With July 4 behind us and a heat wave upon us, the magazine kicks into full summer mode this week. Adam Platt sips rosé in the garden room of the retooled Provence, the Insatiable Critic goes for gazpacho julienne at Park Avenue Summer, and the Robs introduce us to a trio of brand-new summer spots — a barbecue joint, a fish restaurant, and a beer bar — along with the offerings of the new Essex Street Market. Also, there’s news of a pizza boomlet — because some food is season-proof.
Rising actress Mamie Gummer talks to the magazine this week about her breakout role in Lajos Koltai's new film Evening, about which New York's critic David Edelstein had less kind things to say than he did about the character portrayed by both Gummer and her real-life mother Meryl Streep.
Our interest was piqued when we read the last line of Jada Yuan’s piece about Lily Allen’s two weeks in New York. “‘Don’t worry,’ she says, cheerily chomping on chicken satay at Cafe Gitane, a few hours before double-fisting pizza slices at Joe’s. ‘I’m still eating like a fucking pig.’” Vulture, our entertainment blog, has some choice outtakes from the interview, but none of them clear up our curiosity about Lily’s New York diet — here, then, are some food-related kernels that didn’t make it into the magazine piece.
Who cares if she just threw a bottle at the drummer from Jet? She'll have a really funny write-up about it on her blog tomorrow. And as her storylike songs suggest, hanging around with her means getting constant running commentary on her day, her obsessions, and her life. Below, our collection of Lilyisms from a summer day well spent.
We can't claim to be one of those savants who has read every article published in every issue of New York since Clay Felker midwifed the thing into existence back in 1968. Even so, we have a hard time believing we could ever find a more favorite sentence in those back issues than this one, from this week's "The Science of Gaydar":
Late last year, Martina Navratilova joined activists to speak out against an experiment that sought to intentionally turn sheep gay (it failed, but another experiment successfully turned ferrets into homosexuals, and the sexual orientations of fruit flies have been switched in laboratories).
You might be interested to know that your morning coffee was marked up 1,000 percent by the street vendor who just sold it to you. It’s just one of many fascinating tidbits in “Cartography,” a complete road map to New York City street food. Though Grub Street has previously selected its top five favorite carts, this week’s issue goes all out, not only ranking the city’s best twenty carts but also offering a glimpse into the daily experiences of street vendors. If the feature doesn’t sell you on the guts and glory of sidewalk cuisine, well, fine then — Rob and Robin have singled out several more conventional restaurants to look forward to this summer.
There are four restaurant-related stories in this week’s issue, and they ask you to take a side. Are you a New Yorker who glories in the freshness of newly arrived strawberries and seasonal cooking in general? Or are you an atavistic who prefers to sit in air-conditioned steakhouses, consuming red meat in 90-degree weather? This week, at least, Adam Platt is clearly the latter, dining in the Freon fortress that is Landmarc and finding only the heaviest, most beef- and bacon-laden foods worthy of (faint) praise. Those of us who have fathers like him are enjoined, in one of this week’s Short Lists, to visit various steakhouses with our dads. On the side, there is more cool, natural frozen yogurt than ever to be had, enumerated in another Short List, and this week’s In Season features a recipe for delicate pasta with strawberries from Sfoglia.
A little freaked out about the 10 million gallons of toxic sludge lurking under Brooklyn and seeping toward the surface? Afraid it might be oozing toward you? You'll be thankful, then, for the efforts of Michael Heimbinder, a Fort Greene resident and member of the Newtown Creek Alliance. He's created an interactive map of Greenpoint, the most affected neighborhood, on which you can learn all about the occasionally escaping sewage and pinpoint known polluted spots. "I wanted to take the opportunity that the Internet offers to create the connection between what's happening in the city — air pollution, water pollution — and what's happening in New Yorkers' apartments," Heimbinder explained. Now you can know all too well. —Rebecca RuizExplore Newtown Creek [HabitatMap.org]
The Ooze [NYM]
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.
The ever-cantankerous Copyranter points us today to a subway advertisement for Twenty Bayard, billed as "Williamsburg's premier parkfront condominiums." He's mostly upset by the obnoxiously and self- consciously diverse foursome in the ad's Warhol-esque portraits, but we're more troubled by the ad's tagline, "Radically chic. Chicly radical." Not to get possessive about this, but when did Radical Chic become a desirable thing? The term was coined in a 1970 issue of New York, when Tom Wolfe wrote about "that party at Lenny's," a fund-raising soirée Leonard and Felicia Bernstein threw at their Park Avenue duplex for bigshots to raise money for — and actually mingle with! — Black Panthers. The piece is devastating and hilarious, an classic indictment of do-gooding but oblivious limousine liberals. Need to refresh your memory? From the magazine's archives, here's the original article.
Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny's [NYM 5/6/1970]
The Four Fashionable Faces of Williamsburg [Copyranter]
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.
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.