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The Eater/NYCWFF Party at The Hurricane Club

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The view from the main room
The view from the main room

Last night, a collection of the city’s finest chefs, industry insiders and food media-types gathered inside the spacious, AvroKO-designed halls of Michael Stillman's yet-to-open Hurricane Club for an evening of schmoozing, boozing, and nibbling on the finest Pu-Pu platter canapés in New York City. The occasion? To preview and celebrate the upcoming New York City Wine & Food Festival. Naturally, festival head honcho Lee Schrager was there, the music was bumping, the bar was packed, there were free bottles of rum in the bathroom and a good time was had by all. Eater was proud to co-host; our thanks to everyone who turned out. And now, for the record, the liner notes:

INDUSTRY ROLL CALL— Andrew Carmellini, Michael White, Cesare Casella, George Mendes, Johnny Iuzzini, Michael Bao, Anne Burrell, Josh Ozersky, Ken Friedman, Frank Bruni, Dana Cowin, Kate Krader, Gael Greene, John McDonald, Josh Capon, Spike Mendelsohn, Michael Voltaggio, Harold Dieterle, and oh so many more.

THE SPACE Michael Stillman's newest baby is really the perfect place for a 600+ person party like last night's bash, with its many spacious lounges fanning outward from the main bar area, each with their own unique design sensibilities. It's a clean, cool space, and even though it rocks that Polynesian influence that's so popular these days, the Hurricane Club vibe is elegant and urbane.

FOOD & DRINK— Chef Craig Koketsu and his team prepared a veritable smorgasbord of flavorful Polynesian bites, including the show stopper: a chocolate fondue fountain. Although the bar was consistently mobbed throughout most of the evening, the HC bar team kept up with the demand, cranking out an endless stream handsome Tiki cocktails.

THE SCENE— Although there was plenty of room at the club for an intimate conversation, most of the A-Listers at the party last night preferred the hustle and bustle surrounding the main bar. The man of the hour was naturally Lee Schrager, the grand Poo-Bah of the NYCWFF, who dutifully greeted guests and posed for more photos than almost anyone else. Michael White had a veritable receiving line of well-wishers there, as did Andrew Carmellini. Michael Bao was decked out in a nicely tailored lounge suit and Johnny Iuzzini looked particularly sharp in a black three-piece. Towards the end of the night Cesare Casella and Anne Burrell were spotted doing a silly impromptu dance together.

But Wait, There's More: Last night was just a peek at what's in store this Columbus Day weekend, when the festival rolls into New York, kicking off that Thursday. Like last year, Eater will host a bloggers' lounge at the event, so expect to be hearing much more about it in the weeks to come. The Hurricane Club is slated to open to the public next week.

The Hurricane Club

360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010 (212) 951-7111 Visit Website