Sam Mason Needs Fifteen Women in Stilettos to Complete Construction

If you can't get dancing girls, mushrooms will do.Photo: Melissa Hom

Welcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.

I stopped by the restaurant a couple of days ago, and its almost ready for us to get in and work there. You couldnt really see any progress before, but now every day its noticeable. The ceilings are going up today, and theyve framed my kitchen out. Its really something to feel the dimensions of that space. You can actually stand in that room and feel what the size is. Its larger than I thought but will probably look a lot smaller once the equipment is in there. In the front of the house, the wooden floors are going down in the next couple of days. I want them to look more weathered before we polish them, though, so Im thinking about dragging things over them, making little burn marks. Maybe well get fifteen girls in stilettos to dance around; it needs some character. But mainly Im looking forward to getting into that kitchen. We need to start organizing, get stock into dry storage, get the gas turned on, and then start cooking some food. Its nice when you can start storing consomms or lemon confit or pickled ramps. That just wasnt something we had the luxury of doing in the test kitchen. Theres only so much you can order from FreshDirect.

Were also trying to get everything lined up with our specialty purveyors, like S.O.S. and Trufette on Avenue B. Theyve got incredible stuff there: They sell me all my vanilla beans, my fresh licorice sticks, the really nice green Iranian pistachios. If youre in the restaurant business, these are people you absolutely need. Its not cheap the pistachios are $60 for 2.2 pounds. But if you were to pure them, you could probably mix in some ordinary pistachios and still keep that beautiful color. Some chefs freak out over stuff like that, but if we used all high-end ingredients, we either couldnt keep our price point down or would take a bath on the costs.

I leave the day after tomorrow for Florida to get some quality time with my parents, because I wont be seeing much of them. I expect to be working fifteen hours a day seven days a week for the first month or two.