New York Gears Up for Malaysian Restaurant Week

Zak Pelaccio and his Fatty Crab empire definitely have pushed the boom of Malaysian food in the city. Or rather, Pelaccio has made Malaysian cuisine more popular to the masses that had never heard of Malay fish fry, chicken claypot, or the spicy curry dish java mee. Today the city kicks off the second annual Malaysian Restaurant Week, an event that runs until June 24 and includes not only New York, but New Jersey and Connecticut as well.

In the city you can get your Malaysian on with a three-course menu for $20.12 at popular establishments including Laut, Café Asean, Nyona, and of course, Fatty Crab, though both locations strictly offer the prix fixe deal for lunch, before 7pm or after 10pm. Also on the line up are some Asian-fusion restaurants that are offering a special Malaysian menu for the week. These include Top Chef contestant Angelo Sosa’s Social Eatz, Ian Kittichai’s Ember Room, Dragonfly, Wild Ginger in Midtown East, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market, though only for lunch. Not a bad line up considering the small number of Malaysian restaurants in the city, and, for you adventurous types, this weekend the Asian Food Markets in North Planfield, NJ will be hosting a sampling of the cuisine from 10am to 6pm.

Num Pang and ABC Kitchen Collaborate with ‘Guest Chefs Give Back’

If you’ve been to Num Pang you know it’s possibly the best place to get a Southeast-Asian inspired sandwich for lunch or dinner. But now, that’s not all they have for you, as owners Ben Daitz and Ratha Chaupoly have started the “Guest Chefs Give Back” series, which kicked off with Mario Batali’s Italian-Asian fusion sandwich last month.

Starting today, they are offering their second chef collaboration in the cycle and this time, it’s with chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen. The four men have created the ABC Pang, which features a semolina baguette slathered with cashew butter, Thai chilies, and candied ginger and stuffed with lemongrass poached chicken salad, Thai basil, chili mayonnaise, and lime. 
 
“It’s exciting to collaborate with our friends and watch them put their own personal spins on our sandwiches,” says Daitz. “We’re the biggest fans of ABC Kitchen, as is everybody, so we were really excited to work with Jean-Georges and Dan on this latest sandwich.”
 
The best part, while you chow down on the spicy-sweet combo, you can feel extra good about yourself given that the $9.25 meal donates $6 of each sale to the Edible Schoolyard and The Double H Ranch foundations. Last month’s collaboration with Batali raised about $10,000, which is approximately 1,666 individual orders. And that, says Chaupoly, “Is a lot of sandwiches!” 
 
You can get the special for a limited time at both the Grand Central and Union Square locations of Num Pang. 

Ian Schrager Strikes Again with Public Hotels

Anyone who’s ever danced at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar or partied by the pool at the Shore Club knows there’s a lot to love about Ian Schrager’s hotels. His current project, called Public, just launched its first hotel in Chicago yesterday, taking over the historic Ambassador East and installing Jean-Georges Vongerichten in the Pump Room restaurant.

The warm, inclusive atmosphere makes it a perfect choice for those who’ve been hesitant to tiptoe into the Schrager empire before. The Public concept features amenities like flatscreen TVs, oversize desks and laptops upon request, curated art collections, and elegant furnishings for a price well within your travel manager’s budget. The new chain has already closed on two properties in Manhattan and an old Crowne Plaza location in London (which will be the next Public hotel opening). They’re also looking at locations in Paris and Los Angeles, which Schrager calls important “gateway cities,” for the brand. The company is planning about $250 million in renovations and construction on 10-15 properties over the next five years.

Crocs Rock: Relais & Chateaux Deliver Two New Cookbooks

“A collection of the world’s finest hotels and restaurants,” Relais & Chateaux’s swanky properties let you kill two birds with one stay: sleep surrounded in finery, and chomp through an unforgettable meal from a top-notch chef like Daniel Boulud or Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Now the association is offering a doggie bag, so to speak, in the form of not one, but two new cookbooks. 85 Inspirational Chefs and Chefs at Home mark the first occasion that each and every chef within Relais & Chateaux’s North American purview has worked together.

Chefs at Home takes you into the celebrated chefs’ homes (surprised?) and features dishes they like to cook when they’re not in a white apron and Crocs. While 85 Inspirational Chefs caters mostly to beginners, the book does include a few challenging recipes. (Did you really think duplicating a Jean-Georges meal was going to be a piece of cake?) The books can be purchased at the Relais and Chateaux Mansion in New York, or on their web site. Indulge in a proper Relais & Chateaux meal without having to drop a fortune on the hotel. Let’s just hope you’re a good cook.

NYC Openings: The Shop at the Standard, Mark Restaurant, K! Pizzacone

The Shop at the Standard (Meatpacking District) – Commissary of the Standard Hotel stocks the essentials. Forgot your Bambu rolling papers, Krink ink? No worries. ● Mark Restaurant (Upper East Side) – Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s brieburger stab at comfort French, in the facelifted Mark Hotel. ● K! Pizzacone (Garment District) – Are you sitting down? Pizza in a cone.

Industry Insiders: Chris Cheung, Chinatown Native

Chris Cheung, executive chef of East Village resto/lounge China 1, was raised in Chinatown and describes himself as “fixated on Northern Chinese cuisine with an American sensibility.” He’s worked in the kitchens of celebrated chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Wylie Dufresne, Daniel Angerer, and Jehangir Mehta.

Describe your gig at China 1. I come up with the menu, manage the kitchen, make good food, keep the costs down and quality up, keep the space clean, manage people well — not just in my own department but in every facet of the restaurant — and create the profile for China 1.

How’d you get your start? I worked in a couple of restaurants here and there before I went to the Culinary School in New York. I wound up doing an internship at Vong, and it opened up a world of things for me. Jean-Georges and Nobu had a lot to do with changing my life. I worked at Judson Grill until the owner had problems, and he referred me to Nobu in Tribeca. When I got there, I found it was run like nothing I’d ever seen, and for a young line cook, it was great to share in the success of the restaurant and be able to create new and innovative things for our guests.

Where do you go out? I always go back to where I grew up: Chinatown. Hop Kee on Mott Street is nothing fancy, but it’s old style Cantonese. I like steak, so Peter Luger’s is the old-school paradigm. I haven’t been to the new Daniel because it’s not an everyday affordable place, but if you want great food, Daniel Boulud knows how to do it.

Who do you look up to? Drew Nieporent is one of those guys who can light up a room, always remembers who you are, always instills a good feeling when you meet him. He’s one of the best. Believe it or not, I seriously respect Steve Hansen. The business model he has worked for many, many years is great. Having worked for him, I know how to reduce costs and run a restaurant through systems that work.

What are your expectations for the hospitality industry now? Obviously, nobody can tell the future, but I have a hope it will get better than it is now. I’ve grown up in a lot of fine dining kitchens, and I definitely think that the trend is towards the more casual, further from formal dining. At least in New York. Becoming a little casual can be more healthy.

Anything you dislike about your industry these days? People in the spotlight who know they have the power to put a restaurant on the map with lots of media coverage sometimes take it too far. One mistake or even a misunderstanding can lead to taking it over the top with a bad review, and the next thing you know you have five bad reviews in five publications with the restaurateur not being able to have his side of the story explained in the same space. On the other hand, there are lots of people into great food who support restaurants, so you have to take the good with the bad.

Something that no one knows about you? It’s about exposure. New York seems to be a big town, but as far as talented chefs go there are a lot of us out there. When you’re below the level of notoriety like Jean-Georges, you really, really fight for recognition. There’s so much competition that you can get a little bit lost, so you have to stay on course.

Guiltiest pleasure? Baseball. The Yankees. You try to catch the games with time constraints, and I’ve done it since I was a kid.

Any non-industry projects in the works? Everything I do has to do with the career, food, the restaurant.

Industry Insiders: Bob Giraldi, Film & Food Director

At the peak of a successful directing career, Bob Giraldi — the creative genius behind Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” video — channeled his talents for creation into the culinary scene, resulting in collaborations with famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and a slew of successful restaurants. After the February opening of Butcher Bay, his ode to Americana and boardwalk food, Giraldi is focusing his energy on his new, “authentic” Italian-style pizza joint Tonda, in the East Village.

How did you make the jump from film into the restaurant business? I started in the middle 80s, before it was fashionable, because it seemed to me that the food business was almost the same as the film business. That coupled with the fact that I came from a home where my mother and father were really quite exceptional cooks. My mom was really quite accomplished; she taught cooking classes and studied with good Italian chefs and teachers. Food had always been the basic language of my family, so that combined with the fact that I was already in the media business and understood the idea of setting up, helped. It’s like setting up for a show every night — the waiters get into wardrobe, they go out and perform as actors and actresses, you get reviewed the next day, and then your run is completely commensurate with your performance. Today the whole food scene is completely different than when I started; chefs are stars, food shows are popular, so I’m not sure if we were doing it right, but we sure timed it right. What was your first restaurant? I was coming off some success as a music video director and was anxious to get into the culinary scene, so we opened a restaurant called Positano, named after the city in the Campania region of Italy. At that time it was one of the few, if not the only, restaurant in New York that offered Amalfi Coast, Campania regional food. There had always been Northern and Southern Italian food, but there wasn’t a lot of the Coastal and Central Italian food represented — clams on the half shell, fried calamari, and all those dishes inspired by the Mediterranean. So we did it then, and it caught on, and then we started a company called Once Is Not Enough because we knew that one restaurant wasn’t going to be enough. What are you working on currently? I’m opening a pizzeria on March 21, called Tonda, which means “round” in Italian. It will be in the old EU space on 4th Street, and Luigi Commandatore, who co-owns Bread Tribeca with me, is my partner. It’s the food people want right now and are buying in the economy, but it’s also very hip. In Italy a pizzeria is a casual restaurant where you can have other foods, but they take their pizza very seriously in Italy. We eat a lot of pizza in New York, but it’s made all over by a lot of different people, and it’s not made properly — in my own and in an Italian’s opinion. We brought in a chef from Naples, and his approach is world-class Neapolitan, which is where pizza is generally regarded as the best in the world. We’re going to try and give people in the East Village a really superior product. Let’s face it — you can go anywhere on a street corner and order pizza in New York City, but it’s usually made by many cultures, and it’s not made the way you make it in Italy. So Tonda’s unique factor is that it will be truly authentic Italian pizza? Yes, truly Italian. This love of food and restaurants has lead me all the way around my roots and back to the most basic of Italian foods, which is pizza, and that’s the beauty of the business. Most pizza is good — it’s bread and tomato sauce after all — but that’s just good, and I’m talking about great. The vibe will still be very East Village; it’s cool, and the space is really chill and wonderful, but it’s about the product. We’ve got ourselves a wonderful new technology — a pizza oven which rotates at a really high temperature, 1,000 degrees, and it only takes about 3 minutes for each pie to be fully cooked. We will serve 12-inch pies, nothing bigger, nothing smaller, and no slices. It will be whole, thin-crusted pies. In Italy, the way they eat them is two and three at a time.

Are all of your restaurants Italian-themed? The restaurants I enjoy the most are Italian — I have three Italian restaurants in Lower Manhattan and Tribeca where I go most of the time because that’s where I live — but I also have a Mexican restaurant in the West Village, and I just opened Butcher Bay on 5th Street about two weeks ago. Butcher Bay is a very casual restaurant that pays homage to boardwalk, handheld, and Americana food. . You’ve opened successful restaurants with Jean-Georges Vongerichten; how did you end up working together? Jean-Georges came to us when we were just starting out as restaurateurs. He is a wonderful chef who had just enjoyed success at Lafayette, a five-star restaurant in a hotel on Park Avenue; he got to know my partner and asked if we would be interested in backing him if he branched out on his own. We tasted his food, and he is truly a gifted chef, no question about it (probably the best of all chefs in America today in my opinion), so we opened JoJo together on the UES, and the rest is history. What are the most important ingredients for creating a successful restaurant? There is no formula, and anybody who says there is, is wrong. There are some tried-and-true things that might work, but don’t bet on it. I would say that the food is the number one foremost reason why people come back to a certain restaurant. They come back for the vibe, convenience, and a lot of reasons, but the number one reason is for good food. It’s more important that who owns it or who’s seen there. Food is paramount.

Is designing a restaurant similar to setting up for a film shoot? Yeah, that’s the fun part, especially if you’re doing casual. The fun to me is when you’re converting an old building or an old space, or you’re breathing new life into a space. I’m a man who has built sets for a lot of his life, and it works exactly the same way in the restaurant business, except that ours is not faux like in the film business. It’s got to work; it’s got to be functional. The more casual and funky, the more I love it.

Who do you admire in the hospitality industry? I respect the success, genius, and creativeness of certain chefs, the Mario Batalis, David Bouleys, etc., and there are some restaurateurs whose success I admire. But while I’m inspired, I don’t really try to emulate them. The successes are always different. For example, my success has now become a real casual sensibility; I’m no longer interested in a sophisticated fine dining … it’s too complicated, too expensive, and the chefs get to be a bit of a pain. I’m more interested in neighborhood-style casual dining. I don’t get too caught up in the food world … a lot of people don’t even think of me as being in the food business, they think of me as a film person. But I like the restaurant business because there’s something exciting about turning out a terrific product and pleasing people.

What are your favorite restaurants in New York? It breaks down by the food because in the city it’s always about what you’re in the mood for. I go to my places for Italian, but other than that I always look to Da Silvano on 6th Avenue, which I’ve always felt is one of the superior Italian restaurants, then Mario Batali’s place Babbo,and Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit (I go where the chefs are). And if I want Chinese, I’ll walk over to Chinatown to a place called Fuleen to enjoy just sitting at a round table and ordering and ordering. I’m also a big advocate of delivery — I’ve seen that explode in the last five years, so when I’m not at home cooking with my family, I call restaurants to deliver — to me that’s become so much a part of the way that New Yorkers dine today. When the Knicks play on a Tuesday night or when there are award shows, you can see the numbers rise because people are comfortable staying home and ordering. And that’s another thing I’m going to try to do with Tonda — deliver a better pizza to people in the neighborhood.

Any other big plans for 2009? I’m going to focus on my two new restaurants right now, and also I’m developing two motion pictures as we go, which is very time-consuming. I have a short film that is making the circuit in the film festivals now called “Second Guessing Grandma,” which I’m excited about; and I’ve always taught in the undergrad department at the School of Visual Arts, but now I’ve decided to go back in 2010 teaching a graduate program in independent, short film-making.

Industry Insiders: Alfred Portale, Top Chef

The 25th anniversary of Gotham Bar & Grill finds Alfred Portale, the executive chef and co-owner, celebrating his restaurant’s continued success but also reflecting wistfully on his own beginnings. He sounds off on the evolutions of both his career and the industry, oversized pork sandwiches, and Top Chef.

How would you describe your role in the kitchen? In terms of the day-to-day operations, that’s my role. Twenty years ago, I would cut fish, butcher lamb, get on the line, and cook. Now it’s more or less being in the restaurant each night and overseeing the service. Spending time in the dining room and greeting guests. We have a huge amount of regular guests and friends of the restaurant who come each night. I’m now sort of splitting my time between here and Miami. I opened a new restaurant in Miami Beach at the Fontainebleau. It was re-opened after a billion-dollar renovation. It’s a wild culture down there.

Do you have any partners? The restaurant was originally opened with my partners. There are four: Jeff Bliss, Jerry Kretchmer and Rick and Robert Rathe.

What’s changed in the past 20 years? I’m more of a global operator now. My role was very much kitchen-centric twenty years ago, but it’s changed.

How did you get your start and eventually end up at Gotham Bar & Grill? I was a student at the Culinary Institute of America, and then I got recruited. While I was at school, they opened up a gourmet food shop in New York City from Michel Guérard, who at the time was one of the greatest chefs. I saw it as my ticket to France. I came to New York and worked for Guérard for a year. Then I was invited to cook for a year in France, and later returned to New York. I did a year as a sous chef for Jacques Maxima, another great chef at the time. And then was looking for a chef’s position. I had heard this place made a big splash. It was a unique restaurant. This is essentially the way it looked 25 years ago — a fun, large, cavernous space that got a lot of attention for the scene and for the architecture, but not for the food. So, I was attracted to the space and the opportunity.

What are a few of your favorite places to wine and dine? Fishtail by David Burke, the seafood restaurant. It’s on the Upper East Side in a very elegant townhouse. It’s not a late-night cool kind of place, although they do serve late. I also go to places like La Esquina. I still love going to Balthazar and getting the seafood towers. I often start with cocktails at Soho House. I also like places like the Gramercy Park Hotel. It has remained really, really hip and cool.

What about guilty pleasures? In Italy, you’ll see these stands where they have a whole pig essentially on a fantastic piece of bread — some meat, some of the crisp skin, some of the heart and the liver. They chop it all up and pack it into the sandwich — it’s extraordinary. It’s called porketta.

Who are some people you admire? The first guy that comes to mind is Jean-Georges Vongerichten. He was so creative and unique when he opened JoJo many years ago. He had two or three restaurants in New York and somehow maintained the quality very well. I thought Greg Koontz was a great chef — I have great respect for his food. Of course, I admire Thomas Keller. It takes so much work and pain and suffering to really accomplish what he does. The demands he places on himself, the kitchen and the staff is extraordinary. I admire hard work and success. I grew up in a generation where if you wanted a culinary education, you had to go to France, back in the 80s. So I was influenced by French chefs and continue to be. Now the big restaurants are in the United States. So if you’re a young cook and you want to be inspired and get great training, you can go to San Francisco, Chicago, or New York.

What’s the one common trait among all these people? They’ve all achieved a level of success through extraordinarily hard work. You need to have a skill level and be creative. There are enough chefs that try and take the fast path to success, more driven by public relations and self-promotion. These guys come in quietly through tremendous hard work and talent and create what are now empires, through perseverance and passion.

What positive trends have you been seeing? Tremendous interest in cooking, chefs, and restaurants in this country. You look back 25 years — which I’ve been doing a lot of lately — and it’s a different landscape entirely. There are chefs and restaurateurs who have gained a lot of respect and popularity. We don’t have the same culture in this country about food or wine that they do in, for instance, Spain and Italy. It’s great to see how far we’ve come in such a short period of time in terms of the restaurants and the fantastic products we’re producing and an appreciation for fine dining.

Do you think reality TV has helped this? Well, it’s had a profound effect. Television and TV stars have raised awareness for sure. I think that I’m speaking about chefs who just embrace farmers and sustainable agriculture, organic and all these things that have crept into and are part of everyday life. I think that was all mainly chef-driven. But certainly the Emerils and Tom Colicchios have turned it into a spectacle.

What else can you say about the 25th anniversary? We’re offering a $25 prix fixe luncheon — which is a bit of a bargain. It’s composed of six dishes from our past, and they all carry the date when they went on the menu. It’s turned out to be a lot of fun for guests who recall, “I remember this dish.” In the evening, we’re doing a five-course meal for $75. We created a champagne that carries our name that we’re pouring freely with that. It’s been great. In these dire economic times, it’s perhaps not such a great idea to have a massive celebration, but to keep it low-key. We’ve invited lots of our old guests and old employees and customers to come back in throughout the month. And there are new faces too.

What was it like overseeing wannabe Top Chefs as a guest judge? I had a lot of thoughts about that. There are two challenges. I was quite impressed during the Quickfire at how free-thinking and spontaneous they were as a group. I was a judge early on, and there were at least 10 chefs I was judging. They had 30 minutes to put something together, and the results were stunning. The next day after they were given a whole night to think about it, a couple hours at night and couple hours the next day to prepare a dinner, they pretty much all fell flat on their face. It’s a funny thing — it’s like if you have to think too much about it, you screw up. I don’t know if that’s real life. I think some of those guys are good chefs. I feel like I oversee the aspirations of a lot of young chefs in the kitchen and have over many years. I’ve seen lots of talent come through the kitchen and gone onto being successful. There’s been a dozen or more stars. That’s been a really nice thing to be a part of.

Do you think that turning it into that kind of competition is a negative thing for the field? No. I don’t. I think in order to be successful in the kitchen or this environment, you have to be extremely competitive, driven, and focused. I’m not worried it’s a negative thing. Chefs, more than any other profession, so often come together in charity situations. I just can’t think of any other profession where we are called upon. We get asked almost once a week to do something for the Opera, C-Cap, City Harvest, or Citymeals-on-Wheels. I think it’s good. We share employees and ideas. Sure there’s a lot of competition, but it’s a close family.

Industry Insiders: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Gallic Master

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the superstar behind elite New York restaurants Jean Georges, Spice Market, Matsugen, Perry Street, Vong, Mercer Kitchen, JoJo, and Nougatine on passing up coal and engineering for cooking, getting wine for his birthday as a kid, and bringing food back to its origins.

Point of Origin: I’m from Strasbourg, a big city in Alsace. It was a pretty big house, and we were cooking for 20 for dinner, it was a big deal. We had all of our meals at home; my grandmother cooking, my mother cooking. It may have been a one-pot stew, so it gave me a taste for making food for a lot of people. Every morning, I remember the smells around me; when I was eight or ten, I could tell you exactly what day of the week it was by what was on the stove. And I always knew what I wanted to do: cook! In 1957 I got a bottle of wine for my birthday, but by the time I was 16, I had only been to six restaurants in my life and never really knew that somebody could actually make a living by cooking. I started cooking at 16 as an apprentice. I wasn’t going to school, but working with a chef. In 1973, I began as an apprentice at the Auberge de l’ιll, which has now been going for 50 years. In 1976, they gave us a test, and I was voted Best Apprentice. I went to Paris for the finals and received the highest score in regional France, but the apprentices competed against each other there, and I finished third.

How did you get your start? I was the oldest of my brothers, so I was supposed to take over my father’s part of the coal business, and at age 15 I was sent to engineering school. I hated every minute of it. My father was really, really upset and wanted to know what I wanted to do with my life. So I told him I wanted to be a chef and that I should be cooking. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but I was totally unexposed to anything like the business of cooking. One day, my father took me to a restaurant, and the chef came by the table. My father asked if he was looking for somebody to train. I got lucky. I studied and cooked and am still the only chef in my family.

What changed your life? When that chef stopped at our table, it was like looking at my future, and my father just hoped I was just good enough to wash dishes! I went to his restaurant for two weeks on a trial basis, and they really taught me how to cook — the basic techniques of cooking — and it was great. At the time I began as an apprentice, nobody was really into restaurants, but it was the beginning of my career, a passion that turned into a business. I’m still passionate about it 35 years later.

Any non-industry projects in the works? There’s a lot of waste when we make food, so we have a lot of companies who come to pick up what we don’t use. Like Share our Strength, a great organization that does a lot of good for cancer, and the Central Park Conservancy. We’re helping left and right, we’re raising money for good causes. When you share what you have — your talent — it’s good for you, too.

What about your diversion into mondo condo land and hotels? I did it! I haven’t had any education since I left school at 15, and actually, I learned how to do this business in New York. I was 32 when I got my first restaurant, and went back to school in Manhattan at Hunter College to take a course on how to run a business in New York; how to get permits, a liquor license, all of it. You can’t take things for granted. I just wanted a hotel, built around a restaurant, but the architect found out that the property next door to it was available as well, so we went into construction there too, but for condominiums [Calvin Klein bought the first apartment as Vong had vowed to cook for the buyers.]

Favorite Hangouts: I’ve just got a house in Westchester, in Waccabuc, and I go to places around there, where I don’t have a restaurant. I get to relax every weekend. I turned 50 last year and decided not to work weekends. I have a garden, and I’m going back to my roots, cooking for a lot of people. It’s a one-pot meal with garlic and olive oil, and people serve themselves. I have friends over with my wife and daughter, whoever’s around.

Industry Icons: Everyone in this business has been so good to me, and it’s so hard to choose, but among my icons is my mentor, Paul Bocuse. I have a lot of other mentors and a lot of people I respect. You really have to set an example for all people. People are not easy, and the restaurant business is a big task.

Who are some people you’re likely to be seen with? I mean, I’m not the type of person who goes much beyond my family — my wife and my daughter — nothing flashy. I don’t go out just to hang out.

Future Projects: Relaxing, that’s for sure on the weekends, but I’m thinking of going back to the old days when people decided to invent the “real food world.” I really want to go back to something super organic — scallops with a little garlic, very world friendly, ABC food. You take all of the superfluous away, and you get back to the essentials. When you’re young you try to impress, and as you get older, you get down to what’s important. Its how I look at life … I look at the essentials. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an architect and a chef, and now, I am! Of course, we’ve opened a new Japanese restaurant in the W in Atlanta, and will be doing the same in the Venetian, like the one in Vegas. There are so many restaurants in a place like New York, the economy cleans out the overflow.

What are you doing tonight? I’m driving down to the new place on Church and Leonard, on my way to meet Japanese investors.