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Dennis Foy

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Drink-Special Fakers in Astoria Get Called Out, But One of This Week's Openings Makes a Serious Cocktail

Astoria: Sabry’s at 24–25 Steinway whips up a shrimp and calamari tagine that’s “not only visually appealing but full of tomatoey goodness.” [Joey in Astoria] Fatty’s Cafe lied to Joey and Foodista about serving Valentine’s Day drink specials; everything was regularly priced. Not cool. [Foodista] Dumbo: A relatively budget kitchenware shop called Leader Trading Company has opened at 160 Water Street. [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: The Corpse Reviver at Hudson Valley–inspired Olana is a “smooth mix of Lillet, Tanqueray, Cointreau, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice in an absinthe-tempered glass.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown West: The head chef of the Chapati Roll/Biriyani Cart at 46th near Sixth Avenue "has returned after two and a half months in Bangladesh" and has added a vegetarian Aloo Gobi roll, with curried potatoes and cauliflower, to the short menu. [Midtown Lunch] Tribeca: Dennis Foy now serves a $24.08 three-course prix fixe lunch on weekdays and a weekend brunch featuring macadamia-nut granola, orange- and almond-dipped French toast, and pancakes with dulce de leche gelato. [Grub Street] West Village: Next Wednesday is Dominican Independence Day, and Havana Alma De Cuba will have a native Dominican rolling complimentary cigars to go with your mojito. [Grub Street]

‘Esquire’ to New York: Drop Dead

Dennis Foy
Are you kidding us? Only a trio of New York spots made Esquire’s “best new restaurants” list. And while the places described all sound good, if the likes of Rialto in Cambridge have all but three New York restaurants beat, then Pace is the new Harvard. The fact is this list represents a kind of trans-Hudson affirmative action for the restaurant world. Food columnist John Mariani picks good restaurants located outside New York in place of the more deserving restaurants inside the city limits, such as Insieme, Sfoglia, Ssäm Bar, Suba, Hill Country, and many others. It’s not their fault that New York has more good places than the rest of the country put together!

Chodorow Sure to Be Pissed Over New ‘Times’ Steakhouse Review

This one is bound to kill Chodorow. Bruni visits a steakhouse even more vulgar than Kobe Club and awards it one star: Robert’s Steakhouse, inside the Penthouse Executive Club. Adam Perry Lang, as most recognize, is one of the city’s top meat guys. [NYT] Meehan affirms that Kefi’s has terrific food at a bargain. He notes that it was strangely quiet the nights he was there, but that has changed, we’re told, since the Underground Gourmet gave the restaurant four stars. [NYT] Think of this less as a review of Gilt than an excuse for Steve Cuozzo to acknowledge Chris Lee, one of the city’s most underappreciated chefs, whose ill fortune it was to follow Paul Liebrandt and his alienating high-concept cookery. [NYP]

The Controversy That’s Tearing the Restaurant World Apart

Chefs, especially the better ones, don’t usually pass judgment on one another publicly. So we were shocked recently when we heard one successful chef blasting another one for having handled a fish with tongs. "I wouldn't even stand in the same kitchen if I saw that!" he thundered. The first one was classically trained; the second, self-taught. It just went to show that if there’s anything that divides the world of chefs, it’s how they learned to cook — and how invested they are in the way that they came up. We staged a cage match between one of the city’s proud grads and a couple eminent autodidacts in order to find out who has it right.

Ssäm Bar Vindicated; Haute Cuisine Gets No Love

Momofuku Ssäm Bar wins two stars (!) from Bruni and completes a success story that seemed pretty unlikely a few months ago, when the place was selling Asian burritos to a handful of customers. The review is also a watershed in the changing culture of restaurants: Formal is now officially out, casual now officially legit. [NYT] Related: The I Chang [NYM] Meanwhile, Randall Lane is a lone dissenter, calling out Ssäm Bar for its unevenness, lack of focus, and the steep prices of some of its main dishes. On the whole, though, he seems to have missed the point — David Chang's loose, unfettered approach to good cooking. [TONY] Steve Cuozzo joins in the chorus of approval greeting Wayne Nish’s transformation of the stuffy March into the swinging, fusion-y Nish. The message: Remain formal at your own peril. (See reviews of Dennis Foy and Gordon Ramsay.) [NYP] Related: Bedeviled [NYM]

Nobody Truly Loves Varietal; Pera and Dennis Foy Only Marginally Appealing

Bruni one-stars two restaurants, damning both with the faintest of praise: “Pera is a restaurant good enough at what it does best to argue for at least a moment’s consideration,” he says, carefully calibrating the knocks everyone else has given the place. Dennis Foy is too,” he throws in. [NYT] Meehan is downright enthusiastic in his praise for East Village mini-chain Chickpea, which he considers the epitome of cheap eats, if not the final word in falafel and shawarma. [NYT] Alan Richman reviews a more or less random steakhouse, Harry’s in the financial district, and delivers the news that the sides are lame, the steaks are fair to good, and that the place isn't especially pretty or pleasant. Who'd have thought? [Bloomberg]

Yet Another Bagel for Kobe Club; Sietsema Visits American Restaurants!

Bruni hands Kobe Club the dreaded bagel, for many of the same reasons Adam Platt did: a tacky interior, wildly overpriced food, and an ill-conceived menu that doesn’t include great steak. [NYT] Peter Meehan, meanwhile, discovers the joys of the diamond district’s kosher kebab house Taam Tov. [NYT] Sietsema takes a break from celebrating Haitian hot pots to survey and grade the new burger joints: The result is detailed, thoughtful, and moderate. None score higher than a B+. [VV]

It's Final: Ramsay's Dull; March Gets Romantic

Bruni goes to Gordon Ramsay and finds common ground with everyone else, saying it’s well executed, flawless even — and totally uninspiring. Even the paint is dull! (Two stars.) [NYT] In keeping with his recent interest in the international, Meehan visits a Romanian restaurant with garlicky spreads in Sunnyside. Still, despite the Sphinx, the place still doesn’t sound all that interesting. [NYT] March reborn as Nish: It's more romantic, thanks to more intimate seating, exotic ingredients, and dishes that “broadly evoked the cuisine of chef Gray Kunz: international spices used with local ingredients and French technique.” Who isn’t doing that these days? [Bloomberg]

New Restaurants? Why, Yes, I'd Like to Hear About Those

Rob and Robin round up an intriguing set of openings this week: Rosanjin, the Kyoto-themed sushi restaurant whose delivery service we wrote up in October; Kobe Club, the steakhouse that wound up not hiring Josh DeChellis, as we reported a couple weeks back; and wine-centric Varietal, tony Dennis Foy, and Gus's Place, which just has a new location, as well as two others we'll let you discover. Restaurant Openings: Rosanjin, Varietal, Dennis Foy, Kobe Club, Gus's Place, Fireside, and Brooklyn Label [NYM]

Two Starrs, Another Frederick's, and More Tables at Babbo

The latest comings and goings: Restaurants spawn offshoots, Stephen Starr throws a couple more chips down, and Babbo opens its basement. Regina Schrambling explains the insanity of our big-box restaurants to Los Angelenos: "Everything about the trend should feel wrong, but somehow it connects in this changing city." [LAT] Starr "looking to do two more concepts" downtown: tapas and (hold your breath) another Asian. [NYP] The Flo chart: Dennis Foy, the man behind Mondrian and EQ, comes home to roost at Lo Scalco; Sushi of Gari, Frederick's, Pastrami Queen, and Persepolis relocate or branch out; and more. [NYT] A profile of Compass's John Fraser, just named a "chef to watch" by Esquire. [NYDN] Da Bronx snubbed by Zagat? [NYDN] Babbo now lets you dine in the wine cellar. [Eater]