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Craig Hopson

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Bellanca Is Back

The former Le Cirque chef has found a new gig.

By Daniel Maurer

Eric Ripert Defends Escolar; Ed Koch: Bib Wearer

Radar ran a story on escolar’s tendency to cause leaky bowel movements and mentioned that the fish was served at Le Bernardin. This, in turn, prompted a response from Eric Ripert himself, which prompted the author of the article to respond, “I’m sure Eric Ripert serves his escolar in such a way that it doesn’t make people shit orange oil. He’s good like that.” [Fresh Intelligence/Radar] Chef Craig Hopson says the ghost of Aaron Burr haunts the kitchen of One if by Land, Two if by Sea and has a tendency to steal batches of brioche. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Related: One if by Land Breaks Out a Bar Menu, and Not a Minute Too Soon Katrina Markoff, founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, likes to pair her company’s bacon-laden chocolate bar with pieces of Gruyère and a glass of Shiraz. [WSJ] Related: A Bacon Tribute Product We Can Get Behind

Bar Carrera Getting Bigger in the East Village; Did We Mention Bar Blanc Is Like a Bar But Better?

Astoria: Tell Astorya doesn’t seem to be reopening anytime soon. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Green Planet has opened with its shelves stocked with vitamins and drink mixes, but some still hope that actual produce could turn up. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The sliver of a Spanish restaurant Bar Carrera is expanding into the space next door. [Eater] Midtown West: South Gate has nifty, hand-held, touch-screen wine lists, which sound similar to the bar-top ones at Adour. [Zagat] West Village: Lucky couples (or specifically, husbands) who scored a table at One If by Land this Thursday will find the food finally on par with the carriage-house setting now that Picholine alum Craig Hopson is manning the beef Wellington and adding his own dishes — like Gruyère gnocchi with wild Burgundy snails — to the menu. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Danyelle Freeman labels Bar Blanc "an ambitious restaurant in a laid-back disguise," almost like a watering hole with restaurant-caliber cooking. [Restaurant Girl] Related: One If by Land Breaks Out a Bar Menu, and Not a Minute Too Soon

One If by Land Breaks Out a Bar Menu, and Not a Minute Too Soon

Though we are longtime fans of chef Craig Hopson and expect great things from his tenure at One If by Land, Two If by Sea, we’ve still never had dinner there. It’s too expensive, too romantic, too much pressure — it’s Valentine’s Day every night there! The restaurant has remedied this with a bar menu, so you can now sample Hopson’s work in a (relatively) casual setting. We were happy to see that his frog-leg beignets, long a favorite of ours at Picholine, had made the leap, so to speak, to the new restaurant. The full bar menu is below.

Calories to Show Up on Menus Starting March 31; Mercury Levels Horrifically High in Tuna Sushi

The Board of Health decided yesterday in a unanimous vote to make all chain restaurants with fifteen or more outlets – approximately 10 percent of the city’s restaurants – post calorie info on their menus starting March 31. RIP, 1,230-calorie triple Whopper with cheese. [CNN] Laboratory tests run on sushi samples from twenty Manhattan stores and restaurants revealed shockingly high levels of mercury in bluefin tuna, so high that the FDA could technically take the fish off the market. And if you’ve got to have your tuna sushi, you’d best head to Fairway and avoid Blue Ribbon Sushi at all costs. [NYT] Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl is “obsessed with” Momofuku Ssäm Bar, “like everyone else in New York,” according to her. [TONY]

Gordon Ramsay So Over? Josie Smith-Malave Back in Business

Aussies ask, “Has Gordon Ramsay’s gilded decade come to an end? Has the gifted chef gone off the boil?” [Sydney Morning Herald] It’s back to business for former Top-Chefer and recent anti-gay-attack victim Josie Smith-Malave; her Clinton Hill restaurant seems well on its way to serving global comfort food this fall. [Clinton Hill Blog] Initial impressions on Rickshaw Dumpling: “We enjoyed eating them, and even more, we enjoy knowing that we will file our $6 receipt for the six dumplings and be reimbursed. $1 per dumpling? Do I look like some kind of NYU kid to you?” [Eat for Victory/VV]

Chefs Knock Food Blogs to the Latest Food Blog

Rising Chefs
On the heels of Citysearch’s food-blog launch comes still another source of restaurant news: the NYC debut of Metromix (still in beta, it seems) and its own food blog Deep Dish. The juiciest item so far is a roundup of chef banter from the New York Rising Stars Revue awards. Not that the rising stars seem to have been that deep in their cups when they were interviewed (food blogger rule of thumb: Wait till they’re at the after-after-party), but some of their responses sure are punchy.

Mob Associate Called CEO of Cipriani; Yet Another Fall Preview

Colombo-crime family associate Dennis Pappas signed leases for Cipriani USA as the CEO of the restaurant group, but was surprisingly left off contracts submitted to the SLA. [NYP] By the time Craig Hopson unveils his new menu in January, One if by Land, Two if by Sea will have undergone a complete renovation, building on a color scheme of chocolate and watermelon. [Restaurant Girl] The fall openings include all the usual suspects. [Strong Buzz] Related: Where the Underground Gourmet Will Be Eating [NYM]

Rizzo's Square Pizza Rules in Astoria; Picholine Alum Takes on the West Village

Astoria: There was a bit of volatile reaction from our readers to the quality of Rose & Joe's Sicilian pies: “Any self-respecting pizza eater in Astoria will know that going anywhere but Rizzo’s for a square pie/slice is absolutely maniacal.” [Grub Street] East Harlem: If you have trouble finding “cuchifritos (a.k.a. Puerto Rican soul food), Mexican, French, Caribbean, and pizza” in the nabe, you can join NoshWalks for a food tour this Saturday. [Uptown Flavor] Flatiron: Gramercy Tavern jumps on the beer-for-dessert train by pairing stout with chocolate bread pudding. [NYDN] Park Slope: Another cupcake shop mobilizes to join the bakery front on Flatbush Avenue. [Eater] Upper West Side: Two food writers found a special of gnocchi with short-rib ragù and ricotta cheese at Ouest to be a perfect plate of food, and want it to make the fall menu. [Ed Levine Eats/Serious Eats] West Village: Picholine alum Craig Hopson moves into the kitchen of One if by Land, Two if by Sea, now that Gary Volkov is opening his own spot. [Restaurant Girl] Da Silvano may not have been taken out of the rat feature on Inside Edition, but his lawyer was given uncommonly ample on-air time to respond. [Gawker]

Picholine Has Frogs’ Legs, and Knows How to Use Them

Frogs’ legs tend to be associated with the French and Vietnamese, but according to Craig Hopson, the chef de cuisine at Picholine, the frogs in Florida have the imported ones beaten on all counts. “They’re a lot bigger and cleaner,” he says, and tonight, he’ll be serving them (for $19) as a special at the restaurant. “Frogs’ legs don’t have much flavor on their own,” Hopson tells us, so he ups the ante by filling them with a mixture of ground frogs’ legs, bacon, and foie gras, leaving a small bone protruding to hold them with, and frying them up in tempura batter as crispy frog lollipops. The dish is served with celery kimchee, considerably cooled down from the fiery Korean kind, and a spiced aïoli. But it’s the legs themselves that really jump off the plate.