Happy Birthday

cityfile · 12/24/09 06:45AM

Kate Spade turns 47 today. Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos is turning 52. Former Observer owner Arthur Carter is 78. Jonathan Benno, Per Se's outgoing chef who will soon be opening a restaurant of his own, is 40. Annette de la Renta, the wife of Oscar de la Renta and a charity gala fixture, is turning 70. Ryan Seacrest turns 35. Ricky Martin is celebrating his 38th. Author Mary Higgins Clark is turning 82. Heiress Marylou Whitney is 84. And actor Mekhi Phifer is 35. A few people with Christmas birthdays are listed below.

Eating & Drinking: Thursday Edition

cityfile · 09/03/09 03:55PM

• Not everyone was sad to hear the news that Café des Artistes was closing. Lonnie Barnett, a former general manager of the restaurant says working there was "possibly the most hellish restaurant experience ever." [P6]
• Did Irving Mill close for summer vacation or is it a sign of trouble? [GS]
Laurent Tourondel's BLT Grill, which is slated to open at the new W Hotel in the financial district, has been greenlighted by the community board. [Eater]
• Buddha Bar was forced to change its name after it lost a trademark lawsuit. Now it's come up with one: Ajna Bar. It also reports that it has a new chef, Hung Huynh, the winner of season three of Top Chef. [Eater]
• Champagne producers have agreed to pick 32% fewer grapes this year, which will leave "billions of grapes to rot on the ground." Why? Because you're not going out and buying as much champagne as you used to. [WSJ]
• Interesting in some sushi or a selection of cheeses the next time you fly coach? You may get the chance—provided you're willing to pay for it. [WSJ]

Eating & Drinking: Friday Edition

cityfile · 08/21/09 04:00PM

• Rising star Nate Appleman will be moving from SF to NYC to take up the helm at Pulino's, the Keith McNally pizzeria slated to open in December. [GS]
• Chef Laurent Tourondel is hoping to take his BLT franchise to the new W Hotel and Residences in the financial district. [Eater]
• The Parks Dep't was supposed to pick a winning bid to operate Tavern on the Green last month. It didn't, and now the bidders are getting antsy. [NYO]
• Julian Medina, the owner of Yerba Buena and Toloache, is expanding: Yerba Buena Perry will open in the West Village next Wednesday. [GS]
• The restaurant Joseph Leonard only opened a few weeks ago, but it's already been rammed by a car. Fortunately, the damage was minimal. [VV]
• A few restaurant closings around town in recent days. [Eater]
• The city is facing off against "a small flotilla" of hot dog carts outside the Met; the vendors claim they can be there because they're disabled veterans. [NYT]
• Starbucks is either raising its prices or lowering them. It's hard to say, really.

Eating & Drinking: Monday Edition

cityfile · 12/15/08 02:34PM

Frank Bruni assesses the toll the recession's having on NYC restaurants. The silver lining: It's never been easier to snag a last-minute reservation. [NYT]
• A look inside Ortine, which opens on Wednesday. [GS]
• Expect further delays for Table 8 inside the Cooper Square Hotel. [Eater]
• Christophe Bellanca has landed at Laurent Tourondel's BLT Group. [TFB]
• Caracas Arepa Bar's Brooklyn outpost opens today. [BP]
• That can of Coke is going to cost you more pretty soon. Gov. David Paterson has proposed a 15% "obesity tax" on nondiet drinks. [NYDN]

Graydon Spurns Craft

cityfile · 07/10/08 06:04AM
  • Graydon Carter has backed out of hosting Vanity Fair's next Oscar party at Tom Colicchio's LA iteration of Craft because he doesn't like the Century City complex spot's "corporate feel." Laurent Tourondel's BLT on Sunset Strip will probably host the celeb-glutted affair instead. [P6]

Laurent Tourondel

cityfile · 02/03/08 09:35PM

Tourondel is the chef and owner of the rapidly multiplying BLT chain of eateries: BLT Steak, BLT Prime, BLT Fish, BLT Burger, and BLT Market, among others.