Come Fly With Us in This Week’s Issue
Carroll Gardens: Carniceria, the attempted replacement for Porchetta, has gone down for the dirt nap. [Eater] Meatpacking District: Paradou will kick off its fall menu on October 10. [Grub Street] Tribeca: Ceci-Cela on Chambers Street will close up shop near the end of December because their landlord tried to impose an “unacceptable” rent increase. [Grub Street] Upper East Side: Saucy on York Avenue at 75th Street will offer a (what else?) sauce-driven tasting menu from October 8 through 14. [Grub Street] Upper West Side: Gray Kunz has reinstated lunch at Café Gray with an Indian-Summer Prix Fixe that includes dishes like sweet-corn ravioli and skate schnitzel with fingerlings and brown butter. [Grub Street]
"Frankly speaking, the dim sum I know of in the city just doesn't match up to the best stuff in Hong Kong and Vancouver. What you can get in those and other places is much more in line with Joe Ng's work at Chinatown Brasserie, which I would definitely call head and shoulders above anything else here. (Secretly, I'm glad he's being headhunted back to a Chinese community in Brooklyn, where it will be more affordable and the product turnover will be higher.)"Okay, Francis. So where do you get decent dim sum in the city?
We've heard of people having it out with management, but this is ridiculous. Around midnight on Wednesday, an exchange of words between three men who had just had an hours-long dinner at Chinatown Brasserie and maître d' Robert Banat devolved into the trio yelling at Banat and shoving him. Executive chef Tyson Wong Ophaso tells us that when he stepped in to separate the men from his maître d', the biggest and youngest of the three threw Ophaso on his back. (Ophaso is five foot, six inches, 130 pounds.) Cursing loudly, the man then dragged the hapless chef by his feet onto the sidewalk and proceeded to beat him up, despite the best efforts of Brasserie staff — but no other onlookers — to protect him. The men fled before police arrived, but one of them left behind his credit-card information, and all three were captured on the restaurant's cameras. They've all been identified, and Ophaso is pressing charges. Meanwhile, what kind of town is this that a chef is beaten by three goons, and no strangers come to his aid? Any man that cooks orange beef like Ophaso deserves the utmost protection against bruisers.
Fact: Chinatown Brasserie, an out-and-out Chinese restaurant without, happily, even a hint of French fusion, opened in August and has done a fairly brisk business ever since. Fact: Mainland, one of Chinatown Brasserie's primary rivals in the high-end-Chinese sweepstakes, announced last week that they're morphing into ...Ollie's Brasserie.