Jeffrey Chodorow is opening a restaurant with Tom Valenti right next to his new restaurant with Zak Pelaccio; also, a new Rickshaw will open in the Village. [Eater]
Related: Chodorow and Pelaccio Planning a ‘Malaysian Coffeehouse’ [Grub Street]
We’re in the middle of a rum renaissance, with “heavy, thick and funky” British varieties and “smooth and sugary” Spanish-Caribbean ones. [NYDN]
Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club defends itself against charges of unfair labor practices: “Everyone makes the minimum wage at the club.” [NYDN]
Adam Platt and Frank Bruni are no longer banned from Jeffrey Chodorow’s restaurants. Even though, says the restaurateur, Platt “missed the whole point of Wild Salmon.” [Restaurant Girl]
Related: Salmon Cured? [NYM]
In a revealing interview, Marco Pierre White takes a stand against the star-chef game: “Can you imagine: You take your wife out to my restaurant for dinner, and I'm not behind the stove. You find out I'm in America — how would you feel when you've just done $1,200 for dinner? It's a sour taste, isn't it?” [Salon]
Thomas Keller announces that he isn’t really the man at Per Se: “I [speak] as someone who is somewhat detached from it because it is a Jonathan Benno restaurant.” [MSN]
Fatty Crab may not be coming to the Upper West Side, but locals need not fret — we’ve learned that Jeffrey Chodorow and Zak Pelaccio are in discussion to do a Malaysian place called Kopi Tiam in the neighborhood. A kopi tiam is what Chodorow calls a “Malaysian coffeehouse,” and this one would occupy the 77th Street space that formerly housed Fishs Eddy. Kopi tiams, Chodorow tells us, “are popular throughout Malaysia and frequently serve both Malaysian and Western foods this restaurant would be very different from Fatty Crab.”
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.
On limo-lined 58th Street, two nouveau steakhouses face each other in a bizarre game of Spy vs. Spy. The white spy: bright, cheery Quality Meats of the Wollensky empire, designed by the whiz kids at AvroKO. The black spy: Chodorow’s infamous Kobe Club, a noirish trip that resembles a Tarantino stage set. Each has its bag of trick s— QM’s meat-hook chandeliers! KC’s samurai swords!— but the nukes in their arsenals are, of course, the restrooms. After you’ve finished a 64-ounce growler of Quality beer or a $225 bowl of Kobe punch, you’re going to need to use 'em. So let’s take a look.
Carroll Gardens: Faan has average food but festive décor, and it’s the only decent delivery in the neighborhood. [Brooklyn Record] But a new French bistro is coming to town. [Lost City]
Fort Greene: The Greene Grape showcases its rosé selection with a series of tastings tonight through Sunday. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Midtown East: A photomontage of Bon Chon’s Korean fried chicken. [Gothamist]
Union Square : Mario Batali will team with Crocs, the maker of his trademark rubber clogs, and come up with an even more durable line to debut later this summer. Until then, the regular versions are available at Paragon Sports. [The Food Section]
Upper West Side: Could the Chodorow-Pelaccio agreement culminate in a Fatty Crab taking over the old Fish’s Eddy space? [Eater]
Alan Richman has a few qualms about Wild Salmon – its reason for being, for example – but likes both the food (except for the sauces) and the service (when it’s not too friendly). Given how ready Richman is to knock restaurants, owner Jeffrey Chodorow has to feel pretty good about this one. [Bloomberg]
Related: Wild Salmon Swims Into View. Yes, ‘Pun Intended’ [Grub Street]
The newly revamped Craftsteak and Craftbar get rereviewed by Bruni, who awards the less than the white-hot former a much-needed second star, and the latter, “more or less back on track” after earlier troubles, a (borderline) single star. [NYT]
Time Out’s Randall Lane lays four stars (out of six) on Gilt, finding Chris Lee’s cooking admirable all around, if less risky than that of his predecessor, Paul Liebrandt, who still keeps popping up whenever the restaurant is discussed. [TONY]
Related: Gramercy Rehab [NYM]
A car plows into the venerable Hop Kee restaurant in Chinatown. The restaurant is damaged, and one person is hurt. [Downtown Express]
Izakaya invasion! The city now boasts everything from simple sake joints with food to full-blown small-plate restaurants. [NYDN]
The official Times take on the Neroni Affair includes this classic quote, in defense of the Desperate Chef: “If Marco didn’t want anyone signing checks, including Jason, he should have put the checkbook in the safe.” [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.
Over-the-top restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow — the man behind the near-universally reviled Kobe Club, which has caused him to revile, in turn, critics like our Adam Platt and the Times' Frank Bruni — opens his latest offering, Wild Salmon, today. Grub Street got a look inside the place yesterday, and a look at the menu, and based on that — and not, mind you, on actually eating anything there — pronounces it "the best hand he’s dealt himself in a while." Why? Find out at Grub Street.
Wild Salmon Swims Into View. Yes, 'Pun Intended' [Grub Street]
We wouldn’t pull your leg: Jeffrey Chodorow’s newest restaurant, Wild Salmon, opens tomorrow. Will it be a Kobe Club of the sea, leading the restaurateur to further screeds? Or will it redeem his reputation as a hit maker? Judging from this image and the place’s menu — that’s right, menu — we’re inclined to say that he’s headed in the right direction.
Boerum Hill: Brooklyn Inn on its way out. [Eater]
Clinton Hill: Credit the blogosphere if the brewery on Waverly Avenue opens this summer as a beer garden. [Gothamist]
Financial District: We’ve got the menu for the new Dublin-European bistro Stella Maris. [Grub Street]
Flatiron: Markt has relocated to Sixth Avenue and now serves breakfast. [Grub Street]
Greenpoint: Starbucks cabaret may be opening soon. [Curbed]
Harlem: Wine store to replace Back in the Day antique shop. But will it have as cutesy a name? [Harlem Fur]
Midtown East: Jeffrey Chodorow’s Wild Salmon replaces English Is Italian on Friday; we look forward to his review [NYT]
Morningside Heights: Order pinot at Vino Fino wine shop, opening soon. [Harlem Fur]
Times Square: Only two more days until you can sing Journey like everyone else at karaoke joint Spotlight Live. [NYS]
West Village: Alexandra swallowing nearby storefronts for wine bar to be filled by nonexistent waiting customers. [Eater] Newly opened Central Kitchen offering 10 percent off its menu through Sunday. That’s as much as a “European-style” tip. [NYS]
The Central Park Boathouse has allegedly been scamming the city — hiding money and giving away meals. [NYP]
Ollie’s Grill workers, claiming they are paid only $1.44 an hour, bring a federal lawsuit against the place. [NYS]
Jeffrey Chodorow is back to business, promoting Kobe Club on the Today show. The highlight? “This beef actually lowers your cholesterol.” [MSNBC]
Jeffrey Chodorow had done a lot of not-so-smart things lately, but planning a restaurant called the Spotted Dick was not one of them. The eatery, which will occupy the let’s-not-say-cursed space that formerly housed Rocco’s and Caviar & Banana, looks to be one of Chodorow’s coolest ventures: His company confirms that it will be a New York gastropub called Boroughs, helmed by none other than Zak Pelaccio. (And here we thought Jeffrey was done with name chefs.)
A breakdown of Jeffrey Chodorow’s long-awaited, just-posted first response to Frank Bruni’s recent reviews:
• First line: not entirely coherent. “Fortunately, (or maybe unfortunately in the case of Robert's) I didn't have to follow Frank to either Momofuku Ssam Bar or Robert’s; I have already been to both of them.” We think he means he’s already been to both restaurants because he likes them. A generous (or ungenerous) opening.
It’s now been a week since Jeffrey Chodorow decided to take on the world — Frank Bruni and Adam Platt, to be specific — and if it wasn’t evident before, it’s now quite clear that his hubristic quest to correct for the failings of the critics and recover his image has only humiliated him further. He has yet to update the blog that he announced in the Times ad, and the flurry of think pieces that have come down pretty much dismantle the guy piece by piece.
City suspends the rookie health inspector that passed KFC–Taco Bell, promises to teach its inspectors how to recognize rodent infestation. [NYP]
Whole Foods has gotten bigger but not better, losing focus on food quality and its moral mission. [NYT]
Here’s a pretty detailed retelling of the Chodorow saga, sympathetic to the restaurateur, but also giving the critics their say. Drew Nieporent speaks on behalf of the hapless restaurant owners. [NYS]
Related: We Ask Jeffrey Chodorow If He’s Been Feeling Well LatelyThe Gobbler Responds to Mr. Chodorow’s Broadside [Grub Street]