With some wondering whether threats of a recession will bring restaurant prices down, we asked him for insight into a place where businessmen don't think twice about ordering the $700 pour of cognac for dessert.
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]
So why is Jeffrey Chodorow’s new Lincoln Center meatery to be called Center Cut? Because it will be devoted to the center cuts of meat! There will be center-cut steaks, center-cut pork chops, center-cut venison, and so forth, says the chef's rep Karine Bakhoum. We are flabbergasted. Such a proposition sounds insanely expensive and is also silly, since the first two ribs off the shoulder (ribs 1 and 2 in the trade) are by far the best ones, with the biggest portion of the spinalis dorsi muscle, also known as the “lip” or “deckle.”
The Times today confirms that this summer Jeffrey Chodorow will open a steakhouse, Center Cut, in the Empire Hotel and — the real horror show — a Maxim-magazine-branded steakhouse to replace Ono in the Gansevoort Hotel in late March. Will it be a “breastaurant” combining boob tubes and tube tops à la Hooters, or will Chodorow go for something a tad bit more refined? Below, our predictions for the experience.
Box owner Simon Hammerstein is happy one of his performers spilled a drink on Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher this week. [NYP]
2008 probably won’t be the year that sees the establishment of a large, indoor public market along the lines of London’s Borough Market or San Francisco’s farmer’s market. [NYT]
Related: Batali Shows a Little Leg to Sex Up New Amsterdam Public
Gael Greene puts forth her list of culinary predictions for the New Year, including this gem: “Jeffrey Chodorow and Frank Bruni will have a food fight in Madison Square Park televised by the Food Network. If Bruni loses he will be required to review restaurants in Des Moines for six months. If Chodorow is the loser he will be forbidden to open a new restaurant for three weeks.” [Insatiable Critic]
“Life fades vision dims and all that remains is memory.” Such are the haunting first words of The Road Warrior, and we can’t help but think of them as we look back, through heavy lids, at the year that was. 2007 was a memorable restaurant year in so many ways, but there are a few that stick out in our minds. Our favorite moments of the last year would definitely have to include:
Jeffrey Chodorow today confirmed Eater's speculation about the end of Wild Salmon. "Regrettably," he said in a statement, "we will be closing Wild Salmon after the new year. We were excited about bringing the food and wine of the Pacific Northwest to New York, but, unfortunately, our efforts were unsuccessful." Too bad. Can we now count that space as officially cursed? Maybe it's time to get a bank in there.
Jeffrey Chodorow has been pretty tight-lipped about his new steakhouse in the Empire Hotel (and given what happened with his last steakhouse, who can blame him?). But General Chod got to chewing the fat with us recently, and let us in on one of the basic concepts of the place. “It will be a classic New York steakhouse, but with one improvement: The whole menu will come in small and large portions,” he says. “Everybody doesn’t want to eat immense portions, especially in a neighborhood restaurant. I’ll have half a lobster, a twelve-ounce sirloin, and I can maintain the quality and at the same time bring the price point down.”
News that Borough Food and Drink was being taken over by Zak Pelaccio had some Chodorow watchers scratching their heads. How could China Grill Management be involved in a restaurant and not control it? General Chod tells us that, far from being a departure from his operating system, CGM’s boutique operation is just his latest innovation. “There’s 20th Century Fox for big projects, and then also Fox Searchlight Pictures. That’s what this would be like,” he says, crediting Pelaccio with the analogy. (How long did he mull that one?)