Category Archives: Restaurant and Dining

Gay New York City! Celebrate The Japanese Penis Festival Tonight at Matsuri

Tagata Jinja is a Shinto shrine in Komaki just north of Nagoya, and as such is just one of many that can be found throughout Japan. The Hounen festival at Tagata shrine is one of the most famous (or infamous?) festivals in Japan.

Amongst foreigners visiting Aichi Prefecture it is frequently referred to as the “penis shrine”, or “Japanese penis festival“, primarily due to the ancient Hounen Matsuri (a festival celebrating fertility and renewal), which is held here every March 15th.

Every year a huge two and a half meter wooden phallus is carried the short distance between two shrines attracting visitors from all over Japan and international media attention. The festival is fun with a lot of sake drinking, however the background of the festival is rather more serious.

Christians have Easter. Jews have Passover. And now we gays can celebrate the Penis with the Japanese!  Tonight in Chelsea we can join in the penis celebration: Matsuri restaurant  is offering a one-night only Penis Festival menu!

There will not be actual penis on the menu! I know, some cultures eat animal penis and testicles. This special menu tonight is  created by Matsuri Chef Tadashi Ono and includes such specials as the “Big Sausage” (sausage, sea scallops, spicy rod roe, $18) and the “Get It Up Hot Pot” (traditional Japanese hot pot of oyster and sea urchin in dashi broth, $23), among a few other penis-shaped food items.

Penis Matsuri Menu available tonight only  – Not an April Fools  joke.
Matsuri at the Maritime Hotel   369 W. 16th Street, Chelsea     212-243-6400  Penis celebration begins at 5:30pm.

Best of Gay New York


End of an Era…Tavern on the Green Closes

The legendary New York restaurant Tavern on the Green closed its doors after serving a last supper and hosting a New Year’s party.

The iconic spot on the western edge of Central Park will undergo major renovations under a new operator and may even retain its famous name, but to many patrons, this is indisputably the end of an era. The LeRoy family was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2009 after losing a bidding war for to another proprietor, Dean Poll, who also owns the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park. Once the restaurant closes all operations, its contents will be auctioned off by Guernsey’s auction house.

As part of the 20-year license to operate the restaurant, Poll is expected to invest $25 million on renovations.

While maintaining the Victorian historic features of the building, Poll’s plan is to incorporate green building technology as well as replacing the kitchen and electrical and plumbing systems. The renovations, which are expected to take four years, will be conducted in phases so the restaurant can remain open.

It was never known for it’s food – but yet the restaurant became the destination for anniversaries, birthdays and family affairs, It served more than 500,000 people a year, an average of 1,400 dinners a night. Tourists eagerly descended upon the eatery for the crab cakes, wedge salad, salmon and parmesan-crusted chicken.

Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor for Bon Appetit magazine, said the restaurant has never been the greatest venue for foodies. “When you’re serving 2,000 meals a deal, I don’t care if you’re [chef] Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud, you just can’t put out that much of a volume and have top quality food.”

CNN ran a great historical piece this about the restaurant and the LeRoy Family.