Yesterday Gawker lamented, “How sad and kind of pathetic is it that coffee shops and even bars have been taken over by computers and their zombie-eyed owners?” This got us wondering about the extent to which Wi-Fi–equipped restaurants welcome laptop users, so we rang up a few of them.
Savory NY was a site we liked a lot in its previous incarnation: It was video-driven, had a lot of useful info about restaurants in New York and elsewhere, and was easy to use. All those things are still true, but the site has now relaunched with more videos, including ones of Boqueria, Stanton Social, and the little owl, all with the respective chefs talking about them (such as Joey Campanaro explaining why the place is called the little owl). Savory NY has had the usual service-site upgrade: more restaurants, more reviews, and something called a “Savory Queue,” in which you can keep track of the places you mean to eat at. But go for the videos.
Savory NY [Official site]
Late last month we reported that part of the 10 Downing space was a “leading candidate” for a downtown Boqueria. Despite our fervent hopes and news that the deal was "confirmed," reported by Eater, it isn't, alas, to be. "We’re glad that there's a such a sense of anticipation about Boqueria," owner Yann de Rochefort tells us, "but we are not closing at 10 Downing because the landlord is going with another tenant. We notified the community board a week ago of the fact that we are withdrawing our application." Grub Street has learned from another source near the project that the likely new tenant of the spot will be none other than Silvano Marchetto, the eponymous owner of Da Silvano across the street. It will be he, or at least his representatives, who seeks Community Board 2's approval tonight. But a new Boqueria is definitely on the way, somewhere. Just not on Downing Street.
Earlier: Coming Soon: Boqueria, Part Dos
If you’ve ever had the experience of squeezing past the Scylla and Charybdis of Boqueria’s tightly packed models and hams, you’ve probably wished the place were a little bigger. Owner Yann de Rochefort is now in talks to find a space for a bigger downtown Boqueria. And the leading candidate? None other than 10 Downing Street. That is to say, 10 Downing Street south, the southern of two storefronts in the building across from Da Silvano — as opposed to the other 10 Downing, north, the almost-home of Scott Bryan’s 10 Downing and now said to be the future kitchen of “Desperate Chef” Jason Neroni. (To add to the confusion, 10 Downing is also the name as well as the partial address of the latter restaurant.)
Dumbo: Admission to Taste of Spain at the Dumbo Arts Center from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight includes a wine tasting and tapas. [Dumbo NYC]
Flatiron: Boqueria is throwing a "Cava fueled fiesta" for New Year’s Eve. [Snack]
Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: The empty space on the corner of Flatbush and Beekman will become a Subway, and one blogger isn’t so upset: "At first we were disappointed that a big chain was coming in, but … some Subways even have full blown salads." Nice! Just like McDonald’s. [Across the Park]
Sunset Park: Sietsema may have had to crash a Chinese wedding to figure this out, but dim-sum go-to Pacificana is also good for dinner. [Eat for Victory/VV]
West Village: Bar Blanc seems to be in soft-open mode. [Eater]
It sounds like a fairy tale: Some Spanish hogs, brought over by Spanish colonists in the sixteenth century, take over an island off the coast of Georgia and run wild there for hundreds of years. Feral and boarlike, they are also about the best tasting pork imaginable, and cousins to the world’s most celebrated ham. Is it a fable, conjured by the heated imagination of foodies? Or an eye-opening truth, as irrefutable as a piece of gamey and rich roast pork? We’re happy to say that it’s the latter. Bev Eggleston, of Eco-Friendly Foods in Virginia, has started selling his amazing pork to a handful of New York restaurants, and soon he may be giving the Spanish a run for their money in the ham business.
We were happy for Seamus Mullen, the Boqueria and Suba chef who was nearly crippled a few months ago by an acute attack of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic joint disease. Mullen got some good news in this week’s Times review and is looking forward to seeing what Adam Platt has to say when his turn comes round. On the other hand, Mullen tells us that his diet is now permanently screwed up: He can’t eat tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, or any other member of the nightshade family — “which sucks, because all that stuff is in season right now and really beautiful,” he says. For the sake of his aching joints, the chef is also required to eat lots of oily fish. Luckily he has the cooking skills to make this blow bearable.
Yesterday Boqueria’s Jeff Deisel wrote in to tell us he had made up a batch of strawberry-lemonade sangria by macerating fresh greenmarket berries in sugar and blending in Txocholi (a Basque white wine), house-infused lemon Stoli, fresh-squeezed lemon, and triple sec. Get a $36 pitcher while the gettin’s good. Because that’s just the sort of creativity we know you appreciate when it comes to that revived summer drink, we’ve singled out some other sangrias that go beyond the usual combo of wine, brandy, and triple sec, incorporating everything from pisco to cachaça to beer (the latter being another Boqueria special).
Bar Buzz: Sangrias With a Punch
Never you been to Daniel Boulud’s new restaurant in Forest Hills? That’s because there isn’t one. But Danny Brown’s db wine bar and restaurant sounds close enough to db bistro moderne that the great chef’s copyright is threatened. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Travelers at JFK airport won’t have to get by on chili dogs much longer – a Todd English eatery, a wine bar, an oyster bar, and more high-end venues are on the way. [NYP]
Seamus Mullen is more at home with the elevated cooking at Suba than the rustic style at Boqueria: “It was like getting back to basics that I never really had.” [Restaurant Girl]
Staffers at Charlie Palmer’s Kitchen 22 found out the place was closing yesterday via a cell-phone call telling them they were now out of a job. Nice. [NYP]
Katz’s may be threatened by condo development, but pastrami still has secure fortresses in the outer boroughs. [Gothamist]
Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s? [Grub Street]
Steve Cuozzo uses his bully pulpit in the Post to come down hard on the Shake Shack, calling the place out for insanely long lines and “a hamburger that’s an also-ran at best.”
Related: Kyle Dureau Wants Shake Shack to Be Open 24/7 As Much As You Do [Grub Street]
Having weathered a major two-star review by Adam Platt, Insieme finally gets its first three-star one, from Moira Hodgson, who is impressed by how perfectly executed every dish is, lavishing special praise on one of the place’s more overlooked features, co-owner Paul Grieco’s wine list. [NYO]
Related: Italian, Old and New [NYM]
The Times gives Katz’s the full Frank Bruni treatment, and the place comes out of it with one star, much loving description, and an eerie semi-confirmation of our earlier report that the place might be sold. [NYT]
Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s? [Grub Street]
Given how large Spain looms in modern cooking, it’s a wonder we don’t see more openings, or rather reopenings, like Suba, announced by Rob and Robin in this week’s issue. Recently, S. Pellegrino again pronounced El Bulli the best restaurant in the world, and the kind of food that chef Seamus Mullen is introducing on Suba’s ambitious new menu shows off that world-conquering energy. (Mullen, before opening Boqueria and Suba, worked in some of the best restaurants in Spain.) “We're trying for something a little more complex than we do at Boqueria,” he says. Modern Spanish food has been here before but never really took off. Suba may be the one to finally make it happen.
Restaurant Openings: FR.OG, Suba, Móle, and Paradou Marché. [NYM]