My award for Top Chef Quote of the Episode this week is actually a tie between Andrew's response to Padma when she eliminated him because he had used six items including the balsamic vinegar, not five, as the Quickfire rules required. "I'm a dumbass -- what can I say." Well put, Andrew. His admission is tied with Gail Simmons' hilarious Judges' Table description of Nikki's turds, er, stuffed mushrooms: "They looked like something a bear would produce, not eat." Very nice one, Gail. In any case, the fun and games continue next week. But now, in honor of the "entertaining" theme of this week's episode, I thought I'd share a few restaurant options for anyone considering hosting a soiree of their own. No Zoo Animal Diet Menu required.
Irving Mill, 116 East 16th Street, between Irving Place and Union Square East, 212-254-1600
If you're looking for a place to gather say 75 of your closest friends for an honest-to-goodness locavore dinner party, Irving Mill is your spot. This farmhouse-styled American restaurant from Gramercy Tavern alumni chef Johnny Schaefer who's crafted a menu from ingredients sourced at nearby Union Square Greenmarket. (Make sure you request his chicken and biscuits.) Their lower level wine cellar-inspired dining room has a separate stairwell which allows for complete privacy, and its high tech features -- wireless Internet and wide pull-down screen, make this room ideal for showing movies, power points, or photo shows.
The Blue Seats, 157 Ludlow Street, 212-614-1494
March Madness is upon us, and the problem may not be with your bracket, it may be finding a place to watch the games with all of your closest buds. Well, forget tiny rickety stools and sticky bar floors and head over to The Blue Seats. Named for the seats where the loyalists used to sit at Madison Square Garden, is a sophisticated sports den that offers high-backed leather banquets (which seat 6-8) with five independent flat screens each and private audio. Got even more friends? Rent out the Skybox, a private sports enclave outfitted with banquet seating for 17 and a dozen independent HDTVs. Now that's what I call fantasy sports.