Get the humble pie at Tatiana
Buying reservations revisited, plus omakase Nines, an intoxicating balm, what Food52's founder has for lunch, more
THE ASK • Socials
RESTAURANTS • The Apps
'That reservation has been canceled'
Late last month, after a FOUND rundown of nouveau paid restaurant reservation tools, I dropped $70 on Appointment Trader, buying a reservation for two at white-hot Lincoln Center stunner Tatiana (above).
Appointment Trader, you’ll recall, is the wild west of this re-energized market, featuring a website with a janky Y2K-era aesthetic and vague assurances that your transaction will work out just fine. (Early intel suggests that is true; it usually does work out just fine.) For my $70, I was given a screengrab of the reservation (5:30 pm, Wednesday night) from the Resy app of the gentleman who had posted it for sale.
Wednesday night, we arrived on time, bypassing a line outside the restaurant three couples deep. “We’re waiting until 6:30pm, which is when they’re taking names again,” one person told me. Which is to say, Tatiana is not struggling to fill its seats.
I girded myself and gave the hostess the name on the reservation. “Ed Tan*,” she said to me, scanning her screen and looking concerned. “You’re Ed Tan?” I felt obliged to say that I was.
“That reservation has been canceled,” she said.
“Oh wow,” I said stupidly.
She looked back at her screen. “But we do have a table for you,” she said.
Heads down, my wife and I followed another hostess to our table, which was right in the middle of the dining room.
We had an unbelievable meal. The service was impeccable, the servers clearly not having been informed of our reservation transgression. The space is classically New York City, including a new outdoor seating area on Josie Robertson Plaza that had just opened in soft-launch mode. (That night, walk-ins were getting seated out there, but it required knowing to request the patio, and rolling with a slightly smaller menu.)
On the way out, I stopped back by the check-in table. “Obviously you knew something was up with our reservation,” I said to the woman who had checked me in. “Why did you seat us?”
She smiled. “We had availability, so we seated you,” she said.
“So pure hospitality,” I said. She beamed. —Lockhart Steele
* not the actual name.
RESTAURANTS • The Nines
Omakase, top shelf
Icca (Tribeca), $400, six-seat Edomae counter with subtle Italian influence
Sushi Noz (Upper East Side), $495, two counters serving city’s rarest seafood
Noz 17 (Chelsea, above), $435, for the adventurous
Joji (Midtown), $375, luxury ingredients from Masa vet in sexy lower-level space
Nakaji (Chinatown), $295, covert counter with chutoro that will make you cry
Yoshino (Noho), $500, New York Times 4-star
Sushi Ginza Onodera (Midtown), $350-$450, Tokyo-based chainlet known for $275k tuna purchase
Noda (Flatiron), $400, straightforward Edomae-rooted omakase in artsy space
Shion 69 Leonard (Tribeca), $480, Sushi Saito alum with insane tamago
All counter-style omakases with seasonal menus. Pricing for one, excluding beverages. Missing something here? Hit reply or email email@example.com.
→ The forthcoming Fort Greene restaurant collaboration between restaurateur Gabe Stulman and chef April Bloomfield has a name, via this WSJ Magazine profile — Sailor — and, according to Stulman, inspiration from Paris and London: “Imagine a little bit of Septime, with a little bit of St. John and a sprinkle of the River Café.” Oh, and it’s a design collaboration with Alfredo Paredes Studio. On the menu, seafood, yes, but also “probably something burger-shaped flying around,” Bloomfield says. As for opening, which the WSJ is curiously quiet on? FOUND hears August.
NYC RESTAURANT LINKS: On reservation fragmentation and why booking a table is only going to get harder • Have NYC restaurants reached peak ham? • Team behind East Village’s Rosella opening two new concepts • Central Park’s Boathouse Café will reopen later this month, restaurant proper later this summer • Les Trois Chevaux goes a la carte • How the Parm espresso martini happened: a timeline.
GOODS & SERVICES: FOUND Object
An intoxicating balm
Before closing its storefront early-pandemic, CAP Beauty on West 10th Street didn't just give the best facials in the city, it was where you went to discover your new favorite products: Marie Veronique oil cleanser (handmade in Berkeley), a jade facial roller (before they went mainstream), Sisters’ “microbiome friendly” shampoo. But my favorite CAP discovery was IN FIORE’S Jasmine Supérieur balm, a purchase I can only justify when I’m postpartum or super dry in the dead of winter. Its intoxicating scent reminds me of honeymooning in India.
As for CAP Beauty, it lives on through an online store; its former aestheticians, who have spread out across FOUND’s Rejuvenating Facials Nines; and that spa feeling I get whenever I use Jasmine Supérieur after a shower. –Julia Steele
→ Shop: Jasmine Supérieur, IN FIORE, $225.
GOODS & SERVICES LINKS: On Avenue A of all places, a new golf shop • Africa’s leading luxury concept store is coming to Brooklyn Museum • David Barton makes a comeback with new luxe gym in Chelsea • Restoration Hardware storms into England • New "Pét-Nat Opener" is a lot to unpack.
WORK • Office Life
On the market: Kickstarter HQ gets a price chop
It’s been almost 10 years since Kickstarter moved its headquarters to the former Eberhard Pencil Factory in Greenpoint, a building it bought for $3.6 million and renovated to fit its ethos as a place for creators. It was a bold use of capital and space, and for a time the office, with its library, gardens, and mission-driven vibes, felt like the future of work.
Today, the building is for sale for $25 million, a $4.5 million chop from its previously listed price. Kickstarter’s workforce? Gone remote. What’s next for 58 Kent? “Something like a social club would be great here,” the listing agent told the Post. Indeed.
NYC WORK LINKS: After latest cuts, Meta’s NYC headcount is ~5000 • City dips toes into hybrid work with pilot program • JP Morgan building wealth unit to cater to world’s richest families • The great resignation is over.
WORK • Tuesday Routine
Food52’s oasis in the Navy Yard
It’s Tuesday morning, where are you working?
Today, I’m at our new workplace in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We’ve only been here a few weeks, so while our kitchens are up and running, you have to navigate among boxes to get to the printer room. I work from home sometimes, too, usually on days when I’m doing a video in my kitchen. This morning I listened to a biography of Joan of Arc by Helen Castor on my 25-minute walk here. Things aren’t going so well for Joan.
What’s the Tuesday morning scene at your workplace?
A bunch of our team is traveling today so the office is a bit cavernous. I’m in my office (above) – my first office in my career (I’m 51). I’m an introvert so having an oasis that I can slip into to recharge feels like a massive upgrade.
What’s on the agenda for today?
A friend of mine, who consults with CEOs on strategy and communications, is coming by for coffee. I’m helping work through our construction punch list (you didn’t say my day had to be glamorous, right?). I’m writing a blog post on the marzipan bars at Koloman and working with a production company on a cooking show concept. Later, I’m meeting up with one of our longtime Shop partners — Zwilling, a cookware company — who’s coming to visit our new space. And I’m going to talk to a friend who started a big coffee business to try and convince him to write a book about it.
What’s for lunch?
Egg salad with extra capers on a toasted wheat bagel, and a side of slaw from nearby Russ & Daughters. I also had the tahini-tomato orzo salad that’s part of Will Coleman’s chef-in-residence menu for Hungry House. Will does funny and charming cooking videos for us, and he’s starting his own spice company, Bold. He’s a great NY story.
Any plans tonight?
Going to see The Fears, a new play by Emma Sheanshang.
First, a quick reminder on how this works: You send us the pressing questions of the day (on dining, services, living in NYC and surrounds). We all put our heads together (us, FOUND, + you, FOUND subscribers, who are also FOUND) in a search for truth and beauty. Please do not be shy — hit reply or or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PROMPTS, two new, one for which we continue to seek more intel:
Where do FOUND readers go for their most finicky leather repair work (chromexcel, etc) on irreplaceable goods?
Back when I was a law firm summer associate, we used to go out for long, fancy lunches with partners. Is that still a thing? What are the new hot spots?
I'm sort of into grand Manhattan dining rooms right now (like Oceana). What are some other examples of the form?