2012 September 14

Perry Street's Bastion of Bastian

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Adam Rapoport and Michael Bastian Adam Rapoport and Michael Bastian
Patrick McMullan
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(NEW YORK) Mustering energy on the final eve of fashion week is no small feat; but when the destination is Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Perry Street, the man of honor is Michael Bastian, and the host is Bon Appetit, you get thee in a cab on the West Side Highway, ASAP. That's what guests like Amar'e Stoudemeire, Lulu Frost's Lisa Salzer, Robert Burke, Annelise Peterson, and Oscar de la Renta's Erika Bearman did, along with a posse of Bon App eds out for the last Feast or Fashion din of this NYFW season. Kanye West, however, did not make it out for the occasion, despite being on the tip sheet (anticipation quotient: palpable. surprise factor: none to high).

After whetting the appetite on killer apps like smoked salmon bedded by crispy rice, cubes of watermelon swiped with whipped feta and punctuated with wisps of mint, and chicken empanadas that garnered numerous verbal raves, it was time for a few toasts. "He's the best-dressed grandfather in New York!" exclaimed Bon Appetit EIC Adam Rapoport of Vongerichten, who cooked up the meal alongside his son, Cedric, (whose tot was not, alas, at din). Aw alert! On the menu: housemade Burrata studded with petite wild strawberries in a balsamic bath, crab dumplings, crispy fried chicken, and sea bass accented with a Chanterelle mushroom tuffet.

For the designer being bash-bestowed, the unwinding hasn't happened quite yet. "When you have a runway show, it's almost like you threw this huge wedding or party that you didn't go to, because you're in the back on your hands and knees, getting everything ready!" Gant said. "It takes a week or two to actually figure out how you feel about everything" As for that Gant presentation? "It's so different from a show; you're like a banana being dragged through monkey cage, being pulled in a million directions."

Though Bastian misses the runway "party" being behind the scenes, rest assured, the goods are well-received and have a wide fan base that includes Naeem Khan. "In Miami, I play polo and I only wear his white jeans from his Gant line," Khan dished. And the chef of the eve? Memories aplenty! "We've had many a dinner together with Jean-Georges and [wife] Marja; I love those guys! I've been to most of Jean-Georges restaurants, and I totally love what he does. In New York City, he's the king of food," Khan said. The designer's top two Jean-Georges spots? Jean Georges and Spice Market. On the convo docket when the the designer and chef get together: "travel, food, exotic things!" Khan, ever the consummate and impeccably-mannered host, has yet to have Vongerichten and his wife, Marja, over for dinner, but never say never. "I think I can offer Jean-Georges something that would be so different," Khan explained. How so? "I undo Indian food! It's so complex, with so many flavors, that when you break it down and put it back together again, you have a whole new vocabulary." To wit, Madagascar shrimp grilled with a curried filtered butter (involving "my mom's 23-spice mixture"). Delectable! If Khan ever goes all restauranteur on us, expect "an all-white space with stuffed white furniture, waiters all in white, with very colorful food. An advance resy, please.

The satiated masses were sent home apres that rose water-kissed raspberry mousse dessert coma with a cig outside for some (we won't out the 'secret smokers' among us!). "Everybody secretly smokes. Yeah it sucks, it's filthy habit, I want to give it up...but not this week." Nicotine break or not, diners left with a bit of swag that included a set of Essie polishes. A  tipsy self-mani, anyone?

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