Bruni Is Steamed Over Momofuku’s Reservation System
Nearly a month after Ko's opening, the Times critic still hasn't scored a table.
Nearly a month after Ko's opening, the Times critic still hasn't scored a table.
Mia Dona gets an appreciative two stars from Frank Bruni, it's good but not great reviews for Merkato 55, and it's three stars for Adour from Moira Hodgson
A cooking show wants to mate sexy Brooklyn foodies, Insomnia Cookies could be faster, and Madaleine Mae is marketing rum shots as "cures."
A virus attacks Chile's salmon population, Grant Achatz reveals why Alinea won't be opening in New York, and the world's finest cheese is announced in Wisconsin.
Mas love for Mas from Frank Bruni, differing views of Mia Dona, and a review of Commerce that will make you lose your appetite.
Chefs, did Frank Bruni doze off at your restaurant? Blame the Pakistani Ambien.
A Top Chef contestant loses his job, Chinese food makes going to the airport tolerable, and Frank Bruni works out a lot.
Rest easy, as Webster Hall is safe at last, highly desirable restaurants exist in both Boston and Philadelphia, and food companies finally learned to court bloggers. Especially weird niche ones.
A federal investigation is under way in New York’s kitchens to measure the hazards cooks face when handling an ingredient in artificial butter that is known to cause tissue damage. [Seattle Post Intelligencer] Frank Bruni thinks Thomas Keller should just stick to what he knows and avoid this casual-dining nonsense he puts on at Ad Hoc. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Sexy British TV chef Nigella Lawson has reportedly put on some weight, with one catty source saying, “The result is a butt like a Budweiser horse.” [NYP]
When Frank Bruni decided to confront Fiamma about its price increases, we knew it wouldn’t take long for Team Hanson to get on the problem. Fiamma is the group’s flagship restaurant, and the critical pile-on about high prices and missing ingredients must have stung B.R. Guest. Today, the group announced the inevitable price cuts to tasting menus. Prices are dropping from $92 to $85 for the standard prix fixe menu, and the five-course dinner has been cut to $105 from $120. Fiamma has also reintroduced its full-bore seven-course menu, which will come in at $125.
As chefs and cooks take on more roles of service, they cut out more costs and create a more intimate dining experience, especially at restaurants with counters overlooking the food preparation. [NYT] Related: Ringside Seats at the Chef's Counter Apparently, restaurants’ hanging of red velvet curtains in colder months signals metaphors of birth and womblike spaces for diners. Ew. [NYO] Chefs like Akhtar Nawab of Elettaria and Josh Eden of Shorty’s.32 both spent years cooking on the line before being able to fly solo. [TONY]
“It's a new era, and Bar Boulud belongs to it.” That's why, even though the hot items are mostly “snoozers,” the restaurant deserves two stars. Another Zeitgeist review from Frank Bruni. [NYT] Steve Cuozzo doesn't give out stars, but if he did, he wouldn't be giving three to Dovetail, whose stellar critical reception he recapitulates in a forceful, acerbic review. “The Times' Frank Bruni, who found 'drab' décor at Anthos a reason to deny that truly original, forward-Greek place three stars, overlooked Dovetail's butt-ugly brown palette to exult over the likes of — holy cow! — monkfish and lobster on the same plate.” [NYP] Writing on his GQ blog, Alan Richman obliterates Brasserie Les Halles, but why? Who was thinking about it, anyway? And who thought it was good? The review seems conceived as a blow against Tony Bourdain, but it does him no harm. [GQ]
We’re surprised it took this long to happen, but “celebrity chef” Robert Irvine, known of late for his lies about his background, has announced that he will not proceed with the opening of two planned restaurants in St. Petersburg. [This Just In/St. Petersburg Times] Related: Surprise, Surprise: Robert Irvine Gets the Boot From the Food Network The best way to taste the dishes on Top Chef is to head to the toques’ post-Bravo places of employment in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and San Francisco. [Zagat Buzz] Frank Bruni muses on the tourist-tipping problem, noting that he’s not a fan of automatic gratuity charges since they prevent diners from communicating their pleasure or irritation with the service. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
There’s no doubt about it: Pizza prices are going up. A survey of pizzerias around town — well, below 14th Street, anyway — reveals that slice prices are almost unanimously going to increase over the next few months, owing to the soaring price of flour. [City Room/NYT] Though the National Labor Relations Board ruled more than two weeks ago that Saigon Grill‘s deliverymen must be rehired with full back pay, delivery service at both locations remains suspended and there are doubts about its returning anytime soon. [Villager] You can learn so much from hanging out at Ko and the Rusty Knot, like how good Jay-Z is at playing pool. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
The Food & Wine editor–cum–hostess at Dovetail had a hard time learning the ropes of the job at first, but by the end she learned that star ratings from critics matter, and there’s more to being a hostess than checking coats. [TONY] Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has filed a suit against Tonic East for “a pattern or practice of denying African-Americans from admittance into its club.” [Down by the Hipster] Unbeknownst to us, rapper Coolio has a cooking show on the Web called, succinctly, Cookin’ With Coolio, but he might not be the most adventurous kitchen personality we’ve ever seen: “I don’t like pork, I don’t eat pork, and I don’t cook pork.” [Serious Eats]
In a landmark for molecular gastronomy in America, the movement’s top proponent, Wylie Dufresne, gets his third star for wd-50. A historic review, especially as Frank Bruni expresses the usual reservations about overly cerebral cooking. [NYT] Bar Boulud finally gets some respect from Alan Richman, who praises its blue-ribbon charcuterie and says of its much-maligned mains, “The worst that can be said…is that the recipes are relentlessly conventional — lamb stew, roasted chicken, boudin blanc. The best is that such a style of cooking is terribly missed.” [GQ] Restaurant Girl seems to have been distinctly unimpressed with about half of the dishes she tried at Adour, resulting in a lukewarm, two-and-a-half-star review. Ducasse’s latest is not getting off to a great start. [NYDN]
Momofuku Ko is scheduled to open on March 12, and once the friends-and-family period ends, the only way to get in will be through online reservations. [Eater] Café Boulud still has the power to draw big names like Tom Ford, Barbara Walters, and Bruce Springsteen. [WSJ] The same I.D. scanners that help keep out underage drinkers at nightclubs are also helping police track down the various shooters and stabbers that frequent these places. [NYP]
Frank Bruni finds Bar Blanc fussy, mannered, overly fastidious — and very, very good. The two stars should take the sting out of his review for the place's owners. [NYT] Related: Raising the Bar Restaurant Girl hits Williamsburg’s Zenkichi and, between the room, the food, and the sake selection, seems to have a real find on her hands. [NYDN] Randall Lane joins in the general enthusiasm for Dovetail , but now he seems unwilling to go back to his five-star-granting ways and so ends up giving them only four — the equivalent, in traditional star terms, to a two-star review, which is not what this reads as. [TONY]
The first details on Charlie Trotter’s still-unnamed restaurant on Madison Square Park emerge: It will have 80 seats as well as a bar and lounge. [NYT] Merkato 55 may be turning New Yorkers on to African cuisine, but there have been plenty of excellent, albeit under-the-radar, restaurants offering the continent’s cuisine for years. [TONY] Related: Merkato 55’s Most Popular Dish: Doro Wat The Modern’s new wine director, Belinda Chang, is the kind of sommelier we want to be someday: “I’m definitely obsessed with magnums. They’re so fun to pour!” [NYS]
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