Chicago Opening: Baume & Brix

While New Yorkers seem to be swooning for cozy and cozier, Chicagoans apparently still love a "statement" restaurant, which is why anticipation has spiked surrounding the opening of Baume & Brix.

Within its labyrinthian interior are several dining areas of diverging aesthetic thrills: silver globe lamps here, medievally brick arches there, and a dark and sexy bar. Oh, and the food…with former iNG and Moto chef Thomas Elliott Bowman behind it, Baume & Brix’s international cuisine is as varied as its spaces, with four adventure-themed menu headers: Explore, Summit, Divide, and (our favorite) Conquer. From the unshelled lobster with vanilla-potato foam to the cotton candy sorbet to the grilled cheese with rooibos ice cream, it’s a feast for the senses…and the sense of humor.

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Industry Insiders: Russ Manley, Vintage Connosieur

Russell Manley started his first Tommy Guns salon at the age of 23 in Brighton, England. He then moved on to open another wildly popular location in London’s Soho and made the move to New York’s Lower East Side a year and a half ago. Walking into the Ludlow Street location feels like taking a step back in time. The salon is adorned with leather upholstery; nickel, mirror and glass cabinets and marble throughout. Vintage light fixtures are the icing on the cake. A peek inside after the jump.

On the first location: In Brighton there was an old barbershop that had been open since the ‘20s that closed down. I bought the whole interior of it—the cabinets, the chairs, everything. At that time in salons, the look was gold and gilt interiors. I just wanted the kind of aesthetic of a comfortable barber shop and have it for guys and women. We put the interior of the original barbershop in the site we found in London. At the time, no one else in London was doing that. It was laid back and comfortable. We didn’t want stylists that would look you up and down to make sure you were cool enough to come here.

On his first years as a stylist: I started by doing friends’ hair and not having any idea what I was doing. At the time it was a late-punk, early new romantic, and I decided it was what I wanted to do for a career. I went away to an apprenticeship, learned how to do it properly, and then went from there.

On avoiding hair cutting disasters: It was pretty straightforward when I started. I bought myself a pair of clippers and it was just a lot of shaved on the sides and long on the top and the crimp. It was all very basic.

On the move to NYC: I’d worked 17 years in London so it was time to have a challenge. I didn’t want to open another salon in London. I had friends that lived and worked in New York, so I was traveling back and forth seeing them. New York is a lot cheaper than London, although I wouldn’t have said that ten years ago. New York has changed a lot and for the better. It’s a fun place to be and I thought it’d be a good test to see if our concept in London worked here. We’ve been open 15 months now and luckily that seems to be the case. It gets busier and busier with each week. It’s getting a good rep and about 60-70% of our clients are actually women.

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On trends in facial hair: For a while there were a lot of guys getting mustaches. Definitely no goatees. Don’t do that. Thank god that fashion passed.

On British v American salon visitors: To be brutally honest, the British clients don’t tip! That’s the biggest difference. It’s surprising though, there isn’t a whole lot of difference culturally. It’s very similar. I don’t know if that’s because of the media crossing the Atlantic so easily in terms of magazines. Probably because we’re in the LES—I bet if we were uptown it would be different. But the LES is very similar to the other areas we are in London.

His worst habit: Saying the word “cool.”

Go-to places: Moto in Brooklyn. Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg—it’s not a hotel; it’s a bar. Walter Foods in Brooklyn. Double RL on Prince Street.

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.

EDITORIAL ● Editorial Director/Editor-in-Chief – Ray Rogers, Café Mogador (NYC) – Hummus, crack-caliber coffee, and outdoor patio for primo people-judging and “novel writing.” ● Creative Director – Jason Daniels, Babettes (East Hampton) – Don’t let the word “organic” turn you off . ● Executive Editor – Chris Mohney, Pegu Club (NYC) – OCD cocktail heaven. Pith helmet and ivory cane optional. ● Senior Editor – Nick Haramis, The Jane Hotel and Ballroom (NYC) – Latest smash from Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode gets all Edwardian on the WVill.

● Editor-at-Large – James Servin, The Raleigh (Miami) – The local equivalent of LA’s Chateau Marmont. ● Staff Writer – Ryan Adams, Republic (NYC) – Minimalist fave and only vaguely communist, which is more fun than the full-bore thing. ● Writer-at-Large – Alison Powell, Wurstküche (LA) – Hey, sausages! Downtown hipsters with a secret inner-manly-man are pleased. ● West Coast Editor – Matt Diehl, Cole’s (LA) – The 100-year-old buffet-style cafeteria comes back as something new (but the French dip stays). ● Nightlife Correspondent – Steve Lewis, La Esquina (NYC) – Day and night, eating, meeting and playing. ● Paris Correspondent – Dana Thomas, Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Hotel (Paris) – Posh sips & historic ambiance at the Ritz. ● Assistant Editors – Ben Barna, Tokyo (Montreal) – Buy one for the buff bartender while you’re at it—he’s a starving actor. Cayte GrieveCafé Asean (NYC) Foster Ethan KamerLa Superior (NYC) – Quite possibly the best little taqueria this side of town. ● Editorial Assistant – Eiseley Tauginas, Alta (NYC) – Alta, as in “high,” as in “haute,” at this sexy Village tapas spot. ● Copy Editor – Michèle Filon, Sripraphai (NYC) ● Editorial Interns – Annie Clinton Moto (NYC) – High-flavor food with dungeon loos. Sure, Moto’s for metros, but it’s hot anyway. Delia Paunescu Schiller’s Liquor Bar (NYC) – McNally’s successful entrée into the LES mess. Desiree Pais, Lit (NYC) – Rock bar du jour for hos and bros of the ain’t we the shit? set. Alexandra Vickers, Colette (Paris) – Art, style, music, sex and water.

ART ● Art Director – Amy Steinhauser, Five Leaves (NYC) – Café posthumously funded by Heath Ledger does justice to the work and hype put into it. ● Photography Assistant – Stephanie Swanicke, Brandy Library (NYC) – Highbrow mixology, let us know when it’s time to dust off the antique bottles on the upper shelf. ● Design/Photo Interns – Angela Chen, Dinosaur BBQ (NYC) – Roadhouse bringing southerners to Northern Manhattan. Krista Quick – Ottobar (Baltimore) – What can we say, this place rocks.Jeremy Jones – Tokyo Bar, (NYC) – Schizo décor and food, but decently done all the same.

FASHION & BEAUTY ● Fashion Director-at-Large – Elizabeth Sulcer, China Grill (NYC) -Heaping plates of Asian fusion amid fashionable environs. ● Market Editor – Bryan Levandowski, Bondi Road (NYC) – Wizards of Aus in NYC, we like your style. ● Fashion Assistant – Wilson Mathews III, Per Se (NYC) – Advanced gastronomy at the Time Warner Center. Thomas Keller pulls out all the stops. ● Fashion Interns – Samantha Shaw, Chez Janou (Paris) – Boisterous southern bistro near the Place des Vosges. Julien Blanc, La Esquina (NYC) – Fairly authentic Mexican and one of the city’s best-known “secret” bars. Laura Watters, Café Habana (NYC) – Scarfing roast pork is so much better when Mary-Kate is watching, longingly. Lindsay Abrams, Sketch: Gallery (London) – Quirky soho hot spot. BlackBook magazine Founder – Evanly Schindler, The Smile (NYC) – Earnest Sewn owners take over abandoned Double Crown space for Med-inspired cafe/boutique.

BLACKBOOK MEDIA CORP ● Chairman – Bob Hoff, Guys & Dolls (LA) – Sophisticated sexy in West Hollywood. 7 nights a week. ● CEO – Ari Horowitz, L’Ecole (NYC) – Get schooled in fine French cuisine at this tasty training center. ● Associate Publisher – Brett Wagner, Café Select (NYC) – SoHo café marries Swiss Alpine to downtown design, garners Next Brunch Place status. ● Director of Finance and Operations – Joe Friedman, Lucky Strike Lanes (NYC) – Scenester bowling from the dudes behind Marquee and Tao. ● Corporate Counsel – Drew Patrick of Drew Patrick Law, Dutch Kills (NYC) – Modern-day antique saloon from New York’s cocktail kings. ● Executive Assistant – Bridgette Bek, Motorino (NYC) – Belgian-bred Mathieu Palombino’s Billyburg pizza joint serves up personal pan-sized genius, one pie at a time.

ADVERTISING ● Senior Account Executive – Dina Matar, Gascogne (NYC) – Southern French cooking without the Southern French ‘tude. ● Account Executive – Brian Kantor, Botanica (NYC) – Dive that must be working some kind of Santeria to keep prices down in this excessive nabe. ● Executive Director, BlackBook Access – Gregg Berger, La Piaggia (Miami) – Keep your feet in the sand and your hand on the rosé glass at this waterfront café francaise. ● Detroit Account Executives – Jeff Hannigan, Blind Tiger Ale House (NYC) – Beer bar institution finds new home, devoted crowd. Kristen von Bernthal, Pure Food and Wine (NYC) – Say goodbye to a future of pacemakers and a gut the shape of China. Raw food is real food. ● Midwest Account Executives – Susan Welter, Perennial (Chicago) – This could easily become Chicago’s summer hotspot for years to come. ● Andrea Forrester, Mirai (Chicago) – Thumpin’ music and bumpin’ elbows don’t deter crowds from gathering for some of the city’s finest sushi. ● Southwest Account Executive – Molly Ballantine, Gjelina (LA) – New Venice, new American hotspot takes on Hollywood posturing and tude. ● Northwest Account Executives – Catherine Hurley, 15 Romolo (San Francisco) – Bourbon & Branch without the passwords and financial types. Shawn O’Meara, Suppenküche (San Francisco) – Fun place, hearty food. Check the diet at the door. Sales Coordinator – Claire Pujol, Fat Baby (NYC) – Dank in a clean way. Do not enter without skinny jeans.

MARKETING ● Marketing Manager – Julie Fabricant, Kingswood (NYC) – Creative Aussie eats. Feel like king of the W. Vill woods. ● Partnerships & Promotions Manager – Andrew Berman, Bozu (NYC) – Sunken Japanese paradise. Delectable sushi, incredible drinks. ● Interns – Rebecca Hill, Chicago Brauhaus (Chicago) – One of the last of Chicago’s great German restaurants with live oompah bands and an Oktoberfest menu year-round. Delna Joshi, Hudson Terrace (NYC) – Rooftop pleaser for drunk summer afternoons. Brianne Murphy, Beauty Bar (NYC) – Kitschy theme bar serving up mani/drink combos under a row of hair dryers. Elizabeth Pirozzi, Pink Elephant (NYC) – Gangsters, models, and house. Where one goes, the others must follow. Monica Dybuncio, Cha Cha Cha (San Francisco) – The Haight’s never-ending Caribbean party where Santerias and sangria rule. Emily Pflug Presidio, Delfina (San Francisco) – Overly moussed males, technophiles, and high-class hipsters collide in this local fine dining favorite. Lea Abeyta, The Annex (NYC) – Grown-up newcomer from Dark Room boys. Tiswas Saturday, Interpol’s Paul B holding down Wednesday. Joanna Rubinstein, Bar Breton (NYC) – Fleur de Sel’s tastes of Brittany now available in brasserie form. Marie Baginski, East Andrews Cafe & Bar (Atlanta) – Label toters run amok at Buckhead restaurant-bar and pack the place on Thursdays and Fridays. Megan Kunecki, Blender Theater at Gramercy (NYC) -New indie rocker hosting artists you put on your iPod for show while you’re really listening to “Since U Been Gone” again. Jay Kassirer, The Smile (NYC) – Earnest Sewn owners take over abandoned Double Crown space for Med-inspired cafe/boutique. Suhee Eom, Momofuku Ssäm Bar (NYC) – Chef-of-the-minute David Chang fancies up Korean burritos and gets avant-garde after 6pm. Jaime Marie, Sueños (NYC) – Sweet dreams of organic tequila and make-your-own-tacos really can come true! Rana Razavi, Sanctuary (Miami) – Swank rooftop bar and the promise of hanky panky in the pool.

DIGITAL ● Director of Development – Daniel Murphy, Yerba Buena (NYC) – Petite hot zone with wide range of Pan-Latino small plates. ● Lead Architect – Matt Hackett, Beast (Brooklyn) – Small plates and top brunch, come get lost in Prospect Heights. Developer – Bastian Kuberek, Motor City Bar (NYC) – Front like you remember how to drive and these 8 Milers might let you hang. ● Developer – Dan Simon, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill (NYC) ● Designer – Matt Strmiska, Manuel’s (Austin) – Immaculate cleanliness, smart design, and Wine Spectator-designated mole don’t come cheap even for the downtown lunch crowd. ● Developer – Sam Withrow, Pacific Standard (NYC) – Mellow, big-hearted Slope pub keepin’ it pacific. ● Quality Assurance Engineer – Sunde Johnson, Stone Park Café (NYC) – White on white, Williams-Sonoma, Maclarens, fish sandwiches, and burgers. ● Mobile Developer – Otto Toth, Centolire (NYC) – Mangia, mangia, and then ride up and down in the funny glass elevator until the hostess kicks you out.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS ● Bob Hoff, Guys & Dolls (LA) – Sophisticated sexy in West Hollywood. 7 nights a week. ● Ari Horowitz, L’Ecole (NYC) – Get schooled in fine French cuisine at this tasty training center. ● Eric Gertler, SoHo House (NYC) – Members-only decadent den where you may find scruffy English rockers or snaggle-toothed English bankers. Guess which is more likely. ● Joe Landry, Local (LA) – Anything goes, as long as it’s not beef. ● Irwin Lieber, Fishtail by David Burke (NYC) – Fresh seafood in the UES by celeb chef David Burke. ● Dan Pelson, Marea (NYC) – Hopes for a high tide abound at Michael White’s temple to Italian seafood. ● Barry Rubenstein, Shun Lee Café (NYC) – Haute Chinese and dim sum on a glossy, ’80s-fabulous set. ● Jack Sullivan, Blue Ribbon (NYC) – Bromberg bros brasserie takes care of Soho’s after-midnight crowd.
Brian Wilson Tickets Capital One Bank Theatre at Westbury Tickets Westbury Tickets

Industry Insiders: Heather Tierney, Mixology Mistress

Heather Tierney, apothecary-at-large for Chinatown destination Apothéke on comparisons to Amy Sacco, being the bad twin, and dealing with Chinese landlords.

Have people compared you to Amy Sacco? Admittedly yes, and I am honored. She is giant in this business. I might know 1% of the people she knows, so it is flattering for someone to say I am like her.

Where have you been going out? I like small places that have an identity. I like La Esquina … I think that place is brilliant. It’s completely original, and it still holds up. It will be there a long time and the food is excellent. I like this place in Williamsburg called Moto. It’s in this old check-cashing shop. It’s a random location in the middle of nowhere. They made a great Parisian bistro/bar with great details. It’s just so charming. Sometimes they have a band, and you have to walk through the band to enter.

How’d you get involved in this business? Really the way I got into the business was finding this street. I passed this street with friends one night after a concert because we decided to walk to the Brooklyn Bridge to watch the sunrise, and I felt the street was so magical and wondered why no one had ever done anything on it. I started looking around and talking to brokers. I thought it would make a good cocktail bar destination. I hadn’t even met Albert Trummer yet. I quickly realized there was a huge barrier to entry into the Chinese community as an outsider. They don’t do leases here. People pay month to month. You want a lease if you are going to renovate a space and put a lot of money into it. Meeting with a landlord is hard because they are not interested … they pass it down into the family. Everything on the street has been owned by families over the years. I just kept the idea. I met Albert a couple of years ago through a friend who worked with him at Town and had read about him and admired him. I was moved by his humbleness when I met him. I felt that what he was doing with his mixology, no one else was doing. Albert had worked at Town and Bouley, and I thought it would be cool to bring him into an edgier environment.

Who do you admire? Keith McNally. First because he has not sold out, meaning I am sure he has been approached by everyone under the sun to put a Balthazar in Las Vegas or a Pastis wherever. He keeps his brand very strong … he doesn’t dilute them. Each restaurant is a unique concept and its own brand, and he doesn’t open more than one of them. He nails it on the head. He has great staff. He has great vision. He also gives back a lot. Every year he brings an orphanage into Balthazar and feeds them. The do magic shows for them, and the cards get stuck to the ceiling. You will see them still on the ceiling. He is also very humble and down to earth. Danny Meyer is next because he really understands service. He is a warm person and has built an empire, and none of them have a cold, corporate feeling. He wrote a book about hospitality and says it’s the small details that get you to the big place. Everyone in the industry says you have to read his book. People live by it. He gives back a lot too. He is also really down to earth.

What trends are you seeing in your industry? I hope attention to detail is a trend in the city. That’s what interests me. Places need to make a statement and be memorable, which I think is from substance. It can’t just be I am so-and-so and I am opening this, ’cause no one will care in six months.

What is something that people don’t know about you? That I am from Indiana. That I have a twin sister, not identical. We are yin and yang. She supports me in all my crazy ideas. She is the good one, Katie. Also that I don’t care about the “scene.” I don’t need to constantly network. I like to be alone and lay in the sun

Burger Shoppe, Apothéke. What’s next? I have another business too. It’s a concierge service called Sorted. It is a membership. I am not even taking on new members. I have even more I want to do. I want a personal life too. Also opening places, you get a bug to open more. I am even hoping to expand into the basement and upstairs of this space.

What are you doing tonight? I am going to dinner at Macao, owned by the same people who own Employees Only, with a friend who is a restaurant critic. Then I am coming back to Apothéke.

Chicago: Top 10 Ball-Dropping Places to Ring In 2009

imagePull out your card and make reservations now.

1. The Violet Hour (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – Reserve the third seating at this intimate hotspot. For $60 a person, you get unlimited sparkling wine and three cocktails (or beer or wine) from their NYE cocktail list. There will be an appetizer menu floating around, but food is not included in the price. 2. Province (West Loop) – Ring in an organic New Year. The early seating package (5:30 to 8 p.m.) inside this LEED-certified building includes three courses at $36 per person for food only; for the later seating, you get a glass of sparkling wine and your choice among five appetizers, five entrees, and three desserts for $65. There’s a couple of wine packages to choose from, too. 3. Pops for Champagne (Near North Side) – If you’re looking for an open-bar package with Piper-Heidsieck Champagne and passed hors d’oevres prepared by Chef Andre Brochu, then slap down $130 and indulge here. The Ava Logan Quartet will be bebopping downstairs in the intimate jazz lounge from 6 to 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

4. Blackbird (West Loop) – Celebrate with the regular menu, or feast on the $100 NYE dinner that includes caviar, roasted foie gras, lobster legs, braised rack of lamb, black truffle, and more. Wine pairings will be offered for an additional $55 per person. 5. avec (West Loop) – Nothing screams “Happy 2009!” like a wild boar menu. Nothing. 6. The Bristol (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – Lie to yourself about your upcoming resolutions while choosing between the ballotine of young chicken, the Bristol bouillabaisse, and the red onion tart. You get three courses for $39. Oh, and last we checked the second floor was still available for a private party. 7. The Publican (West Loop) – Make reservations early as Chef de Cuisine Brian Huston will prepare a special à la carte version of his pork- and oyster-centric menu to celebrate the season. Consider how the communal table situation might be perfect for finding someone to kiss at midnight. 8. Vertigo Sky Lounge (Near North Side) – Watch Chicago ring it in from the 26th floor. Tickets will cost you (and 164 other people) $206.50, but that gets you inside their “Octopussy Penthouse” party with running films, passed hors d’oeuvres, house cocktails, a midnight Veuve Cliquot toast, and a view from the open patio where they’ll have an “Ice Luge” with housemade shots and drinks. 9. Moto (West Loop) – Chef Cantu has created a 12+ course meal consisting of his most famous dishes. Bring your credit card because it’s $150 a person, plus another $90 if you want to do the wine pairing. 10. N9NE Steakhouse (West Loop) – The second seating (8 to 10 p.m.) will feature N9NE’s a la carte menu of signature steak and seafood dishes for $80 per person, and it also gets you into the upstairs Ghost Bar after 11 p.m. You could really live it up by also requesting a spot at the Champagne and Caviar Bar.

Chicago: Top 5 Places to Pretend You Have a Trust Fund

imageIf you go to the School of Art Institute, you probably do …

1. Charlie Trotter’s (North Side) – Brag about eating there but one-up yourself by claiming it doesn’t live up to the hype. 2. Alinea (Lincoln Park) – Get ready to dump around $200 per person, but that’s for 25 progressive American courses. 3. Manor (Near North Side) – Unless you have a lot of cash to burn on bottle service, don’t even think about trying to get in.

4. Moto (West Loop) – Ever been so hungry that you wanted to eat your printer paper? Well, now you can. 5. Spring (Bucktown/Wicker Park) – Shawn McClain was the James Beard Best Chef Midwest award winner for 2006. Come hungry and don’t forget to make a rezzie.