July 1, 2014
Bloomberg Global Top Five*
1. — Celeb central.Chiltern Firehouse
2. — See your food swim first.Beast
3. — New Jason Atherton. City Social
4. — Atherton again.Berners Tavern
5. — Posh super Indian.Gymkhana
1. — Bobby Flay returns.Gato
2. — Rocking retro Italian.Carbone
3. — Classic, fun Italian. L'Artusi
4. — Popular Italian.Quality Italian
5. — Best in NYC.Sushi Nakazawa
1. — Rocking burgers.CaliBurger
2. — Like the name says.Fish & Meat
3. — Chinese meets NYC. Mott 32
4. — Classic French.Cocotte
5. — Burgers & rooftop.Beef & Liberty
1. — Perfect bistro.Chez Georges
2. — Still trendy French.Hotel Costes
3. — An American in Paris. Spring
4. — Popular bistro.Le Chateaubriand
5. — Vegetable Valhalla.L'Arpege
Peter Elliot introduces the all new
Bloomberg Brief: Reserve, talks steak
sticker shock and more. Click photo to
launch or go to: http://bit.ly/1qwcvlL
*Top is compiled from on theDINE <GO>
Bloomberg Terminal. The formula
includes hits, reviews and ratings.
The Old Fashioned Way to a Great Table: Be a Regular
BY PETER ELLIOT
The restaurant world is going wild about how technology will change the way we make
or buy reservations. (See interview, page 8.) For those willing to put in the effort,
however, there's a far more traditional way of securing a table: become a regular. No
restaurateur in the world turns away a steady customer. Ever.
With so many options available, many of us continue sampling new places and never
become regulars anywhere. Still, for those who like a certain kind of restaurant, returning
over and over again has its perks. They know your name; all you have to do is get to
know theirs, return on a consistent basis, tip well, be friendly but not cloying and you'll
become a regular in no time. The first few times, book your tables for 5:30 p.m. or 9:30
p.m. to guarantee a spot, and before you know it, you'll be dining at primetime.
Below are six restaurants where you should consider becoming a regular.
1. : Possibly the most usefulLe Caprice
restaurant in the world. Open late, chic
and delicious. Get in here and the whole J
Sheekey, The Ivy and Soho House world
opens its doors for you.
2. Fergus Henderson restoredSt. John:
British food to the British. Become a
regular here and you'll be at the epicenter
of the nose-to-tail eating.
3. : This once favoriteLaunceston Place
of Princess Diana is just as clubby as it
was in the '90s. Now owned by D&D
London, this is a restaurant group (Orrery,
3 South Place, Le Pont de la Tour, etc.)
that knows a good customer.
1. The crown jewel of ChefMarea:
Michael White and Merrill Lynch alum
Ahmass Fakahany's empire. Become a
regular here and you'll be rubbing
shoulders with Bill Gates in no time.
2. : Where the downtownMinetta Tavern
set wants to see and be seen. Get to
know Keith McNally's (Balthazar) crew
and you'll be eating Black Label burgers
and using the secret number to book.
3. : Perhaps the hottest of theCarbone
hot. Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi are
expanding their mini empire (Parm, ZZ's
Clam Bar). Become a charter member
and hang on for a wild and delicious ride.
Source: Altamarea Group
These are the power tables in the front room at Marea on New York's Central Park South.
July 1, 2014 Bloomberg Brief Reserve 3
YOUR NIGHT OUT
Here's a Blueprint for Discovering the Best of New York's Revitalized Chelsea
BY PETER ELLIOT
Dining out in Chelsea used to mean a
small number of barely passable
restaurants centered around 8th Avenue
and West 23rd Street. The extension of
the High Line along the Hudson River
from its origin at 14th Street to West 30th
Street has redefined and expanded the
area overnight. Now it's a matter of too
much choice. You can easily wind up in a
tourist trap as in an unwelcoming boite
reserved for artists or models.
London Terrace, the Art-Deco complex
between 9th and 10th Avenues, is the
residential heart of the Chelsea scene.
Along the High Line, "star-chitect"
buildings are opening, bringing new
restaurants and more people.
The rows of 19th century townhouses in
the West 20s used to be home to the
city's social and cultural elite before they
moved uptown. It's taken 100 years but
now these folks are back in Chelsea.
Go With Clients
Bathtub Gin: A Victorian speakeasy
tucked behind a coffee shop. Almost
everyone is impressed.
Colicchio & Sons: The restaurant (in
the same building that houses Del
Posto and Toro) is good, but the bar
is a great place to start the evening.
Barchetta: David Pasternack of Esca
fame stays true to his fishing roots.
Large tables and great service.
Toro: This Boston import has taken
NYC by storm with its modern take on
Spanish tapas. Clients love it.
room and solid American fare make
this a great choice for clients/family.
Rusty Knot: Ken Friedman of The
Spotted Pig/The Breslin Bar fame's
home away from home.
Go With Friends
The Park: A favorite gathering spot.
Still a scene. Still fun. You can stay
for dinner too, but I wouldn't.
The Bubble Room: At the top of The
Standard Hotel. Strict security late
night is more welcoming at happy
hour. And a great way to get in later.
Empire Diner: A New York institution
reopens with chef and "Chopped"
judge Amanda Freitag at the helm.
Bottino: Home to the fashion set, it
remains an excellent Italian spot.
Particularly good for lunch/brunch.
Tia Pol: The most authentic Spanish
food in New York and open late most
nights. Super fun.
Tipsy Parson: Healthy Southern
food (and drink) is not an oxymoron.
Open late most nights.
Go With Family
High Line: A perfect place to bring
kids of all ages with multiple options
to stop and get drinks of all stripes.
Biergarten: At The Standard Hotel,
great people watching in summer or
winter (when the skating rink opens.)
The Red Cat: Jimmy Bradley's
people-pleasing American fare.
Specializes in lunch/brunch after
gallery hopping with your parents.
Co.: Jim Lahey, the renowned owner
of Sullivan Street Bakery, makes the
best modern pizza in town. Stylish
room. No reservations.
Some love it, some hateDel Posto:
it, but for an extravagant, large, Italian
family meal, it's pretty hard to beat.
Morimoto: The Iron Chef is often
there and there are few places for
sushi of this quality for a whole family.
Source: Bloomberg/Noah Fecks
The large industrial space at Toro functions well for large groups and small too.
July 1, 2014 Bloomberg Brief Reserve 4
Bobby Flay's Gato: Some Celebrity Chefs Really Do Return to Their Kitchens
BY PETER ELLIOT
Bobby Flay may be one of America's
most famous celebrity chefs but he's
determined to reclaim his roots in the
kitchen with his new restaurant, Gato.
With his partner Larry Kretchmer,
they've taken a former homeless shelter
on Lafayette Street and transformed it
into an homage to Spain, complete with
Valencian floor tiles and orange leather
banquettes. Hostesses in slinky black
dresses and an uber-modern bar whose
under lighting makes it appear to levitate
complete the scene.
Mr. Flay hasn't lost sight of his culinary
roots and his skills have only matured.
And yes, every time I have been there,
I've seen him working in the kitchen and
not out in the room glad handing. It's nice
to see at least one celebrity chef getting
back to what he does best.
The simplest dish on the menu is the
standout, a heap of perfectly grilled spice
dusted carrots on a bed of Harissa yogurt
and a hint of fresh mint. I've already
copied it to make at home.
Having sworn I would never eat paella
outside of Spain, I tried his kale and wild
mushroom version and was impressed. It
was a joy to see the crew scraping the
socarrat off the bottom of the paella dish
— the crusty, crunchy caramel like layer
that is the hallmark of a great Paella.
Another high point is the mostly
affordable, Spanish-focused wine list that
had some welcome surprises, including a
red Txakolina (sounds like chocolate).
These almost effervescent wines from the
Basque region are traditionally white and
often poured high up over the shoulder to
give them even more freshness. It's a
trick liable to get your guests wet — but
worth learning for the summer season.
There are plenty of kinks still to work
out, not the least of which is trying to get
in to see Mr. Flay live. (This is one reason
it's number one on on theDINE <GO>
Bloomberg Terminal in NYC this month.)
New restaurants tend to space
reservations at prime time, 7 p.m. to 9
p.m., to get the kitchen up to speed and
to leave seats for celebrities and critics,
but this creates the feeling of a letdown
when the rush is over. For now, I prefer
Gato late at night. Learn to eat late like
the Spaniards do and you won't have
trouble getting a table.
Peter Elliot is editor of Bloomberg Brief: Reserve
and manages the lifestyle functions on the
Bloomberg Professional service. He is
Bloomberg's founding food critic and a James
Beard Award winner. Opinions expressed are his
own. Follow him on Twitter/Instagram
Cost: Entrees: $27-$34
? Great bar scene. Yes.Date Place
: Curved brick ceilingsNoise level
make it loud. Talk to your neighbor.
: Primetime is tough now.Access
Late at night.Will I Be Back?
The tables by theSpecial Feature:
bar are lounge-like, fun and you can
eat there, too.
Believe the hype. BobbyFinal Word:
Flay can cook. He's not just a pretty
face preening for the cameras.
July 1, 2014 Bloomberg Brief Reserve 5
Heston Blumenthal Serves Up Smoking Cocktails at Heathrow Cafe
BY RICHARD VINES
The fried eggs are served with a splash
of browned butter with sherry vinegar.
The beurre blanc on the tomatoes is
enriched by smoked thyme, rosemary and
Order the fish and chips and your waiter
will spray an essence of fish & chip shop
— pickled onion and vinegar — in the air
above the plate. Speaking of essences,
perhaps you’d also like a cocktail?
Rob Roy With a Cavendish Tobacco
Cloud features 12-year-old Tomatin and
Bowmore single malt whiskies in a large
glass filed with dry ice that billows with
Chef Heston Blumenthal’s latest
establishment, the Perfectionists’ Cafe,
which opened airside at Heathrow’s new
Terminal 2 in early June, is not your
average airport restaurant.
I went along for a preview and I am
happy to say that the place looks great,
the food is imaginative and the prices are
reasonable. It beats the airline lounge by
The full English breakfast is 9.50
pounds ($15.90), which compares with
9.75 pounds at Jamie’s Italian at Gatwick.
A bacon sandwich is 4.50 pounds; pizzas
are priced between 9 pounds and 11
pounds; burger and fries costs 13 pounds
and nitro ice-cream is 4.50 pounds for two
scoops, with three toppings.
The Rob Roy cocktail is 11.50 pounds
and Champagne starts at 62 pounds a
bottle (10.50 pounds a glass) for
Attention to Detail
“Heston wanted to create a restaurant
where you could come in for whatever
you feel like, but there’s real detail that’s
gone into everything,” Ashley
Palmer-Watts, the Fat Duck group’s
executive head chef, said in an interview
in the cafe.
“This is going to be a big restaurant:
1,200-1,300 covers a day,” added
Palmer-Watts, who is usually to be found
running Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, a
restaurant where it’s easy to spend more
than 60 pounds on food alone. “We’ve
never done this kind of restaurant before,
but Heston really wanted to do it.”
The menu is based on “In Search of
Perfection,” a BBC television show in
which the chef — best known for his
restaurant the Fat Duck — traveled the
world to discover how to create
consummate dishes. For pizza, he visited
La Notizia in Naples. Palmer-Watts went
back there to develop options for the
Perfectionists’ Cafe with his head chef
(O’Neill was head chef at the Bank
restaurant in London before moving to
Quaglino’s and then to the Wolseley,
where he was executive chef.)
Understandably, the Heathrow airport
authorities had safety concerns about the
pizza oven and liquid nitrogen required for
the ice creams. (The nitrogen freezes so
quickly that the ice crystals it forms are
minuscule, making for smooth ice cream.
The dish is served with an edible
“There were no huge disagreements”
between regulators and restaurateurs,
Palmer-Watts said. “A wood-fired pizza
oven? A nitro ice-cream parlor? It isn’t
what you’re going to find in most airports.”
The 2.5 billion-pound Terminal 2 will be
used by 23 Star Alliance airlines. Other
food outlets include Yo! Sushi; Leon
natural fast food; and Gorgeous Kitchen,
an establishment fronted by four women
The Perfectionists’ Cafe reminds me of
a makeover Blumenthal did for the Little
Chef chain in 2009. In both cases, the
dishes are thoughtful and successful. Just
don’t go thinking you’re in for a gourmet
experience. The economics of such a
high-volume restaurant mean that some
items, such as chips, are bought from
outside suppliers rather than made on the
At the preview, half a dozen journalists
were served a lunch of charcuterie,
smoked salmon, three pizzas, hamburger
and fries, fish and chips, and
liquid-nitrogen ice cream. Yes, all of that.
Airport rules meant the visitors were not
allowed to consume alcohol — rare for a
The closest we got to booze was a
demonstration of the Rob Roy cocktail,
with a quick sniff. I admit it: I inhaled.
Richard Vines is the chief food critic for
Bloomberg. Opinions expressed are his own.
Follow him on Twitter @richardvines.
Source: Bloomberg/Richard Vines
Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts takes a break
before the restaurant opening.
Source: Bloomberg/Richard Vines
The nitrogen ice creams at Perfectionists'
Cafe are smooth and rich.
Source: Bloomberg/Richard Vines
The wood-fired oven is a rarity at an
July 1, 2014 Bloomberg Brief Reserve 6
Hotels at Tip of Long Island Become the New Normal, Boosting Dining Options
It used to be everyone who went to the
Hamptons rented a house or stayed with
friends. One didn't want to admit
otherwise. This season there are more
hotels and they're socially acceptable.
With them come better dining options.
Hotels make running restaurants a lot
easier and that means better service.
Tom Colicchio, the celebrity chef and
East End resident, has opened a posh
spot at Topping Rose House in
Bridgehampton. At the just-opened Capri
Hotel in Southampton there's a new
branch of BLT Steak. The Palm, Bobby
Van's and the new Delmonico's are your
other go-tos if you're in the mood for
steak and salad. On Shelter Island it's
Sunset Beach, an outpost of the ever-chic
Andre Balazs group.
Perhaps the most exciting new hotel is
Gurney’s Montauk Resort. Jennifer Oz
LeRoy, 35, daughter of the late Warner,
the empresario behind The Tavern on the
Green and Maxwell's Plum, is in charge of
resurrecting the 10-acre resort and its
restaurant Seawater Grill.
A bit farther afield, The North Fork
Table & Inn tops my list of places to dine
in the area. Its locally-sourced ingredients
are prepared by the husband and wife
team of Gerry Hayden, ex-Aureole, and
Claudia Fleming, still the most talented
pastry chef in America.
Long Island isn't always my destination
of choice; still, the region's local produce,
from tomatoes and corn to fresh chickens
at Iacono Farm in East Hampton, is a
cook's dream. Maybe now there are chefs
and other professionals out there who
know what to do with them.
Sant Ambroeus: Tanned, expensive, elegant and ridiculous.
Also reliable and delicious. It's got the best gelato next to the
pop-up in East Hampton.Momofuku Milk Bar
Stone Creek Inn: In East Quogue, it's a Bloomberg client
favorite for its serious French cuisine and professional service.
Frisky Oyster: The home of the North Fork artisanal and
model set. It's like being in Williamsburg with a tan.
Vine Street Cafe: An oasis of seasonal food on Shelter Island.
Harlow East: In the old B. Smith space facing Sag Harbor,
expect the summers' most serious scene to happen here.
Bay Kitchen Bar: Already famous for turning local berries into
killer juleps. Great view of the bay. Serious food and wine, too.
Sienna: Celebrity chef Donatella Arpaia in her first venture out
east. Part club, part bar, part restaurant.
The Surf Lodge: Concerts (check their schedule,) Australian
focused food serving 24/7 and a view. Best scene in Montauk.
— There really is only one road to get out there and very few when you arrive. My advice: never travel at peak times.Driving
Another trick? Come the other way. Arrive by ferry to Orient Point or Port Jefferson. Cross Sound Ferry. Once there, plan all your
car travel around staying off the main artery, Route 27. Go shopping in the morning. Jettison friends who think you're being anal
retentive. Get an old copy of "Jodi's Shortcuts" and learn the back routes like the pros.
— Not just for masters of the universe anymore. You can even Uber one for $1,000 and more. Uber or Blade.Helicopter/Plane
The Standard Hotel group has StndAIR. Seaplanes leave from 23rd St. to East Hampton in 45 mins. www.stndair.com
—The Jitney has multiple pick up points across NYC. The favored choice of many weekenders who keep their cars at theBus
other end or have friends pick them up. Luxury options include Hampton Luxury Liner and Ambassador Class.
— LIRR's new express services takes 95 minutes and accepts reservations (which book up quickly.)Train
Next month: Litchfield County, Connecticut. MSG me at email@example.com
Source: Bloomberg/Andrew Harrer
Traffic jams and summer prices can't diminish the natural charm of the Hamptons.
July 1, 2014 Bloomberg Brief Reserve 8
Resy: Scalping for Hot Restaurant Tables Has Arrived
What if you could just buy that impossible to get
reservation? Pay for play is the essence behind a
new online mobile venture called Resy created by
Eater co-founder Ben Leventhal and social media
and wine entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk.
Bloomberg Brief's Peter Elliot sat down for a chat
Q: How does it work?
Ben: It's a mobile app for people who
don't want to waste time trying to get into
a restaurant at prime time when they
could just pay for it.
Gary: The restaurant is in full control of
both their inventory and the restaurant
sets their pricing. When a customer
places the order, the restaurant decides
what that table will cost.
Q: So who gets what in the deal? And
how much does it cost?
: There's going to be a huge learningGary
curve for the customer, the restaurants,
and for us.
It should be 10 to 20 percent of theBen:
total bill. The restaurant will take the buik
of the fee and we'll take the rest.
Q: Who are your launch partners?
Ben: The McNally Group — Lure Fishbar,
Charlie Bird, Rosemary's. We're adding
quickly now that it has launched.
Q: Is this too disruptive an idea for an
industry that won't reveal inventory?
Gary: That's where the market is poised
to change. Restaurants are a low margin
industry. This is a way that they can
increase their income and a way for us to
make reserving an open market.
Transparent. It's not so different from
airlines, who worked out how to increase
income by charging for seats.
Q: Don't the restaurants find the whole
Ben: It's not that it's abhorrent. It's that
they don't like change. It's a tough
industry. I was talking to a guy at Per Se
the other day. Here you have people
working 16 hour days just trying to get it
right. It's not like even the smartest high
profile restaurants have an R&D team
working with them, right?
The reason they are scared isGary:
that they’re worried they’ll seem
"douchy" in an industry that's still
fundamentally based on relationships and
romance. What's more upsetting is the
lack of transparency and the fact that you
could spend hours or weeks trying to get
a 7:30 table where the odds are always
stacked against you. Your clients
wouldn't stand for it, why should anyone?
Q: So your value proposition is
fairness? Let the market decide?
Absolutely. Resy will create anGary:
actual fair playing field. We're charging for
a premium time, for a premium table and
you don't feel like a jerk for doing it. It's
anti-elitist since we're creating
transparency where there's none.
Instead of holding tables, you'reBen:
putting the right customer in the right seat
at the right time. It's a more elegant way
for customers to get what they want and
for restaurants to make extra income.
Q: How would you define what you
each bring to Resy?
Gary: Ben is one of the 5 to 10 people
who understands the industry. He's not
flying out of left field. In a business that
depends on trust, he has that trust. And
we need that to get the best restaurants
on board or we don't have liquidity.
We've known each other a long timeBen:
and were just waiting for the right idea.
Resy is that idea. And getting trust is the
first step. That's the hard part. Long term
we see platforms that aggregate supply
and demand and that’s where Gary and
his expertise comes in. He's a master at
generating eyeballs and interest. It's a
marketplace. When we get that, that's
when things will start to fly.
Q: Strengths and opportunities we've
covered. What about threats and
That we're too early. There areGary:
plenty of stories of people who built the
idea but the market wasn't ready.
Yes. The name of the game isBen:
marketplace liquidity. Matching supply
and demand. We have to get that. Uber
floating for $10 billion has me feeling a bit
better about the market's readiness.
Q: Uber is getting into reservations.
Priceline is bidding on Open Table.
Aren't those threats?
Ben: The hotel and airline industries are
light years ahead of restaurants in terms
of the inventory management technology.
So, if the technology standard gets better,
that's a win for everyone.
Q: And other competitors?
There's no question a lot of smartBen:
people are thinking about restaurant
reservations. Scalping is nasty business. I
like that several different models are in
play. We like ours. It will be interesting to
see how the space matures. I eat out six
nights a week, so we're focused on
building a product that makes people
wonder how they ever lived without it.
Q: Gary, your career started in
another opaque world. Wine. Any
comparisons or differences?
Gary: The wine industry isn't just opaque,
it's regulated. We are still dealing with the
affects of Prohibition. Putting regulations
in the hands of states makes it more than
opaque, it makes it impossible. The
difference is restaurants are ultimately
about romance. This is a one domino
game. When people realize they don't
have to jump through hoops, or behave or
feel like jerks to get a table; when they
find out they never really had a chance?
The domino falls.
Q: Will this change what we write
Ben: I think the story will be how did we
ever live without this. Let’s be honest. All
we're doing is creating a convenient and
efficient way of distributing a commodity.
It'll be as easy as picking up a phone.
Source: Resy/Sarah Wolff
CTO Michael Montero, Founders, Gary
Vaynerchuk and Ben Leventhal (CEO)