5/08/2012 10:07:00 AM

After Party Report: Post-Beard Madness At Gramercy Tavern, Hot Dogs at EMP

Dancing at EMP
Let's be honest - the Beard Awards are for seasoned industry vets, and these people know how to have a good time. Most of them are itching to get to the after-party circuit pretty much the moment they walk into Avery Fisher Hall. The second the awards ended and the gala began, revelers were already rolling across the street to Boulud Sud, the first stop on the industry party agenda. When we dropped in around 10PM, numerous medal winners were already in the room, including Hugh Acheson, who was looking quite dapper with a slightly groomed unibrow.

Most folks didn't stick around for long - Seamus Mullen and his crew from Tertulia walked in and walked right out and Stephanie Izard was overheard reassuring her entourage as they descended the stairs into the basement: "no, don't worry, we can go to ALL the after parties." They both lasted longer than Rick Bayless, who appeared to be heading for Boulud before he stopped to hail a cab, turning to his companions with a tired: "well, that was fun," before heading out.

After Boulud, most taxis made a b-line for Gramercy Tavern, where Best New York Chef award winner Michael Anthony stood near the door accepting hugs and smooches from the tipsy parties in the de facto receiving line.

Michael Anthony greets well wishers
Actually, receiving line isn't quite correct - it was more a mass of people who couldn't move because the room was so crowded, but they were all in good spirits. Ever the consummate host, Anthony turned it right back to the well-wishers, asking "are you having a good time?" as they offered congrats. On our way to the bar we spied big names like David Chang and George Mendes knocking a few back and while we didn't see the owner of the restaurant, we know he was in the house according to one patron's excited claim: "Danny Meyer just handed me a huge glass of whiskey!"

Most people were just warming up for the main event: the shindig at Eleven Madison Park. After some folks got out of control last year and poked holes in the furniture while dancing on the banquettes, there were worries that this par-tay wouldn't be quite as fun. A few were even warned to behave - "I was told not to dance on the tables this year," one event goer frowned, but we suspect the admonishment was more for her dagger-like heels than to keep the party's spirit contained.

A DJ booth was wheeled in around 11PM and then notables started to arrive as plastic bins full of beer were placed on the floor. Wylie Dufresne (looking a tad somber - our money is on him for the win next year!), Mullen, Jim Meehan, Stephanie Izard and the EMP crew all were in the house by the time the music started, surrounding the tables of befuddled looking diners whose service was interrupted by drunkys with their arms up as they danced to "Shout" a la a New Jersey wedding.

Lo and behold, it only took a few songs for people to climb up on the fixtures, champagne bottles in hands. Word started to spread that Humm and crew were preparing bites in the kitchen and people flocked over. As the chefs drank whiskey from plastic containers, they weren't dishing out Humm's high-end cuisine, they were making hot dogs for the hungry intruders. There was talk of heading to parties over at Tertulia and The Jane. Amidst the hullabaloo, one high-up industry vet claimed that this was her 17th Beard Awards. We asked her if it was as fun as it used to be back in the day. "No way - it was more fun back then." She stood there and pensively chewed for a moment. "But this hot dog sure is pretty good."
Hot Dogs at EMP! 


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