The Daily Hookup Will Only Feature Highly Curated Restaurants, No Crap Allowed

The Daily Hookup, a discount website aimed at gay males, launched quietly this week. It aims to offer the same old gamut of lifestyle deals, though obviously geared toward its demographic. But rather than feature just any old restaurant, they have special "curators" who seek out only the hottest of hot spots.

"We have four curators in New York City," explains Carrie Pendolino, who works for the website. "They go out, and basically are taste-makers and leaders in the community. They come to us and they give us that information. The curators act as our filters. Unless our curators like a restaurant, we aren't going to put them on our site. We don't want you to get just any restaurant deal."

And just who are these curators? "A lot of them are pillars in the community," says Pendolino, adding that there was a lengthy interview process. Better yet -- you can meet the sexy dudes yourself, since the site features profiles of them. The resident foodie seems to be Kevin Mendlin, who worked in "New York's hottest kitchens working alongside Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, and other top chefs" [Ed. note: Sounds suspiciously like the Food Network Kitchens.], and is now a culinary producer for Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and nutritionist Daphne Oz. Gad about town Mike Kelton enjoys "sunbathing in Sheep's Meadow, boxing at David Barton, going vintage shopping in Chelsea, meeting friends at Elmo, and catching Broadway shows." Michael Mezzano is the fashion dude, and Chris Hudson is the cultural one.

Alas, restaurant deals aren't on the site just yet. "We started out nationally, but by the end of July we'll roll out the local," says Pendolino, adding that the featured restaurants will span different price ranges, as long as they have demonstrated quality to the curators. Stay tuned.

Have a tip or restaurant-related news? Send it to fork@villagevoice.com.

And follow us on Twitter: @ForkintheRoadVV.


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