City Politician’s Epiphany: Poor People Don’t Eat Well
It’s day two of Queens city councilman Eric Gioia’s “I will live a week on $28 in groceries” stunt, and, frankly, we’re beginning to lose the plot a little. Is the purpose of the exercise to highlight the plight of the underclass $28 is the average nationwide food-stamp allotment a Morgan Spurlock–esque endurance contest, or for the out-of-touch politician to Learn a Valuable Lesson? The Daily News followed Gioia on his grocery run to Food Dynasty in Queens; their priceless lead photo depicts the councilman regarding a pack of franks with a mix of puzzlement and mild disgust. “I usually shop at Whole Food or online at FreshDirect,” Gioia blurted out to the paper. “I don’t even look at the cost, I look for the brand I like, and I buy it.”
N.Y. Diet: What Rapper Sean Mims Eats on the Road
While rapper Sean Mims is off tearing up clubs performing “This Is Why I’m Hot,” he thinks longingly of the habichuela con dulce from his native Washington Heights. Mims loves shrimp, is working his way toward sushi, and refuses to eat on planes (not even in first class). Find out what Mims puts on his rider and how you balance Blue Fin with Sonic over on Grub Street.
This Is Why Rapper Mims Likes His Tea Hot [Grub Street]
Pure Food and Wine Is Turning French-ish, Bro
David Moltz has been a waiter at the raw-food mecca Pure Food and Wine for a little more than a year. So how does he withstand the onslaught of celebrities, raw-food obsessives, and irritable vegans? By talking to the new chef. “Our new chef makes French-style cuisine,” he says. “Me and him totally bro down about French stuff.” To learn more about bro-ing down and why the staff had to stop ordering nachos and what goes down on the “hump couch,” head to Grub Street.
Pure Food and Wine’s David Moltz Hangs With Gisele, Chases Raw Foodists for Tips [Grub Street]
Not the Nosh!
When they came for John’s Pizzeria, we did not stand up, because we do not frequent John’s Pizzeria. But who’s left to stand up now? Everyone loves the Inhouse Nosh Café, the, well, in-house noshery in the lobby of New York HQ, 444 Madison Avenue. Or, at least, everyone does with the notable exception of city’s Health Department, which in its ongoing, rats-video-fueled crackdown yesterday closed the place, claiming 110 violation points. (Twenty-eight or more points necessitates a reinspection.) Grub Street is crushed, and, in this rare case, we’ve got to say we agree. Poor Nosh.
Health Department Rampage Hits Grub Street Close to Home [Grub Street]
Insult to Injury: Stuy Town to Lose Last Local Grocery Store?
Greek-born supermarket mogul and top Hillary fund-raiser John Catsimatidis is making noises about an ’09 mayoral run — but it’s a weird way to start a nascent campaign by depriving the middle-income seniors of northeast Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with their last nearby affordable grocery.
It’d Be Better With Oompa-Loompas
Looks like Max Brenner, the nonexistent “Bald Man” of high-concept choco-bar infamy, has started a trend: Call it the Willie Wonka–fication of the coffeehouse experience. The weirdness continues at the Roasting Plant, where freshly roasted coffee beans are sucked out of transparent vessels through overhead pipes and into a souped-up espresso machine. We’re as baffled as anyone, but we also have to grudgingly admit that the shop’s main attraction, a Rube Goldberg–meets–H.R. Giger device, looks pretty damn cool. And, who knows, perhaps the beans do stay fresher this way. We’ll let Rob and Robin provide further explanation over at Grub Street.
The Roasting Plant’s Coffee Beans Dance Overhead [Grub Street]
God Save the King Burger
Ever feel like a big, juicy, greasy hamburger doesn’t pack quite big enough of a fat-and-cholesterol punch for you? The line cooks at BLT Burger to the rescue, then. Killing time at the end of a shift one night, the kitchen crew at Laurent Tourondel’s Sixth Avenue outpost threw a burger in the deep fryer to see what would happen. The magnificent result was the King Burger, a five-ounce hunk of ground beef coated, fried, and served on a soft bun with lettuce, tomato, and onion. There’s more to it, and it’s this week’s Sandwich of the Week.
Sandwich of the Week: BLT’s King Burger, in All Its Deep-Fried Glory [Grub Street]
Sam Mason Always Has Room for Dessert
Last time Grub Street checked in with Sam Mason, the former wd-50 pastry chef who’s slowly working toward opening his own spot, Tailor, he was worried about the floor. Would the hardwood acclimate to the humidity? Would he have to have grout in his kitchen? This week, it’s on to the ceiling and the stairs — who knew there are specific “staircase architects”? — and to that little manner of the menu. But first, it’s time to get dessert with members of the Experimental Cuisine Collective. What’s that? Find out at Grub Street.
Sam Mason Joins a Molecular Secret Society [Grub Street]
Happy National Grilled-Cheese Sandwich Month! We presume Hallmark has a card for the occasion — how could they not? — but Grub Street has an even better way to send cheesily good tidings: The Underground Gourmet’s list of the eight best grilled-cheese sandwiches in New York. They all sound delicious, and they’re this week’s Sandwiches of the Week.
Sandwiches of the Week: In Celebration of National Grilled-Cheese Sandwich Month [Grub Street]
Sam Mason Waits for His Wood
It’s time for another Grub Street check-in with Sam Mason, the former wd-50 pastry chef who’s working (and working and working) to open his own Soho spot, Tailor. Today we learn of yet another hiccup. Who knew you have to wait three days before laying hardwood floors? But there’s an upside to that delay: It gave Sam time to go shopping for sexy Japanese knives. Everything you ever wanted to know about humidity, grout, and Japanese carbon steel awaits in The Launch at Grub Street.
Sam Mason on the Sexiness of Japanese Steel [Grub Street]
Fancy Produce in Every Pot!
The Alice Watersization of New York cuisine is continuing apace, and now it’s spreading to decidedly un-haute cuisine. Now that the budget is done, Albany leaders are finalizing a deal to give New York its first statewide Food Policy Council, charged with spreading the local-and-organic movement to corner bodegas and other places where lower-income New Yorkers shop. A Friday announcement by state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker explained that the new body will coordinate the mind-numbing minutiae involved in favorite sustainable-food efforts like getting New York State apples to the neighborhood deli and ensuring that community-supported agriculture-buying clubs are affordable to the poor. That last bit helped sell the plan to legislators less interested in dining at Chez Panisse than in combating low-income obesity — which is actually lending a little class tension to the plan. “The question is, is it just going to be a food-quality and local-food focus, or is it going to have a key anti-poverty focus?” asked Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “I hope this really doesn’t end up a yuppie thing.” Sigh. Doesn’t everything around here these days? —Tracie McMillan
You Deserve a Big, Fishy Break Today
Something’s particularly fishy around town right now, and it’s not just all those Catholics abandoning meat. Or, actually, it ever so slightly is: Loosely timed to coincide with the Lenten season, McDonald’s has debuted the Double Filet-o-Fish — and the Underground Gourmet is giddy. There’s more to the sandwich than just a double dose of deep-fried mystery fish. What’s the special twist? The UG tells all at Grub Street, where it’s the Sandwich of the Week.
Filet-o-Fish Sandwich Now Twice As Delicious [Grub Street]
Morgan Spurlock Is Getting FatSelf-styled muckraker Morgan Spurlock — whose facial hair, if you can believe it, is now even more irritating than when he first ate his way to prominence in Super Size Me — claims he’s getting fat. And that’s hardly a surprise when you consider what he’s been eating: chicken parm, doughnuts, dinner at Per Se. He even had a burger! (Though it wasn’t McDonald’s.) Find out how else he’s super-sizing himself in this week’s New York Diet.
Morgan Spurlock Splurges at Per Se, Loves Peanut-Butter Doughnuts [Grub Street]
Sam Mason’s Floor Won’t Weather Itself
Former wd-50 pastry chef Sam Mason may have run into some speed bumps on the road to opening his Tailor, on Broome Street, but he’s still chugging along, and he’s still chronicling said chugging for Grub Street. In the latest installment, Mason sees his restaurant taking shape — literally: They’re framing the kitchen and laying floors — and wonders how he’ll make those floors look as weathered as he wants them to be. Stiletto-heeled dancing, anyone?
Sam Mason Needs Fifteen Women in Stilettos to Complete Construction [Grub Street]
We haven’t yet been to Morandi, Keith McNally’s new Italian spot in the West Village, but as lunchtime approaches — and as we learn about chef Jody Williams’s duck sandwich — we must say we’re tempted to head over. It’s Muscovy duck breast on Balthazar Bakery bread, plus lots of other things. We’ll let Williams explain, in this week’s Annotated Dish at Grub Street.
Morandi’s Deceptively Simple Duck Sandwich [Grub Street]
We All Scream for Lobster!
If it were us, we might not have named the thing a Lobster-Roll Ice-Cream Sandwich, because it sounds, well, gross. But look at the picture and consider the ingredients: a buttered-and-griddled top-cut hot-dog bun, filled with chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream, and more chocolate sauce. And then remember that had Ed McFarland, of Ed’s Lobster Bar, called it something else, it might not be this week’s Sandwich of the Week. And then where would we be?
That’s Right: A Lobster-Roll-Inspired Ice-Cream Sandwich [Grub Street]
Daniel Boulud Chefs Where He Eats
So what does a chef actually eat? Grub Street dared to ask the question of Chef Daniel Boulud. Turns out he eats regularly at his own restaurant Daniel. But he also spares twenty minutes for sushi at Sushi Yasuda, samples new spice mixes, and previews his upcoming spring menu. Sunday means brunch at Balthazar and the occasional Citymeals-on-Wheels gala, where Boulud can sample hors d’oeuvre from the city’s finest chefs. So work, eat, and raise $1.1 million. Not a bad gig. To find out who makes Chef’s favorite tart flambé, check out Grub Street.
Chef Daniel Boulud Eats Sushi at $10 Per Minute [Grub Street]
Pols Come Out to Support Saigon Grill Workers; Delivery Service Still SuspendedThe battle of Saigon Grill rages on. Two weeks after the Vietnamese mini-chain locked out its delivery workers, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 36 of those workers — and today a gaggle of New York politicians joined the Chinese Staff and Workers Association’s daily protests at the Upper West Side location. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called conditions for delivery workers “a dirty secret that needs to get exposed.” “Being paid $1.60 an hour, sometimes getting robbed and told to reimburse the employer … is unacceptable in today’s society,” he said. State Senator Eric Schneiderman, who spoke in both English and Mandarin, said he believed there was “strong evidence” that Saigon Grill’s Chinese-Cambodian owner, Simon Nget, was trying to get the workers to sign “an illegal contract” before he locked them out. A state assemblywoman and a city councilwoman were there, too, and Congressmen Jerry Nadler and Charlie Rangel sent representatives. And while all of this is going on, there’s also this bad news: There’s still no delivery service. —Mary Reinholz
Earlier: Labor Troubles at Saigon Grill Mean No Delivery for You
Eating London: Please, Platt, We Want Some More
From Scotland to England: New York’s inimitable and indomitable Adam Platt spent five days eating his way through London for this week’s magazine. He learned that now, finally, there’s plenty worth eating alongside the Thames but that there’s more density and variety — and less cost — next to the Hudson. But he also learned a whole lot more, which couldn’t all fit into his allotted magazine space. Head, then, to Grub Street, where he provides the Gobbler’s Ten Rules for Eating Well in London. (Hint: You’d better like lamb.)
How to Eat in London [Grub Street]
For no good reason we can ascertain, four teams of New Yorkers gathered at a Tribeca bar last night to attempt to eat all the contents of a vending machine. It was the second annual LVHRD Master-Disaster Vending Machine Challenge, billed as “the world’s only competitive eating vending machine event.” Each team had three members, and The Onion faced off against amNew York while MoMA took on Pocket Change. The inimitable Murray Hill hosted, amNew York and Pocket Change won, and Jaime Lynn-DiScala and Lance Bass were, for some reason, in attendance. Oh, and three people threw up. Fun!
Everybody’s Friends at Nolita Thai Joint Lovely DayEve Dunlop has been a waitress at Nolita’s neighborhood Thai joint, Lovely Day, for two years, and she tries to give the place a “hangout” kind of vibe. “We’re trying to make a friendly environment,” she says. “Anyone’s welcome to join in our conversation.” So might the locals who come by to hang out and converse — some of whom have been known to get naked (“we’re all friends here,” Dunlop says) — be the sort you’d call hipsters? Not at all, she says. “They’re neighborhood people, young working professionals who are into music and art.” Of course. Totally different. Eve’s got much more to say at Grub Street; she’s this week’s Ask a Waiter.
Eve Dunlop of Lovely Day Insists Her Customers Aren’t Hipsters [Grub Street]
Manhattan’s Bargain Is Brooklyn’s SplurgeMoroccan in Bay Ridge? Turkish in Gravesend? Sign us up. Grub Street has prepared a quick, opinionated guide to the more offbeat pleasures of Brooklyn Restaurant Week. At some places, the three-courses-for-$21.12 model actually sounds like a markup (how much chicken do you need to put away at Los Pollitos II to even hit that total?), but hell, that’s part of the charm.
Take the Cab to Deepest Brooklyn for Restaurant Week [Grub Street]
If You Have 1.7 Million Friends, Do You Really Need to Eat? Tila “Tequila” Nguyen is the queen of MySpace (or the “Madonna of MySpace,” if you read Time), with about 1.7 million virtual friends. She flies back and forth from Los Angeles to New York for photo shoots (here) and celebrity appearances (there). And when she’s in town, Tila likes to sample the room service at the W Hotel and the vegan faux-meat goodness at Red Bamboo. Sound pricey? Don’t fret. Tila’s allergic to alcohol. “I’m still a cheap date,” she assures Grub Street.
‘MySpace Queen’ Tila Tequila Drinks Sprite with her Fugu, Likes her Omelets with Ketchup [Grub Street]
The Gobbler’s Guide to Eating Like a FrenchmanWhere, o where, in this city of hiply casual dress codes and hautely fusioned cuisine options and Danny Meyerly chatty service can one find a good, old-fashioned, exorbitantly expensive, extravagantly presented, high French meal? That’s what the Gobbler’s globe-trotting friend Maurice wanted to know. And the Gobbler, as is his wont, came up with the answers. His list of New York’s top 10 outposts of continental opulence is at Grub Street.
Where to Send Your French Friend Maurice for Continental Opulence [Grub Street]
There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute, and Some of Them Must Like Pizza
A further sign — as if more were needed — that New York is today a bastion of late-Roman decadence: One city slice shop now serves a $1,000 pizza. The pricey pie comes laden not with gold but with caviar, and Grub Street had the chance to taste it yesterday. So what does caviar’d pizza taste like? Bagels and lox, apparently. In which case we humbly remind you that the Zabar’s premade bagel-and-nova sandwich costs something like four bucks. We’re just saying.
We Try a $1,000 Pizza, Maintain That We Aren’t Publicity Tools [Grub Street]
The Oyster Bar’s Got Soft-Shells — in March!
And they keep making it sound like rising global temperatures are a bad thing. Feh! How else would we be lucky enough to have soft-shell crabs in March? Yup, that’s right, rising ocean temperatures have tricked the clueless crustaceans into shedding their skins early, making the summertime treat available before you’ve even filed your taxes. Where can you find ‘em? Only at Grand Central’s Oyster Bar, which claims to have cornered the market on the currently available supply of the critters. What else does global warming mean for the fate of crabkind? Find out on Grub Street.
Don’t Tell Al Gore: Soft-Shell Crabs Already Here [Grub Street]
Fancy French Dip: Mmm, Jus-y
The things we did not know about the humble French-dip sandwich are, it is now clear, legion. We did not know that it was invented in Los Angeles. We did not know two restaurants dispute which of them came up with it first. And we did not know that Flatbush Farm, in Park Slope, serves what is quite possibly the best one in New York, an Haute Barnyard combination of heritage meat, melted Gruyère, and a horseradish sauce, served on name-brand bread. It’s Grub Street’s Sandwich of the Week, and we now know we’ll be disappointed by whatever we end up scrounging for lunch.
Haute Barnyard Take on a Classic SoCal Sandwich [Grub Street]
Some Models, Apparently, Eat As Much As You Do
Think models don’t eat? If Missy Rayder — currently featured in Gap’s khakis campaign — is any indication, that’s hardly the case. Missy runs down her week of noshes in the new New York Diet, and we count mentions of “really greasy” French fries, lobster rolls, “the best brisket ever,” and Heath bar ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. That’s not all. Find out what else she scarfed down this week on Grub Street.
Model Missy Rayder Drinks Garlic and Eats ‘Dragon Bowls’ [Grub Street]
New Yorkers Know BestNew York’s annual “Best of New York” issue came out this week, and, this being New York, everyone’s got an opinion on it. Of the hundred-plus honors distributed — this still being New York — most of the discussion was about food, with readers dissecting everything from — literally — dollars to doughnuts. After the jump, a sample of blogland’s ongoing, subjective debates.
Labor Troubles at Saigon Grill Mean No Delivery for YouIt’s cold enough this week to make you reconsider going out for dinner. But if you’re craving Vietnamese, you might have a problem. The popular Saigon Grill mini-chain, with locations on the Upper West Side and in the East Village (and a third, closed for renovation, on the Upper East Side), hasn’t been offering delivery since it locked out 22 deliverymen Friday night. “I told them to leave because they tried to extort,” owner Simon Nget, a Chinese Cambodian refugee, said last night. At an 11:30 meeting Friday, he asked the workers to sign a form he’d prepared, stipulating that they received adequate wages and would not sue him. A representative of the workers, he said, mentioned a $700,000 settlement paid to nine employees, which he said made him feel “threatened.”
None Is the Lonesomest NumberIt’s a classic story: A brash outsider, fizzing with ambition, comes to the big city and gets a thoroughly educational thrashing. And yet now that Lonesome Dove, the Manhattan outpost of Tim Love’s Texas steakhouse, has shuttered, the blogs are pouring a little moonshine on the ground for the departing joint. Sure, some of the dishes were ridiculous, as was that cowhide on the sidewalk, but there was also a little Manhattan snobbery and, dare we say, a touch of misplaced blue-state rage in the collective drubbing administered to Love. Grub Street has put together a collection of links in tribute.
Lonesome Dove Flies Away [Grub Street]
Bonus: Adam Platt’s original evisceration [NYM]
Daniel Pinchbeck Hates Processed Food, Likes Coffee
Daniel Pinchbeck, the mind-expanded author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, realized the first time he took mushrooms — back in college — just how much he didn’t like processed food, and he’s been trying to eat on a higher plane ever since. How does he do that? With a lot of coffee, it seems, and occasional stops for raw food. Find out his latest noshes in this week’s New York Diet, at Grub Street.
Psychedelic Writer Daniel Pinchbeck Likes His Chocolate With ‘Special Properties’ [Grub Street]
the morning line
The Starrett Sale Is Dead!
• That $1.3 billion Starrett City deal? Yeah, not gonna happen. The Housing and Urban Development secretary is blocking the sale of the subsidized enclave to Clipper Equity. The deal’s vocal opponents included Bloomberg, Cuomo, Spitzer, Schumer, Clinton, and, apparently, God. [NYDN]
• Meanwhile, the demolition at the future Atlantic Yards site begins in earnest, with Ratner aiming the wrecking ball at twelve buildings on Pacific, Flatbush, Vanderbilt, and Dean — all within next week. Is it good-bye, weird Guyanese JRG Fashion Cafe? [NYP]
• The dancing-rat drama is far from over. In fact, it’s amping up: After its initial gaffe, the Health Department came down like a hammer on three more joints (this time, for variety’s sake, Pizza Huts) owned by the same franchisee; the parent company, Yum Brands, then voluntarily closed ten more. [NYT]
• And dentist Lawrence Rosenthal is suing Cory Lidle’s estate for $7 million dollars, because the Yankee’s fiery death had inconvenienced him. This, mind you, is the same Rosenthal of the BadDentist.com infamy. Litigious, much? [amNY]
the morning line
But How Does He Feel About Trans Fats?
• In the no-brainer firing of the year, the Health Department has divested itself of the inspector who gave a passing grade to the famously ratty KFC–Taco Bell. The shuttered place, meanwhile, became a locus for some fun public art. [NYT]
• Underreported amid the possible culprits of yesterday’s Wall Street carnage — China, Cheney — were horrendously timed technical glitches at the NYSE: At some point, trades were done via paper tickets. [NYP]
• Add a federal investigation to the list of JetBlue’s headaches: The U.S. Transportation Secretary is calling for an official look-see into the recent snowstorm stranding of passengers on the JFK tarmac. American Airlines will get its own probe for a similar incident in Austin. [amNY]
• The Thurmond-Sharpton Roots-on-acid miniseries continues to play out: The senator’s biracial daughter, Essie Mae Washington Williams, is reprimanding the reverend for “overreacting,” saying “[my father] did many wonderful things for black people.” [NYDN]
• And meet Gerard Mortier, new director of the New York City Opera, whose farewell production on his previous job was a staging of Die Fledermaus with cocaine, incest, suicide, and Nazis. Welcome!!! [CBS News]
Varietal pastry chef Jordan Kahn is, we’re told, the pastry chef in New York right now. And what does the pastry chef want his desserts to taste like? Purple, apparently. In this week’s Annotated Dish, he deconstructs his “Meditation in Purple,” explaining all its luscious ingredients. Check it out at Grub Street.
Varietal’s ‘Meditation in Purple’: Need We Say More? [Grub Street]
Dining By Design, in Style and for Charity
Dining By Design, an annual charity thingie that plops society types down to dine among phantasmagoric table settings, is a reliable showcase of ingenuity with a serious tranny undercurrent (John Waters did a table once; Amanda Lepore was a table once). This year, DBD’s tenth, there was a palpable sense of overdrive in the West Chelsea event space: Most table designers were piling on feathers, antlers, holograms, lenticulars, fruit hats, and drag queens with corporate-sponsored abandon. On the tamer end, Ralph Lauren erected a mosquito-netted gazebo. Disney’s table recalled, curiously, a boardroom. Nautica went with the oh-my-God-we’re-on-a-yacht theme. In a slight faux pas, the Cole&Garrett and Lexus tables used the exact same chairs.
Here’s what you missed if you weren’t watching local news this morning: Those frolicking rats? Yeah, they’re frolicking in the Taco Bell–KFC on Sixth Avenue in the Village. Thinking outside the bun, indeed.
Rats Infest NYC Restaurant [WNBC.com]
Rats Shown Running Around a Closed Restaurant [AP via 1010WINS.com]
David Cross Is Both 12 and 42 Years OldIn the fall and winter, David Cross drinks red wine with “almost every meal.” (In the spring and summer, apparently, it’s beer.) We’d assume he means every non-breakfast meal, but, then, he also has chili for breakfast, so who knows? He even likes red wine with his favorite snack, pretzel rods dipped in Smucker’s all-natural peanut butter, chunky. What else did he have red wine with last week? Find out in the latest New York Diet at Grub Street.
Comedian David Cross Likes His Peanut Butter and Pretzels With a Glass of Wine [Grub Street]
Mmm, Mmm, Good
We know, we know. We never should have gone out in this weather dressed like that; of course we’d catch a cold. But what’s done can’t be undone, and now that we’re sneezing and sniffling, what can we do? Grub Street to the rescue! In today’s At the Market column, Zoe Singer rounds up the best chicken-soup options around the city and tops it off with a tip on the best seasonal oranges for fresh-squeezed OJ. Our sinuses are clearing up already.
Chicken Soup for the House-Bound Soul [Grub Street]
the morning line
Scientific Proof: Manhattanites Are Superior to Queens Residents
• As home sales slump in other cities, New Yorkers, wallets fat with Wall Street’s big year-end bonuses, kick off 2007 with a surge in purchases of everything from tiny studios to whoppers like a $2.5 million home “in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn,” the Times overexplicitly reports. [NYT]
• Who’s slimmer, Manhattanites or folks from outer Queens? Likely the former, according to a new Columbia study finding that New Yorkers who live near lots of stores and subways have lower body-mass-index levels than do those from more suburban parts of the city. [Medical News Today]
• From Teaneck to Asbury Park, hundreds of gay couples show up at town halls in New Jersey today as the state becomes the third to offer civil unions. [NYP]
• Bill Clinton “stands in” for his wife at an Albany summit of state black and Latino lawmakers, many of whom stay mum on whom they’ll back for the Democratic presidential bid, HRC or her duskier rival, Illinois Senator Barack Obama. [NYDN]
• Mary’s Fish Camp, Artisanal, and, yep, good old Eisenberg’s are among the venues offering the twenty best sandwiches in New York City, from fancy-shmancy grilled-cheese redos to old-fashioned egg salad. [amNY]
Raw Foodie Sarma Melngailis Has a SecretWhat does one of New York’s leading raw-food restaurateurs — Sarma Melngailis of Pure Food and Wine — eat in a week? You’d be surprised. It’s not just vegan-friendly vegetable concoctions and “weirdo shakes,” as she calls them; there’s also some lamb and venison, too. “Here’s how I rationalize occasionally not eating raw-vegan,” she explains at Grub Street. “I always want to try good food.” What other good food did she eat? Head to Grub Street to find out.
Raw Foodist Sarma Melngailis Drinks Grapefruit Sake Mojitos Before Noon [Grub Street]
the morning line
• A riot is brewing — or, more likely, the tabloids are picking up some easy populist points — over Mayor Bloomberg’s failure to lift alternate-side parking rules during this week’s snowstorm. [NYDN, amNY]
• Guess which single mayoral action is “tragic and misguided”, and will “degrade societal standards” — the smoking ban, LES rezoning, the 2012 Olympic bid? Wrong: it’s those damnable free condoms, according to Cardinal Egan and Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio. [NYP]
• We all know about the sex-offender registry, but what does one do with homeless sex offenders? Suffolk Country found one, vaguely medieval, solution: put them in trailers that are periodically rotated around the county. [Newsday]
• MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry is even richer than we (and the IRS) knew: In addition to a jaw-dropping salary of $1.28 million a year, Lowry has been getting millions through a murky tax-exempt trust set up by the Museum’s benefactors. [NYT]
• And in parting, this, from today’s OMG-straight-men-can-cook “trend” profile in the News : “I’m constantly bringing wild game back to my apartment, and my girlfriend and I sit outside and pluck it.” Don’t we all?[NYDN]
You Will Never Be Hungry Again
We had no mail at our apartment when we got home last night, but we’re pleased to see that neither sleet nor snow nor dark of night keeps a Chinese-food delivery guy from the swift completion of his appointed rounds.
Lady Godiva Was a Metro-North Rider
Christmas may be the busiest time of the year for the Postal Service, but at the Godiva chocolate shop in Grand Central, the evening commute home on Valentine’s Day seems to take the, um, bonbon. The crowd-control measures in place — corralling maybe 40 or so candy-craving commuters when we stopped by a few minutes ago — include a maze of rope lines and a system by which customers pick out their chocolates and then wait their turn to pay. Other last-minute lovers will appreciate Grub Street’s roundup of what culinary canoodling spots had tables still available when they checked this afternoon, and the magazine provided a cheater’s guide to Valentine’s Day. See? We’ve got all your bases covered.
Something’s Fishy at PicholineSo you’ve been to Picholine, and you’ve had the $80 three-course prix fixe, and you’ve loved the first course, chef Terrance Brennan’s famous sea-urchin panna cotta, which you know to be one of only two items on the menu held over from the previous incarnation of the restaurant. But, still, you’ve always felt like you don’t quite know the dish. And you’ve always wished Brennan would stop and explain it to you. Well, kids, now you’re in luck: Grub Street’s got a new Annotated Dish, and it’s Picholine’s sea-urchin panna cotta. Learn all about its fishy fabulousness at Grub Street.
Picholine’s ‘Oceanic’ Sea-Urchin Panna Cotta [Grub Street]
Extra! Extra! There Is Chick-fil-A in New York
Rob and Robin deliver an astounding piece of news in their Sandwich of the Week update today: There actually is a Chick-fil-A branch — one, solitary outpost — in Manhattan. Even more astounding: It’s located in an NYU food court, and the dedicated dining duo infiltrated said food court — sans student I.D. but avec verisimilitudinous knapsnack — to sample the wares. How was it? “Deliriously good,” they report, “in a heavily seasoned monosodium-glutamate kind of way.” Mmm … MSG. All the details are at Grub Street.
Sneaking Past Security for the Sandwich of the Week [Grub Street]
Celebrity Restaurateurs: They Get Slow Service Just Like Us!When Drew Nieporent — the man behind Nobu, Montrachet, and Tribeca Grill — is at the table next to you, it would seem worth following his lead. And so when we noticed him beside us (thanks, Times Magazine!) for brunch at Geoffrey Zakarian’s Café at Country yesterday, we realized we were listening to our neighbors’ conversation a little more closely than would normally be polite. He ordered the tartare of beef, and therefore so did we. His arrived, served in a Mason jar along with miniature French bread sticks, and looked damn tasty. We couldn’t wait for ours. But wait we did: Almost an hour later, it still hadn’t appeared. Nieporent’s entrée hadn’t either, and so we found ourselves discussing restaurant service with one of the legends of the business.
The Gobbler’s Guide to Avoiding Bad MealsWho knows what evil lurks in the heart of bad New York restaurants? The Gobbler knows. In his Grub Street column this week, Adam Platt distills the nine signs you’re about to have a really sucky meal. From maître d’ inspections to the “truffles-truffled” dichotomy to warnings about the size of the desserts (anything bigger “than your mother’s handbag” is to be avoided), the Gobbler’s got the telltale clues. Check them out on Grub Street.
Signs You’re About to Have an Awful Meal [Grub Street]
How to Make Eggs Like a Pro, and Other Adventures in Opening a Restaurant
Former wd-50 pastry chef Sam Mason will be opening a joint of his own, Tailor, at the beginning of March. As he prepares for the big day, he’s been chronicling his exploits for Grub Street. In today’s installment, he considers tableware, purchases some kitchen machinery, and reveals how to make the most perfect soft-boiled egg. (Hint: You won’t be able to do it at home.) Learn about it at Grub Street.
Sam Mason and the Fabulous Egg Machine [Grub Street]
On Super Bowl Sunday, Spotted Pig Staff Partied Like It Was 1999
Where does Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman hold his holiday party? Not at the Spotted. When does he hold it? Not during the holiday season. And what does he serve? More food that you can imagine. This past Sunday — Super Bowl Sunday — Friedman threw a belated holiday party for his Pig staff at Del Posto, another eatery owned by part Pig owner Mario Batali. The feast was one of Dionysian excess — a roasted pig, mac ‘n’ cheese with black truffles, innumerable apps, cake “served by scantily clad babes.” Rob and Robin have the complete menu — plus photos! — at Grub Street.
Batali Helps Devise Insane Feast for Spotted Pig Staff [Grub Street]