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Graydon Carter’s ‘Beatrice Inn’ … Clubhouse for the A-List

beatrice-inn

Upon descending into the West Village speakeasy, I immediately am confronted with a moment of deja vu as I cogitate and reminisce of the former Beatrice Inn, headed by Paul Sevigny and Matt Abramcyk, which ruled the NYC nightlife scene for over two years in the late 2000s. Best known for attracting models, socialites and heavy party animals, The Beatrice Inn was the place to be at the pinnacle of its brief existence. However, over two years following the Beatrice’s demise,  Vanity Fair icon and Editor in Chief, Graydon Carter, announced his plans to transform the former denizon of transgressions into an upscale, neighborhood chop house. Considering Carter’s massive success with the celeb infused Waverly Inn and takeover of midtown’s Monkey Bar, hype immediately emerged regarding Carter’s third undertaking.

Following the soft opening in late 2012, The Beatrice Inn, like Carter’s previous two “clubhouses” received less than favorable reviews regarding its menu and in fact dealt with high turnover as Per Se alum, Brian Nasworthy, only lasted a few months, prior to being replaced by A Voce, alum, Hilary Sterling.

It’s five past Nine on a Friday evening and the front bar is bustling with beautiful people. Akin to the Waverly, the Beatrice’s bar deserves tremendous praise as it not only represents a great place to hang before being seated, but is also acts as a perfect destination to people watch and grab a speciality cocktail before going out. After hanging for nearly twenty minutes, our group was seated. Overall the room was packed, with nearly every table comprised of an eclectic mix of upscale, discerning patrons. The range in age reminded me of a typical upscale restaurant in Paris where no definable age bracket abounds. As we approached the table, I noticed Sting and his wife seated to our right, which underscores the power and influence of Graydon Carter.

Although the menu is limited, it nevertheless is comprised of some auspicious starters including:Garoe Sausage ($15), Marinated Beets ($15) and Dumplings ($14/$26) . The Garoe Sausage (Wild Boar, Squash Brodo, Egg Yolk and Pine Nuts) was small but tasty and the Marinated Beets (Pistachios, Foie Gras, Tardivo and Orange) was quite good. In fact, Carter and Sterling’s menu is indeed vegetarian friendly, focusing on a plethora of vegetable based sides and appetizers that are worth a try. The standout starter were the Dumplings, which were served hot, including ham, goat cheese and gnudi. While the price based on the miniscule portion was prohibitive, the soft texture and creativity of the handmade dish, which reminded me of a warm mozzarella side I relished at one of my favorite’s, Antico Arco, in Rome, is easily one of the best on the menu.

While the menu is devoid of any one standout entree, it features american classics including: Roasted Chicken ($26), Halibut ($32), New York Strip ($45), Veal Breast ($29) and Lamb Porterhouse ($45). Like the Dumplings, quality over quantity abounds at the Beatrice as portions are relatively small but yet the substance and epicurean is omnipresent.  Overall, the food and menu at the Beatrice does not encapsulate the modern speakeasy’s brilliance and charm and unique character. The Beatrice Inn stands out amongst many pretentious “wanna be” sceney restaurants because it does not pretend or try to be cool, it is cool. Carter forwent a active website, omits to publicly display a number (a mobile number is used to confirm reservations via text) and continues to fortify his most recent creation by maintaining a very “in the know” crowd, thus, creating a level of comfort and social affirmation. In a city that is inundated with private membership clubs and modern speakeasy’s, The Beatrice Inn represents one of the most genuine and sophisticated rooms that proves to be a quintessential clubhouse for the A-List.

The Beatrice Inn

285 West 12th Street

New York, NY, 10014

The Most Exclusive Private Members Clubs in NYC

societe-du-vin-new-york

Recently, Billionaire Leslie Alexander, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets attracted attention via the announcement of his upcoming Private Membership club, Societe au Vin, that will launch this summer in Bridgehampton. That being said, the Truffle has evaluated our favorite Private Membership Clubs in NYC:

Upper Crust Membership Clubs:

Metropolitan Club:

Classy, sophisticated and incredibly waspy, the Metropolitan Club is one of the most exclusive and prestigious private membership clubs in the country. Founded in 1891 with Club President, J.P Morgan, the Metropolitan Club caters to the UES (Upper East Side) elite and boasts one of the most spectacular outdoor views of Central Park. Recently, the Orpheus Gala was held at the Met. 

Fee/Membership: $5000 Annually

Harmonie Club:

Known as the Jewish equivalent to the Metropolitan Club, the Harmonie Club is arguably just as significant and exclusive as the Met (although not as aesthetically spectacular). With around 1,000 members including Carl Icahn and formerly Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who famously resigned in 2001 b/c of lack of diversity), the Harmonie Club is one of the city’s power networking clubs.

Fee/Membership: Undisclosed

Doubles:

Nestled in the downstairs of the Sherry Netherland Hotel, Doubles is popular with many preppy UES residents. While the club only offers a dining room and bar, it nevertheless is one of the most popular supper clubs, which for most, is seen as a ancillary club to either Harmonie, Metropolitan or University Club. 

Fee/Membership: Undisclosed

Colony Club:

Women-Only Membership Club founded in 1903 on Park and 62nd Street, the Colony Club is popular with UES “society” Mothers and Grandmothers. While the Colony Club does not have the social relevance other clubs have, its members are just as significant as any in the NYC society circuit.

Fee/Membership: Undisclosed

Knickerbocker Club:

Designed to compete against the Union Club, the Knickerbocker Club, on 62nd and Fifth Avenue, remains one of the most elite membership clubs in NYC today. Some notable past members are Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Douglas Fairbanks and John Jacob Astor.

Fee/Membership: Undisclosed

University Club: 

Arguably the most exclusive membership club in NYC, the University Club is known as the “premiere social club of New York.” Originally founded by Yale alum in 1865, the University Club’s members are among the NYC elite.

Fee/Membership: Undisclosed

The Contemporary Clubs:

Core Club:

Core Club is the contemporary answer to Metropolitan Club and Harmonie Club. Akin to the other “exclusive” membership clubs located in Midtown, Core Club has a more edgy, modern and artsy look, catering to business executives and moguls. While one can argue it is more “nouvue riche” then its predecessors and lacks the “old money” Core Club is nevertheless home to some of the most significant power networking in the city. Relevant members are Vivi Nivo, Stephen Schwarzman and Harvey Weinstein.

Fee/Membership: $50,000 Initiation, $15,000 Annual Dues.

SoHo House:

Famous for its uber-popular rooftop pool, the SoHo House on West 14th remains one of the hippest private membership clubs in NYC. SoHo House was famous for allegedly relinquishing memberships to finance professionals, a few years ago and is mostly comprised of a creative and artistic core based in Fashion, Art, Media and Entertainment including Graydon Carter and Robert DeNiro. In addition, nearly everyone involved in hospitality is a member of SoHo House, making it one of the best destinations for meetings and networking in the industry. SoHo House also made news for reaching out to the Community Board regarding plans to open a new House in the Lower East Side in the near future.

Fee/Membership: Under 27: $900 Local House, $1200 Every House, Over 27: $1800 Local House, $2400 Every House with $250 Initiation Fee ($125 for Under 27)

Norwood:

Norwood is similar to SoHo House but far less pretentious and designed more for the “Creative Arts” community. While Norwood does not have the spectacular outdoor pool, it actually has a nicer indoor space as compared to SoHo House. 

Fee/Membership: Initiation Fee: $1000, Annual Dues: $750

Hier Soir … New York!

15th Annual October Ball @ MoMa, Paradise Fund Launch Party, Macallan Masters of Photography, Resolution Project Resolve’s Gala!

Help by Design’s I Am Love Event @ Norwood

If it was not apparent yet, gala season is in full effect in the city that never sleeps. On Tuesday October 9th, Help By Design celebrated the I Am Love Campaign at Norwood. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, champagne, a silent auction and a pop up spa sponsored by Colbert MD.

Paradise Fund Launch @ SoHo Grand

The same night, The Paradise Fund celebrated the launch of its NYC chapter at the SoHo Grand. As proceeds went towards the Children’s Relief Fund, many of NYC’s fashion and creative party goers enjoyed an open bar, delectable food and music by Jonny Famous. Overall, the turn out was not only quite strong but the eclectic mix of Palm Beach/Connecticut/UES with NYC downtown scene proved to make the party a hit.

Stacy Kiebler @ Macallan Masters of Photography Event (Photo Credit: Clint Spaulding)

On Wednesday October 10th, John Legend, Stacy Kiebler and Vincent Kartheiser   attended the Macallan Masters of Photography: Annie Liebovitz Edition at the  Bowery Hotel. The invite only event celebrated the collaborative launch of four distinctly unique Macallan whiskies designed by Annie Liebovitz.

Resolution Project’s Resolve Gala (Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz)

Meanwhile, a week inundated with parties continued on Thursday October 11th as the Resolution Project’s Annual Resolve 2012 Gala was celebrated at the Harvard Club. Attendees included John Legend and his supermodel fiancee, Chrissy Teigen, among others. As the couple displayed profound affection for one another, Chrissy confirmed her upcoming bridal line that was described as “romantic.”

October Ball @ MoMa

This past weekend, over 1200 New Yorkers dressed in black tie to celebrate the Fifteenth Annual October Ball at the MoMa. Benefitting the Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers (CBSBB), a crowd comprised of fashionably formal guests 21-40 enjoyed an impressive display of food and champagne and a favorable silent auction on both levels of the expansive space. The CBSBB is a non profit that provides mentoring programs for at risk youths and their respective families. Following the successful event, guests moved to Avenue for the after party.