Something Sweet for Something Sweeter: BR Guest

The beauty industry has been championing it since 1993, NFL teams pink up their gear in its honor, the Empire State building goes rosy for the cause – so it’s only fitting that New York’s dining circles get involved with October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Participating B.R. Guest restaurants will be offering special dessert items during October, with 75% of the proceeds from each decadent morsel being donated to the Breast Treatment Task Force, a local nonprofit that facilitates free mammograms, diagnostic follow-up, surgeries, and cancer treatment for patients without health insurance in NYC. That means the desserts are calorie free, right? Maybe not calorie free, but certainly guilt free.

Each dessert will be priced at $10 and served at both lunch and dinner at these BR Guest locations:

Dessert: Pink Velvet Cake with Raspberry-Hibiscus Ice Cream. Dos Caminos Dos Caminos Soho Dos Caminos Meatpacking

Dessert: Bon Bons and Pink Velvet and Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream with Dark Choc Dipping Sauce. Atlantic Grill Lincoln Center Primehouse New York Blue Fin

Dessert: Pink Velvet Cake with Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream. Ruby Foo’s

Dessert: White Chocolate Raspberry Crème Brulee served with Pink Ribbon Cookies. Atlantic Grill Ocean Grill Isabella’s Blue Water Grill

Dessert: Pink Velvet Cupcakes with a Raspberry Jam center and Cream Cheese icing. Wildwood BBQ Bill’s Bar & Burger

I think tonight, instead of carelessly reaching for a calorie-ridden late-night snack to soak up the evening’s imbibery, I’ll be noshing on a feel-good dessert, prepared by an award-wining chef.

Will More Steve Hanson Spots Close?

imageI was walking my dogs past Café Habana when I ran into a group of old friends. The conversation centered on the 675 spot where Level V should be. The crew — which included a few ex-Steve Hanson employees — were talking about how “675 makes no sense” and that “another wave of contraction” of Steve’s B.R Guest properties was about to happen. I was told it’s “common knowledge” that the Starwood acquisition of B.R. Guest was “one of Starwood’s worst deals ever.” In between bites of crisp, cheesy corn, I was told that “at least one of Hanson’s properties was on the verge of closing, maybe more.”

The pal told me that these properties probably should have been closed during the last wave of shutterings that included the famed Fiamma and others. I asked which ones will be closed and was told that “Primehouse is new but doing so poorly.” He shook his head and continued, “there is so much money invested in it, it’s hard to believe it will go down, but I think it has to — that’s what I hear. I think he will retreat to just the Dos Caminos and Blue Water Grill, and I’m sure Wildwood is doing well.”

Steve Hanson looks at promoters like I look at that closet filled with my ex-wives shoes — a terrible and flamboyant waste of money. Yet promoters could have easily turned Level V into a very viable spot. “Steve was always so concerned with his image and feels that promoters are really bad for that image, but is it as bad as shutting places down, or worse, a quick fix into this 675 thing which makes no sense?” I bought him another corn, and he volunteered, “At its worst, Level V generated $30,000 on its three good days without promoters. Can 675, without bottle service, hope to generate that much?” I put in my two cents with “That’s a lot of beers,” and he replied, “Yeah, that’s what I mean.” The female corn-eater added, “It really doesn’t matter to Steve … he took in all that money with the merger.” But my corn-husking pal disagreed. “Sure, the money is always important, but Steve is so driven by image, it’s sad that it has come to this. At least with promoters there would be somebody to point a finger at.” I saw the decor of 675 online, and frankly I didn’t see much worth talking about. There was that fabulous horse with the lampshade on it, which we looked at when we were designing Aspen Social, but thought that even though it was really cool to look at one or two times, it was essentially a waste of space. I guess that pretty much sums it up.