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Ssam Bar

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Victorian Flatbush Gets Full Coverage From FreshDirect

Chinatown: Hole-in-the-wall Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1 at 369 Broome Street has reopened after being closed for renovations and transformed from dingy and cluttered to spick-and-span. [Grub Street] East Village: A cloudy sake soda served up recently at Ssäm Bar gets props for ingenuity. [Down by the Hipster] David Chang tells all about the new Momofuku. [Eater] Harlem: There’s a dress code for a Mother’s Day tea party hosted by a knitting circle, but you just need a dish to share for entry. [Uptown Flavor] Park Slope: Union Street’s Food Coop wins partial reimbursement from Con Edison after a blackout last year resulted in $27,000 worth of spoiled products. The rebate? Seven Gs. [The Gowanus Lounge] Victorian Flatbush: FreshDirect deems the nabe worthy of coverage. [Brooklyn Record]

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And the Tablecloths Burn

Revolutions don’t happen overnight, so we weren’t shocked that only one of the three Beard Award categories reversed tradition. Still, last night’s ceremony officially ushered in a new era in fine dining.

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Tonight’s Beard Awards: a Referendum on Haute Cuisine

Times are changing in the restaurant world – but just how fast? Tonight’s James Beard Awards will help answer the question of whether the traditional tablecloth restaurants, which seem to be on the way out, still wield their old clout in the gastronomic Establishment.

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Why Wasn’t I Completely Floored by Craft?

Dear Grub Street,
I’m hoping someone can explain Craft to me. I was taken there the other night for my birthday dinner and came away completely confused and disappointed. Really, what’s the big deal? What’s with all the glowing reviews?
Andrea

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Hark! James Beard Award Nominations

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.

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Time to Fill Out Our James Beard Brackets

The nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards, the Oscars of the restaurant industry, will be announced Monday morning. We’ll report on that as it happens, but for now, here are picks for the main categories from Adam Platt, Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld, and Josh Ozersky. Our choices are admittedly New York–centric (the awards go to restaurants across the country), but the ceremony is held here, and the city always looms large in the proceedings.

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Jean-Georges Vongerichten on His Gift for Delegation

No chef in New York restaurant history has been more successful, or more influential, than Jean-Georges Vongerichten. As he begins his third decade of cooking and running restaurants in New York, we sat down to ask him some questions about the scene: how it’s changed and where it’s going.

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Ssäm Bar Vindicated; Haute Cuisine Gets No Love

Momofuku Ssäm Bar wins two stars (!) from Bruni and completes a success story that seemed pretty unlikely a few months ago, when the place was selling Asian burritos to a handful of customers. The review is also a watershed in the changing culture of restaurants: Formal is now officially out, casual now officially legit. [NYT] Related: The I Chang [NYM] Meanwhile, Randall Lane is a lone dissenter, calling out Ssäm Bar for its unevenness, lack of focus, and the steep prices of some of its main dishes. On the whole, though, he seems to have missed the point — David Chang's loose, unfettered approach to good cooking. [TONY] Steve Cuozzo joins in the chorus of approval greeting Wayne Nish’s transformation of the stuffy March into the swinging, fusion-y Nish. The message: Remain formal at your own peril. (See reviews of Dennis Foy and Gordon Ramsay.) [NYP] Related: Bedeviled [NYM]

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Ssäm's Ssecret Chef's Table

Visitors to Ssäm Bar, David Chang's sleek new "Asian burrito" emporium, may have noticed a big, unused kitchen that runs the length of the room. Chang fires it up tonight for the first time, rolling out a late-night menu of multiple-element small plates prepared by the chef and a rotating team of ambitious cooks — including his co-chef at Momofuku, Joaquin Baca; Cafe Gray and Cafe Boulud veteran Tien Ho; and several other classically trained Momofuku alumni.

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