NEW YORK BY NIGHT | AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID RABIN / by Brackett Bilodeau

Image courtesy of papermag.com

Image courtesy of papermag.com

We chatted with New York City nightlife guru David Rabin for the skinny on the scene this season.

LA: Tell us a bit about yourself.
DR: I've been in the restaurant/bar/club biz since 1990.  A friend of mine from Tufts and I left our "real" jobs (I was a lawyer) to try our hands at hospitality. Over the years we've had some great places like Lotus, The Double Seven, Union Bar and Rex (our first).  Right now I'm a partner in 4 spots: The Lambs Club, Jimmy at the James, The Skylark and Cafe Clover.  I live on the Upper West Side with my wife and son.

LA: Your latest venture, Cafe Clover, just opened its doors. How's that been so far?
DR: Knock on wood, we've been very busy.  It seems like people are really "getting" what we're trying to do, which is to offer really delicious, pretty healthful dining in a very beautiful and cozy room, with some great music playing.  We've tried to price it so you're not doing damage to your wallet; nor your waistline.  But it's not a "health-food" restaurant--more of a lifestyle spot.

LA: Favorite dish on the menu? Okay, you can pick two.
DR: I'm going to pick 3: the kale and blood orange salad, the ivory lentil risotto, and the 6oz steak. That's kind of my "go-to" meal.

LA: Any other projects in the works?
DR: To be honest--4 is kind of enough for the moment--plus the little JIMMY we have in Chicago.  But some hotel people have expressed interest in Cafe Clover for other cities already.  We'll see how real that is soon.  There are always discussions with various developers and hoteliers about bringing one of the brands to another city.

LA: It's Friday night. Where are you most likely found?
DR: I'm always at Lambs for lunch so on a Friday night I'll usually jump in the subway, check in on The Skylark, then spend the bulk of prime dinner time at Cafe Clover, and finish with a quick visit to JIMMY.  Sometimes I get lucky and find time to hit a friend's new spot to check it out or stop by a club for 20 minutes on the way home.

LA: Top 5 favorite spots in the city. Go:
DR: Ha. The toughest question because I could name 30 or 40 pretty easily. I'll say: Tiny's, Barney Greengrass, Raoul's, Bar Pitti and La Esquina.


Contact your Attaché for reservations at David’s NYC outposts.