Pop Culture Dining

First Food & Bar’s chef Sam “Sammy D” DeMarco does it all “FTP,” he says—for the people. He lets his crowd know that he is paying attention, constantly thinking and having fun by updating his menu with dishes and drinks relative to what’s on the minds and Twitter feeds of his guests. And that would be pop culture.

At lunch, ask for the Jersey Shore and you’ll get a lunch combo of a “one-fisted” BLTA sandwich and an order of nostalgia, the Doritos mac and cheese (“Fist-pump!”). Order the Diggler for dinner and you can tuck into a 30-ounce, ahem, bone-in prime rib, slow-roasted, salt-crusted and house dry-aged, served with a popover, jus and horseradish cream. You get the idea.

“We like to incorporate pop culture to create excitement, fun and nostalgic feelings,” DeMarco says. “It’s a visual way of representing a memory that brings you back to a time in a guest’s life by creating a mirage/illusion that is edible, fun and relatable.”

The fun continues at the bar with the Charlie Sheen-inspired Tiger’s Blood (Winning! Duh!) cocktail, the L. Lohan (a red-headed slut shot served with a powered straw), and our favorite, the Skinny Bitch, a DIY cocktail that only Paris Hilton won’t appreciate: It’s Ketel One Oranje, soda and Crystal Light powder mix served dimebag-style in a little plastic baggie. We don’t recommend sending this one to that cutie across the room you’ve been eyeing.

So how does DeMarco know when a dish or drink has run its course? “When people stop Tweeting about it.”

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Evoking the soft pastel color of a beach sunset is Azure’s frozen Bellini. The original was created in Venice in the time of Hemingway at Harry’s Bar by Giuséppe Cipriani and named, it is said, for the 15th-century painter Giovanni Bellini, a painting of whose featured a shade of pink Cipriani supposedly wished to capture in a glass. Traditionally, a Bellini pairs white peach puree with prosecco; to achieve that famous shade of pink, just add a little cherry or raspberry juice.