Have you ever wanted to lounge on an ice cream cone, or get a massage with your face shoved into some avocado toast? Restaurateur and erstwhile fine-dining pastry pro Nick Morgenstern already runs three certified city hotspots, and now he’s aiming to give Martha Stewart a run for her money with a trio of drool-worthy beach towels emblazoned with signature dishes from each of his establishments.
Priced at $35 each, the towels were created for Morgenstern’s takeover of the Summer Shift pop-up in the Rockaways (95-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard), which has been hosting a series of local chefs throughout the summer. You can also pick them up at their respective locations, or order them as a set for $100 online. Morgenstern tells the Voice that they’re selling out, and fast, in Queens. However, he’s unsure if he’ll order more once the current stock runs out, adding, “Ice cream and pizza are recognizable, but with something like the avocado del sur, where it’s a dish that’s so specific to the restaurant, we’ll see how people like it.”
The cotton-polyester blend towels were conceived organically, and feature photography from artist Jessica Che, who also drew Morgenstern’s famous choking-victim poster. “I worked with each of the stores to come up with a narrative that made sense for us. We have a lot of autonomy, so we can do fun stuff like this,” Morgenstern says of the fashionable foray.
Slam your beach bod down onto a glistening grandma slice from GG’s pizza, without the danger of pressing piping-hot melted cheese against your skin. Or relax with the super-chill avocado del sur — depicting chef Gerardo Gonzalez’s enlightened treatment of the fatty fruit splashed with chimichurri and pickled onions from El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette. There’s also a broken salted caramel cone from Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream that you can blame for that third scoop scarfed down on the boardwalk.
While you’re soaking up the rays, hike over to the pop-up for one of Gonzalez’s San Diego–style fish tacos — his aunt’s recipe — which Morgenstern says he’s begged the young chef to put on his menu for over two years.
With Labor Day approaching, food-loving beachgoers and other culinarily-minded sun-worshippers still have time to whip out the Hawaiian Tropic. Morgenstern’s is running things at Summer Shift until Monday at 7 p.m. And of course, when the temperature drops, you’ll look especially tasty wrapped up in one of these after a shower.
Seasons be damned: We just received a Thanksgiving press release in August, so here’s your September holiday gift pick — perfect for the NYC dining scene junkie in your life.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 3, 2015