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San Domenico

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Tables Available at San Domenico; A Voce Mostly Booked

It’s 4 p.m., and that means it’s time to play Two for Eight. We just asked ten restaurants the best time they can squeeze a couple in for dinner; you need only make your chosen reservation. (As always, we make the calls but don’t guarantee the results.) Today: Gourmet Italian.

A Rescue Plan for Restaurant Workers; No Fatty Crab for the UWS

The Restaurant Responsibility Act, just introduced in City Council, would keep eateries from abusing the help by tying operating permits to labor laws. [Gotham Gazette] Fatty Crab owner writes in to say that Eater has it all wrong about an Upper West Side location. [Eater] It’s salmon season in Alaska’s Copper River, and some of the city’s top fish cooks are spawning original dishes to take advantage. [NYDN]

Almost as Good as Rodney Dangerfield: Back to School With Culinary Stars

This spring — a season which we’re glad to remind ourselves of as we enter drab February — the Institute of Culinary Education will be offering a roster of recreational classes that we heartily recommend, despite the fact that (full disclosure) self-deprecating Grub Street editor Josh Ozersky will be teaching one. Many friends of Grub Street — and a colleague, Gael Greene, who will head up “An Evening of Excess” — will be passing along wisdom on everything from blintzes to methylcellulose.

Chef Odette Fada Refuses to Eat Anyone Else's Pasta

When she’s not commanding the kitchen of the venerable San Domenico, as she has done for over a decade, Odette Fada rummages for cheese, sausage, and foie gras in her fridge; goes for late-night dinners at Balthazar and Blue Ribbon; or stops in at her friends’ restaurants to enjoy off-the-menu items. Will you ever catch the Parmigiano Reggiano obsessive ordering pasta at one of these places? Probably not: “The only person here who can cook pasta,” she says, “is me!” We asked her what culinary pleasures she experienced this week.

Life Among the Beau Monde

Two Intelligencer items caught our eye this week: a Keystone Kops farce involving truffles, bound for San Domenico, sniffed out by a Homeland Security dog at JFK; and tales of the media elite confronting their likenesses at Cafe Cluny's "demi-celebrity portrait gallery." Both stories have a melancholy note, suggesting as they do the emptiness of wealth and privilege — not that we don't still lust for truffles and fame ourselves. Truffle Kerfluffle at Border [NYM] Sketchy Café Society [NYM]

Michelin's Explosive New Red Book

Michelin dropped its ratings bomb today, and it's safe to say that the New York restaurant world is, as usual, reeling. Though not as consequential as a Zagat snub, business-wise, the Michelin ratings are closer to the hearts of top chefs. (French chef Bernard Loiseau was widely believed to have killed himself over a Michelin downgrade.) The book is supposed to be in stores tomorrow (though our local Barnes & Noble says it's not even at the distributor yet). We do, however, know of some surprises. Messrs. Boulud, Bouley, and Takahama are no doubt having lousy afternoons.