Mo Mo More

Mo Pitkin's, Moby, and Rene Risqué satisfy the hunger

Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction is so satisfying, it made my dining companion temporarily insane with bliss. Blame it on the deep-fried mac and cheese. After a bite, he could only say the word "yes" repeatedly for the next 10 minutes. "Yes, yes, yes."

Would you like another bite? "Yes." Is it really good? "Yes." Would you like me to spank you like a little bitch? "Yes."

OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating. But the newly opened, multipurpose, bi-level joint on Avenue A—with bar, lounge, restaurant, and performance space—seems like a neighborhood spot that's been around forever, even though it's only been open since late August. Maybe it's Steve Powers's wall paintings—a nod to those found in the Palm Restaurant—depicting local favorites, bar regulars, and celebrities, including everyone from Lady Bunny to Reverend Jen and the guy who sells books on the corner. Or maybe it's the old-school, dark-wood bar with deep-red plush booths, which co-owner Jesse Hartman describes as "a Friars Club look."

The cozy upstairs performance space has already been graced by neighborhood favorites, including Murray Hill, who's got a weekly Saturday-night party with burly Q ladies Dirty Martiniand the World Famous *BOB*. "Murray's becoming the face of Mo's," says Hartman. "We wanted to be a hip version of a Catskill resort, and Murray fits really well."

Hartman's older brother Phil has been around the East Village block—he owns Two Boots and the Pioneer Theater and started the Howl fest, but this is Jesse's first time at bat. Despite Jimmy Fallon's involvement as an investor, Mo's is definitely the brainchild of the two brothers. It's named after an eccentric distant cousin who claimed to be part of a brigade charged with assassinating Hitler in the '40s, family recipes are on the menu, and Jesse's musical background—he currently records as Laptop and once played with Richard Hell—helped shape the performance room. So far comedians like Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, and Mo Rocca are loving it as much as the musicians, like Debbie Harryand Amy Kohn, who've already played.

I went last Wednesday to see René Risqué and the Leo Silver Jazz Stasis. Nobody does the pompous rock star thing better than Risqué, who delivered low-key yet over-the-top renditions of "Copacabana," "I've Got You Under My Skin," and "How Deep Is Your Love," as well as his own material, all of which touched on the themes of sex, sex, sex, cocaine, his big penis, sex, cocaine, and cocaine. And how hot he is. Risqué was joined briefly by Art Lovers Luffa Barreand Dolce Fino (real-life couple Laura Dawnand Daron Murphy), with Dolce and René turning out an interpretation of "Careless Whisper." (Is there any other way to perform it?) They crooned lovingly for each other, "I'm never gonna dance again," and Rene injected, "except maybe right now!"

With two Moby bandmates in the house and a Moby favorite onstage, it was only inevitable that the Little Idiot would turn up. He arrived exactly 30 seconds before the end of the final song, but only 'cause he was hanging out with U2. Ah, the glamorous life of a rock star, which is so glam that at his 40th birthday party the week before someone gave him a T-shirt that said "Rock Star," adorned with a drawing of an empty rocking chair.

I was greatly entertained by Lloyd Grove's write-up of the party in the Daily News, claiming that Cynthia Rowley, Rocco DiSpirito, Julia Stiles, and Crispin Glover were in attendance. While the first three celebs were there, the Daily News' "spy" doesn't get out much because "Crispin" was really Interpol's Carlos D. I know they look somewhat alike, but perhaps the "spy" needs a subscription to NME or some new eyeglasses. Or maybe he just needs to venture to the undesirable regions of the city—i.e., my neighborhood, the L.E.S. Spy also missed Isaac Mizrahiand the juiciest detail of the night: After the party was broken up, Bonofinally arrived at 3 a.m. Better late than never. Yes, yes, yes. Scoopin' is sosatisfying.

 
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