Craftsteak’s Alice Lipping Will Chase You Down for a New Year’s Tip

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The scene at Craftsteak. Photo: Marcus Nilsson

Abstract artist Alice Lipping has worked with Tom Colicchio since he was the chef at Gramercy Tavern. Craft's private dining room (also the site for TOM: Tuesday Dinner) serves as her gallery, but Lipping has waited tables for two years at Craftsteak. Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld recommended the beefsteak event tonight on their Eve's Eats list, so we asked Lipping for some advice about serving on New Year's Eve.

How do Craftsteak's New Year's Eve plans this year compare to last year?
We're doing a savory red-meat-and-red-wine dinner. Everything is family style. Appetizers, desserts, wine pairings, Champagne, and gratuity are included for $250. We have the Stumblebum Brass band. Last year was a little more formal, a five-course plated tasting menu with wine pairings. I know it was more expensive than this year. Maybe $500? That didn’t include gratuity, and people got so drunk they forgot to tip. Our managers had to stop people at the door.

Is it annoying to work on New Year's Eve?
I prefer to work on New Year's Eve. It's too crowded [when you go out], and I'd rather just make money.

What's the most you've raked in for the holiday?
$400. A normal night is about half, but the money's pretty consistent here.

Do servers party together after?
We'll probably toast after and then venture to Eighth Avenue, but it's hard to get a cab so we don't go too far away from the subway. And we have our holiday party on New Year's Day at Craftbar when a lot of restaurants are off. All the chefs [from the Craft restaurants] are cooking.

Related: Eve's Eats [NYM]
The Bashes-to-Brunches New Year's Guide