It's smart to invite people to look at a restaurant before it opens. It makes them feel like insiders, and like they have a personal emotional investment in a place. So if you invite the media, they're already predisposed to like you. The media's predisposed to like Daniel Boulud, anyway, but why chance it?
A couple of years ago, when Bar Boulud was about to open, Daniel and his people had to test out the charcuterie that they were serving there, so it made sense to invite people to share their endeavors. It was a good party, and when I wrote about it this blog got more traffic in a single day than ever before (or since), even more than when I wrote about what kinds of tips Hooters girls get (about 45%, so I'm told).
I doubt this blog entry will generate that much traffic, because many bloggers were at the sneak peek of DBGB, Daniel's new eighty-seat brasserie near the Hell's Angels headquarters on Bowery (between 1st and Houston). DBGB is of course a reference to the famous club CBGB, and it means "Daniel Boulud, Great ..." fill in the blank: burgers, bangers (that's British for sausage), beer, what have you.
The space is big and festive, the culinary focus really more sausage than burger. They'll start with 14 sausages on the menu and go up from there. The beer program will be about as extensive as the wine program and will include 22 beers on tap and another 50-60 in bottles. There will be about 100 wines in bottles, and two on tap. They'll be about as local as New York City can get for wines. The wine itself is from Long Island. It will be blended and poured into kegs in Brooklyn. Beverage manger Colin Alevras, the man behind The Tasting Room, said he hasn't set a firm price on the house wine, but it will likely be more than $5 and less than $7.
What else? Oh! There will be many desserts, but a highlight will be a sundae cart, with many choices of ice creams, sauces and toppings. That'll be a hit.
Among the design elements is Daniel's copper pot collection, donated by chefs from all over the world for the restaurant. So there's a Victorian jelly mold from Heston Blumenthal, a fish poacher from Tom Colicchio, an ancient, ancient looking stock pot from Alain Ducasse, a chestnut roaster from Mario Batali.
They're planning on opening "at the end of the first week of June," but of course a place isn't open until it's open.
After the party, Daniel flew to Chicago for the national restaurant show, and he spoke about how DBGB fit with the current economic times. click here to read about what he said.