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Gordon Ramsay Attacks; Bush Fails Eaters

Gordon Ramsay lays into Marco Pierre White, Frank Bruni, and Big Macs in this wide-ranging interview, which ends with this complaint: “I’m being judged on my persona as opposed to my food, and you know what? Fuck it.” [The Independent] Morgan Stanley and other firms won’t let their executives entertain clients or expense lunch at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone because it’s too much like a strip club. “We are a totally misunderstood restaurant,” claims the owner. [NYP] Less than 10 percent of food imported to the U.S. is even examined by the FDA, which is “woefully understaffed and underfinanced” by the Bush administration. [NYT]

Everybody Loves Sfoglia; Meehan Loves All BBQ

Bruni two-stars Sfoglia, the latest victory in a series for the Nantucket import, including nods from Adam Platt and Gael Greene in our Best of New York issue. The food is simple and rustic (frittatas, simple pastas), but it works for Bruni. Imagination can get you two stars, as the Ssäm Bar review showed last week, but so can execution, even if it isn’t very elaborate. [NYT] Peter Meehan surveys nearly all the area’s BBQ restaurants, finding a lot to like: the pulled pork at Pies-N-Thighs and the burnt ends at RUB, to name two. Still, no revelations here. [NYT] Sietsema hits up a Senegalese restaurant in Harlem: “Predictably, the dibi is awesome.” You said it, Bob! Has Sietsema ever met a foreign lamb dish he didn’t like? [VV]

How Not to Have a Soul-Crushing Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is typically the busiest restaurant night of the year, so of course it sucks. But the food, rendered an afterthought, suffers most of all: The restaurateurs are busy counting their money, not watching the kitchen, and the couples, well, they’re wondering why they’re participating in this charade in the first place, seeing as how the flame flickered out years ago, and … what were we saying? Oh, right. We understand why Valentine’s dates might not seem to be worth the trouble, so we thought long and hard about which holiday recommendations to make.

Gael Goes to the Port Authority; Ramsay Arrives, Presumably by Plane

• In openings, Rob and Robin give pride of place to this week's biggie, the British superchef Gordon Ramsay's maiden New York venture, Gordon Ramsay at the London; signal the arrival of Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, a relatively ambitious Turkish restaurant in midtown; and acknowledge a new red-sauce restaurant, Dean's Family Style Restaurant and Pizzeria (801 Second Ave., nr. 43rd St.; 212-878-9600). New York Restaurant Openings and Buzz • Gael Greene goes to Metro Marché at the Port Authority and gives what has to be the best review ever received by a restaurant in a bus station: "Amazingly good brasserie dishes at astonishingly gentle prices." Insatiable Critic • Given that so much restaurant profit comes from the bar, you have to wonder why it took so long for restaurants to attach lounges. Rob and Robin look at four new ones: the Greek Kava Lounge, EN Shochu Bar (Japanese), and the eclectic Monday Room and Wined Up wine bars. All open over the next couple of weeks. Rooms With Booze