And the Tablecloths Burn
According to a revealing new profile by Heat author Bill Buford, Gordon Ramsay isn’t a bad guy, “but he does get angry, helplessly and uncontrollably angry — not an earthly anger but something darker — and has trouble knowing how to stop.” [NYer] State legislator proposes an A through F system of grading restaurant hygiene, but the Department of Health is against it. [amNY] A Staten Island pizzeria beats out a field of 65 from six countries to win the 23rd International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. It’s Denino’s, right? Joe and Pat’s? No. It’s Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza. [NYDN]
After much speculation, the 2007 nominees for the James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the restaurant world, are in. Adam Platt, Rob Patronite, Robin Raisfeld, and Grub Street all filled out Beard brackets (or at least revealed whom we’d like to see win) on Friday. Here's how the academy's coming down.
DeMarco’s bartender and two NYPD auxiliary officers shot and killed in Village gun rampage. [NYP] High-end chain restaurants like Smith & Wollensky or Dos Caminos are on the rise, as some recent mergers and acquisitions suggest. [Nation's Restaurant News] Joël Robuchon stands behind the counter at L’Atelier this week; Alain Ducasse may not be going to Chicago after all. [Snack]
Bruni two-stars Boqueria and agrees with Platt that the entrées, not the tapas, are where the action is. "Glossier than Tía Pol, cozier than Barça 18, Boqueria manages to have the virtues of stylishness without the vanity, luring relatively young, good-looking diners who turn out for the eating more than the posing." [NYT] Though things are looking up for Spanish cuisine, Paul Adams says "tequila trap" Papatzul, despite "complex, delicate, attention-deserving food," isn't doing much to lend Mexican cred. [NYS] Perhaps Papatzul translates to "hit or miss"? [NYPress] Meehan rolls up his sleeves for Ethiopian at Meskel and finds a dish that's "the best thing to happen to East Village vegetarians in a long time." [NYT] Restaurant Girl's skepticism about Frederick's Downtown is eased by orzo fit for bathing and foie gras that makes her want to get a room. [Restaurant Girl] At BLT Burger, Augie springs for the Kobe burger but finds the classic one does the trick just fine, thank you. [Augieland] Tables for Two gets around to visiting L'Atelier, agrees the experience is spotty but "the food has the air of a miracle." [NYer] Addictive substances in Pearl Oyster Bar's lobster roll? [Feisty Foodie]
The death of R.W. Apple this morning, announced in an especially moving and candid Times obituary, hit us hard at Grub Street. In tribute, here are links to a few of our favorite Apple pieces from recent years.
This week the fork-and-penners visited four joints where the primo grub made up for the less-than-stellar service and atmosphere. • Bruni doles out judicious three stars to Joël Robuchon, noting that the chef's foie gras–and–Kobe beef slider ("the haute burger of the new millennium") has nice buns. [NYT] • Meanwhile, Bruni's colleague Peter Meehan thinks he's discovered "the city's best new hamburger" at Royale, a nondescript bar on Avenue C. [NYT] • After some throat-clearing that involves the mention of "a sex act you don't want to know about," Lauren Collins states in no uncertain terms that "you'd be crazy to want to eat" at Dirty Bird. But you should definitely get a mess of the spicy, succulent legs delivered. [NYer] • Andrea Strong misses the "amazing haze of really good energy" at the old, smallish Tasting Room but finds redemption in "a creamy haze" of sweet potatoes. [Strong Buzz]