Where Celebs Go Out: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes

1. Richard Gere, at the premiere of Brooklyn’s Finest: My favorite restaurant has to be the Bedford Post. 2. Don Cheadle: BOA, in L.A. 3. Ethan Hawke: Manganaro’s, on 9th Avenue. 4. Wesley Snipes: That’s gotta be home. My wife is an excellent cook! Where do I like to go? Oh, La Dinastia, the Cuban-Chinese restaurant on 72nd, near Broadway. 5. Hoda Kobt: I love 21 Club. I love Tabla. I love Shake Shack, just their burgers. ‘Cause the first time I saw a line, I thought, ‘Who would wait in a line this long for a burger?’ And then I realized, ‘I would.’ There’s something about the size, the texture; they’re moist, they’re delicious. And I like Kefi — on Columbus — the best, best Greek food ever, delicious.

6. Antoine Fuqua: Carmine’s. They have Carmine’s in New York and L.A. 7. Richard Belzer: I hang out in bed with my dog! West Branch is one of my favorites. It’s up here on the west side on 77th and Broadway. And all of Drew Nieporent’s restaurants. Yeah, I get around. 8. Wade Allain-Marcus: I go to a spot like Legion in Williamsburg. It’s a bar. It’s a beautiful thing. 9. Nicoye Banks: I like the Hudson. The Hudson’s always good. The Mandarin has a nice lounge on the 35th floor, if you really want to relax, look at Central Park, be smooth. Good restaurant — Parlor Steakhouse on 90th and 3rd. 10. Grizz Chapman: Actually, I work. I don’t really hang out too much. Favorite restaurant is The Palm, the one on the east side. Being that my diet has changed, my favorite dish would, probably, just be vegetables and chicken. 11. Kevin “Dot Com” Brown: I don’t get a chance to hang out, like I used to. I come to these events, and I never remember the name — I just follow the flyer; whatever address is there; I just follow the address. But I never remember the names of the venues. And when you’re not at an event? City Island. I go to Sammy’s — I go to Sammy’s seafood in City Island, and I overeat! 12. Andre Brown: I hang out at the Rose Bar, the GoldBar, Juliet — that’s about it. 13. Daymond John: Restaurants: I always go to Nobu, Blue Ribbon. Bars, I go to Tenjune. Clubs — well, Tenjune’s like a bar and a club — I go to the Greenhouse and I go to M2. 14. Shannon Kane: Wow! I don’t really hang out at a lot of clubs or anything like that, but I have some really great restaurants in L.A. One of them is El Cholo, a Mexican restaurant. Any favorite dish? The vegetarian burrito, and the fresh guacomole — they make right in front of you. 15. Michael Martin: I used to love Bar Code. It’s, actually, gone now. I love club Amnesia, great place. The Tunnel is gone now. Tammany Hall — that’s a great one. 16. Wendy Williams: Victor’s — Cuban food. 17. Sherri Shepherd: There’s a restaurant on 56th, between 8th and 9th called Bricco’s. And it’s just a nice, little family restaurant, and I go there with everybody because they got fresh Italian food, and the owner — oh, my gosh — he kisses you like you’re the most amazing woman in the world! 18. John D’Leo: John’s Pizzeria in the village has, probably, the best pizza in New York. 19. Carrie Lowell: Bedford Post — the restaurant we own. 20. Lili Taylor: I love Bar Pitti. I like the Cuban restaurant in Harlem on 125th. Sylvia’s Soulfood in Harlem. 21. Bethenny Frankel: I like Kraft. I like the Strip House. I like Abe and Arthur’s. I like steakhouses. I need meat on the bone. I need to feed the baby! 22. D’brickashaw Ferguson: Probably, Junior’s. In Brooklyn? Yeah, gotta represent! Other than the cheesecake, I’m a big fan of their barbecued chicken. 23. Ellen Barkin: I don’t have [a favorite restaurant]. 24. Lena Olin @ “Remember Me” premiere: My favorite restaurant in the city is Nobu! 25. Gregory Jbara: The Standard Grill right now is open now till four o’clock in the morning, and they have a phenomenal menu. They have great waitstaff and you can always get a great meal, after the rest of the town is shut down. I’d recommend the oysters. They have a phenomenal selection of east-coast oysters. Also, they serve an appetizer of dried-crust cheese with English radishes. And you look at it on the table and you go, ‘What am I supposed to do with that — plant a garden?!’ And then you taste it, and you go, ‘This is a brilliant, original way to start a meal.’ Corner Bistro has the best burgers, but, if you want the best glass of wine and want to sample wines, you go to Dell’anima, which is down just south of 14th on 8th Avenue. 26. Peyton List: I love going to Dylan’s Candy Bar. I always go there and get treats or chocolates. I, actually, love the bakery called “Baked.” They have the best Chocolate Cloud cookies. What’s that? It’s a chocolate cookie, and it’s really thick and I love it, ’cause it’s so chocolatey, and I love chocolate! 27. Greg Bello: Oh, Jesus! Oh, I can’t give away all those secrets; then everyone’s gonna find out and they’re not going to be hot anymore. I don’t know what to tell you! Actually, probably, the Boom Boom Room is the hottest room in the city right now. 28. Allen Coulter: Del Posto, Peasants, Ouest –said with a French accent, but I can’t do it, Barney Greengrass. 29. Tate Ellington: ‘Cause I live in the Williamsburg area, one of my favorite places is DuMont. DuMac and Cheese is one of the greatest meals I’ve had in New York. There’s a place called Barcade which is pretty wonderful, as far as a bar, but it’s gettin’ a little packed, nowadays, but it’s a good place and the bartenders are nice. Huckleberry Bar is a nice, little cocktail lounge. 30. Peggy Siegal: Oh, I like the Monkey Bar. I like the new Jean-Georges restaurant at The Mark Hotel. I like 21, the Four Seasons, Michael’s, the Waverly Inn, the Standard Hotel. What else have I missed? I don’t know. Any favorite dishes? No, I’m always on a diet!

Finding Cheap & Chic Eats at ‘wichcraft

Lately, dining out in Manhattan has been feeling a lot like dining in a high school cafeteria. The seats at the popular table are filled with everyone who is anyone, and unless you have Daddy’s Porsche or are cheer captain, you’ll never get to sit. Which is why it has been so difficult to round up my friends for a proper meal in this city. Suggest a reservation, and you’ll receive reservations. “What a headache,” one friend, a spunky PR princess purported. “It’s too expensive to eat anywhere these days, if you can even get a reservation at a good place … it’s like a fucking aristocracy.” No doubt the economic downturn has affected many of my comrades’ fun-funds, making the all-important New York dinner an endangered species. Our “industry” has peer-pressured us into thinking that the only bite worth eating is one we can barely afford, so how do you convince the industry folk that cheap eats can be chic eats?

Last night I gathered a group of fellow editors, stylists, foodies, fashion PR persons, and nightlifers and made a reservation at ‘wichcraft to prove that dinner can be done, and be done well, even if it isn’t a recession-proof McNally favorite.

“So, what is this, like a sandwich shop?” A friend, we’ll call him D, asks as we gather on the street corner near the Gramercy outpost. We must have been too busy taking out loans for our next dinner at the Waverly Inn to notice neighborhood staples like ‘wichcraft adjusting to meet the needs of their patrons in this less-than-balmy economic climate. The go-to lunch spot has introduced a seriously under-hyped new dinner menu in the hideaway upstairs. Chef Sisha churns out creative, hefty plates like blackened beef short ribs, served with a bright tomato salad and pitch-perfect horseradish cream, and the marinated eggplant & goat cheese — a vegetarian favorite — for a puny price. In fact, all 19 dishes on the menu are under $11. Many of last night’s attendees, even the reservation-wielding fashion editors, were dumbfounded to find that Tom Colicchio’s standby sandwich shop had the capacity to produce such refined plates.

Even more surprising: the ambiance of the second floor dining room provided a simple elegance that allowed for dinner-party-caliber seating (there were 15 of us), intimate date nooks, and even some table hopping. Tiny tea lights, stark artwork, and clean lines dominate the space, allowing the focus to fall on your food and friends. “How did you find this place?” someone asked, sure that this was some secret dining club, or fabulous new speakeasy. Aside from the fact that you’ll get some serious street cred from foodie friends, the place stands out for a number of different merits. Reactions were documented.


Subject: Steven Rojas. Occupation: Man about town (really, a director at Archetype Showroom). Favorite Restaurant: Employees Only. So, how were the drinks? We had white wine for the table, which was plentiful and very good. The dishes are shareable; how are the portions? Each seemed perfect, not too filling, but also hearty I guess you could say? Like, I was interested to try a little bit, and then ended up eating the entire dish? A dish like the meatballs with garlic seemed small, but we split that between two people, and we felt stuffed. How is the food in general? Interesting items, but so good. It was almost surprising that I found myself cleaning the plate of something called pork & pickle. The avocado & radish salad was strangely delicious — a perfect opener and a great alternative to an appetizer salad. I really loved the blackened beef short ribs. The horseradish crème was not overpowering. Is the vibe of the dining room conducive to a group dinner? Yes. But it’s sort of what you make it. We talked about vulgar things, got drunk, and I got some hot girl’s number. It could also be a fun date place. There’s something romantic about sharing plates. How are the prices? I have no idea how I can pay $9 for amazing, creative ceviche here, and $19 for it at another restaurant. It seems like the more creative you get with dishes, the more expensive it is, but I would have to disagree in this case. It seems like I ripped the place off, instead of the other way around, which is the usual. Who would you bring to a place like this? Well, we had a big group, but for $16 bottles of wine, I foresee some after work happy hours. And I’m already planning on taking someone here for a date.

The Bottom Line: With friendly wait staff, a hidden dining room, $16 bottles of wine, and creative food pairings that impresses even the most faddish of guests, perhaps we’ll be able to put focus on great neighborhood favorites the next time we dine, rather than the new hot place.

Expensive Sprinkles at UNICEF’s Next Generation Launch

“This seems like one big Republican party,” an unnamed guest with a distinct southern accent noted last night at The Gates. “Either that or it’s a Yale reunion.” Amid all of this week’s summery soirees, I was most happy to find myself at UNICEF’s Next Generation Launch Event. With Jenna Bush Hager as a committee chair, Grey Goose-sponsored cocktails, and Josh Madden playing DJ, this one particularly disinterested party guest could not sour the bunch — regardless if the bunch was made up of Republican Yalies or not. The event was hosted by the members of UNICEF’s Next Generation Steering Committee, a group composed 30 thirty young scenesters, including Barbara Bush, Lauren Bush, Maggie Betts, and David Lauren, who banded together to party for their very first initiative: Project Sprinkles, as they pledged to raise $175,000 for the program. Not to worry — the program isn’t raising awareness for your Crumbs habit, though the delicious cupcakes were passed at the event. These sprinkles are sugar-free and save lives.

UNICEF’s “Sprinkles” is a nutritional supplement in the form of a powder designed to be sprinkled over food, instantly fortifying the meal with iron, vitamin A, zinc, vitamin C, and folic acid. About 25,000 children die every day from preventable causes such as malnutrition. Though this number is worldwide, the group chose to set their sights on Guatemala, where rising food prices are compounding the problem, and the number of daily deaths is on the rise. The packets are known as “Chispitas” in Guatemala, and look much like small sugar packets — though, as one passionate UNICEF member admitted to me, they are tasteless.

The goal of the Next Generation Committee is to not only raise money for these Chispitas but also to engage younger generations in supporting the world’s children. They hope to reduce the number of daily preventable child deaths to zero through charitable donations, education, engagement, and advocacy. The young group certainly made headway last night, selling raffle tickets for ritzy dinner packages to the Waverly Inn, Hotel Griffou, and Kingswood. Ultimately, between cupcake bites and vodka sips, they were able to raise $45,000.

Industry Insiders: King, Regal Rejector

Bouncer-cum door legend King doesn’t like rejecting people at the velvet ropes, but explains why some nights his own sister won’t make the cut, while a dude in a blue whale suit breezes inside.

Point of Origin: The first nightclub I ever worked at was The Building. It was a second job, I was already working during the day as a bartender, and I wanted extra money. A friend of mine was dating a guy much too old for her who was managing the club, and through her I got the job. They actually got married, so I guess he wasn’t too old for her, and she is still my friend, so I probably shouldn’t say shit like that. He’s a good guy. He is one of the guys who runs Waverly Inn. I met with him and he said, “We will give you a job as a bouncer, you have broken up fights before?” and I said, “Yeah, sure.”

It can’t hurt that you’re a big guy. I have always been big, and my father taught me to use it for good — not evil — so I had broken up fights that I had nothing to do with. My first boss told me when I come into work to wear six or seven sweatshirts. I thought he meant because it was going to be cold … but what he meant was that I was actually the small bouncer, even though at the time I was 6’4” and 270 pounds. I was the little guy, so I had to wear the five sweatshirts to look even bigger. Within two weeks, I had broken up more fights without incidents than anyone who worked there all combined because I used my brain. This was back when bouncers could beat you up and not go to jail. I would just tell the guys who were fighting they could walk out of the door with me — like a gentleman — or these other gorillas are just waiting to stomp you. What do you want to do? So they would all walk out with me and I would never tell the other guys what I had said. They were like, “How do you do that? That’s amazing! How do you get them to walk out voluntarily?” They would shake my hand for being thrown out of the club. I said, “It’s just what I do.”

Job Description: Even though at a lot of these places I’m just the doorman, and that is what I like to be, I am also generally a consultant. I give ideas and let other people take credit for them. As long as they pay me, I don’t really care. Now I’m taking a little break, ‘cause I decided I didn’t like the way the business itself was heading. Also I had some other opportunities to do some interesting things. I’m consulting in clubs around the world right now, in Japan, in England. I don’t have to work the door, or tell anyone no. I’m a man who takes rejection horribly, but I give it tremendously.

Notable Rejections: I turned down my own sister [once] ‘cause she was dressed inappropriately. She wasn’t an ugly girl, it was a special party, and I said, “You can’t come in looking like that. It would be an embarrassment to me.” All the security heard and were like, “King turned down his own sister. We better not let our friends show up.”

So who gets in? One night when I was working, a guy came up in a blue whale mascot outfit, and I opened the ropes immediately and gave him a ticket to let him in. The owner was standing behind me and asked why I let him in. I said, “Because he is a guy in a blue whale costume.” “I don’t understand,” he replied. I told him, “The real important person that I let in here tonight for you was some baseball player. When people are at work on Monday, and they are talking about being out over the weekend, do you think more of them will say, ‘I was at a nightclub and so and so from the Yankees was there,’ or more would say, ‘I was out and saw a guy in a blue whale costume drinking at the bar.’ I tend to think more people will talk about the blue whale. Maybe I am wrong. I don’t think so.”

It’s Friday night; are you going out? Friday and Saturday nights are not typically the nights a true New Yorker goes out. Those are still amateur nights. Where the B & T show up. Thursday night is always the best night to go out. It always has been. My favorite night is probably Monday.

What’s something people don’t know about working the door? I’m not here to insult you or make you feel bad. Rejection is bad enough no matter how it comes. I can be the most polite, most well-mannered person rejecting somebody. Somebody is still going to hate me for it ‘cause I’m still telling them no. Nobody likes to be told no. I would say please and thank you, and still stories would come back to me that I cursed them out. I was brought up by an English mother who would wash my mouth out with soap if I used inappropriate words. I rarely do. It’s not my nature.

New York: Top 5 Mac n’ Cheese

It used to be that a plate of gourmet mac n’ cheese was the Kraft dinner I spiked with some dill, diced tomatoes, and a can of tuna. But since moving to New York, a brave new world of haute mac n’ cheese has revealed itself to me, and not only is it often exquisite, but it’s fattening as all hell. Not counting the arrogant $55 plate of M&C at the Waverly Inn, here’s where you can find the strongest marriages of macaroni and cheese in New York.

1. Roebling Tea Room (Williamsburg) – You wouldn’t’ think so, right? But trust. Served in a skillet still sizzling, the pasta is more tortellini than macaroni. Opt for the crisp bacon strips on top, and you won’t be sorry, but your arteries will.

2. Blue Smoke (Gramercy) – This bourgeois barbeque joint sells their cheesy pasta as a no-frills side, which means you have a perfect excuse to order their Memphis baby back ribs and eat away whatever ails you.

3. Dylan Prime (Tribeca) – It’s called the lobster & white truffle mac n’ cheese. You had me at lobster.

4. Dumont (Williamsburg) – Reasonably priced, pleasurably stinky mac n’ cheese for the mature young Williamsburger. Almost everyone in this small space seems to be eating it, and have angular haircuts.

5. Eatery (Midtown) – This modern-interiored eatertorium looks like a place Carrie Bradshaw and the girls might go to blahblahblah; they call their M&C the Mac & Jack. Why? Because rhyming is fun. Topped with frizzled onions and Parmesan cheese, it’s positively oozy. Can’t you just see Samantha removing those onions, and Charlotte scooping them up with that wandering fork of hers? I can!

Industry Insiders: Chris Barish, Martini Park Ranger

Martini Park and Marquee co-owner Chris Barish on underage promoting, the power of the water-sipping celeb, bringing club culture to suburbia, and growing up with the Governator.

Point of Origin: I’m from New York. I started throwing parties at my parents’ home when I was young. We’re talking really young, like 15, 16 years old. You know, there used to be fun clubs in New York. They would have an off night, and I would come in and make a deal with whomever the owner was, because either they were failing a bit or they wanted to make a little extra money. I’d promote to the various people I had met in grade school who had then graduated to high school. When you think about it, we were really young, and I can’t believe these clubs would let us do it. It was New York, and it was a different time, different era, different laws, and a different mayor.

Occupations: I started off investing in Moomba because I just knew that it would be a great success. Jeff Gossett (Moomba owner) had become a good friend and asked me to invest. It became my little playground. In the last 18 years nothing has reached that level. It was celebrity heaven. You had to be in in to go. Which was the opposite of what I ended up doing with Light in midtown.

Light opened September of 2000. I remember we opened on a Tuesday night. There were maybe 20 people in the room. I was nervous. Then Thursday night, Charlie Sheen, who had stopped drinking, did me a favor and came in and only drank water. By 5:30 that evening, there was a line wrapping all the way around the block.

We opened Light Vegas a year later in the Bellagio — same name, but a nightclub. We did something that Vegas had not done in a long time. We flew in over 30 movie stars, athletes. We got a business Boeing jet and flew up Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Jeff Gordon, and Sting. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards were there and happy. We got press everywhere [for that]. We then opened up a place called Caramel at the Bellagio and a place called Mist at Treasure Island. When I turned 30, I got a nice offer by the Bellagio to get bought out after only being open two years. By 2005, I started scouting locations around the country (for Martini Park). I felt like there was a need in the marketplace for people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and on for an upscale nightlife experience that starts after work and leads into the rest of the night. We’re a hospitality-driven nightlife experience for everyone — for people like me. It’s a playground for grownups. We opened in a [Dallas] suburb called Plano, Texas. Then opened up in Chicago and now we’re about to open in Columbus, Ohio, in late October. We will open three to four next year.

Side Hustle: I love film. I produced a short film [called “Kill the Day”] for a very talented friend. I like to play tennis. I’d like to be a yogi, but I can’t really find the time. I’m a new daddy now so everything changes.

Favorite Hangs: When I’m not traveling, my home away from home is Da Silvano. Besides Silvano, I’ve been a fan of Raoul’s for 20 years. When I did go out before [my wife] Michelle’s pregnancy, I’d go to Soho House, Rose Bar, and Waverly Inn. I know it sounds predictable. My favorite old school bar is Merc Bar. It will never close. John McDonald is the owner and a good friend.

Known Associates: I admire, respect, and am good friends with Mark Packer, the owner of Tao. I think he’s one of the best operators out there. Noah [Tepperberg] and Jason [Strauss] from Marquee are colleagues and great friends of mine. Also, Steve Hanson from B.R. Guest Restaurants. He owns about 17 restaurants in the city. He’s a friend who I can email or text, and I know within an hour he’ll text back. Also, my father (Keith Barish) was in the film business and produced 18 films. When I was 12 years old, I walked down the stairs, and there was Arnold Schwarzenegger. He and Dad did The Running Man together and became partners in Planet Hollywood. He did this great thing for my engagement party. He warned me, “First come the engagement ring, then the wedding ring, then suffe-ring.”

Industry Icons: Steve Hanson is someone I want to emulate. He works day and night. I’m naming friends, but they are also people in the industry. I’ve seen a younger generation do great stuff. For example, I’ve watched Jason Pomerantz from the Thompson Hotel do his hotel expansion and he does a very good job. Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson. I don’t know Sean, but I know Eric really well. Here’s an example of someone who started off in nightclubs, had success in restaurants, and now has the Bowery Hotel and the Maritime Hotel. His taste is unbelievable.

What are you doing tonight? I’m going home early from work and I’m testing out our stroller. My wife and I are taking baby Bea out and seeing if we can get our Yorkie to fit in the undercarriage so she doesn’t feel left out.

Photo by Chelsea Stemple.

Counter Intelligence: The Waverly Inn’s John DeLucie

Nightly they come, exiting chauffeured limos and Maybachs, rushing by the paparazzi, and entering a Bilbo Baggins-sized door into the magical labyrinth called The Waverly Inn. There’s no need to name them. “They” have all been there, whether strolling from neighboring West Village brownstones (“Hey, Hah-vee! Can we get one shot?”), or “just in” from Los Angeles. Cannes. Sundance. Turks. Rehab.

And there are the editors, the owners, the Dillers, the glamour pusses, the disheveled ink-stained wretches with a National Magazine Award nom under their belts too. Co-owner Graydon Carter sees to the private A-list, which has not increased by much since it opened with no public reservations (but for the chosen few, access via a secret email and contact number) two years ago. Skeptics predicted a backlash, a fallout — didn’t happen.

The Waverly works because of its staff of wry and calm pros, and the guy in (and out of) the kitchen who keeps it real. In his chef whites (but thank you, no Pillsbury hat), John DeLucie, 46, traverses the wood-planked bar giving equal attention to walk-ins and presidential hopefuls. Lindsay Lohan with a gaggle of look-alikes does not faze either. She’s from Long Island, just like Amy Fisher!

A snob he’s not; his cuisine is accessibly sublime. Enough about the truffled macaroni. His chicken entrées, the beet salad, a perfect bowl of chili, those damnable biscuits are good enough for us. Here, we asked for dish, but got something more satisfying as DeLucie took morning time off to talk at Nolita’s no-less-buzzy Café Habana.

BLACKBOOK: How did you get the job as chef of the Waverly? CHEF JOHN DELUCIE: I was riding my Schwinn three-speed aimlessly around the Village one morning and saw a “FOR RENT” sign in its window. The former operators had seemingly abandoned the place. I was friendly with a neighbor who knew the landlord. I called [co-owners] Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson and said to them, I found a place for us. We signed the lease less than a month later.

What was your first impression of Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter? Initially, I was intimidated, but I soon found him to be a funny and engaging ball-breaker. He is so clever. I like being around him just to listen to his views on the restaurant, and on life in general. I can’t say enough about how his involvement has impacted The Waverly.

Did you like or dislike the idea of making food for celebrity-finicky palates? For some reason I have always found myself cooking for New York City’s cognoscenti, although not on the scale of The Waverly. It’s a career path, I guess. And the truth is, here, I have found that the boldest face names have been the most gracious and the least persnickety.

How did the truffled macaroni become such a “thing?” At the time we started it, most restaurants that were doing truffles were charging considerably more than us, but they were calling their dish “Pasta con Tartufi Bianco.” We called ours “mac and cheese with white truffles,” and the press went berserk.

Do you have favorite celebrity customers? I have a healthy respect for our clientele. They are some of the most accomplished, fascinating, and fabulous people ever. I would like them all to keep coming, so I’m going to remain taciturn about who they are.

Tell me about the book you are writing, The Hunger, and how free are you with what you say about working there? It will be published by HarperCollins next spring. It’s an anecdotal account of my cooking and life experiences in New York City over the past 25 years. It is wry and funny — I hope. The Waverly is represented, but not in the context of what some leading men’s magazine editor did or didn’t eat, or who he ate it with.

Where did you learn to cook? It originally came from my maternal grandmother. Growing up, my family lived in this giant brownstone in Brooklyn, and I would find my way to her kitchen and tugged on her apron. She would make me a snack of pastina with butter, or zucchini and eggs. Those food memories stayed with me. My mom was also a good cook, and there’s obviously the Italian thing; we have a marvelously rich food culture… and we also like to yell and scream and talk over each other at the table.

Where do you eat out in Manhattan? Any place where I can use one fork for the entire meal.

Do your peers give you guff about working at Celebrity Central? Chefs can be a covetous, jealous lot. I had a sous-chef who got into a brawl in a Lower East Side bar because a fellow chef — who worked in one of those midtown temples of gastronomy, with a lot of stars awarded to it by The New York Times — had referred to him as “the guy who makes those chicken pot pies.” Defending the honor of a flaky crust: I like it.

Authentic Village Atmosphere: New York According to the Waverly Inn

imageNow enjoying a pleasant institutional season, Graydon Carter’s Waverly Inn recognizes that some (previously discouraged) new customers might need a little assistance in finding the place. Therefore, the Waverly now supplies a helpful New York neighborhood map inside its matchbooks.


First though, observe the matchbook cover. “Strike thoughtfully” could be interpreted as a widely applicable motto for working in New York media; “Norman Mailer for Mayor,” perhaps less so. Do observe proper decorum so as not to disrupt the “authentic village atmosphere.” Now, to the map inside:


Hospital, chemist, tobacconist, subway, and shoeshine, all within an easy march. And only two blocks to the Greenwich Village Theatre, mind you.

Straight Up: Sean MacPherson

pf_main_seanmcph.jpg Sean MacPherson and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore must use the same beauty treatment. Both have the gangly strides and the “dude” demeanor of a Valley teenager, and the energy of a golden retriever. “It’s taxidermy,” says MacPherson, who we caught up with while he galloped on a treadmill in Manhattan. “I’m pickled in alcohol.”

The bi-coastal MacPherson, 42, fresh off the success of the West Village’s Waverly Inn—which he co-owns with longtime business partner Eric Goode—recently opened Bar Lubitsch in Hollywood, a Russian-themed vodka emporium. The Mao-red space has already become the hot ticket for a subtly-chic tribe of Angelenos who aren’t looking for a trendy, micro-mini-wearing set, but are looking for a sophisticated outpost to chill in (with 200 vodkas behind the bar). No surprise that his partner, Jared Meisler, managed cool-and-collected Bar Marmont when MacPherson owned that hot property too. In Los Angeles, MacPherson still presides over the enduring Swingers, the Mexican cantina El Carmen, and the accommodating Jones. In New York, he co-owns The Park, the Maritime Hotel, and together with Goode, he’s just opened two new boutique hotels, the posh former brothel Lafayette House (where Ross Bleckner and Julian Schnabel have been doing time), as well as the antiques-crammed, architectural salvage outpost that is the 135-room Bowery Hotel.

Growing up “between Malibu and Mexico,” MacPherson may have picked up a little of both place’s laissez-faire vibes. “I’ve worked my whole life,” he says, “but I’ve never had a job.”