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Katz's Delicatessen

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Katz’s Is Safe … for Now

Given our dire predictions, you’d think that we’d be abashed to see yesterday’s article in the Villager denying an imminent sale of Katz’s. But we're not buying a bit of it! For one thing, everything we've said before still stands: The owners are out to make a load of money (we like how they were quoted as saying that they would only sell “for a stupid number — like $50 million” — you know, just in case you were wondering). These are the same owners who have gone on record saying that they’ll sell their air space to a condo if they can keep Katz’s on the ground floor. Given such heightened profit-consciousness, we still feel it’s just a matter of time.

Katz's Assures You They're Safe; Boulud on Buying Local

Katz's Deli denies selling out to developers and claims it would take “like $50 million” for them to sacrifice the historic deli. [Villager] Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s? Daniel Boulud reveals his tips for stocking a global pantry, noting that buying locally is all relative: “You drive from Vermont or you fly from California, in less than 24 hours you get it.” [The Canadian Press] Sort out the growing food-truck scene with this list of the trendsetters including Taco Truck, Dessert Truck from a former Le Cirque pastry chef, and Wafels & Dinges Truck serving "Soft and Chewy waffles or a Light and Crispy covered in powdered sugar, Nutella, strawberries, whipped cream, or maple syrup." God bless the Belgian Ministry for Culinary Affairs. [Gridskipper] Related: Taco Wars: Rockers Open New Front in Williamsburg

Eric Ripert to Feed Reader Who May Lose Sense of Taste

Dear Grub Street,
Next weekend I’m getting surgery done on an impacted wisdom tooth which is growing very close to a central nerve. I’ve been told that if this nerve is damaged, there’s a chance I will lose a large part of feeling in my face – including a loss of my sense of taste. I’ve gone into “doomsday mode”, thinking of all the best flavors this city has to offer in an effort to get them ingrained into my gray memory. As of now I’ve got a reservation at Degustation, will be making at least three visits minimum to Ssäm Bar, and another to Sasabune. Are there maybe two or three dishes or places that should be added to this ever-growing list? Le Bernardin is in my sights of course, but understandably may be difficult to get into.
Facing My Final Hour

Uzbek Filmmaker Fights to Commemorate Katz's

With Katz’s future hanging by a thread, the time is right for a full-out documentary effort. And only one man is stepping up: the Uzbek-born filmmaker Yura Dashevsky, a Brooklyn resident who is trying to complete Katz’s: That’s All! A Documentary Project, a film record of the place and what it means to people.

The State of the Deli Is Not Good; ‘Secret’ Spots Revealed

A panel of Jewish food luminaries gathered recently to discuss the state of the deli. They didn't paint a very sunny picture. [Serious Eats] Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s? Don’t blame the government for not letting great Chinese chefs into the country: It’s our fault for not wanting better Chinese cuisine. [NYT] Manhattan’s secret spots range from sushi in a midtown basement to the bar across the street from the Corner Bistro. [NYP]

NYC’s Top-Rated Cupcake; Zeta-Jones Doesn’t Care About Cooking

Sugar Sweet Sunshine comes out on top of Zagat’s new survey of the city’s top cupcakes. [NYP] No Reservations had a $10,000-a-week food budget and in Catherine Zeta-Jones a star with zero interest in cooking: “I mean, if I was playing a brain surgeon, could I actually do brain surgery?” [Entertainment Weekly] There are now the same number of Dallas cooks as New Yorkers on Top Chef. [Dallas Morning News] Related: ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner Lia on What Went Wrong

Delis Are Dying, But Not Katz’s; Per Se Staff Is on the Clock

The classic New York deli is on the way out, thanks to aging owners, waistline-conscious eaters, and general apathy — but, we learn, Katz’s should stick around. An owner, as we predicted he might, goes on record saying, “If we did sell, we’d want to somehow tie in keeping the place — they could literally build on top of us.” [TONY] Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s? Per Se’s notoriously high-pressure kitchen apparently works under the shadow of a clock with Paul Bocuse’s name on its center and the words “Sense of Urgency” underneath. [Gawker] Coney Island has its own beer, and while we’ve never tasted a bottle, it has what may be the greatest label of all time. [NYDN]

Battle of the DBs in Forest Hills; JFK to Get the Gourmet Treatment

Never you been to Daniel Boulud’s new restaurant in Forest Hills? That’s because there isn’t one. But Danny Brown’s db wine bar and restaurant sounds close enough to db bistro moderne that the great chef’s copyright is threatened. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Travelers at JFK airport won’t have to get by on chili dogs much longer – a Todd English eatery, a wine bar, an oyster bar, and more high-end venues are on the way. [NYP] Seamus Mullen is more at home with the elevated cooking at Suba than the rustic style at Boqueria: “It was like getting back to basics that I never really had.” [Restaurant Girl] Staffers at Charlie Palmer’s Kitchen 22 found out the place was closing yesterday via a cell-phone call telling them they were now out of a job. Nice. [NYP] Katz’s may be threatened by condo development, but pastrami still has secure fortresses in the outer boroughs. [Gothamist] Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s? [Grub Street]

Cuozzo Hammers the Shake Shack; Much Hodgson Love for Insieme

Steve Cuozzo uses his bully pulpit in the Post to come down hard on the Shake Shack, calling the place out for insanely long lines and “a hamburger that’s an also-ran at best.” [NYP] Related: Kyle Dureau Wants Shake Shack to Be Open 24/7 As Much As You Do [Grub Street] Having weathered a major two-star review by Adam Platt, Insieme finally gets its first three-star one, from Moira Hodgson, who is impressed by how perfectly executed every dish is, lavishing special praise on one of the place’s more overlooked features, co-owner Paul Grieco’s wine list. [NYO] Related: Italian, Old and New [NYM] The Times gives Katz’s the full Frank Bruni treatment, and the place comes out of it with one star, much loving description, and an eerie semi-confirmation of our earlier report that the place might be sold. [NYT] Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s? [Grub Street]

Will Katz's Make Way for Condos?

We had to give smelling salts to Grub Street's Josh Ozersky after he heard a rumor that Katz's Deli might be the next victim of a new Lower East Side condo. Working all night, sustained only by a crust of rye and one slice of pastrami, Josh uncovered the truth. Or at least some more reliable rumors. Look to Grub Street for reassurance. Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s [Grub Street]

Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s?

Katz’s Deli is about as close to a sacred space as we can think of. Forget landmark status; the place is a shrine, the soul of what remains of New York Jewish-American culture. So the rumors we have been hearing about its imminent purchase by condo developers are disturbing — and not any less so for being a little more persuasive than the ones we’ve heard in the past. Katz’s management denies the move, but ubiquitous restaurant Realtor Alex Picken tells us that he’s getting some specifics through the grapevine.

Ilan Hall Gets His Bling On; Chodorow Seeks His White Whale

Top Chef winner Ilan Hall is seen walking in the airport with paired Louis Vuitton bag and belt, white Nikes with pink laces, and a $12,000 Patek Philippe diamond watch. [Snack] Jeffrey Chodorow offers an Ahab-like reward for the first employee who spots Frank Bruni, promising him a Caribbean vacation. [NYP] Related: We Ask Jeffrey Chodorow If He’s Been Feeling Well Lately The Gobbler Responds to Mr. Chodorow’s Broadside [Grub Street] The social scene at Morandi is predictably exclusive: “When Keith McNally opens a restaurant, the famous will come. The fabulous will follow. The walk-ins will wait.” [Bloomberg] Related: Keith McNally on Why Morandi Will Be His Last Restaurant Ever

The 2 Percent of the ‘Saveur’ 100 That Matters

It was with trembling hands that we opened up the Saveur 100, Saveur magazine's annual roundup of their 100 favorite food-related things and people in the world. We were soon shocked — shocked! — to discover that just two entries cited the New York food scene. And what would they be? A blurb on Wylie Dufresne? A shout-out to Katz’s Deli? Nope. The honors go to a Dominican juice drink in Brooklyn and the Hungry Cabbie, a blogger. We appreciate Famous Fat Dave, as the cabbie misleadingly calls himself, and the Morir Soñando at Reben Luncheonette, at 229 Hevemeyer Street in South Williamsburg, sounds pretty good. But are they really New York's equivalent of Beijing's Peking duck as made by celebrated Chinese chef Da Dong? Then again, we understand. This is New York — Saveur has to overcompensate on behalf of the rest of the world.

One ‘Cheesesteak Factory’ Takes the Cake

Six or so months ago, we heard about a Queens restaurant calling itself the "Cheesesteak Factory" that naturally had been sued by the Cheesecake Factory. We didn't give it another thought until one day recently, when we were walking dejectedly to Katz's for a stukel pick-me-up and noticed another place called the Cheesesteak Factory, open and doing business on the same block for all the honest world to see. Soon enough, our day brightened.