Get Lucky In NYC Every Night Next Week

This is not false advertising. Starting Monday, April 29th, you can get lucky every night of the week, which is a basically impossible feat in NYC (unless you’re a 21-year-old, freckle-faced, college girl majoring in English, with too many evenings free and lots of insecurity issues). For seven days, you can drink unlimited Bombay Sapphire East Gin cocktails with lemongrass and St. Germain mixed by Iron Chef Morimoto, dance to house tunes spun by scruffy, downtown DJs, and gorge on pinched, pillowy, lamb-filled dumplings made by Mission Chinese Food chef Danny Bowien. And while you’re at it, get lucky with any one you meet. The cause: LUCKYRICE, the 4th annual festival honoring all things Asian (that you can chew and sip) all across NYC.

Some stops along the way include a cocktail feast at The Bowery Hotel lead by eight of NYC’s top bartenders and Iron Chef Morimoto, a “Filipino Fiesta” at The James Beard House hosted by chef Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao (which boasts a BlackBook-obsessed, delicious brunch), and a Night Market at The Maritime Hotel, where 20 Asian spots serve their top dishes in bohemian cabanas à la the chaotic, night market experience in Asia.

Intrigued? Excited? Hungry? Then snatch up the last couple of tickets to LUCKYRICE. 

And (ahem), please tweet at me if you get lucky, thanks. 

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

Industry Insiders: Meet Chris Hessney, EMM Group’s VIP Manager

Celebrity sightings are just a day in the life for Chris Hessney, the VIP Manager for EMM Group and their property CATCH, one of New York’s most exclusive seafood spots. “Since CATCH is a major destination, there’s a good chance you’ll spot a celebrity or ten dining at a table near you, a model, or a business executive of a company you’re a fan of.”

But more than the sightings, it’s the little moments that keep Hessney psyched about working at the Meatpacking District restaurant. “I love watching guests’ over-the-top reactions when we set the crispy whole snapper or the Cantonese lobster on their table,” he says. “Our one-year anniversary brought in over 800 groups of guests on a Monday night, which was an absolute blast.”

Top-notch New York food and hospitality has been the mainstay of Hessney’s career, where he was maitre’d at Morimoto, and manager of The Standard Grill. And it was at The Standard in 2008 where he first met EMM co-founders Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum. “EMM was the perfect next step for me,” Hessney says. “With them, the sky’s the limit.”

Find out CATCH chef Hung Huynh’s favorite app here.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter.

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.

Cityhouse Executive Chef a Newbie at NYC Wine & Food Festival

The third annual NYC Wine & Food Festival kicked off last night, but the real fun didn’t start until today. What started three years ago as a one-night event is now one of the top festivals in NYC. There are more than 100 food-related events going down this weekend – New York foodies shall be properly fed! To honor the occasion, we caught up with Fabio Capparelli, Executive Chef of cityhouse, who, at the age of 28, is one of the youngest chefs to participate in the festival. cityhouse (the lower case is part of the appeal, we guess) is just as new on the scene, having opened in early March this year across the street from Carnegie Hall, and is perhaps one of the city’s most underrated restaurants. They just rolled out a fall menu (expect tons of braising and risotto, thanks to the strong European clientele), and plan to offer sidewalk seating for those who want unbroken views of Carnegie Hall. This is Fabio’s first year at the festival, which he considers a true honor, especially considering he’s participating in The Grand Tasting on Saturday with other notable restaurants and chefs. We’d send you, but it sold out weeks ago. Best to check out cityhouse.

You are one of the youngest chefs to participate in the Festival. How does that make you feel ? This is my first time at the festival. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m excited to be involved and grow in this business. It’ll also be great to work with the other chefs and restaurants.

Tell us about your culinary background. I’ve been in a kitchen since I was 7 years old. My father is a chef. I went to the Culinary Institute of America and then earned an opportunity to head west to California, worked out there for a year, then came back to new York, where I worked at the Castle on the Hudson, Roy’s New York, and BLT Steak at The Ritz Carlton Westchester prior to cityhouse.

What are you preparing for the Grand Tasting Event? I am preparing a Kaffir Lime Crab Salad with a Truffle Ponzu and Ikura Caviar. I wanted to do something light, flavorful, and memorable that would entice people to come check out cityhouse.

What are your favorite dishes at cityhouse? I enjoy braising, so that’s something I incorporated into my new fall menu, which includes two of my favorite plates: Tomahawk Short rib with potato au gratin and Colorado lamb shanks with a truffle corn flan.

How long have you been the Executive Chef at cityhouse? It’s been about 9 months. I opened cityhouse back in February and it’s been great to be with the restaurant from the beginning, to watch it grow and evolve.

What can readers expect from the festival? It’s going to be an incredible showcase of the city’s restaurants with amazing tastes to samples, so your readers are in for a treat!

What are your favorite restaurants in New York and why? Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Although it’s not in New York City, its absolutely amazing – innovative presentation, quality freshness, and a great atmosphere. it reminds me of my childhood and how my parents and grandparents always used the vegetables in our garden for our meals. Inatesso Café has the best pizza! Sicilian Style, flat, not too thick, very fresh sauce, and just the right amount or cheese and herbs. Morimoto‘s food is fantastic. The flavors and textures are incredible.

What is your favorite thing to eat at home ? Pancakes!!! Especially when mom makes them!

BlackBook Fêtes Its 14th Birthday

It was a midsummer night’s dream of a soiree. BlackBook CEO Ari Horowitz hosted a swank party for the 14th anniversary of his company that coincided with the 24th birthday of his lovely fiancee, Laurel Cummings, at his ultra posh West Village penthouse. I meant to stay 5 minutes and was there for hours. It was a hot crowd with unbelievably delish food from Morimoto. I parked myself at the buffet until I realized the hottest crowd was cooling off on the large roof deck. I even sipped a tequila as the Casa Dragones rep insisted—I was, after all, among friends. I stumbled back to the buffet to get some ice cream cake and cupcakes a la Coldstone, and then back into the night air. I remember BlackBook back in the day. We tried to host as many of these shin digs at my clubs as possible, as the magazine always drew a sharp crowd and we always wanted the brand association. It’s 14 years later and nothing has changed.


BlackBook has been great for giving me a chance to tell my story and show the world that I’m more than just a pretty face. The music by Alexander Dexter-Jones had me convinced that yet another superstar DJ has arisen from the Ronson clan. Rock and Soul provided the gear and showed how easy it is to make a joint hop. Good food, good music and sound, and booze (courtesy of Veev) transforms a cool apartment into the hottest place in town. I tried to leave 5 times but a familiar face always brought me back. Happy birthday Blackbook and Laurel Cummings.





Photography by Gina Sachi Cody.

Industry Insiders: Stephen Seo, Adman of Action

Once a New York adman, Stephen Seo was so inspired by the bespoke tailoring of London’s Savile Row that he decided to study the process on his own. Now based New York, Seo works with Scottish wool and Italian silk, meeting with clients to discuss design options, select fabrics, and take measurements. A typical suit starts at $1,800, rather reasonable, we think, for the estimated 50 hours Seo and his team invests in each garment. Seo is looking to the ready-to-wear market for future seasons, though he maintains that each garment will keep a personal touch. See his creations on Entourage this season.

On finding his calling: I was working at an ad agency and traveled back and forth to London. One trip, I got a suit made on Savile Row. My body never really fit in suits off the rack. I had a nice denim suit made. When I got back to New York, my clients and friends kept saying, “Where did you get that suit?” I decided to start making them, and that’s how it started off as a hobby. Then I decided to leave the industry and open up my own store. It’s just my passion. I like glamorous things.

On the process of making a suit: Now, we’ll get a call from a client through friends and referrals. Before that I had a store in Princeton for about two and half years. I closed September 2009. I work in my studio and then I travel to different places. Basically, we make an appointment, they come in and then if they’re new clients I like to get to know them. We talk about what type of profession they have, and what type of wardrobe they need to build. Then we take measurements. Picking fabric, design, cut, is all done together. About three weeks later, we’ll cut the fitting molds. No buttons, no zippers, very rough molds that we try on them. And then we do a lot of pinning and adjusting with sleeve length, jacket length, waistline, and shoulder to create the perfect silhouette.

General misconceptions about men’s fashion: Big guys always think they don’t deserve a nice lean cut because they have bellies, shoulders, and large chest. So they always tend to go for the very boxy American suit. Once they’re here, we accentuate the waistline to make it very sexy. Men have curves, so we like to accentuate those and highlight the right parts. I cut the jacket length based on his proportions. Most of time when you go off the rack, the jacket length is the same. But once you put on my finished garment, you look like you’re a model. I try to give everyone the confidence that they’re six feet tall. I understand the frustration of not having everything fit perfectly. That happened to me all the time.

On the ready-to-wear line: It will still have a very limited-edition concept. Each one will have all the serial numbers and certificate. It’s like when you adopt a puppy, you want to know where it came from. It’s all very high-end lifestyle.

Number one client request: I get a lot of wedding consultations. People come in here to get a tuxedo. I always say, ‘Tuxedos are very high-end and very formal.’ If you’re going to only wear it once or twice, why would you spend time and effort, why don’t we make a tuxedo suit? I cut it a certain way, so that they can wear it as a suit. They can go to work.

Least favorite trends in men’s fashion: There’re many details that I look at on the street. People still wear three button jackets. It makes your upper torso really long. If you eliminate two or one, it’s simple. It makes you feel that you have the right proportion. On all of my designs, the pocket flaps are slanted. This simple trick looks slimmer and taller. It’s comes from my own experience but the same time its become my signature. People love it.

On future hopefuls: I met Mickey Rourke a few times, and we kind of kept in touch. One day I’d like to change his look. But that’s a risk because he has his own, distinct style, and he does have very high-end, bespoke, tailored clothing. My ultimate goal is to dress the new 007.

Go-to’s: For sushi, I go to Morimoto. I also go to Nobu 57. I like Capital Grille and Delmonico’s. If I go for a quick drink after work, I go to Trinity Place. I use to hang out a lot at SoHo House. I like Greenhouse as well.

BlackBook Staff Picks: Dining, Drinking, Shopping, & Staying

Here at BlackBook, we pay a lot of attention to where cool customers go out — bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, hotels, you name it. So why not flip the frame and let you see where we go out? Here’s a periodically updated, exhaustive list of hotspots currently favored by everyone at BlackBook, from the mighty bosses down to the humble interns, from the charming local lounges around the corner to the jet-setting temples of luxe living.

BLACKBOOK MEDIA CORP ● Chairman – Bob Hoff, Voyeur (LA) ● CEO – Ari Horowitz, W South Beach (Miami) ● Associate Publisher – Brett Wagner, Da Umberto (NYC) ● Director of Finance and Operations – Tim Umstead, Aquagrill (NYC) ● Corporate Counsel – Drew Patrick, El Ay Si (NYC) ● Executive Assistant – Bridgette Bek, Manhattan Inn (NYC)

EDITORIAL ● Creative Director – Jason Daniels, Morimoto (NYC) ● Vice President Content – Chris Mohney, This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef (NYC) ● Senior Editor – Nick Haramis, Freemans (NYC) ● Features Editor – Willa Paskin, The Sackett (NYC) ● Writer-at-Large – Alison Powell, Jean Philippe Patisserie (Las Vegas) ● Nightlife Correspondent – Steve Lewis, subMercer (NYC) ● Assistant Editors – Ben Barna, LeVack Block (Toronto), Cayte Grieve, Vince (NYC), Foster Ethan Kamer, Sel De Mer (NYC), Eiseley Tauginas, Maialino (NYC) ● Copy Editor – Michèle Filon, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (Miami) ● Editorial Interns – Megan LaBruna, Crash Mansion (NYC), Averie Timm, Madiba (NYC), Hillary Weston, Les Halles (NYC), Annie Werner, DBGB (NYC), Ashley Simpson, Barcade (NYC), Michael Jordan, Destination Bar & Grill (NYC)

ART ● Art Director – Amy Steinhauser, Union Pool (NYC) ● Assistant Designer – Serra Semi, Five Points (NYC) ● Photography Assistant – Stephanie Swanicke, Provocateur (NYC) ● Freelance Designer – Krista Quick, Fornino (NYC)

FASHION & BEAUTY ● Fashion Editor – Christopher Campbell, Grand Sichuan International (NYC) ● Fashion Interns – Jillian K. Aurrichio, Greenhouse (NYC), Anabele Netter, Il Buco (NYC), Nicole Applewhite, Vanilla Bake Shop (NYC), Deanna Clevesy, Tao (NYC)

ADVERTISING ● Senior Account Executive – Dina Matar, Blue Duck Tavern (Washington, DC) ● Executive Director, BlackBook Access – Gregg Berger, Charles (NYC) ● Advertising Director – Michelle Koruda, Supper (NYC) ● Detroit Account Executives – Jeff Hannigan, The Lodge (Chicago), Kristen von Bernthal, Pukk (NYC) ● Midwest Account Executives – Susan Welter, Old Town Social (Chicago), Andrea Forrester, Tuman’s (Chicago) ● Southwest Account Executive – Molly Ballantine, The Tar Pit (LA) ● Northwest Account Executives – Catherine Hurley, Flora (Oakland), Shawn O’Meara, Nopalito (San Francisco)

MARKETING ● Marketing Manager – Julie Fabricant, Eponymy (NYC) ● Partnerships & Promotions Manager – Andrew Berman, Bozu (NYC) ● Interns – Adam Meshekow, Ronnybrook Milk Bar (NYC), Kayla Gambino, Grom (NYC), Marie Baginski, Stir (NYC)

DIGITAL ● Director of Development – Daniel Murphy, Standard (Miami) ● Developer – Bastian Kuberek, Greenhouse (NYC) ● Developer – Dan Simon, Hudson Terrace (NYC) ● Designer – Matt Strmiska, Uchi (Austin) ● Developer – Sam Withrow, Phone Booth (San Francisco) ● Quality Assurance Engineer – Sunde Johnson, Ginger’s Bar (NYC) ● Mobile Developer – Otto Toth, Alloro (NYC)

Where Celebs Go Out: Hugh Jackman, Parker Posey, Reshma Shetty

At the premiere of City Island:

● ANDY GARCIA – “In New York there are so many great restaurants. There’s an old one I’ve gone here for many years that I like to visit, just out of nostalgia. It’s a very good restaurant. It’s called Il Vagabondo. It has a bocce court in it. It’s just a very picturesque place; very, good food. Cipriani’s. There’s a new one called Nino’s. Scalinatella — a lot of Italian restaurants, you can tell. I always pop my head into Victor’s Cafe. And then, I’ve got to have a Gray’s Papaya hot dog here.” Any plans to visit Cuba? “Oh, I dream about visiting Cuba every day. But some people have to leave there first.” ● HUGH JACKMAN – “I’m a real junkie for Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I love his cooking. I just went to his place up in The Mark, and I was lucky enough to go to his new restaurant down at ABC Carpet and Home — all organic, every ingredient’s within an 100-mile radius. The food is just unbelievable there, so … Any special dish? Chicken. He told me his secret: brine. You got to brine your chicken.” ● VERA WANG –“I like Morimoto, and I like Bar Masa, and I love the new Mark Hotel, and Sant Ambroeus, uptown and downtown, Mr. Chow’s. I go out to eat a lot — you can tell.”

● SANDRA BERNHARD – “I love Cookshop, which is downtown. I love BLT Fish, one of my favorite restaurants. Babbo. Of course, I love 2nd Avenue Deli. I’m very into trying to eat locally, sustainably grown food. I’m doing more and more cooking at home because of my daughter. And I’ve always eaten very balanced and healthy, but, to me, it’s about really preserving the environment, as well.” ● ZOE KRAVITZ –Five Leaves in Brooklyn, in Greenpoint. Delicious.” ● PARKER POSEY – “I’m trying to give a good recommendation for something. Mary’s Fish Camp.” ● DOMINIK GARCIA-LORIDO – “Oh, wow! I’m, like, so not a club person anymore. I’m pretty much a homebody. I live in L.A., so … I like more dive bars and chill spots where you can hear good music. I don’t like really sceney places. I don’t like where you have to dress up. I’m more, have a beer and chill; watch a game. I have to give a shout-out to the guy I work for, as a waitress. I still work there. It’s a lounge in Studio City, California, called Next Door Tapas. It’s attached to an Italian restaurant, La Loggia. It’s a really chill, tapas bar in the Valley. It’s got good drinks and good food.” ● STEVEN STRAIT –The Smile on Bond Street — really, really cool place; a little coffee shop that’s got great food, great coffee; really relaxed, cool place. I grew up here, but I don’t live here anymore. I love staying at the Chelsea Hotel. It’s got so much character; really, amazing history; inspiring place. It’s really kept to its roots. The city’s expanded around it. It’s really held firm. I appreciate that.” ● RESHMA SHETTY – “My favorite restaurant, at the moment, is Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar. I love that place. Bar-wise, the Russian Vodka Room does a mean apple martini. And they have a fabulous happy hour: $5, 4-6.” ● GRAHAM PHILLIPS – “One thing that’s been fun is that I’ve noticed is that all the best pizzerias are in Brooklyn, and I used to never really go to Brooklyn, but now that the show [The Good Wife] films in Brooklyn, I’ve been going to all these pizzerias. I have a list on my phone. Someone sent it to me. I’ve just been trying to check ’em all off my list. Joe’s Pizza, Bleecker and Carmine, unbelievable! Di Fara, Brooklyn, Avenue J — I tried that. That was unbelievable! I also tried Grimaldi’s. And they were all unbelievable. They’re all in the same genre of this authentic New York pizza, but they all have their little twist to it.”

Where Celebs Go Out: Matt Damon, Snooki and Vinny

1. Matt Damon, after Green Zone press day: Oh, boy! There are so many great restaurants here. I like Bob De Niro’s place, Nobu. That’s a good one. 2. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi @ “Masks and Mayhem” Purim party @ Solo restaurant: Definitely, L.A., Voyeur, that club, I like it. ‘Cause I just like low-key stuff because, since I’ve been in the limelight, when I go to clubs, it’s just crazy. It’s hard to, actually, party and have a good time, because I usually go out with Pauly and Mike in L.A., and it’s just hard to party because everyone’s, like, ‘Oh!’ They go crazy. And we love that, but, yet again, we like to have our low times. So, Voyeur, definitely, a good place to go because there’s a lot of celebrities there, so we can actually relate with people.

3. Vinny Guadagnino : I don’t know. I’m not really a huge club person, so I do a lot of appearances. So lately, if I’m not at appearances, I’m really chillin’ home. But, definitely, nice places in Manhattan — Greenhouse, Mansion, Tenjune. I just eat at my mother’s house. I don’t really eat in restaurants. That’s all I can do. I’m sorry.

4. Skeery Jones: I’m a big fan of Tenjune and the new SL, downstairs from Abe & Arthur’s. That’s a really hot place. The party never dies at Greenhouse and Kiss & Fly. Those are my spots, right now. Restaurants, Locanda Verde. I’m a fan of the new Corsino, but I’m a fan of Del Posto. I like Morimoto; Morimoto’s fun. Stanton Social, always great with friends and a group of people. That party’s never gonna die. At Corsino, they do some wonderful flat breads–they do these, like, crostinis. They have a whole crostini menu. Any restaurant that has a menu just for crostinis has won my heart.

5. Sasha Antonova: Oh, my god! I live in the West Village and there are so many really good restaurants over there. It reminds me a little bit of Europe. If I would mention something, it would be French Roast. They have a special bread made with jam and eggs. I don’t know the exact recipe, but it’s delicious.

6. Eli Kirshtein: I’m not a really a club person. This is so alien to me. I like to chill and eat some decent foods. I’ve been hangin’ out at PDT alot, recently. I like Angel’s Share. I think David Chang’s concepts are fantastic, for just a casual place to hang out.

7. Radioman, a.k.a. Craig Schwarz, a.k.a. Craig Castaldo: Mostly, I wait around hotels or movie sets. I get people that way, get autographs. Sometimes, I might go to a bar, here and there, if someone’s around. What is that one on 18th Street? Avenue. I was there for an after after-party with Leonardo DiCaprio for Shutter Island, which, by the way, I have a small part in, playing a prisoner of war, psycho guy from the ’50s. You don’t recognize me because I have no beard. My hair’s cut short. I was the guy with the garden shears, at the very beginning. And I had the shackles on my feet and the handcuffs, and I’m lookin’ at Leo with a weird look. George Clooney’s flying me out to L.A.—a stopover in Vegas—and then from there, I’m going right to Burbank for the Oscars. I’ll be out there for several days. It’s one of those planes that stops and refuels. I go the cheapest way. And I stay at the Vagabond Inn—believe it or not, that’s the name of the place. And it’s out at Santa Monica and Vine. People should check it out. It’s really cool. They pay for the hotel, too. But I have to bring my own spending money. The hotel is near where the site is, for the Oscar’s, on Hollywood and Vine. And it’s homey. I like it because I can bring a bike inside. I don’t have any problems. And it’s only two floors, like, double level hotel, like a motel.