Starting This Month, You’ll Be Able To Get A Tattoo At Saks

 

You can get everything at Saks: Gucci, Prada, McQueen, NARS, even younger labels like Sandy Liang. And now, apparently, tattoos.

Starting later this month, the iconic department store will be offering customers the chance to get inked in the window of their Lower Manhattan location. You know, their extravagant storefront displays? Well, now, that will be you – screaming in agony while you get your latest Sailor Jerry tat.

The idea came from celebrity colorist Joel Warren from The Salon Project, who will have a pop-up location inside Saks’ new concept floor, The Downtown Wellery. Much like the uptown store’s version (just called The Wellery), where customers can take fitness classes, get glam with limited edition beauty products and services, and treat themselves with a variety of spa options, the specialty space will be an immersive experience that’s curated more for Downtown tastes.

“I was looking for unique experiences to drive people into stores to get services and shop,” Warren told the New York Post.

So, he contacted Wass Stevens and Ethan Morgan from the Lower East Side’s Rivington Tattoo. A neighborhood staple that caters to celebrities and drunken cool kids after a night at Attaboy or The Ludlow Hotel, the shop will now have a home in the Saks window.

“It reminds me of the Christmas displays,” said Stevens of the collaboration. “Only when you walk by, you’ll see an old-school Victorian sitting room where people are getting live tattoos.”

When Andy Warhol Walked In… & Walked Out (His Diary Excerpt Inside)

This past Monday would have been Andy Warhol’s 84th birthday. It’s hard to imagine a world without Andy, and it’s hard to imagine Andy at 84. He hasn’t been replaced. The concept of "downtown,” of art-influenced clubbing, has never adjusted to his loss. Going back before "back in the day” for most of you, there was a scene that was led by the creative crowd. In my club days, I started each night with the concept of having my joint cool enough "in case Andy Warhol walked in.” It was the way I set my goals, got up for the game. On occasion, he would walk in.

I can’t think of a celebrity that would define the "cool" in this era. I guess club owners were fawning over Lindsay Lohan until recently, and at one point it was Paris Hilton. Of course Jersey Shore peeps or Kardashians or basketball stars bring excitement to the hoi polloi. Maybe Jay-Z or Beyonce are the pulse. An art star like Julian Schnabel is often seen at downtown spots. Although he carries impressive credentials, he doesn’t influence the thought process like Andy did. I thought Banksy might create a stir – until we got used to his face.

Andy charged up a room. Any gathering he attended was defined by his presence. He hobnobbed at Studio 54 with Bianca and Mick and Truman and Halston and Elizbeth Taylor, but then snuck south to Max’s Kansas City for Lou Reed, The Dolls, and his crew. The profound difference of celebrity back then and now mirrors the profound difference of VIP, then and now. Then, it was the wonderful, the creative, the style-influencers. Now, it’s all about the Benjamins.

Until a few weeks ago I would catch Taylor Meade’s act at the now-shuttered Bowery Poetry Club. Stories about Andy would drift into his act – one day disdaining Warhol, one day adoring him. Taylor is 87 now. He’s still brilliant but very frail. I don’t know if and when and where I will see his schtick again. I miss my weekly dose of his and Andy tales. Just before his death, Long Nguyen and I produced a fashion show for Kohshin Satoh at Tunnel. Andy, Miles Davis, and Devo’s Gerry Casales were the celebrity models. Andy was complaining about the place being cold, although it wasn’t. He looked ill, so we forgo him walking up and then down the steps from the dressing room he shared with Gerry. We put him on the ground floor with Miles. We weren’t being mean, but we couldn’t make him comfortable. He smiled and waved on the runway and no one in the audience suspected a thing. We knew he wasn’t himself and we found out later that he was sick and in pain. He died a few days later, on February 22, 1987.

Here’s Andy’s own recollection of the event at Tunnel, straight from his diary:

Tuesday, February 17, 1987:

…Then went over to the Tunnel and they gave us the best dressing room,but it was absolutely freezing. I had all my makeup with me. Miles Davis was there and he has absolute delicate fingers. They’re the same length as mine but half the width. I’d gone with Jean Michel last year to see his show at the Beacon, and I’d met him in the sixties at that store on Christopher Street, Hernando’s where we used to get leather pants. I reminded him that I’d met him there and he said he remembered. Miles is a clotheshorse. And we made a deal that we’d trade ten minutes of him playing music for me, for me doing his portrait. He gave me his address and a drawing-he draws while he gets his hair done. His hairdresser does the hair weaving, the extensions.

      They did a $5000 custom outfit for Miles with gold musical notes on it and everything, and they didn’t do a thing for me, they were so mean. They could’ve made me a gold palette or something. So I looked like the poor step child.and in the end they even(laughs) told me I walked to slow…

The Iron Chef Does American Comfort

What’s next for chef Morimoto, aka the original Iron Chef? As of last night, the Japanese culinary master opened his latest venture downtown not with his iconic sushi, but with the aim to serve up an Asian interpretation of classic American comfort food.

The new restaurant is called Tribeca Canvas, and under Morimoto’s guidance the kitchen plans to turn out bistro-style dishes including a macaroni and cheese dish with a poached egg on top, and lamb ragu steamed buns. He also does a bit of Japanese-French comfort food, which you can experience in the Escargot Takoyaki, a take on the ball-shaped Japanese treat that, instead of shrimp or pork, gets stuffed with a delicate snail, herb butter, and dollop of kewpie mayonnaise.

Thomas Schoos of Schoos Design handled the look of the 65-seat dining room, and sought inspiration from the neighborhood. That means you can see Schoos’ ode to Tribeca’s art scene and the area’s origins as a green parkway with the hand-painted trees lining some walls, and the light fixtures that were made with vines and help add a wooded depth to the décor. On the gray leather banquettes, they have bright pink flowers, which contribute a nice splash of color to the forest.

Though they don’t have their liquor license yet due to Hurricane Sandy related delays, when they do you can expect to hit up to the 10-seat bar and sip, nibble, and relax starting at 5pm and going until 4am every day.

Photo via Eater.

Delmonico’s Dresses Down to Spread Its Reign: Q&A With Owner Dennis Turcinovic

When brothers John and Peter Delmonico opened the first Delmonico’s in Downtown Manhattan in 1827, they helped pioneer fine dining in the city. As one of the top establishments of its time, the famous steakhouse created what are now classic dishes including lobster Newberg, baked Alaska, and of course, the Delmonico steak.

Over the years, the original Delmonico’s changed hands and buildings. Now, it’s owned by Dennis Turcinovic, who just opened Delmonico’s Kitchen, a more laid back version of the iconic fine dining joint. This is just the beginning of a chain of Delmonico’s as they plan to open locations all across the world. I chatted with Turcinovic to find out just what he has in mind.

What does it mean for Delmonico’s to open a more casual eatery?
We are so excited to bring the history of the original Delmonico’s to Midtown. Even though Delmonico’s is my home and where I was raised, I wanted to create a certain ambiance at Delmonico’s Kitchen, a place that is louder, hipper, and has a spin on the modern techniques of cooking. When I’m not working, I tend to go to places where I can wear a jacket, jeans and cool sneakers. That’s what we want to offer our customers.  I wanted to use the Delmonico’s brand and the long-standing history we have so people know they’re going to get a good meal and a good experience.

How does it relate to the original, iconic location?
Delmonico’s is not your father’s steak house. Our goal was to recreate the downtown classics in a chic, modern way uptown. You’ll notice our light fixtures are transcendent of a historic steakhouse however paired with modern placard wood, gold painted accents, and deep red upholstery, We’ve collided both the old and new world. As far as food, you’ll find many of our signature dishes invented at Delmonico’s on our menu at Delmonico’s Kitchen, but with an updated twist. For example, our classic Eggs Benedict is transformed with the addition of a crab cake, quail egg and d’espelette hollandaise. We also took some dishes that were invented at Delmonico’s but never made the menu downtown and put a modern twist on them. One of my personal favorites is the Pan Roasted Gianone Chicken Marengo. We’ve added shrimp and hen egg to the recipe for a unique collision of flavors.

I hear you want to expand worldwide, what brought this on?
Working in the Financial District for 15 years, I have met many notable, influential and inspiring people. The Delmonico’s brand is so well known that no matter where you go out to eat, there is always a connection to the restaurant’s iconic history. I remember walking into a butcher shop about 10 years ago and seeing a Delmonico’s rib chop. I asked the butcher where it came from and he said an iconic restaurant. The sense of pride I had at that moment gave me the inspiration and desire to build and expand upon such an already powerful brand. New York has nearly 47 million foreign and American tourists visit each year. Everyone wants to experience all the wonders of the city from music to arts to cuisine. Expanding Delmonico’s worldwide would allow patrons to experience a piece of culinary history as well as New York and American history. 

What areas do you want to open Delmonico’s in first? Why?
We want to start opening Delmonico’s Kitchen locations in larger domestic cities such as Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. We want to keep the integrity and history of the restaurant, so we plan to keep control of the brand and hope to partner with larger brands and hotels for support.

Will you keep the signature items on the menu?
We will absolutely continue to preserve Delmonico’s history by keeping some of our signature items on the menu.  Delmonico’s wouldn’t be Delmonico’s without the Delmonico Steak, Lobster Newburg or Baked Alaska.

What makes Delmonico’s so special?
Delmonico’s is a family owned and operated business. Some of our waiters have been with us since before I was born. Everyone who is part of the original Delmonico’s has a sense of pride and passion for the restaurant and that’s something we don’t see too often these days. Every day that I go to work, I’m keeping a piece of history alive. 

How did the downtown Delmonico’s weather the storm?
Delmonico’s felt the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. The lower level of the restaurant suffered from flooding. A couple of our private dining rooms were flooded and caused equipment to move around. We immediately hired a crew and even though we didn’t have power for days after Sandy hit, the crew and myself were working with a generator to ensure we would be able to get the restaurant open as soon as possible. We opened our main dining room and bar on November 9 and we are almost complete with the re-build of our lower level.

Austin Opening: Jezebel

Jezebel, one of Austin’s gastronomic galvanizing forces, was lost to a fire in 2010. Two years later, and the restaurant serving international cuisine is open again, with its venerated chef Parind Vora back in the kitchen.

It’s an intimate, 32-seat resurrection, within the larger confines of the also new, more casual Bar Mirabeau. Indian-born Vora has been a genuine globe-trotting chef, doing time in New York, Belize and Munich, amongst others, and it shows in Jezebel’s global culinary offerings (caviar and cheese included). And with its modern update of French aristocratic furnishings and wall coverings, glittering chandeliers, and charming, jackets-required-for-gents policy, there’s something of the classical about it. But with its innovative vegetarian and vegan offerings, Jezebel makes for a resolutely contemporary-haute dining experience. 

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Austin Opening: Cherry St.

Having returned from a stint at Tuscany’s exalted, Michelin-starred Il Falconiere (which you may remember as Signorina Lane’s stomping grounds in Under The Tuscan Sun), chef Jason Dodge was inspired to open Cherry St., a 20-seat, brick-walled charmer.

Cherry St. has all the unfussy allure of a Toscana local, with the emphasis on the simplicity of the cuisine; pizzas, panini and pasta dishes are all focused squarely on the fresh and classical. Cocktails like the Licentious and The Goddess inspire the romantics.

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Los Angeles Opening: FigOly

Located in the swank Luxe City Center Hotel and near Figueroa Street and Olympic Boulevard (hence the name), Bravo Top Chef Alex Reznik’s new FigOly creates a tempting Northern Italian-influenced brand of California cuisine (with references to Bellgaio, Cinque Terre, and glorious Toscana).

And where else could one hope to order something as cross-continentally intriguing as warm buffalo mozzarella topped with macerated strawberries and black pepper nestled into a bed mâche? There’s even a Mamma Mia cocktail. A massive al fresco space and private cabanas offer epic views of the Downtown skyline. 

Los Angeles Opening: Kitchen Table

If you’ve been kicking rocks down the streets of the Old Bank District, hands deep in your pockets, lamenting the fact that there are zero rooftop options in the area to enjoy a rib eye or an artichoke salad… well, guess what? You’re a caricature and need some friends, but also you can raise your head because Kitchen Table opens today, and with it, a not-so-hidden hidden rooftop dining room.

Push through the charming blue and yellow doors, admire the chubby angels painted overhead, and smirk at the few tables around the intimate space. Before you can be shown a seat, simply request a table outside. Soon you’ll be dining al fresco, ordering that rib eye or the pork belly or Alaskan cod, enjoying a rooftop view and a glass of red.