A preview event was held Monday night and we received, count 'em, three separate reports from hotel spies in attendance. Here's what they had to say.
The backstage pass:
We were directed to Thompson St. and entered throughout an unmarked door, which led straight through the kitchen where a line of cooks were busy preparing the night's hors d'oeuvres: the kitchen was clean, shiny and pretty massive. David Burke stood in the center, large and jolly, working the crowd more than the kitchen (his chef's coat was clearly unscathed and gleaming white.)
The inside of the space is long, relativity narrow and wood-clad. The entryway was lined with wooden tables and a few spare chairs; the gigantic L shape bar was in the rear, which hugged what looked like a small hardwood dance floor. On the east side was an exposed "wine cave", which lead to a private elevator which took you to the upstairs bar, Jimmy's.
In attendence, I saw Lee Schrager (who was simultaneously celebrating the launch of SoBe taking place in Miami later this month), Alex Guarnaschelli, and Nate Appleman.
The "crazy apps" update:
Crazy apps being passed around including bacon on a stick, bone marrow (in the bone), duck tacos and rabbit meatballs. It'll be a nice restaurant that's a bit more casual than Townhouse, I suspect, though there's a part of me than thinks the restaurant should be upstairs and Jimmy should be downstairs. Also the entrance was through a side door through the kitchen—the James had folks standing outside the hotel telling people not to come into the lobby, which was pretty obnoxious.
Drew Nieporent was holding court and chatting with Jeffrey Zakarian and David Rabin. Robin Insley, the PR Maven, showed up with Rachel Harrison of Andaz. Melanie Brandman was seen chatting with Colin Cowie and David Rabin. And J.P. Kyrillos, of Travel + Leisure, and Jimmy partner Larry Poston were spotted at the after-party on the roof.
Scribd has a copy of the menu - we like the look of the 'Daily Showcase' (Shanks A Lot, heh). Mains include monkfish with guanciale, clams and cauliflower, and Vermont rabbit with chorizo and gnocchi. The sides, too, look pretty special - smoked beef fat and jalapeno fries, anyone?