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Porter House New York

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‘Times’ Releases Ethnic Grocery List; Porter House Looking for a Stellar Wine Director

Astoria: McLoughlin’s on Broadway at 31st Street is featuring the German lager Spaten through February. [Joey in Astoria] Chelsea: Morimoto’s $24.07 prix fixe lunch deal is more filling and generous than you might expect. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Clinton Hill: If you’re too “bored by the fresh produce, too cold/lazy to trek to Fairway” to cook for yourself in winter like this blogger, here are some of the nabe’s good takeout options, including Luz and Bombay Masala. [Clinton Hill Blog] Columbus Circle: Porter House New York is looking for a new wine director now that veteran in the biz Beth Von Benz has moved on to new projects. [Grub Street] Lower East Side: This list of ethnic groceries includes Pueblo Deli at 129-135 Ridge Street where you’ll find “brittle, tasteless cassabe (a yuca bread Dominicans find neither brittle nor tasteless)” but also “‘merengue’ flavored Country Club soda, Induveca salami, Bay Rum Constanza antiseptic, and candles dedicated to saints or those who may become them.” [NYT via Serious Eats] Times Square: Cafe Edison has replaced its peachy-pink paint job with a nice soft tan color, and it’s “swell.” [Lost City] Upper East Side: Bardolino at 78th Street and Second Avenue suffered interior and exterior damage caused by a fire last week, but they’ll reopen this weekend. [Upper East Side Informer]

‘Esquire’ Responds: We Do So Love New York

Esquire's John Mariani, responding to our outraged post from earlier today, writes in with some cooling remarks. We present them here unedited, leaving it to Grub Street readers to decide who's in the right.
Your comments on my list of Esquire's 20 Best New Restaurants 2007 are fair enough insofar as your own preferences not making the list, though the inclusion of three NYC restaurants on a list of 20 (no other city has as many) hardly justifies your "Drop Dead" headline. And your assertion that "Food columnist John Mariani picks good restaurants located outside New York in place of the more deserving restaurants inside the city limits, such as Insieme, Sfoglia, Ssäm Bar, Suba, Hill Country, and many others. It's not their fault that New York has more good places than the rest of the country put together!" may be churlish chauvinism but would only really be defensible if, as I did, you had in fact, eaten in more than 25 cities in the USA in the past year and dined at more than 80 restaurants in those cities...

Will Landmarc's Downtown Cool Play Alongside Its Ritzy New Neighbors?

The restaurants at the Time-Warner Center were conceived as a kind of dining Valhalla: a food court of the Gods, with prices to match. But now Per Se, Masa, Café Gray, and Porter House New York are getting a downscale casual neighbor with Landmarc, which opens today. Of course, it isn’t quite accurate to cast Landmarc’s arrival as a snobs-vs.-slobs sitcom; Landmarc is both well-liked and well-respected for chef Marc Murphy’s eclectic, hearty, well-executed American dishes. And both the wine and dessert programs were always a big hit downtown. Will that translate to filling the 300 seats of the new place? Hard to say. But it won’t be for lack of accessibility: the new Landmarc will be open from 7 am to 2 am every day, and will be delivering as well. We’d like to see you get that from Per Se.

Dude, Did You See the Video of Michael Lomonaco and the Flounder?

You might’ve seen our new Overheard video feature, where Daniel Maurer quizzed diners exiting Jeffrey Chodorow’s new restaurant, Wild Salmon. Here, in our debut In Season video, charismatic Porter House New York chef Michael Lomonaco turns a whole local flounder into a beautifully crisped filet dressed with a vinaigrette, following the recipe featured in this week’s issue. Pretend it’s television! In Season: Local Flounder [NYM]

This Week: Contents Under Pressure

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.

Neroni Leaves Porchetta; City Hates Big Pink Cupcake

Chef Jason Neroni leaves Porchetta, citing “irreconcilable differences,” and claiming that pastry chef Mandy Brown and “most of the kitchen staff” are leaving with him. We don’t know the details (yet), but this seems pretty harsh: The restaurant gave him absolute creative license, as far as we can tell, for as long as it’s been open. [Eater] Related: Chef's Desperate Plea: Nominate Me for an Award! [Grub Street] New Yorkers aren’t really spooked by health violations: “If you take the subway, you know what’s down there.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT] The city wants Burgers and Cupcakes to take down its huge, incandescent pink cupcake sign because it's too close to a hydrant, saying, "This isn't a campaign against cupcakes." [NYP]

Miss. J. Gets Inspired at Badgley Mischka

Rachel Bilson
Because it is the custom of celebrities to come pouring into a show just before it begins, it was weird to see Giada de Laurentiis squeezing past us to get out of the tent before the lights went down at Badgley Mischka. Maybe she realized that she'd left the oven on?

Critics Keep Up the Steakhouse Shuffle; Ramsay Reviewed

Ramsay strikes a chord with Ryan Sutton: "This is artful food that makes you ponder the meaning of life, but it's also accessible, gutsy fare that excites the senses and fills the tummy." [Bloomberg] Bruni does the ever popular steak two-fer (witness Platt's double-up on STK and Lonesome Dove), declares Porter House New York "an M.B.A. program for beef eaters who did undergraduate work at Outback," turning out "well-sourced, well-prepared flesh" though getting into trouble elsewhere. Despite the limo-like seats, he's not grooving to the beat (or the meat) at the other spot: "STK might want to think about buying some soundproofing, along with a vowel." [NYT] Richman isn't convinced Porter House New York is a steakhouse, or at least as good of one as its predecessor V. Instead it's "an accessible, sensible eating establishment with decent prices and classy, comprehensible food." [Bloomberg]

The Nine Steakhouse Commandments

In recent weeks, the Gobbler has found himself sitting night after night in a succession of new steakhouses, staring glumly at the mounting platters of T-bone and porterhouse along with thrombotic servings of greasy hash browns and au gratin potato. The Gobbler has nothing against these restaurants per se. He enjoys a good sizzling hunk of cow as much as the next fellow. But the presence of so many high-profile new ones on the landscape is an unsettling sign. Steakhouses don't perish in times of trouble; they propagate. This fall, the city's superstar chefs are away opening spinoffs in places like Vegas and Shanghai, and the buzz, to the extent there is any, is being created by aged revivals (like the Russian Tea Room), and new ventures by venerable out-of-towners (like L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon). Into this vacuum, invariably, rush more steakhouses. The recipe for the successful New York chophouse is precise, however, and you tinker with it at your peril. So here is the Gobbler's list of random, highly subjective Steakhouse Commandments.