BBQ Ribs & Board Games: Blue Ribbon’s Beer Garden Opens Today In LES

Could it be? A beer garden is now open that offers baby back ribs, cornbread, ping-pong, and board games – and it’s in Manhattan?  Dreams come true, and its the lauded Blue Ribbon team who’s making it happen with tonight’s grand opening of Blue Ribbon’s Beer Garden, right outside the Thompson LES. Just shimmy through the Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya to the terrace, and you’ve arrived. 

The same folks who’ve brought us truffle honey sauce-dipped fried chicken & bone marrow at 2am are expanding their deliciousness repertoire with Americana summertime BBQ-inspired dishes, Belgium and Brooklyn beers, and carafes of wine. All the BBQ hen, black-eyed pea salads, coleslaw, grilled veggies, and boiled peanuts will trick you into thinking you’re in Mississippi, on a patio somewhere near a sprawling plantation. But don’t feel fooled. You’re in NY, kid. And you better love it.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here

Witnessing Arlington Club’s Laurent Tourondel & Paul Goldstein Respond To NYT Review

While the steakhouse remains a particularly American concept, nothing’s more enjoyable than the sound of a Frenchman saying “piece of boeuf.” And though the pairing of chef Laurent Tourondel’s steakhouse variation with a punch of TAO Group atmosphere is less than conventional, it seems more than a good idea. Arlington Club, which opened last fall, has already made itself necessary; it’s a fine-dining spot on the Upper East Side with the energy to push past a nine o’clock bedtime.

The high-ceilinged, vaguely steampunky dining room lends itself to a party more than Maloney & Porcelli’s equestrian portrait hall, but conversation dictates the volume; there’s no Rihanna-fueled dancing on tables a-la sister properties TAO and Lavo. But the front bar is buzzing enough to have a waiting list of its own, and greeting one’s neighboring table is common practice.

The menu, which still features a 28-day dry-aged New York Strip and filet, has a pretty loose adherence to steakhouse orthodoxy. The two cuts that come most recommended—a cote du boeuf (for two) and an American Wagyu skirt steak—are abutted by seven available sauces. The macaroni and cheese comes as a ramekin of rigatoni noodles, stood on end like soldiers and crusted on top (with a crème brule torch?). The meal starts with a bowl of hot popovers, cheese-crusted on top, and just-baked on the inside. Old-school touches, like Brooklyn-gassed seltzer bottles and halved pickles, trade off with more novel steakhouse offerings. For example, they’re doing brunch.

But so far, the only sticking point has been the presence of sushi in the top corner of the menu (the main roll is an Osaka-style spicy tuna with Sriracha). But as critics scrunch their noses, the chef contends they’ve barely kept up with the demand from guests. That’s not to say the reviews don’t matter—Tourondel’s BLT restaurants and LT Burger have garnered him an esteemed reputation among critics over the years.

And when I sat down with Tourondel and TAO Group partner Paul Goldstein last week, their publicists were compulsively tapping their phones to refresh the New York Times Dining page. Halfway through this interview, Pete Wells’ piece went up. Wait for it.

You started cooking in the French Navy, but did they train you as an infantryman?
Laurent Tourondel: Yeah, I’m a sniper.

Really?
LT: No, I’m joking. But I was in France—I was in a hotel, actually. They put me at the private hotel of the Admiral. So we were, like, fifteen [of us] inside the private hotel of the Admiral, clueless about the Army, clueless about the Navy. And one day we receive a phone call from the base. And they say someone’s going to attack the Admiral’s house, and it’s going to be an aircraft carrier from America. So the Marines, they attack the house. And in something like three minutes and fifty seconds, they tied me up, tied the guy up. And we were like, what are you guys doing? We’re not here to do war! But it was an exercise. Someone had told us there was going to be an exercise, but we didn’t know when, it was very vague.

Is the steakhouse a uniquely American thing?
LT: Definitely, I don’t think there is any other meat-specializing restaurant around the world.

Then what drew you to steak and burgers?
LT: Well, it was not really French cooking, so for me it was something different to explore. I like learning different things so, you know, it was a big challenge for me to make it successful. You know, I’m a big fan of this meat—the American beef.

Do you have strong opinions about which cuts you like and which ones you don’t?
LT: Very much so. If you come to eat and you ask me, I’ll tell you, I dis-recommend a porterhouse. I will recommend you a skirt steak, I will recommend you a good New York steak because here, we actually have an amazing New York steak. It’s prime, top quality beef.

There are a handful of steak sauces on the menu. Is that something that gets the thumbs-up?
LT: Yeah, I think it’s good to give people options. It’s part of the sharing process at the table, and sharing is what we oriented this restaurant around. It’s very much about the center of the table—everybody shares.

Is Arlington Club looking to build an atmosphere similar to Lavo and Tao?
Paul Goldstein: It’s a bit toned down. We go into every one of our properties with a vision, but we also just go with it. Lavo wasn’t meant to be this dancing-on-tables-and-chairs party atmosphere, but it just kind of played out like that, and it worked. And we thought Arlington Club was going to be a little bit more fine dining than any of our other restaurants, and it is. But we’re getting a fun crowd, which is creating a little bit of a buzz. You know, at a point we thought it would be fine dining, and now it’s just more fun dining. We get that earlier crowd that likes that fine dining, and then 7:30pm, 8pm, it turns into the Upper East Side who’s who.

How have you managed to be successful at bringing in crowds late at night in this neighborhood?
PG: We create a buzz. It’s turned into a little bit of a destination spot for the downtown crowd.

So people are coming up?
PG: Some people are coming up—I think it’s more of the downtown crowd that lives uptown, that doesn’t want to go downtown. I heard a story about Blue Ribbon—when they started Blue Ribbon, it was dead. And they were like, we got to push it, we got to stay with it, we want to be that late-night spot. And two, three years into it, the chefs started coming, people started hearing about it being a late-night spot, and it’s now obviously what it is today, packed ’til four, five o’clock in the morning every single night. And that’s kind of something that we always think about. If we keep on pushing it, and keep on pushing it, we’ll eventually be able to get that crowd.

Is it difficult to get through that three-year period before you wind up where you really want to be? Is there the threat of things shutting down before you get there?
PG: Fortunately, you know, we’re there. I don’t want to be, um . . . I just think that we have a decent reputation for creating a bar scene, creating a little bit of a vibe. And we’re getting it. Guests like coming in later.

LT:It’s amazing to me because I had a restaurant on 77th street, and we used to do early seatings. But last night, it was like ten o’clock, and we had, I don’t know, seventy people that just sat down. It was crazy, you know?

And that’s not something you’ve experienced before?
LT: Not in this neighborhood, no.

PG: (to his publicist) Did it come out?

Publicist: We’re being told that, yes.

PG: And?

Publicist: Opening it. 2 stars.

(A moment later, applause erupted from the kitchen. Pete Wells gave the restaurant a great review overall, pointing to the sushi as the one awkward mistake, and diagnosing an “identity crisis” based on the deviations from standard steakhouse food and atmosphere).

PG: He loves that. The whole “identity crisis” thing.

Well, what was the inspiration for combining sushi with a more traditional steakhouse menu?
LT: You know, I think what we wanted to do was provide a different kind of appetizer. So instead of, you know, the typical crab cake you have on every steakhouse menu. We still have it here, but we modernize it a little bit.

At this point in your career, do you still get nervous and excited about reviews?
LT: It’s funny, I didn’t think about it today until [our publicists] came, like an hour ago. I’ve been rated probably eight times, ten times, I don’t know. Three times I’ve gotten a three star, bunch of times two stars. We have to pay attention to it because our clientele around here is very much the Upper East Side, and they read the New York Times everyday.

PG:This will help where we need help. This will help the five o’clock seating. Restaurants in New York, they’re busy from seven-thirty to nine. That doesn’t impress us. To be busy at five-thirty? That’s impressive. To be busy at eleven-thirty? That’s impressive. And the crowd up here, they go to good restaurants, and they go at five-thirty. And two stars—that’s a great restaurant. I know it’s two out of four, and some people would say it’s fifty percent, or whatever, but two stars for the style of service we have is top-notch.

What does the vibe become at 11 o’clock at night?
PG:A lot of chatter, a lot of talking. This table getting and up and saying hi to that table, tables combining. We never raise the volume of the music higher than the noise of the guests speaking. Whereas in our other restaurants, as the volume of the guests’ speaking raises, we raise the volume of the music to kind of, you know, add fuel to the fire. Whereas here, as the volume of the guests go up, we actually lower the music and let that be the atmosphere.

I don’t often think of steakhouses as being brunch restaurants, but you guys have it.
LT: It’s a good point. But besides being a steakhouse, we’re also a neighborhood restaurant. And I don’t think there’s much going on around these couple blocks at the time of brunch, so we could be really busy, doing maybe a late brunch, with some great drinks. Maybe more family oriented, you know, on Sunday.

PG: The partnership that we have, although it’s the first, I think it’s really worked out. It’s taught me a lot. He deals with the back of the house, and they let us do what we do at the front of the house.

MONDAY FUNDAY: Tonight’s Top NYC Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. We get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And we’re here to honor them. Here are tonight’s top events.

Eat something fried & delicious:
Celebrate the third night of Hanukkah by honoring that beautiful fried potato pancake at the Fourth Annual Latke Festival at BAM. Chefs from favorite Brooklyn and New York restaurants – like Blue Ribbon, The Vanderbilt, Balaboosta, Veselka, and A Voce – will fry up and compete for the coveted top latke award. For a $55 ticket, you get to eat the winning latkes and jelly doughnuts from Dough, and drink beer, wine, coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company, and kombucha from Kombucha Brooklyn.  It’s Brooklyn, b%#%@. 6:30pm, $55 at BAM. For tickets, call BAM at 718-636-4100.

Hear something deep & brooding:
Get existential and transported to communist Russia at East Village red-swathed literary den KGB, where their longtime poetry night debuts aspiring and surprisingly prolific and lauded authors. Tonight marks the season finale of readings by Mark Strand, former Poet Laureate of the US, and published author Malachi Black. Damn. Grab one of KGB’s famous $7, big bottles of Baltika beer – that beloved Eastern European brand that’s hard to find anywhere but in this second-floor, Russian dive – and get ready for some brooding and wordy seduction. Poetry night starts at 7pm, every Monday. All the details here.

Watch something disturbing and sexual:
We all love a good confession, especially when it involves a half-naked, excessively good-looking human being confessing from the get-go that he’s, since the age of six, “enjoyed a rather delightful sexual relationship” with his father. Which brings us to tonight’s event: an autobiographical play by Cuban writer-director-producer Michelangelo Alasa called Confessions of a Cuban Sex Addict. But since tickets are free – and this show is riddled with actors, smoke, smoking-hot actors, and incest – reservations are highly required and tickets are scarce. Show runs tonight and next Monday, 8pm, at the Duo Multicultural Arts Center. All the details here.

Be on the radio & meet sexpert Dr. Ruth:
NPR’S most puzzling show Ask Me Another” comes to Brooklyn’s beloved and intimate events space The Bell House, where the show will be live-taped – and you can be too. Get quizzed by the trivia-and-brainteasers-centric show’s host Ophira Eisenberg, meet tonight’s special guest & sexpert Dr. Ruth , and maybe even end up in the contestant’s chair, facing trivia games customized specifically for you. This show is so intimate, it’ll trick you into thinking you’re at a game night in your friend’s cramped and messy living room – until your buddy tells you the next day, “Hey! I heard you mess up on the radio!” Show starts at 7:30pm, $10, at The Bell House. All the details here.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

For the Love of Latkes

Latkes are to Hanukkah, as pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving—you have to have it. Nowadays chefs and home cooks have spruced up the classic potato pancake, and you can find versions of them with horseradish, caviar, and jalapenos. And for the ultimate latke showdown, head to the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Monday, December 10 for the Fourth Annual Latke Festival at 6:30pm.

There, over a dozen restaurants including A Voce, Balaboosta, Blue Ribbon, The Vanderbilt, and more, will compete for the title of latke master or mistress (yes, I made that title up). Naturally, the Sussman brothers will also be vying for the championship, which, based on the few times I have tried Eli Sussman’s version, I think they have a good chance. For $55 you can experience the fun, as well as nibble on the classic pancakes, mini bialys from Hot Bread Kitchen, sufganiyot, otherwise known as jelly doughnuts, from Dough, and drink He’Brew beer and coffee from Brooklyn Roasting company. The latke magic lasts until 9pm, and a part of the proceeds go to The Sylvia Center.

Also, on Thursday, December 13 at 7pm, the 92Y is celebrating their Fifth Annual Beer + Latkes Hanukkah Celebration. For $22, sample the festive pancakes, sip beer, and spin a dreidel or two. If you want to go judge latkes on your own, try Kutsher’s Tribeca, which tops theirs with caviar On their Hanukkah menu (December 8 though 16), Toloache offers a Mexican version with jalapeno and tomatillo-apple salsa, and the Jewish-Canadian deli Mile End makes them now, and all year round.

My $500 Blind Date For Charity

Last night I went on a blind date that Steve Lewis put together. By put together, I mean he came up with the awesome idea of entering me, his editor, into an auction benefitting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and plotting and writing about the date and highest bidder in his column. The moment he declared this to the world in a post, my stock instantly went up 500 points which, in the high-stakes bidding world means $500.

So last night, the moment finally arrived when I would meet my generous suitor: Craig Clemens, a worldly, smart, modest guy who, quite shockingly, was not a serial killer. I was thrilled. The place: the Helen Hayes Theatre to see Rock of Ages, the ‘80s rock Broadway musical full of sex and yelling and beer and amazingly toned abs. We had a ball, talked during intermission about our life’s pursuits, and hopped in a Uber ride that arrived the moment the grand finale of “Don’t Stop Believing” came to its end.

Our next destination: Hotel Chantelle, where Craig finally met Steve Lewis. Despite my deep love for and closeness to Steve, I will forever refer to him as the full “Steve Lewis,” because he is a man deserving of a grand title and everything good in the world. Craig and Steve hit it off over a bottle of delicious Beau Joie Champagne which only I drank because 1. Craig is on his annual 30-day cleanse, God help him and 2. Steve gets drunk from three sips and this is a fact. So I got tipsy pretty quickly, which happened at the perfect time for a female knife swallower – one of the acts at Hotel Chantelle’s beloved The Love Show, a variety/burlesque show full of over-talented performers – to take to the stage and ask for an assistant. But being the business-savvy, considerate NY woman she is, she’d only hand over the position to the person who would hand over the most amount of money to donate toward the Hurricane Sandy relief. So Steve and Craig pitched in, Craig walked up to the woman, handed her the money, and pointed directly at me, the alleged “benefactor.”

So she lead me up on stage and did the requisite “What’s your name? Say it into the mic” routine, all while Steve Lewis yelled from the black, “THEY’RE ON A BLIND DATE THEY’RE ON A BLIND DATE.” Within three minutes, she had an entire 12-inch knife down her throat and me pulling it out of her. I credit Beau Joie for this hyperventilation-free moment.

After this, Steve Lewis started DJing some tunes that made the crowd go absolutely nuts, and Craig and I looked on with pride, like a mother with her child, or maybe that was just me. Craig suggested we get some food, so we left and headed to our next destination: Blue Ribbon. By 2am, we were devouring their best dishes – the bone marrow and fried chicken – alongside some spicy fish soup. The conversation very easily continued, but I can’t tell you what it was because my brain shut down after my first bite of chicken wing dipped in truffle honey sauce. Now I have lost my place.

Anyway, we walked out, I hailed a cab, and we talked about going to a party Steve Lewis is hosting at an undisclosed location next Thursday night. It involves six ballrooms. Craig and I hugged, and I was in bed by 3am, thanking Beau Joie for having no added sugar so I have a guaranteed no-headache situation today.

Yes, I did text him today and thanked him for bidding and being such a cool guy and not a serial killer. He said that while he had a blast, even Ted Bundy probably came across as cool at first, which is a good point. So the jury is still out on this one. To be decided at a later date.

Will Live Music Make Renaissance Hotels Cool?

Remember when Renaissance Hotels unveiled that fierce ad campaign about two years ago, indicating an equally fierce comeback? The ads were modeled on Renaissance-era paintings (think Botticelli) with a more modern, sexed-up appeal. But then Renaissance seemed to go the way of Da Vinci’s flying machines. Blame it on the recession. Anyway, Renaissance is back off the ground. Not only did they redesign the guestrooms and lobby spaces of several hotels, they partnered with Blue Ribbon restaurants for new culinary endeavors. Their latest initiative? Lure guests with live music.

In an attempt to prove to the general public that they’re “in the know,” Renaissance Hotels launched RLife LIVE, a large entertainment/culture platform dedicated to the world of design, entertainment, the culinary arts, and more. Last week, they introduced RLife Live: Robin Thicke, Solange Knowles, and Samantha Ronson all performed at their launch event at Renaissance Times Square. Basically, they want their well-heeled, cultured guest staying with them again. Who can blame them?

The line-up for last week’s event hit a very diverse audience range (good strategy), and Renaissance has an eclectic fleet of emerging artists slated to perform throughout 2011. Some artists so far signed up for RLife LIVE include Robyn, ELEW, Eli Reed, Solange Knowles, K’NAAN, and Thievery Corporation. I’m sure a Renaissance CD is in the works. In any case, Renaissance is back in business, and I’m very, very curious to see what they churn out in the next year.

Blue Ribbon Sort of Opens in Times Square

Last night I went down memory lane, all the way back to the first date I ever had in New York City. The time is 2007, the spot is Blue Ribbon Bakery, the food is aged cheese—as is my date. But last night I wasn’t munching friend chicken at the quaint West Village haunt. Rather, I was perched in the middle of Times Square at the Renaissance Hotel enjoying the company of the Bromberg brothers themselves. Bruce and Eric Bromberg, the brothers behind the Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group (which includes Blue Ribbon Brasserie, Blue Ribbon Sushi, and Blue Ribbon Bakery Market, among others) held a private cocktail party at R bar to kick-off their plan to offer comfort cuisine at upscale Renaissance Hotels throughout North America. The chefs have teamed up with the Marriott chain’s culinary team to introduce a “Blue Ribbon Classics” menu, which will be available at 20 hotels in key cities starting this Fall. Upon hearing the news, I immediately questioned why they didn’t just go Vegas, or open up a Blue Ribbon in some touristy locale, but I didn’t have to wonder long. The boys pulled themselves away from the coterie at the Renaissance (foodie women treat all chefs like David Cassidy) to chat about why this partnership made sense to them.

After gorging on passed plates of pulled pork sliders, salmon, hummus, and pork rind nachos with the lovely Natasha Huang, the one-woman show behind NH Media, the bothers took over the mic to explain that they were going with Renaissance because they, too, were taking a trip down memory lane.

When they were young, they explained, their love of cooking took them on routine visits to the famous Stanford Court Hotel’s Fournou’s Ovens within one of San Francisco’s landmark hotels. The hotel is now restored and called the Stanford Court Renaissance San Francisco Hotel. They wanted to share their new “Blue Ribbon Classics” menu with the property, and saw it as an opportunity to reach other food lovers all over the country, including in cities like San Fran, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Austin.

I’m paraphrasing, because the speech was much more swoon-worthy. The boys created the menu to include twelve signature items, tailored specifically for Renaissance Hotel guests. The comfort food will also feature mini-versions of Blue Ribbon favorites, which will include:

Northern Fried Chicken Wings Manchego and Honey Toast Smoked Salmon Toast Grilled Cheese Panini BBQ Pork Sliders Fried Rock Shrimp

(Photo Via)

Nightlife To-Do List: This Week’s Events

Fashion Week is over, and with it, loads and loads of free booze. There are, however, a multitude of events on the agenda this week, some offering the promise of free and/or cheap drinks, some offering a fairly expensive brand of cool, and some offering reasons enough to try sneaking past the door without an invite: just like fashion week. While you’ll probably still be clamoring to get into Don Hill’s and the other venues that seemed destined for greatness this past week, these special events are worth crashing, dropping cash on, dropping by, or otherwise taking advantage of. And while you may not be able to see Courtney Love perform anytime soon, there are some insane shows scheduled for the music-lovers amongst us.

Monday Parties to Crash ● Barenjager Bartender Competition at Macao Trading Co. Skilled tenders compete from 7:00 to 10:00pm in the First Annual National “Fight for Your Honey” Barenjager Bartender Competition. The grand prize for these liquor slingers: a trip to the 2010 Oktoberfest in Germany. ● Swarovski Elements presents 22 Ways to Say Black at Phillips de Pury & Company from 7:00 to 10pm. Aside from the auction of 22 designer dresses for charity, peeping Carla Bruni would be reason enough to crash. ● It’s game night at Soho House! Play Candy Land, Yachtzee, and Jenga with other civilized folk at the members-only den. Ticketed Events ● Ne-Yo performs at Amnesia with DJ Bobby Trends. Admission is $30 ● NY Ministry of Rum Festival is happening from 5:30 to 9:00pm at Papilion Bistro. Drink and talk shop with other rum aficionados for $50. ● Alta Cucina hosts The Summer Kitchen, Panini and Gelato class. Date night alert—learn how to make authentic gelato, panini, and pizza at the Alta Cucina Epicurean Center. Parties for the People ● Sleigh Bells play Webster Hall at 8pm for a mere $8. You’d be crazy to miss this band for this price. ● Catch the Klaxons at Bowery Ballroom at 8pm for $20. ● The East Village’s White Noise is one of those awesome bars that closes its doors at 2am, but if you’re already safely inside, you can party all night (well, until 4am), which carries the connotation that anything goes. Pierre Stone and Ben Brunnemer DJ the Monday night “Fever” party: “that ol rock and roll and good people, no disco shit.” ● One of our all time favorites, Franco V, DJs along with Eli Dias at the Mondays @ Kenmare party.

Tuesday Parties to Crash ● Super-excited for the first US Scotch & Soda store opening in Soho at 274 Lafayette Street (and Prince). There will be complimentary beer, wine, and specialty cocktails by h.wood.tea, and music by Chairlift. Again, invite only, but at least take a stroll by. ● The Train & The Box New York celebrate their Spring/Summer 2011 collection with an after party with Paper Magazine at Avenue from 9:30 to 11:30pm with faves Matt&Maia DJing. ● Gansevoort Park Avenue hosts their official Opening Celebration party with The One Group, Michael Achenbaum of the Gansevoort Hotel Group, Jason Binn of Gotham magazine, and Steve Birkhold. ● Fulfill your dream of crashing a Martha Stewart party tonight in the jungle of the New York Botanical Garden at the reasonable hour of 5:30pm. Join Martha Stewart for an evening of mixology, and enjoy a champagne cocktail and herbal appetizers. At 7pm Martha will also share her secrets for growing and using herbs in delicious end-of-summer cocktails. Divine! Ticketed Events ● Showtime has their own rooftop, and for $25 you can enjoy unlimited cocktails from 6 to 8pm at Cassa Hotel and Residences. This will be the last hosted rooftop event by Showtime Original Series, so expect to rub shoulders with Showtime’s nearest and dearest. Parties for the People ● Disco Down is still happening at Happy Ending, and it’s still free booze from 11 to 12pm, and still no one is going? No, people are going. Michael T emailed My Open Bar to personally say that Disco Down is not dead: it’s been well and fine, and on the main floor of Happy Ending. ● Glasslands Gallery‘s weekly Black Majik Tuesday is pretty hip with the kids, thanks to badass local DJs and great bookers. Free vodka from 8 to 9pm on Tuesday nights helps with the hipness. ● Ra Ra Riot play Bowery Ballroom at 8pm for $20 admission. You should catch them now before their ticket price inevitably goes up, i.e.: the kids are talented. ● Pavement, yes that Pavement, hits Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield at 7pm for $38.50. As part of their reunion tour, they’ll be playing this spot all week.

Wednesday Parties to CrashBlue Ribbon hosts a bash in honor of their new partnership with Renaissance Hotels at the Renaissance Hotel Times Square. Taste the new “Classics Menu” from 6:30 to 8pm. Invite only, so crash with caution. ● IMPROVD opens their shop-in-shop installation with a cocktail party at Atrium from 7 to 9pm. Parties for the People ● Your new favorite band, AKA the Crocodiles, play Mercury Lounge at 7:30pm for $15. ● Bobo throws themselves a birthday bash complete with half-price cocktails and finger-foods from 7:30 to 12:00am.

Thursday Parties to Crash I dont know of any. Do you? Then comment below. Ticketed Events I dont know of any. Do you? Then comment below. Parties for the People ● Rock out to Simian Mobile Disco at Santos’ Party House. $10 is a steal for a sweaty good time of this caliber. Doors at 10pm. ● Gallery Bar rocks at their Mating Season Extreme party (whatever that means) with two floors of insanely awesome music: Dances With White Girls, DJ Messkid, and Jane Bang. Big draw: from 10 to 11pm, you can slam $1 tequila shots and $2 drafts. Then there’s a 2am open vodka bar. $3 cover, and snaps by The Culture of Me. ● If you missed Sleigh Bells earlier this week (for shame), you can see them open for LCD Soundsystem at the Wellmont Theater. It’s 35 clams and doors are at 7pm.

Industry Insiders: Wesley and Spencer Vultaggio, AriZona Tea Titans

First, AriZona Beverage scions Wesley and Spencer Vultaggio re-energized the iconic iced tea company their father Don started in Brooklyn eighteen years ago, making it a mainstay for thirsty Americans across the country. Now the Vultaggio boys, two hard working bon vivants with a taste for top tier nightlife—and burritos—are taking the company global along with a cadre of forward thinking pals and fresh ideas. First stop: Bali.

Point of origin: We both lived and breathed the business since we were little kids. Our dad’s very old school. He doesn’t believe in giving anyone a free ride. You have to learn how to drive a fork lift in this family or you’re not a real man—going on the truck with the sales people, working in the warehouses, the whole gamut. We learned the whole business over the years, from the ground up.

Wesley, AriZona Beverages creative director, on re-energizing the brand: “I started in 2004 full time and tried to get the company to modernize a little bit. My father is this amazing marketing genius but he doesn’t have a computer, doesn’t have email. My first project was to overhaul the website, which was nonexistent, in order to reach out to the audience we’ve amassed over the past 18 years since the company was started in Brooklyn.

On liquid remedies: We take great pride in the quality of our beverages. For the newest line, AriZona Rescue Water, we partnered with Twin Labs. We use real-deal vitamins from a national brand as opposed to other vitamin waters that use generic vitamins that you don’t really know where they come from. They really do help with a hangover!

Wesley, on hospitality ventures: I opened up Cain with some friends after college—with Jamie Mullholland, Jayma Cardosa and the crew, which was the hottest spot in the city for a while. Then we opened up GoldBar. A few years ago I partnered with some other friends from college and opened the restaurant Charles.

Spencer, AriZona’s Director of Brand Development, on burrito expertise: I’m hooked on Torrisi. The eggplant parm sandwiches are to die for. Sticking to Soho, I just had a burrito from Calexico the other day. Delicious. I’m a burrito connoisseur. I’m working on a burrito restaurant. We’re looking for space right now in New York, though it was inspired by a place in Boston where I went to college.

Welsey, on beating the hundred layer lasagna: I’ve been going to the Boom Boom Room quite a bit. Kenmare is good and it’s in my hood, Soho. I’ve been sticking to my hood lately. Raoul’s and Blue Ribbon are some of my staples. Lure on Mercer is a hidden gem; the burger’s amazing. Last night I went to Del Posto for their hundred-layer lasagna. A little over-hyped. And it was actually not enough! I ordered two orders of it. When it came out I thought, is this really it?

Spencer, on George Lopez: Information spreads like wildfire now. George Lopez made a comment on Twitter, ‘I went to buy an Arizona Iced Tea and they asked me for ID, so I bought horchata instead.’ So that got re-tweeted like I couldn’t believe and the next day I contacted him and said, ‘We’re born in Brooklyn since 1992, always been, and we’d like to send you some iced tea.’ The next day he actually apologized on Twitter, and everything got picked up by the media, so it actually worked out.

Wesley, on expansion beyond the US: One of our main focuses this year is international expansion. We’re in Canada and Mexico now, where we became the number one Iced Tea in less than two years, and now we’re moving into South America and Central America. Just this year we started to produce in Russia, the Netherlands, and Germany. We’re moving into Asia and looking for partners there. There are obviously tea drinkers there and they have very high standards of what tea should be. The international side is something we’re very excited about. Coming back from Japan, we stayed at the Bulgari hotel in Bali—just a different level. And the people are the nicest. That’s the spot. Of anywhere we’ve ever stayed, they really got it.

Photo: Patrick McMullan Company