Thursday, March 31, 2011
Hottest Item at Swanky Hotel Restaurants -- Live DJs
USA Today: Is that a DJ in my restaurant? You're not seeing things. It sure is.
High-end restaurants in chic, luxury hotels in New York, Miami and Atlantic City, N.J., are saving prime eating space for a DJ booth. I'm not talking about squeezing a DJ and his or her turntables into a dead space near the bathroom. Instead, restaurants are placing the DJ front and center in areas where another table or two could've been added.
But DJs are so hot these days that maybe they may make up for the lost place settings.
DJs are becoming as popular as live bands. Consider this: Chart topping DJ David Guetta just helped fill a downtown Miami park during Miami's Ultra Music Festival. More than 50,000 house-music fans packed a Miami waterfront park to hear Guetta and other DJ's mix it up, MTV reported.
New York City: I witnessed the live DJ concept first-hand in Manhattan last weekend while dining at the gigantic, jam-packed Italian restaurant, Asellina. Here, DJ John Perry set the mood with accessible pop with a touch of 1980s.
The restaurant's housed inside the celeb-filled Gansevoort Park Avenue hotel. Guests at the hotel last Saturday night included basketball star Carmelo Anthony (who last month landed with the New York Knicks) and his wife, who's shooting a reality TV show, in addition to pop singer Pitbull.
Electro-clubby rhythms in Miami: At the Miami Beach outpost of Michelin-starred, Chinese restaurant Hakkasan of London, resident DJ Jean Marc Halimi spins moody electronica live from a discreet booth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. He also selected the music played in the restaurant on weeknights as well as dim sum brunch. The restaurant is located inside the legendary Fontainebleau, which also houses Liv, one of Miami's hottest nightclubs.
"Jean Marc joined the restaurant since opening in April 2009 and has been a hit with guests ever since," Rod Gutierrez, general manager of Hakkasan at the Fontainebleau told me via email. "His blend of trance and house caters to the dining crowd and creates an upbeat atmosphere that compliments the restaurant."
Modern alternative in Atlantic City: At Izakaya, a modern Japanese restaurant inside Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, you'll find resident DJ Paul Castro selecting the music.
While sharing plates of braised beef short ribs or sushi rolls, you might chew to the following: "1901" by Phoenix; "Sex On Fire" by Kings Of Leon; "Beautiful People" by Chris Brown and Benny Benassi; "Tighten Up" by the Black Keys, and "Come Together" by the Beatles.
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