Boerum Hill: The ricotta that Lunetta sous-chef Betsy Devine makes with help from Rachel Mark from Hudson Valley Fresh milk would make for a great locavore cannoli. [Gothamist]
Gramercy: Amai Tea and Bakehouse (and its dessert blogger owner, Kelli Bernard) makes a mean litchi brownie. [NewYorkology]
Midtown West: Pure Food and Wine’s Matthew Kenney has transcended “‘tastes good for healthy food’ expectations” at his fast-food organic restaurant, Free Foods NYC, which is “like a Vermont country store” on West 45th Street. [Restaurant Girl]
Tribeca: Cercle Rouge is adding cassoulet, potatoes cooked in duck fat with garlic and porcini mushrooms, cornmeal-orange blossom cake, and other dishes from their chef’s native Toulouse from March 3 to 9. [Grub Street]
Astoria: Chickenhead is playing at the beer garden this Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight. [Joey in Astoria]
Clinton Hill: J & J Cafe on Fulton near Waverly is already closed, but don't hold your breath for the next newcomer. With all the construction in the area “there's little use opening anything in that space it's almost completely invisible.” [Clinton Hill Blog]
Fresh Meadows: Old-school Chinese-American restaurant Kim Yum has been serving Pupu Platters and strong drinks since the fifties. [Gothamist]
Gramercy: Dessert blogger and Golden Scoop award winner Kelli Bernard has opened her bakery and tea house at 171 Third Avenue between 16th and 17th streets. [NewYorkology]
Harlem: Harlem Tea Room tries to pull a fast one: “This may not be a sticking point if you haven’t grown up with scones, but they are not biscuits. They just aren’t. Biscuits are lovely things, but you cannot claim to sell homemade scones and serve biscuits.” [Uptown Flavor]
West Village: Gusto chef Amanda Freitag puts oodles of autumn into her recipe for free-form pumpkin ravioli with apple-cider reduction. [Restaurant Girl]
The winner of Tuesday’s Golden Scoop award for Best Bakery Recipe is coming to Gramercy soon — not that there’s a connection. Kelli Bernard of Amai Tea and Bake House says that plans have been in the works for her new retail bakery and tea house for a while. But the wait is over. “We’re going to open in two months, in early August,” she tells us from Alaska, where she’s currently on vacation. The signature item, naturally, looks to be her prize-winning green-tea sweet, a kind of sugar cookie made with matcha, the tea used in traditional Japanese ceremonies.
The Golden Scoop Pastry awards held last night had everything you would want from a dessert awards: a victory parade of New York chefs, a dozen world-class desserts, and a seven-foot pastry chef–slash–drag queen named Chocolatina. The ceremony was held at the French Culinary Institute and awarded prizes in five categories, the most important of which, Best Dessert Menu, was won by Dominque Ansel of Daniel. The most intense competition, though, may well have been Most Innovative Dessert, a coveted trophy in today’s go-go world of rock-star experimental dessert chefs.