Well, there goes the neighborhood (again). Today, Curbed brings us the sad news that Lower East Side landmark Streit's matzo factory is up for sale. Streit's, which has been operating at the corner of Rivington and Suffolk since 1925, has lately been run by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of founder Aron Streit, and they're asking $25 million for the building, which will likely be torn down because, Curbed tells us, the interior doesn't really lend itself to renovation (all those matzo-making machines, we guess). So probably it will become condos. But don't despair, Lower East Siders. You may be losing the neighborhood, but you're not losing the product: Streit's will continue to produce matzo and other "ethnic delights" like Manhattan-style pickles with hot peppers. They'll just do it elsewhere, probably in New Jersey.
Streit's Matzo Leaving LES, Wants $25 Million For Building [Curbed]
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Though the menu at Stanton Social is immense, there are always a few dominant dishes Lower East Side patrons order again and again. Recently it was the crab corn dogs, which Starchefs had chef Chris Santos prepare for the Rising Star Chef gala. Now it’s a postmodern “Chicken and Waffles” created by Santos and his soon-to-depart chef de cuisine Ryan Angulo. We spoke to Angulo about the dish. As always, mouse over the different elements to hear it described in the chef’s own words.
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The 2nd Avenue Deli is back. But is it a harbinger of a Jewish renaissance or just the last fading pang of New York’s Jewish twilight? The question is raised in today’s issue of The Jewish Week, and it’s a good one. Despite the return of Chez Lebewohl, the world of Jewish food is already little more than a memory: Take away a few landmarks like Russ and Daughters, Katz’s, Yonah Schimmel, and Sammy’s Roumanian, and the entire world of Jewish food would be as forgotten as the Punic Wars. All the dairy restaurants, Romanian steakhouses, cafeterias, candy stores, bakeries, appetizing stores — they’re already forgotten, even in distant Brooklyn and Queens. The Week asked Arthur Schwartz, probably the city’s foremost authority on old-time New York food, and he gives a dismal picture: “Schwartz maintains that Jewish food has suffered greatly in quality over the last few decades, since Jews tend to eat their own food only on holidays — ‘and then we make everything we know, and then everyone gets sick.’” Add to that contemporary Jews' horror of the fatty meats that were the Jewish kitchen’s stock in trade, and you have a recipe for cultural oblivion. Can a revived 2nd Avenue Deli, or the brisket revival staged by a few barbejews, stem the tide? Stranger things have happened.
‘Not Just A Deli Like Any Other' [Jewish Week]
Related: It's Time to Get Excited About the Second Avenue DeliREAD MORE »
Brooklyn Heights: They'll tear down the landmarked 1936 Purchase Building — a classic, WPA-style structure — as part of the construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which may begin next month. [NYDN via Gowanus Lounge]
Fort Greene: All the shabby-chic vendors of choice are lining up for the Brooklyn Flea Market, coming here Sundays starting in April. [Brownstoner]
Governors Island: Plans released today for the isle's redo into a pomo eco-asis reveal that multiethnic children will frolic while seabirds fly overhead at dangerously low altitudes. [Queens Crap]
Chelsea: Ellisa Cooper returns to Bottlerocket on January 8 to kick off her Tuesday-night Explore Wine Series. [Bottlerocket]
East Village: Pyramid Club might become the city’s first "drag landmark." [Villager]
Midtown West: The owner of Le Marais and "Bourdain’s former boss at Les Halles," Jose Meireilles, has transformed his Spanish joint Tintol into a kosher bistro called the Clubhouse Cafe. (Tapas lovers can expect Tintol to make a comeback at an undisclosed downtown location.) [Eater]
Murray Hill/Kips Bay: 2nd Avenue Deli is hiring! So lovers of gribenes may have found their dream job. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Lower East Side: Two thieves stole $50,000 from a safe in the Hotel Rivington but were later apprehended. [NYP]
You’re a brave soul if you plan on checking out that new East Village or Lower East Side restaurant this weekend — if it’s full-up, you’ll be turned onto the streets with the entire teenage population of Strong Island. That’s why last Saturday we hit eight spots between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. to take inventory — our head counts may or may not hold true this weekend when there will be far less drunken Santas running amok, but we’re pleased to see that the wait has lessened at Momofuku (in fact, there wasn’t one!) and are a bit shocked to discover that Jason Neroni is sometimes pretty much the only person in the dining room at Cantina. Bet he’s counting the seconds till 10 Downing.
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If you’re going to open a restaurant in the Lower Eastpacking District, it better ROCK. When we called Le Lupanar on Saturday, the hostess told us to expect French house music (“we’re still experimenting”), but when we arrived, we got a familiar mix closer to what you’d expect at Fat Baby up the block. Not that we’re complaining we like TV on the Radio just fine, and the two beers the BYOB restaurant provided made us forgive the Thin Lizzy.
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Brooklyn Heights: With Goldman Sachs unscathed by the subprime mess, its execs are buying property in the pricey hood. Let's hope Goldman hater Ben Stein isn't brunching anywhere nearby. [Brownstoner]
Clinton Hill: Wow, Paul Giamatti and "the black model from all the Maybelline commercials" spotted in one day! Clinton Hill is HOT HOT HOT! Or something. [Clinton Hill]
Greenpoint: The lemur in the Franklin Street store window that was mounting E.T. from behind is now in isolation, with E.T. in the custody of Mickey Mouse, Santa, and the Hulk. OMG, did we just write that trippy sentence? [Newyorkshitty]
Buried under an item about man-whore John Mayer man-whoring around with Cameron Diaz, today's "Rush and Molloy" column offers some disturbing information. Zach Braff and Piper Perabo were apparently spotted "deep in fireside conversation" at the Bowery Hotel last night. As you know, Braff is the
weak-chinned director of the crap movie Garden State, a noted ass man who recently purchased an apartment in Soho. Also, he is the most annoying actor in all of New York. Perabo is the pouty star of such gems as Coyote Ugly, and an honorary resident of 126 Rivington Street, the Lower East Side building that was the basis for a "Sunday Styles" article and was at one point supposed to be an HBO show. She is the second-most-annoying actor in all of New York. As a couple, Braffabo could be deadly, a dirty bomb of annoyingness, poised to destroy not just the Lower East Side, but all of New York City. God save us all.
Rush and Molloy [NYDN]
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Astoria: A new wine bar on 35th Avenue at 30th Street called Rest-au-Rant features about 30 wines and beers — from Germany, New Zealand, Hawaii, Belgium, and France. [Joey in Astoria]
Dumbo: Waterstreet Restaurant and Lounge hosts carolers and expects dancing till late tonight as part of a holiday shopping promotion throughout the nabe. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: A photo tour of the magical workshop of "Sun Le, the dumpling master who makes TKettle’s juicy little masterpieces." [Eat for Victory/VV]
Lower East Side: Le Bernardin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis just had a great meal at Tailor and has "always been a fan of Sam Mason’s food." [Restaurant Girl]
West Village: The Bowery Hotel’s Eric Goode and Sean McPherson are rumored to have closed a deal on another boutique hotel, at an unknown location. [Down by the Hipster]
Yesterday we speculated that Good World didn’t have long for this world, and sadly it turns out to be true. But there are a couple of pieces of hope: Good World won’t close until fall, and owner Annika Sundvick is looking for a new location. Plus, she’s got another Swedish spot that will soon open its doors.
Alejandro Torio is a busy boy this week. Besides helping to open Le Royale tomorrow, he’s partnering with Iman R. Azeharie (also at one point a promoter) to open Kuta, a 40-seat Southeast Asian restaurant on the Lower East Side featuring the dishes of Azeharie’s native Indonesia. Chef Jutti Jitnopkun formerly of Rain, Tuk Tuk, and others is busting out his grandma’s tamarind chili sauce for meat and seafood skewers and turning out entrées like grilled Sumatra beef rendang, Manado spicy duck curry, and grilled red-curry-lemongrass chicken and garlic fries. (Care to see the menu?) The beer-and-wine license arrives today, Torio says, so sake cocktails all around.
Kuta, 65 Rivington St., nr. Allen St.; 212-777-5882.Kuta menuREAD MORE »
Cobble Hill: Sahadi’s might have a fancy new sign to flaunt at Trader Joe’s, but are they cutting corners to compete? The Brooklyn Paper reports that customers are "fuming that the grocer has replaced the classic glass jars with generic plastic containers in the nuts, dried fruits and candies section." [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
East Village: Next Friday, Tasty Falafel on St. Marks Place will sell sandwiches for 8 cents each from 4 to 9 p.m. and host a falafel-eating contest at 6. [Gridskipper]
Lower East Side: A new wine bar is on the way, and Gino and Guido are now accepting applications in the TRE space at 173 Ludlow. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Midtown East: Gilt has announced that chef Chris Lee has spent $8,000 on a 1.51-pound white truffle, which is “significantly larger than the truffle that Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque won in a highly publicized October bidding.” We wonder what GM Elli Jafari thinks about that tougher tuber. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Upper East Side: Serendipity 3 has pushed back its reopening from tonight to December 5, after being closed by the DOH. [Eater]
Neil Ferguson of Allen & Delancey has been a big hit with downtown gourmands, applying the kind of precise classical cookery he did for Gordon Ramsay to more outré dishes, like this “beef, cabbage, and onion” special that has quickly become a signature dish for the restaurant. “I wanted to do something that felt like the Lower East Side,” he explains. “I thought of Katz’s brisket sandwich and Gus’s Pickles. I wanted an earthy-sounding dish that I could take to the next level.” As always, mouse over the different elements of the dish to hear them described in the chef’s own words.
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Considering they blew $2 million on the place, we assumed the proprietors of the Box had the building all to themselves, but apparently even the hottest club in the city can’t afford to live without a roommate. To that end, if you want a nice quiet workspace right above the S&M shows, it can be yours for a little over $115,000 per month year. According to the broker’s listing, “all uses [will be] considered”— so feel free to set up a fake VIP room and convince eager cover-payers they’re actually inside of the Box. After all, remember Noel Ashman’s “Upstairs at Studio 54”?
Walker Malloy [Official site]
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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.
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Bedford-Stuyvesant: Akwaaba Mansion at 34 Macdonough Street made it to the top of this list of Brooklyn bed-and-breakfasts. [Gridskipper]
Financial District: Crumbs has opened a bakery at 87 Beaver Street between Hanover Street and Wall Street, and to celebrate the shop will give away 1,000 cupcakes this Friday starting at 7 a.m. [Snack]
Harlem: Among its other delicacies, Fairway sells flagels, which are “to the bagel what nuggets are to fried chicken. When toasted, they are delightfully crunchy, but the inside still has the chewiness a bagel should — “just less of it” — because they’re flattened, of course. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Jackson Heights: The city's first Tibetan street-food cart is up and running near the 74th Street stop. [Gothamist]
Lower East Side: Six Point Ales debuted a new flavor called 8 Days of Wheat at the Whole Foods Beer Room last night, and the first impression is that “it’s pretty darn good.” [Down by the Hipster]
Upper West Side: Senor Swanky’s has put its space on Columbus Avenue between 84th and 85th up for rent. So line up, if you just happen to have a business plan that incorporates giant chile peppers and underage drinking. [Eater]
We’ve already seen the interior of Mason Dixon, but this weekend we braved the dreaded Lower Eastpacking District™ to see the latest mechanical-bull spot in full swing. (Don't ever suggest that Grub Street is not willing to make sacrifices for you, dear reader.) No line down the block as with the Shamlians’ other bar, Fat Baby, but we definitely got our fill of blonde highlights (girls), cropped haircuts (guys), and designer-knockoff bags. Plus a steady stream of woo-hoos and yee-haws, thanks to those $10 bull rides. We personally enjoyed the totally wasted guy who didn’t seem to realize he was impersonating the Freedom Rock commercials and who certainly wasn’t aware of this place’s problem with the neighbors when he yelled, “Turn it up, man! Make it louder, man!” Yeah, man!
Chef Andrew Robertson was lurking by the bar — latest word is no food till Friday night. In the meantime, as you can see by this photo of the men’s-room door, the place is at least being honest about itself.
Earlier:Yonkers Chef Presents City’s ‘First Authentic Southern Restaurant,’ Second Mechanical BullREAD MORE »
We thought the Box lost its remaining counterculture cred when the Times, of all things, called it out on being pretty much any other club. Not so! The real point of no return came last night when it appeared, in the guise of club Victrola, on teenybopper drama du jour Gossip Girl. The place must’ve loosened its rules against interior photography, because the first scene has Chuck Bass (a son every bit as wayward as Simon Hammerstein) explaining why his father should support him by investing in the burlesque club: “No judgments. Pure escape. What happens at Victrola stays at Victrola” (until the Health Department shows up, anyway).
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