Astoria: Sakura sushi has just opened on Ditmars near 36th Street, and they have quite an extensive menu. [Joey in Astoria]
Flatiron: Macaroni-and-cheese porn has been posted to tease an upcoming roundup on the city’s best, and Mayrose already sounds like it has a leg up on the crusty contenders: “Down and dirty, this macaroni. It will fight you on the way down, and you may lose.” [Gridskipper]
Midtown West: Gael Greene unmasks herself at BLT Market and is treated to some nice extras. “A note to my pal, Restaurantgirl, ” she writes, “that’s what a restaurant can do when you’re not anonymous.” [Insatiable Critic]
Upper East Side: An Alto Adige white on Sfoglia’s wine list does not name the varietals because producer Elena Walch refuses to share what grapes she uses. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
West Village: Julius on West 10th Street is open again after a brief seizure by New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and “crammed with the usual ancient drunkard queens.” [Eater]
This week brings together some disparate threads of the great suffocating quilt that is the New York food world. Modern Spanish and Latin food have almost nothing in common, other than, in the form of Suba and Rayuela, getting one star each from Adam Platt. Uptown Gael Greene rocks out Southern Hospitality. Downtown, Rob and Robin find a chef that knows all there is to know about the frying game and discover what’s happened to restaurant matchbooks in these days of the smoking ban. Plus, Kirby cucumbers are in season this week.
The lull of midsummer is already over, and new growths sprout everywhere. A young chef gives his first restaurant a go, a veteran gets his own place for the first time, and an established star gets a fresh start. We have restaurant openings, new and better lemonades, and even a baked squash blossom. Summer is starting to tire, but the food stays sharp.
If there’s a halal-chicken guy on your corner whom you think is unappreciated, now’s your chance to do right by him: Nominations have opened up for the Vendy Awards. [Gothamist]
A judge has tossed out the suit against Gordon Ramsay brought by the manager of Dillons for acts committed in the name of reality TV. [NYP]
Simon Oren, the owner of new French bistro Charolais, double-crossed the Insatiable Critic, and she isn’t happy about it. [Insatiable Critic]
Related: New French Bistro Has an Old Soul
Summer is upon us at last, and with it come the inevitable summer foods: hot dogs, barbecue, snap peas, salad … and pappardelle with truffles and butter. Well, not every food consumed in the hot months is inevitable. But this issue comes packed with hot-weather options. The Underground Gourmet reviews Willie’s Dawgs and PDT, the new chic cocktail lounge attached to Crif Dogs (you’ll have to read to understand). The city’s most ambitious barbecue opening yet happens this week; Gael Greene is very taken with Aurora Soho’s reverse commute; Pichet Ong takes off from the dessert business to create a killer sugar-snap-pea recipe; and Rob and Robin offer both a guide to the city’s top department-store salads and a quiz to determine your green-eats quotient, a test which only the most narrowly focused carnivore could possibly fail.
Is the New York dining scene better than ever? The question seems to our dazzled senses like a no-brainer, but it was the source of almost rancorous debate last night at a 92nd Street Y panel discussion which featured New York’s Gael Greene, famed chef Jacques Pepin, Über-restaurateur Michael Whiteman, and New York food historian Arthur Schwartz. “Food Talk” host Mike Colameco chaired the panel — helplessly, as the debate raged to his right and left.
The attentions of New York’s food staff are divided between modernity and tradition. Gael Greene is vexed with Provence, a reopened French restaurant which was faithfully conventional even in its former incarnation. Rob and Robin, apart from their usual announcements of new places in Openings, extract from Anthos chef Michael Psilakis a comparatively novel recipe for mature dandelion greens. And Adam Platt finds himself caught in the middle of Marco Canora’s half-modern, half-classical menu at Insieme.
Brooklyn Heights: “Closed by the Commissioner of Health” clearly taken lightly at Heights Cafe where diners have been spotted munching the mediocre fare. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Chelsea: Richard Ruben, author of The Farmer’s Market Cookbook, will host classes at the Institute of Culinary Education starting June 1 that begin with an ingredient hunt at Union Square’s Greenmarket. [Blog Chelsea]
East Hampton: Restaurants open seven days starting this weekend, including Nick & Toni’s and Harbor Bistro. [Hamptons.com]
Fort Greene: Locals search for answers to the fate of the space at Lafayette and Cumberland Avenues, have high hopes for Thai but as yet no answers. [Brooklyn Record]
Little Italy: A two-way mirror intensifies the door policy at GoldBar, but if you have a face like an old Frenchman, you shouldn’t have a problem. [Down by the Hipster]
Prospect Heights: Flatbush Farm hosting another barbecue this weekend. [Eater]
The typical New York diner (to say nothing of the typical New York reader) will generally get around to all the major food groups in the course of a week. There is the fish group, represented this week by Adam Platt’s one-star review of Wild Salmon, and the southern Italian sea bounty of Bar Stuzzichini, Rob and Robin’s lead opening. The meat group is well served by Prime Burger, the Insatiable Critic assures. The vegetable tribe appears courtesy of Mark Ladner’s spring-onion flan in In Season. Finally, after all this eating, all most of us would want is a bed to lie down in, and Rob and Robin provide some tips for that as well.
When spring comes, branches and leaves appear in the most unexpected places. This week’s food coverage is like that: There are no huge openings, analogous to maples or firs springing up overnight, but rather a rich carpet of new sprouts and saplings. Rob and Robin glory in the pig-out that is Resto, the new Belgian restaurant on Park Avenue South; Gael Greene stops in to enjoy the immense, spanking-new Landmarc in the Time Warner Center; David Chang knows just what to do with the long-awaited, precious ramps in In Season; and other unexpected treats, from a waterside barbecue in one of the Short Lists to a slew of spring Openings fill out the foliage.
In this week’s issue, as befits spring, nature is bursting out of our food coverage. Snails and sea urchins take supporting roles in Adam Platt’s review of the highly rarefied Anthos; Gael Greene flutters into a restaurant called Tree; Rob and Robin talk tomatoes, spring almonds, and even more snails; and, in the spirit of growth, our food editors lay out two Short Lists of places where you can introduce young, growing gourmands to their future lifetime pursuit. Plus, four new restaurant bloom in the April sunshine, all in New York this week.
Boreum Hill: The Jamaican restaurant Brawta has been shut down by the Feds and branded for tax evasion with a neon sign. [Eater]
Clinton Hill: Jelani Lounge's preemie martini vindicated! The apple martini served in a mini-glass is named for the owner's premature-born, now-strapping son. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Cobble Hill: Stinky Bklyn cheese shop has expanded with a series of seminars that will begin in May. [NYDN]
East Village: There's a gay man trapped in the body of a fembot on Broadway near Houston who is supposed to make you want to drink vodka. [Copyranter]
Upper East Side: This Friday and Saturday evenings Guastavino's will host a “wine rave” that aims wine education at the young and single. Tickets are $65, but for $100, you get perks and a goody bag. [Grub Street]
Upper West Side: Gael Greene dishes on her Life of Delicious Excess with excerpts from the recent memoir noon tomorrow at Makor. [NYM]
West Village: Through May 6, En Japanese Brasserie will serve a cherry-blossom tasting menu. [NYT]
This week’s food section is all about pressure: A pastry chef has to cook every night for a president who hates pineapples and will send him packing at the first hint of progressive dessert-making; Vinh Nguyen, a first generation Vietnamese-American, rolls the dice with his Williamsburg restaurant Silent H, and, as far as Rob and Robin are concerned, comes up lucky seven; Jeffrey Chodorow, fresh off his battle with Frank Bruni and Adam Platt, opens a big new restaurant and hopes for the best; and four new restaurants open, surely hoping for the best as well. Even this week’s In Season is rife with tension, calling as it does for a delicate filleting operation that could easily destroy a beautifully roasted flounder. The New York food world is not for the faint of heart.
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival was the culinary place to be this past weekend — practically every big-name chef came down for the festivities. Here's Grub Street correspondent Alexandra Peers's report.
This week’s magazine spans the world of food, from Anna Nicole’s refrigerator to Drew Neiporent’s latest big-box feeding hall, reviewed this week by Adam Platt. Rob and Robin write about one of the most buzzed-about openings of the season, and Gael Greene checks out Sam DeMarco’s Fireside. And to round it out, we take stock of what, if anything, the skinny types consumed during Fashion Week.
David Kamp — author of the definitive, not to mention best-selling, account of America’s metamorphosis into a nation of gourmands, The United States of Arugula — must like us. Why else would he share an eloquently annotated list of his favorite books relating to New York food history? Okay, it may be that he’s an overachiever, spilling with knowledge. Either way, we welcome his voice here on Grub Street.
This week's issue of New York is crammed with food news, including an Adam Platt slam, a Gael Greene discovery, and a very odd story about people who hate foie gras.
• Foie Gras foes, rebuffed in their efforts to get the delicacy banned in New York, converge on Fairway, much to the store's delight. [Intelligencer]
• Adam Platt hands Jeffrey Chodorow's new Kobe Club a bagel, faulting the restaurant as “less like a steakhouse than a bizarre agglomeration of restaurant fashions and trends, most of them bad.” And that was one of the nicer things he had to say. [Food]
This spring — a season which we’re glad to remind ourselves of as we enter drab February — the Institute of Culinary Education will be offering a roster of recreational classes that we heartily recommend, despite the fact that (full disclosure) self-deprecating Grub Street editor Josh Ozersky will be teaching one. Many friends of Grub Street — and a colleague, Gael Greene, who will head up “An Evening of Excess” — will be passing along wisdom on everything from blintzes to methylcellulose.
• In openings, Rob and Robin give pride of place to this week's biggie, the British superchef Gordon Ramsay's maiden New York venture, Gordon Ramsay at the London; signal the arrival of Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, a relatively ambitious Turkish restaurant in midtown; and acknowledge a new red-sauce restaurant, Dean's Family Style Restaurant and Pizzeria (801 Second Ave., nr. 43rd St.; 212-878-9600).
New York Restaurant Openings and Buzz
• Gael Greene goes to Metro Marché at the Port Authority and gives what has to be the best review ever received by a restaurant in a bus station: "Amazingly good brasserie dishes at astonishingly gentle prices."
• Given that so much restaurant profit comes from the bar, you have to wonder why it took so long for restaurants to attach lounges. Rob and Robin look at four new ones: the Greek Kava Lounge, EN Shochu Bar (Japanese), and the eclectic Monday Room and Wined Up wine bars. All open over the next couple of weeks.
Rooms With Booze
We've been hearing for a couple of weeks now that the Russian Tea Room is about to reopen in its old location. (Read Gael Greene's account of the institution here.) Outside of a few rumors and a U2-like spy photo on Eater, there hasn't been much info on what to expect from the new iteration. But in a glasnostlike gesture, the restaurant has thrown open its doors to Grub Street and our cameras.