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Chodorow Confirms Wild Salmon Closure

Wild Salmon
Jeffrey Chodorow today confirmed Eater's speculation about the end of Wild Salmon. "Regrettably," he said in a statement, "we will be closing Wild Salmon after the new year. We were excited about bringing the food and wine of the Pacific Northwest to New York, but, unfortunately, our efforts were unsuccessful." Too bad. Can we now count that space as officially cursed? Maybe it's time to get a bank in there.

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Psilakis Moving Kefi to Better Space; Chodorow Moving Wild Salmon to a Better Place

Michael Psilakis is moving Kefi into a bigger and better space not far from its current location. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Jeffrey Chodorow’s plagued seafood endeavor Wild Salmon is rumored to close before the New Year. [Eater] A list of restaurants for Christmas Eve and day dining includes traditional picks like the Café at Country and Allen & Delancey, and more unique options like a Scandinavian Christmas Eve feast at Aquavit and dim sum from Chinatown Brasserie. [Restaurant Girl]

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Wild Salmon Saved by Salmon; Borough Food and Drink Gets Bronx Cheer

As it has in so many other reviews, Wild Salmon's raison d'être saves it from getting hammered. The excellence of the title fish is no longer in question. [NYT] Related: Salmon Cured? [NYM] Borough Food and Drink meets the world of criticism with a three- (of six) star review from Randall Lane, who finds its tribute to New York’s foods redundant and “leaden.” [TONY] On Avenue Z (where else would you expect to find him?), Sietsema alights upon Temada, one of the city's few Georgian restaurants, and is entranced by their turnovers, kebabs, and French fries. [VV]

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P*ONG Found to Be Small and Uneven; Monkey Bar Gets Hammered

Frank Bruni appreciates Pichet Ong’s skill and creativity but finds his restaurant, P*ONG, in what will probably be a defining review, unequal to his talent: “Mr. Ong is an enterprising cook, but he doesn’t seem to be a seasoned restaurateur, and P*ong points out the difference.” [NYT] Similarly, Paul Adams grants that FR.OG chef Didier Virot has “has a virtuosic ability with flavors,” but was less than thrilled with the restaurant. That’s about in keeping with most other reviews the place has had, which call out a few dishes but give it an “eh” otherwise. [NYS] Randall Lane disliked the Monkey Bar so much that it’s amazing that he gave it two stars (out of six). “More often, though, the dishes were so unsuccessful that I had difficulty finishing them.” Eek. Not what you want to hear after a huge, expensive relaunch.[TONY]

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About Chodorow’s Latest Screed ...

Two weeks ago, it was Mario Batali who bared his considerable fangs and lashed out at the Gobbler in a most unseemly way. Now, this week, comes word of another anti-Gobbler screed penned by the aggrieved and suddenly blog-happy restaurateur Mr. Jeffrey Chodorow. Mr. Chodorow takes issue with the Gobbler’s not entirely unkind, one-star review of the restaurateur's giant fish-themed restaurant, Wild Salmon. To which the Gobbler can only say, “Thank you, Mr. Chodorow!” As we said last week in this space, a critic isn’t doing his job unless fat cats like Batali and Mr. Chodorow occasionally become unhinged. Restaurateurs know their own businesses intimately, after all, and we professional critics only peddle subjective opinion. If Chodorow chooses to take issue with our opinions, he’s more than entitled to it.

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Cuozzo Hammers the Shake Shack; Much Hodgson Love for Insieme

Steve Cuozzo uses his bully pulpit in the Post to come down hard on the Shake Shack, calling the place out for insanely long lines and “a hamburger that’s an also-ran at best.” [NYP] Related: Kyle Dureau Wants Shake Shack to Be Open 24/7 As Much As You Do [Grub Street] Having weathered a major two-star review by Adam Platt, Insieme finally gets its first three-star one, from Moira Hodgson, who is impressed by how perfectly executed every dish is, lavishing special praise on one of the place’s more overlooked features, co-owner Paul Grieco’s wine list. [NYO] Related: Italian, Old and New [NYM] The Times gives Katz’s the full Frank Bruni treatment, and the place comes out of it with one star, much loving description, and an eerie semi-confirmation of our earlier report that the place might be sold. [NYT] Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s? [Grub Street]

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Chodorow, While Still Bitter, Lifts Ban on Platt

Adam Platt and Frank Bruni are no longer banned from Jeffrey Chodorow’s restaurants. Even though, says the restaurateur, Platt “missed the whole point of Wild Salmon.” [Restaurant Girl] Related: Salmon Cured? [NYM] In a revealing interview, Marco Pierre White takes a stand against the star-chef game: “Can you imagine: You take your wife out to my restaurant for dinner, and I'm not behind the stove. You find out I'm in America — how would you feel when you've just done $1,200 for dinner? It's a sour taste, isn't it?” [Salon] Thomas Keller announces that he isn’t really the man at Per Se: “I [speak] as someone who is somewhat detached from it because it is a Jonathan Benno restaurant.” [MSN]

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A Journey Through the Food Groups, and Thence to Bed

The typical New York diner (to say nothing of the typical New York reader) will generally get around to all the major food groups in the course of a week. There is the fish group, represented this week by Adam Platt’s one-star review of Wild Salmon, and the southern Italian sea bounty of Bar Stuzzichini, Rob and Robin’s lead opening. The meat group is well served by Prime Burger, the Insatiable Critic assures. The vegetable tribe appears courtesy of Mark Ladner’s spring-onion flan in In Season. Finally, after all this eating, all most of us would want is a bed to lie down in, and Rob and Robin provide some tips for that as well.

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Wild Salmon Starts Its Upstream Journey Strongly; Craftsteak Upgraded

Alan Richman has a few qualms about Wild Salmon – its reason for being, for example – but likes both the food (except for the sauces) and the service (when it’s not too friendly). Given how ready Richman is to knock restaurants, owner Jeffrey Chodorow has to feel pretty good about this one. [Bloomberg] Related: Wild Salmon Swims Into View. Yes, ‘Pun Intended’ [Grub Street] The newly revamped Craftsteak and Craftbar get rereviewed by Bruni, who awards the less than the white-hot former a much-needed second star, and the latter, “more or less back on track” after earlier troubles, a (borderline) single star. [NYT] Time Out’s Randall Lane lays four stars (out of six) on Gilt, finding Chris Lee’s cooking admirable all around, if less risky than that of his predecessor, Paul Liebrandt, who still keeps popping up whenever the restaurant is discussed. [TONY] Related: Gramercy Rehab [NYM]

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You Bet We Have Video of Folks Giving Opinions on Wild Salmon

Grub Street’s restaurant coverage takes a historic leap forward this week as we introduce video (or what we were taught to call moving pictures). Daniel Maurer visited Jeffrey Chodorow’s newest restaurant, Wild Salmon, on opening night Friday and got first reactions from diners, including their take on the Chodorow-Bruni feud and the challenges of exiting the place after a few drinks. Let us entertain you. Overheard: Wild Salmon Opening [Videos] Related: In Season: Wild Flounder [Videos] Earlier: Wild Salmon Swims Into View. Yes, ‘Pun Intended’

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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.

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A New Menu for the Next Time You’re in the Financial District

Boerum Hill: Brooklyn Inn on its way out. [Eater] Clinton Hill: Credit the blogosphere if the brewery on Waverly Avenue opens this summer as a beer garden. [Gothamist] Financial District: We’ve got the menu for the new Dublin-European bistro Stella Maris. [Grub Street] Flatiron: Markt has relocated to Sixth Avenue and now serves breakfast. [Grub Street] Greenpoint: Starbucks cabaret may be opening soon. [Curbed] Harlem: Wine store to replace Back in the Day antique shop. But will it have as cutesy a name? [Harlem Fur] Midtown East: Jeffrey Chodorow’s Wild Salmon replaces English Is Italian on Friday; we look forward to his review [NYT] Morningside Heights: Order pinot at Vino Fino wine shop, opening soon. [Harlem Fur] Times Square: Only two more days until you can sing Journey like everyone else at karaoke joint Spotlight Live. [NYS] West Village: Alexandra swallowing nearby storefronts for wine bar to be filled by nonexistent waiting customers. [Eater] Newly opened Central Kitchen offering 10 percent off its menu through Sunday. That’s as much as a “European-style” tip. [NYS]

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Chodorow Repudiates Celebrity Chefs, Opens Fish Restaurant

It wasn’t hard to see, after Jeffrey Chodorow’s infamous dustup with Rocco DiSpirito three years ago, that he had about had it with celebrity chefs. Except, apparently, he hadn’t: Chodorow hired Todd English a year later, in hopes, futile, that he’d redeem Tuscan, successor to Tuscan Steak. Earlier this week it was revealed that English Is Italian, the third restaurant to fill that space, will also bite the dust. Finally, Chodorow’s group is determined to avoid celebrity chefs. English Is Italian closes March 17. Wild Salmon, a seafood restaurant with a Pacific Northwest vibe, is slated to open in its place the first week of April.

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