Random fact: “I don’t like French fries served as a side, only as a snack, and my favorite food is pasta.”


Photo Courtesy of Angela Bruno Photography