"I live right upstairs," explained Vongerichten of the eatery nestled at the bottom of the Richard Meier building at 176 Perry. "So it's very convenient."
As the crowd filed in to the minimalist space kvetching about the heat outside, they were met with frigid air conditioning and waiters proffering chilled champagne. The summer weather prompted revelers to trot out flirty dresses and tunics over jeans, and while most of the ladies in attendance sported bright Michael Kors spring and resort looks, it was Andre Leon Talley who stole the show when he wafted in in a billowing cheetah-print caftan.
Fellow restaurateur John McDonald gave Karolina Kurkova a tour of the spotless kitchen. Later, she and Kors checked out a photo booth replete with the designer's line of sunglasses hauled in specifically for the event. As the cocktail hour wound down, the lot of famished guests sat down at the chicly minimalist booths to sample Vongerichten's savory eats such as Japanese snapper sashimi, steamed black sea bass and tasty filet mignon.
"This is my idea of a perfect evening," gushed Kors. "Downtown, by the water and just friends."