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Grayz

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Barbuto Saved by a Chicken; Fiamma Comes Up Short

The wildly uneven Barbuto earns a single star from Frank Bruni, almost entirely on the strength of a well-roasted Bell & Evans chicken. To quote Winston Churchill, “Some chicken!” [NYT] Alan Richman was appalled by how small the portions were at Grayz, how much they cost, and how shady most of them were, except for the magnificent, world-beating short rib: “In complexity and satisfaction, this dish reminded me most of the Gray Kunz of Lespinasse, the chef we miss so much.” [Bloomberg] Randall Lane gets that Fiamma’s Fabio Trachocchi is cooking in a grand, Continental style and doesn’t hold that against him, but the food is too rich and the service too sloppy to give him the five or six stars the place would have liked And so they have to settle for four. [TONY]

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Cipriani Charged With ‘Highway Robbery’; Market Table Gets a Big Kiss From RG

Frank Bruni pens one of his best zero-star reviews ever in putting down Harry Cipriani, hard: “The crime that comes to mind first when I think of the Ciprianis is highway robbery. Based on my recent experience, that’s what happens almost any time Harry Cipriani on Fifth Avenue serves lunch or dinner.” Brillo-like potatoes? $23 for asparagus? Bruni makes 'em pay. [NYT] Market Table gets two and a half stars from Restaurant Girl, who praises the solid American cooking and buys into the overall concept. We wondered if MT wouldn't be the restaurant that absorbed the Haute Barnyard backlash, but it seems to have dodged it so far. [NYDN] Paul Adams hits Tailor and delivers the most intelligently rendered version of what seems to be the verdict on the place: The food is brilliant but spotty, and the drinks are great. [NYS]

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A Quartet of High-End Bar Treats at Grayz

Gray Kunz is one of the giants of New York gastronomy; his pioneering work in fusing global flavors made Lespinasse one of the world’s great restaurants. Today, Café Gray carries his flag in New York. His newest venture, Grayz, is a bar and lounge with a finger-food menu that emulates its Time Warner cousin in some dishes and goes its own way with others. Here are four dishes from the Grayz menu: As always, mouse over the anchor arrows to see the dish described in the chef’s own words.

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Babbo and Le Bernardin Alums Take On the West Village; Grayz Serving Lunch

Chelsea: Cookbook author Judith Jones hosts a reading, book signing, and wine tasting tonight at Bottlerocket. [Bottlerocket] Harlem: Looks like a new café and bakery called La Perle Noir is coming to the corner of Lenox and West 131st Street. [Uptown Flavor] Long Island City: Tonight's free tasting at Vine Wine showcases wines of Spain. [Joey in Astoria] Midtown West: Grayz is now serving lunch. [NYS] Tribeca: Eric Ripert's A Return to Cooking includes lovely seasonal recipes but also pictures paintings from artist Valentino Cortazar, whose originals debut at the Hal Katzen Gallery at 459 Washington Street tomorrow. [Snack] West Village: Dell'Anima from former Le Bernardin chef Gabriel Thompson and onetime Babbo sommelier Joe Campanale opens today at 38 Eighth Avenue. [NYT]

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It Isn't Easy Being Green; Grayz on the Stun Line

There are a few basic steps that restaurants and bars can follow to be considered “green,” but they don't happen automatically.[TONY] Steve Cuozzo leads Gray Kunz’s new cash cow to the slaughter, calling Grayz a draw “for suits wanting a slicker sandbox for babe-wrangling than nearby Connolly’s.” [NYP] Related: Gray Kunz Finds a Sweet New Business Model The Frankies of Spuntino fame have a third restaurant planned in Brooklyn and a new cookbook on the way. [Eater]

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Exclusive: Grayz Will Open Monday, With Booze

Gray Kunz
Despite recent rumors that Gray Kunz’s new spot Grayz wouldn’t secure a liquor license until October, further delaying its much anticipated opening, the man himself told us that the license is in, and he expects to have a “very soft opening” on Monday. So soft, in fact, that Kunz won’t even give us an early look at the menu (beyond the calamari that Rob and Robin wrote about this week). “It’s evolving still almost every week,” he tells us. “The wine list or menu is something people are going to have to see when they come in.” For those of you eager to take him up on that, take note that reservations won’t be accepted for dinner (served from 5 p.m. to midnight; lunch is from noon to 2 p.m.), but here’s your number for securing a seat for lunch: 212-262-4600. Related: Gray Kunz Finds a Sweet New Business Model Secret Ingredient: Honey Grayz [NYM] Best of the Rest: Food (Fall Preview 2007) [NYM]

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DiFara Fans All at Sea; Gray Kunz Enters the Small-Plate Wars

Brooklyn held hostage, day four: DiFara fans reeling from this latest, pointless blow from the Department of Health. “It hurts. It’s the best pizza in my life, ever.” [NYT] SliceNY uses the DiFara time-out to point out that, in recent months, the Saint of Avenue J has been burning his pizzas pretty badly around the edges. [SliceNY] Gray Kunz’s new small-plates restaurant, Grayz, joins a growing number of such restaurants run by lesser beings. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

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Perfect Waiting Weather: Shake Shack Open Late Tonight

Dumbo: Bubby’s owner not going down like that, fights rumors of imminent demise. [Brooklyn Record] Flatiron: To celebrate early spring (or is it already summer?), the Shake Shack will stay open till 8 p.m. tonight. [Grub Street] Kensington–Ditmas Park: Tongue-and-cheek torta rumored in Brooklyn. Tongue-in-cheek “Grows in Brooklyn” headline deployed. [Gothamist] Midtown: New finger-food menu at Café Gray a harbinger of things to come at Grayz. Whenever Grayz comes. [Eater] Williamsburg: Amazon Café opens. Rest assured: “The lighting is a little more subdued than the Smith Street branch.” [Gowanus Lounge]

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Café Gray Loses Its Lunch

How do you usually spend your lunches? If you’re anything like us, it’s hunched over your desk, scarfing down scrapple you brought from home in a Tupperware tub. Gone, in other words, are the glory days of the leisurely workweek lunch. And so this slow change has claimed another victim: Café Gray. After March 5, you’ll no longer be able to flex your expense account during the midday hours at what Platt calls “probably the most fun” of the “self-important” food-court establishments at Time Warner Center.

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