It’s truffle time at New York — a three-part celebration of the original Magic Mushroom (and you know how we feel about that). Moving beyond the fabulous fungi, Adam Platt made his way down to Allen & Delancey and was so impressed with the place that he almost gave it three stars — before remembering that he was Adam Platt.
Astoria: Freeze Peach is hosting a costume party Saturday at 8 p.m. and it’s BYO. [Joey in Astoria]
Boerum Hill: Balsamic vinegar is available as a topping at the new ecofriendly ice-cream parlor Blue Marble, on Atlantic Avenue near Bond Street. [Bergen Carroll]
Chelsea: Tekserv is hosting a Mac OS X Leopard release party tonight with free food and live jazz, and the winner of the leopard-themed costume contest gets an iPod. [Blog Chelsea]
Clinton Hill: New restaurant Mariam at 975 Fulton Street features cuisine from Senegal, Kenya, and Guinea, but even though okra was “cooked down to an indiscernible sludge,” it doesn’t feel overextended; the spot will soon add Jamaican food to the menu. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Flatiron: The Manhattan branch of Boerum Hill restaurant Lunetta opens Monday on Broadway at 21st Street. [Grub Street]
Lower East Side: Essex Street’s newest Shamalian bar may have opened for a night this week, but it’s closed now. [Eater] Just in time for Halloween house parties, the Stanton Social has provided a simple recipe for pumpkin croquettes. [Restaurant Girl]
Meatpacking District: The communal table at Los Dados is supposedly a hot singles scene. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Midtown West: Bon Appétit’s “Pop-Up” café opened yesterday and features sandwiches and salads designed by Emeril, Giada, Govind, and Pichet Ong, plus desserts from Will Goldfarb. [Midtown Lunch]
Related: Celebrity Chefs Flock to Former Home of Cheesy Celebrity RestaurantProspect-Lefferts-Gardens: Papas & Sons market was busted Wednesday. “Word on the street is that someone in there was running numbers,” but no one’s talking. [Across the Park]
The nation can rest easy in the knowledge that Giuseppe Cipriani is still cruising around in a Rolls-Royce, has kept his private jet, and may even build another yacht in addition to the one he already owns. [NYP]
The Shamalian boys opened their rockabilly bar on Essex last night even though it's unfinished, and there really is a bull! [Eater]
The Federal Trade Commission has launched their second attack against the Whole Foods–Wild Oats merger vowing that even though money has already exchanged hands that the integration can still be stopped. [NYT]
The building that was the Hard Rock Café at 221 West 57th Street, having committed so many affronts to gastronomy over the years, is about to atone, temporarily. Bon Appétit is turning it into a “pop-up supper club and café” where, from October 25 to November 3, a series of celebrity chefs will do demos and book signings during lunchtime. The names should be familiar ones, ranging from TV chefs like Cat Cora and Giada De Laurentiis to established New York stars like Claudia Fleming and Will Goldfarb. Every day, the café area will feature a different signature dish from that day’s chef. Bon Appétit promises affordability, too: All the dishes at lunch will cost $10 or less.
The roster of chefs is after the jump.
Word in candyland is that a dual project of some kind is in the works between Chocolat Michel Cluizel, one of the city’s top chocolatiers, and none other than Will Goldfarb, Grub Street “It” boy and master of a million projects. Neither side would release details to us but did tacitly acknowledge that something is up. It wouldn’t surprise us to find out that at least one other dessert-making entity is involved as well. The project’s official announcement is likely a week or so away, but we thought you would want time to brace yourselves for its arrival.
Culinary events in New York are getting bigger all the time, and now comes word of a behemoth so immense that it’s going to require all of Pier 94. Cook. Eat. Drink. Live., to be held October 26-27th, will be a kind of vast, sprawling combination of a giant trade show (think the Fancy Food Show) as well as a giant dining event (à la Taste of New York), adding in fifteen cooking classes a day, five wine-tasting classes, and five mixology classes too, all with the likes of Will Goldfarb, Ilan Hall, Josh DeChellis, and Paul Liebrandt. Normally, this orgy of A-list epicureanism would cost $325 a day, but buy tickets with the NYMAG code for a reduced rate of $175 a day or $350 for the weekend, including all demos.
Cook. Eat. Drink. Live [Official Site]
How has the opening of Picnick been going? Some Goldfarbian skeptics might say not so well. Writers to Eater have detailed their disappointments in graphic terms (“There was a bone in my pork. Ow.”), and now one of our correspondents writes in to ask, “What's with Picnick? It was open for Labor Day and a couple days after, but now it seems to always be closed? Is there an official date for a re-opening?”
The Cipriani family may lose the lease on its Fifth Avenue property because of their criminal case. [NYP]
Just like the Moondance Diner, Jade Mountain’s iconic neon sign looks like it’s headed out of town. [Lost City]
Will Goldfarb better get to work on that glyph, because apparently his new restaurant won’t be called Room 4 Dessert for legal reasons. [Eater]
Related: Room 4 Dessert Is Dead, Long Live Room 4 Dessert
In what might be the least surprising news of the summer, Will Goldfarb has told Grub Street that Room 4 Dessert, at least in its current location, is kaput. (The place has been closed for months, but Goldfarb has been promising it would reopen.) “We’re officially pulling the plug on 17 Cleveland Place,” the cake whiz tells us. “But we’re going to reopen, bigger and better, six months from today.” Goldfarb, theatrical as ever, refuses to disclose the location of the new place, except to say that it’s downtown “in another high-profile restaurant row.”
Astoria: Bistro 33 on Ditmars at 21st Street has opened its outdoor seating and launched a weekend brunch featuring apple-Brie omelettes and blueberry pancakes. [Joey in Astoria]
Battery Park City: Former Thor chef Kevin Pomplun is the director of operations for Will Goldfarb’s kiosk, Picnick, and there are more details about what will be on offer. [Gothamist]
Columbus Circle: The Blue Ribbon coming to new hotel Six Columbus will transcend sushi by offering both a raw bar and Japanese barbecue. [Down by the Hipster]
Harlem: Legendary soul-food destination Copeland’s Restaurant will close on Monday after 50 years and one last Sunday brunch. [NYT]
Lower East Side: The herring at Russ & Daughters builds “manly strength.” [Eat for Victory/VV]
Red Hook: DeFonte’s owner can’t go on vacation without spurring concern that the mom-and-pop sandwich shop has closed for good. [Lost City]
Sagaponack: Townline BBQ is up and running as of Monday, hoping to succeed where four other restaurants have failed. [NYT]
Astoria: Hellgate Community Supported Agriculture is distributing some very fine cherries, chives, and beets today. [Joey in Astoria]
Battery Park: Will Goldfarb’s high-concept kiosks should open around Labor Day. [NYS]
Greenwich Village: Lassi now sells packets of their freshly ground spices, including musky mango powder and tandoori masala. [NYT]
Harlem: Sample exotic desserts and wine this evening at Make My Cake; beats provided by 90.3 WHCR. [Uptown Flavor]
Morningside Heights: The owners of Clinton St. Baking Company plan to open a green restaurant on Broadway near 112th Street by the end of August. [NYT]
Shelter Island: The Pridwin Beach Hotel & Cottages hosts all-you-can-eat cookouts every Wednesday night beginning July 4. [Hamptons.com]
Upper East Side: Food historian and cookbook author Francine Segan will discuss the aphrodisiacal history of various foods from ginseng to rhinoceros horns at the 92nd Street Y tonight at 6:30 p.m. Samples will be notably more tame and will probably involve chocolate. [92nd Street Y]
Williamsburg: U.K.-based TMI Food Group, whose packaged products include cooked sandwich bacon, opened its new food-manufacturing facility today at 7 Bushwick Place. [Bridal Blog/NYO]
The Golden Scoop Pastry awards held last night had everything you would want from a dessert awards: a victory parade of New York chefs, a dozen world-class desserts, and a seven-foot pastry chef–slash–drag queen named Chocolatina. The ceremony was held at the French Culinary Institute and awarded prizes in five categories, the most important of which, Best Dessert Menu, was won by Dominque Ansel of Daniel. The most intense competition, though, may well have been Most Innovative Dessert, a coveted trophy in today’s go-go world of rock-star experimental dessert chefs.
The last time we checked in, Will Goldfarb, the Room 4 Dessert chef, had just begun convincing restaurants around town to outsource their dessert program to him. Now the ultracaffeinated cake whiz has colonized Battery Park, beating out some major rivals to develop and operate two lunch kiosks there. The stands won’t be open until late summer, but Goldfarb has typically high-concept plans for both. Former Thor chef Kevin Pomplun will run the kitchen, producing high-end sandwiches (a sous-vide chicken club; an oil-packed Sardinian tuna with tarragon mayo on ciabatta) and Goldfarbian desserts (pistachio panna cotta, hot chocolate mousse).
Dear Grub Street, My cousin is coming in next week from Indiana and wants to see the "hottest" NYC restaurants that he has read about on your Weblog and in New York Magazine. Where do you think I should take him? He likes “edgy” places and doesn't have a lot of money to spend (nor do I). Should we go to the Spotted Pig or Casa Mono?Momofuku Ssäm Bar? Where? Any advice would be great. Gloria
Welcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
The fullest account yet of the debacle that is the new Russian Tea Room. Gary Robins comes out looking far more sinned against than sinning, and the owner comes out looking like a jerk. [NYP]
A blue-ribbon panel including Mario Batali, Bill Telepan, and Danny Meyer study the question of whether it’s possible to open a restaurant under the radar. The near unanimous answer is no. Will Goldfarb suggests one way: “Do it in Queens.” [Snack]
Pichet Ong formerly of Spice Market is the first of the hot pastry chefs to open his own restaurant, the eponymous P*ong. Rivals Sam Mason and Jehangir Mehta (formerly of Aix) are close behind. [NYS]
Related: The Launch [Grub Street]
Will Goldfarb, whose high-concept creations have made Room 4 Dessert a big hit with city gourmands, is now taking over the dessert program at Zak Pelaccio’s meatpacking mecca 5 Ninth. Although Goldfarb is the first of the rock-star pastry chefs to provide outsourcing, it could be the wave of the future. “I just can't do it," Pelaccio says of having in-house desserts. “We don't have the space, and it’s not economically sound, anyway. We can’t afford to pay a full-time pastry chef sixty or seventy thousand dollars a year.” (The new treats include a hot-chocolate martini with Calvados gelato, topped with saffron crumbs and Ligurian olive oil; a coconut parfait with lime sorbet and smoked-tea meringue; and Nutella over kabocha-squash cake, served with whole-milk ice cream.) Outside the world of composed sweets, the trend is already in full swing: Il Labatorio del Gelato owner Jon Snyder estimates that around one in five New York restaurants that serve gelato is getting it directly from his company. “We just did a sake kasu gelato for EN Japanese Brasserie,” he tells us. As far as Goldfarb is concerned, 5 Ninth is just the start; he has deals under way with two other restaurants and preliminary plans to service several more. “Fire your pastry chef,” the cake whiz says. “We’re your Bangladesh.”
Pastry chefs like Sam Mason (the man who’s sharing the experience of opening a new restaurant with us) are often on the cutting edge of New York cooking these days. The three chefs whose desserts we’re highlighting today all have major reputations. So if you go to wd-50 or Chanterelle tonight, make sure you leave some room. (Presumably that won’t be a problem at Room 4 Dessert.)