Last night, before having dinner at Monkey Bar, I went to a party at Clubhouse Cafe, which until quite recently was Tintol, a tapas bar specializing in Portuguese wine and food. Now it’s a kosher bar and lounge. Owner Jose de Meirelles also owns Le Marais, a kosher steakhouse across the street, and he saw a demand for a more casual place for people who follow Jewish dietary laws, both for spillover from his steakhouse and, well, just because.
It was a good party. I met Beth Aretsky, who is perhaps best known a “The Grill Bitch” in Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. It made sense that she was there, as Jose used to be partners with Philippe Lajaunie in Les Halles, where Bourdain was chef.
Since the restaurant is kosher, Andrea Strong brought her kosher-keeping mother from Queens to be her guest. That was nice, and I would have chatted more with them but I ended up mostly talking with Jamie Tiampo, who came with the ubiquitous Akiko Katayama.
Jamie's a Sino-Canadian food photographer, food enthusiast, and partner in Dell'Anima. We spoke of many things, including his background (his grandfather left China’s Fujian province at the age of 6 and was raised in the Philippines, one thing led to another and Jamie was born in Calgary and raised in Vancouver, had a career in technology, decided he wanted a career in food and moved to New York). He gave my colleague Sonya Moore pointers on photographing liquids (in brief: It’s very hard to do).
I had a glass of red wine, and then went to dinner.