DENNIS CORNICK’S DAY OFF
If you’ve been to Miss Lily’s – the recently opened Jamaican style diner in the heart of SoHo – you already know about the innovative food and unique aesthetic. What or who you may not know about is the man at the front – Dennis Cornick – the venue’s maitre d’. Here at The New Potato, we know the power behind the New York restaurant maitre d’ – especially one at a recently opened restaurant. At a new hot spot like Miss Lily’s, one becomes less of a maitre d’ and more of a guardian of the gates, managing the front while also setting the tone for the restaurant. Cornick has an eclectic charm that caught our eye. Taking us through a typical day off, Cornick elaborates on Macallan at Red Rooster, Burgers at Chez Lucienne and a dance party in Chinatown…
Dennis: Sunday! The 930AM wakeup call from my trusty alarm is indeed an early start after last nights conclusion at about 5am.
Wake up…I am immediately greeted by the excitement of Lola, my nine-month-old beagle/terrier as she realizes I am awake. The day begins tranquilly as I make my way to the espresso maker to get my fix.
We decide to hightail to Yotel on 44th and 9th for their weekly brunch party, featuring unlimited drinks and an all-you-can-eat menu. There are live performances, a DJ and a mix of the ‘cool kids,’ who are more than likely still going from the night before. There is always a wait here and since we never reserve, we decide to sit at the bar. The uber-social vibe and hot staff provide for great entertainment and eye candy, typically reserved for after the sun goes down.
Food: Almost everything on the menu: French toast, scrambled eggs, sliders, pancakes, bacon…
We head back up to Harlem to Corner Social, a new hotspot on 126th Lenox. I like this space because it feels like Cheers. The design is very simple yet detailed. They serve American cuisine and have great fries! The outside cafe is a great place to sit and people watch.
Drink: Jack and Coke
Food: Jack and Coke
We head across the intersection to Red Rooster for a change of scenery and to continue drinking. This space has a great vibe and even better art on the walls. The staff here is always friendly and professional. (If you come on the right evenings, you’ll see great live performances.)
Drink: Macallan neat.
Time to soak up some of the booze. I am craving a burger, so we head next door to Chez Lucienne, a French bistro that makes an amazing burger. The drinks here are pretty top notch as well. The bartender remembers my drink, so that’s always a good sign. We dine at the bar – seating is somewhat intimate.
Drink: Jack and Coke
We head back downtown to get ready for a party in Chinatown, but make a pit-stop at one of my favorite spots, Von Bar on Bleeker and Bowery. The unassuming, low frills space gathers a great crowd, lacks any pretense and offers stimulating conversation. They offer extensive wine selection as well as top-notch service. There is a downstairs as well for a change of space and music.
Next up is Pulqueria in Chinatown. This Mexican style restaurant really gives a feel of being in New York. We turn down the narrow side street and descend down the steep flight of stairs to the basement level where the restaurant is located. The food is good but we came here for one reason…to dance! There’s generally a DJ and tonight it’s DJ Select, a resident DJ at Miss Lily’s – so I know he will deliver. Pulqueria’s bar provides ample space to shake a tail feather and that we did!
Drinks: Jack and Coke
Sneak out of the party to avoid being out until the sun comes up. Feeling satiated and exhausted, I hail a taxi and make my way home to Lola. Until next Sunday!
*As told by Dennis Cornick
*Photo by Danielle Kosann