Midtown: Bon Appetit's annual pop-up restaurant Supper Club opens for lunch business right now. From today until the 31st, they'll be serving up lunch options designed by (but not cooked by) celebrity chefs for $ 2 - 12. We're expecting the place to be mobbed, but if you're a big chef groupie, a number of chefs including Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Johnny Iuzzini, Pichet Ong, and Michael Psilakis will be making appearances and holding book signings. Ahead: a look around and the full report from our correspondent at the media preview:
The Supper Club this year is eschewing last year's space odyssey theme for a well-meaning - if vague - "natural" look. Not only is the entire space, at 221 W. 57th St, bedecked in tree limbs and branches, but the cutlery is made of corn starch and the plates, bamboo. There's a large cookbook shop tucked off to the side of the dining room, and the second floor balcony is dedicated to sampling. Paul Jowdy, publisher of Bon Appetit, explained that the menu is designed to spotlight well-known chefs who don't have outposts in New York, and the menu is indeed heavy on the cuisine of out-of-towners (or in the case Cat Cora, folks without a restaurant at all).
Tyler Florence contributes a few items (corn chowder, winter greens salad) as do Charlie Trotter (braised leek soup, beef tenderloin and blue cheese salad) and New Orleans chef John Besh (shrimp and andouille over grits, heirloom beet salad). The prices are actually very reasonable - well-portioned salads and sandwiches run no more than $9, and all the desserts are $3. Speaking of desserts: Pichet Ong, Johnny Iuzzini, and Francois Payard all contribute recipe.