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NYC Restaurant Hostess Allegedly Used Racial Slur and Initiated Violent Brawl, Customers Say

Plus, the Modern finally reopens after 18 months — and more intel

The exterior of a restaurant with red awnings and a white sign above that reads “Carmine’s” in red lettering.
Carmine’s on the Upper West Side.
Carmine’s/Via Google Maps

Vaccination requirement controversy at Carmine’s takes another turn

Late last week, various media outlets reported that a trio of customers allegedly assaulted a hostess at Carmine’s on the Upper West Side after she requested to verify their vaccination status. The incident sparked a flurry of news coverage and outrage over social media over the weekend; however, the conflict took another turn on Saturday: The New York Times reports that the customers, three Black women visiting from Texas, did in fact show documentation of their vaccination status, according to their lawyers as well as Carmine’s.

Video footage from a security camera appears to show that three men tried to join the women in the restaurant but two weren’t able to prove their vaccination status, according to reports. At that point, the women exited the restaurant and the Carmine’s hostess allegedly used a racial slur and assaulted the customers first, one of the lawyers representing the women told the Times. The restaurant has denied the women’s account of the altercation through its legal team. The women now have a court date for October 5.

The Carmine’s incident capped the first week since New York City instituted its vaccine mandate for indoor dining, a move that’s already proving to be a delicate balancing act for restaurants, especially for those in areas with lower vaccination rates. Restaurant employees have voiced concerns over how they are now put into a position to enforce the vaccine requirement.

In other news

— After 18 months, Danny Meyer’s the Modern finally reopened on September 17. The MoMA restaurant is now offering an a la carte menu from its bar for customers seated in the sculpture garden, and a tasting menu will soon debut at a table located inside the kitchen, a spokesperson tells Eater.

— Grub Street takes a first look at Greenpoint’s new slice shop Mo’s General, which is also part grocery store from Max Katzenberg, a partner at Olmsted, and Mac Murdock, a former chef turned meat purveyor.

— For this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, the upscale Northern Chinese restaurant Hutong is offering a five-course prix-fixe menu ($88) through October 10, which also includes a complimentary hot dog mooncake.

— The women-owned tinned seafood company Fishwife is launching a new smoked salmon with a party at Rhodora Wine Bar in Fort Greene at 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 25.

— While the queer-owned restaurant Hags is still months away from opening in the East Village, the Infatuation checks in on the plans from chef Telly Justice and sommelier Camille Lindsley, which include a Southern-themed menu.

— Is it soup season yet?