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Grub Street

  1. 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]
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    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]
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    CB3 Loves Petraske, Hates His PlansOne thing was clear at the Community Board 3 meeting last night: The East Village board loves Milk and Honey proprietor Sasha Petraske. “He is probably the only owner in nine years who has run [his bar] according to his representations,” said committee chair Alexandra Militano, who also noted he’s received no complaints in nine years, as Daniel Maurer reports on Grub Street. So does all that good behavior and good will mean they’ll allow him to open his planned Mighty Ocelot wine and beer bar on East 5th Street? Of course not. Noisily angry neighbors flooded the meeting, complaining that Petraske’s establishment would create too much noise. And the board voted to recommend the State Liquor Authority deny his application. The full tale is at Grub Street. Neighbors Tell Milk & Honey’s Sasha Petraske, ‘Welcome to the East Village, Now Leave [Grub Street]
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    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]
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    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]
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    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]
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    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]
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    ‘Dutchman’ Flames On at Carlyle The Carlyle is an institution, and so, by now, is Per Se; still, glaring at each other diagonally across the park, they seem to belong to slightly different universes. No more! Brian Van Flandern, a former head mixologist at Per Se, is bringing his bag of tricks to the Carlyle’s Bemelmans Bar. Van Flandern’s signature, career-making, in no way autobiographical “Flaming Dutchman” (key ingredients: cognac, sherry, gin, and a lot of publicity) will be reborn at its new home with a slight twist. No word on whether Per Se’s notorious “Tonic With Gin” concoction, which involved brewing small batches of homemade tonic water from imported quinine, will be reprised as well. Our Grub Street brethren have the rest of the scoop. Per Se Mixologist to Light a Flaming Lemon Peel Under Bemelmans’ Ass [Grub Street]
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    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]
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    Beef Lifts Us Up Where We Belong Bad news for all the single people of New York: Valentine’s Day is mercilessly creeping up on us. (Depressing, isn’t it?) There are several gastronomic ways to mark the date, as the Underground Gourmet points out on Grub Street today. You could stay at home and order pizza; you could drown your sorrows in a vat of Häagen-Dazs; you could spend the evening with the gallant General Tso, who in such cases we have always found to be both an officer and a gentleman. Or if you’re determined to celebrate your singlehood — and perhaps ensure that you remain that way — you could try the sandwich the Underground Gourmet has identified as Sandwich of the Week: the Breakup Burger. Find out all about it at Grub Street. Sandwich of the Week: Twisted Burger’s Breakup Burger [Grub Street]
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    Room Service, at Your Service The self-consciously hip Flatiron club Room Service has several gimmicks, and one of them is this: With a reservation for one of the curtained-off VIP cabanas — and 24 hours’ notice — a Room Service concierge will deliver anything your VIPness desires. So what have patrons been requesting? Grub Street’s Daniel Maurer got his hands on a list of every item demanded over a two-week period, and it runs from Ben & Jerry’s to wasabi peas. We promise some stops along the way are more salacious. Weird Deliveries Demanded by Club VIPs [Grub Street]
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    All Hail the Top Chef Well, hey, who’d have thunk it? Turns out Ilan won Top Chef. (Of course he did. No surprise ending has been this preordained since John Faso thought he stood a chance against Spitzer.) But, still, even though the result wasn’t in doubt, the great existential question of reality television demands attention: What did it mean? Thankfully, Grub Street’s Josh Ozersky joined New York’s favorite couch potato, Adam Sternbergh, to answer just that question. Read their colloquy on Grub Street. Ilan Won, Yes, But What Does It All Mean? [Grub Street]
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    Gramercy Park’s Park Chinois: Imitation Is the Highest Form A room at the Gramercy Park Hotel: $500. The steak-frites at Balthazar: $30. Being able to order the latter while staying in the former, at any hour: Priceless. Grub Street’s Daniel Maurer is reporting that when Park Chinois, the hotel’s restaurant, finally opens in the spring, its 24-hour room-service menu will offer facsimiles of classic dishes from many well-known New York restaurants. The list isn’t close to final, but Grub Street’s got the inside track on some likely contenders. Gramercy Park Room Service: ‘This Next One Is a Nobu Cover’ [Grub Street]
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    No, One Does Not Go to Lucky Cheng’s for the FoodWe know we’re biased, but we say this in all seriousness: Grub Street has just published its best Ask a Waiter thus far, and what we have to imagine will be the best Ask a Waiter ever. It’s with Dirty Delta of Lucky Cheng’s, and you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know — plus much more — about being a drag-queen waitress. What does Dirty think about the East Village institution’s food, for example? “You don’t come to Lucky Cheng’s to eat gourmet food,” she says. “You come to see some bitch in a G-string acting crazy at your table.” But of course. There’s so much more at Grub Street. Dirty Delta of Lucky Cheng’s Serves Orgy Bowls to Britney Spears [Grub Street]
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    Feeding the Paper LionsIf you pay attention to local foodie press, you’ve been hearing a lot about PrimeTime Tables, the new service that, essentially, scalps reservations at top restaurants. You’ve heard speculation about who’s behind it, debates about its morality, doubts about whether it actually works. But you haven’t heard what it’s like to actually use the service. Until now. This weekend, Grub Street’s Josh Ozersky pulled off a feat of participatory journalism the likes of which hasn’t been seen since George Plimpton last suited up in Detroit. Read all about it on Grub Street. We Submit Ourselves to PrimeTime Tables [Grub Street]
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    Watching ‘Top Chef’ With a Top Chef Everybody’s watching Bravo’s latest hit, Top Chef — even professional chefs (and professional food bloggers). After last night’s installment, Grub Street’s Josh Ozersky checked in with chef Jimmy Bradley for the Red Hat, Mermaid Inn, and Harrison restaurateur’s take on the developments. Last season’s winner, Harold Dieterle, previously worked at Bradley’s the Harrison. With that insight, who does Bradley think will win this time? Ilan. Why? Find out on Grub Street. Red Cat Owner Betting on Ilan to Win ‘Top Chef’ [Grub Street] Related: Sam Talbot (Formerly) of ‘Top Chef’ Splurges at Nobu [Grub Street] Earlier: ‘Top Chef’’s Marcel Doesn’t Love Joel Robuchon That Much [Daily Intel] So Hot She’s Flammable: Host Roasted by Top Chefs [Intel]
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    $72,000 Monthly Rent for Time Warner Bistro So how expensive is it to open a restaurant in the Time Warner Center? According to rumors Grub Streeter Josh Ozersky is hearing, rent alone can set you back $72,000 a month. Grub’s sources say that’s what Marc Murphy will pay to open a new branch of his Tribeca bistro Landmarc in the upscale mall at Columbus Circle. If Jean-Georges Vongerichten couldn’t make a go of it there, can things work out for the far more modest Landmarc? Josh considers the question at Grub Street. Landmarc in the Time Warner Center May Already Be Doomed [Grub Street]
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    Restaurant Week, Already?Next week is Winter Restaurant Week, which means $24.07 at lunch and $35 at dinner for a three-course meal from one of the dozens and dozens of participating New York City eateries. That’s quite a deal for lunch at Gramercy Tavern or dinner at Spice Market. But the catch is that there are only so many reservations available — and buzzy spots like those two are probably long booked. What to do? Grub Street to the rescue! Josh Ozersky lists four spots low enough on buzz to give you a good chance of snagging a spot but high enough on quality to earn his recommendation. It’s at Grub Street. A Restaurant Week Guide to the Forgotten and Underappreciated [Grub Street] Winter Restaurant Week 2007 [NYC&Co.]
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    A New Restaurant for Old Grange Hall Space?Grub Street has news today that there may finally be a new tenant for the West Village restaurant space best known for housing Grange Hall (and, more recently, Blue Mill) — and it’s not highfalutin mixologist Sasha Petraske, who’d previously said he was interested. Nope, the new guy is Harold Moore, a chef who’s worked for some of New York’s top French toques. Josh Ozersky explains at Grub Street. Harold Moore of March to Take Over Grange Hall-Blue Mill Space [Grub Street]
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    Colson Whitehead Likes Meat We all know how to eat breakfast like a champion. Lunching like a MacArthur genius, or dining like a novelist, well, those are less clear-cut endeavors. It’s a good thing, then, that Colson Whitehead — MacArthur genius, novelist, Fort Greene resident — chronicled a week in his eating life for Grub Street. The man is an admitted fan of “any sort of meat-in-dough combo — whether it’s hot dogs or wontons or pork tacos,” but there’s lots more in there, too. Check it out on Grub Street. Colson Whitehead Is a Big Fan of Meat Inside Dough [Grub Street]
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    Ted Zagat to Leave the Family Business Grub Street is breaking the news that guidebook scion Ted Zagat is leaving his parents’ Zagat Survey LLC, where he’s been the company’s president and COO. Writes Grub’s Daniel Maurer: He joined the company to “‘spearhead the launch of its nightlife guides’ and eventually ‘moved his way up the company ladder’ before ‘calling it a day.’” There’s more at Grub Street. Junior Zagat Resigns [Grub Street]
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    New York Critics May Not Love Gordon Ramsay, But British Gays DoLondon superchef Gordon Ramsay opened his New York outpost in November, and critics have not been kind, faulting its food, its service, and its design. But Pink News, a British gay news service, may have identified a larger problem. Ramsay has apparently been ranked one of Britain’s Top 50 gay icons, which would mean his West 54th Street location puts Gordon Ramsay at the London about 35 blocks north of its ideal location. It’s part of Grub Street’s continuing coverage of the (avowedly heterosexual) Mr. Ramsay. Gordon Ramsay, Gay Icon [Grub Street]
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    The Art of Making a Restaurant Yes, yes: We know it’s not easy to put something together. (Every minor detail is a major decision, etc.) But just how hard is it to open a new restaurant in the big, bad city? To find out, Grub Street has enlisted Sam Mason, the onetime pastry chef at wd-50 who’s opening his own restaurant in March, to file a weeklyish status report. In today’s installment, Mason opens his new kitchen toys and considers the profundities of garbage. It’s at Grub Street. Sam Mason Reckons With Garbage [Grub Street]
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    ‘New York’ Critic Loves Hot New Restaurant to DeathYou’ve heard, of course, of the Sports Illustrated Curse: That teams or players featured on the mag’s cover inevitably don’t perform as well as they’re expected to. We’re now forced to wonder if there’s a similar Adam Platt Curse, as Dona, a restaurant New York’s esteemed chief food critic named one of the city’s best newcomers in the current issue, and helmed by a chef, Michael Psilakis, Platt picked as an up-and-comer to watch, has announced it will be closing after Saturday night. Josh Ozersky has the scoop — and more details — at Grub Street. Dona Closing Saturday [Grub Street]
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    Food, Glorious Food!It may or may not be the most wonderful time of the year, but there is no doubt it is the most well-fed time of the year. Indeed, we’re all busy shoveling so much stuff into our mouths this month, we may not give proper consideration to what’s coming out of it. Fortunately, New York food critic Adam Platt is here to help. How is ravenous different from famished? Stuffed different from sated? Platt considers twenty terms for degrees of hungriness, and he ranks them all on his Gobbler Scale of Rabid Food Consumption. It’s at Grub Street. The Scale of Rabid Food Consumption, From Ravenous to Blacked Out [Grub Street]
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    Charlie Rose Stole Their Chicken (and That’s Not a Euphemism, Sadly)Yes, yes. We all know boldfaced names often get preferential treatment, and we know that loyal regulars do, too. So it’s no particularly great surprise that when Charlie Rose waltzes into a neighborhood joint in the West Village, he’ll be favored and flattered a bit. But recently, Rose went a step further, “accidentally” receiving nearly immediately upon his arrival a roasted chicken destined for — and long-ago ordered by — other diners. Here’s the truly delicious part: The patrons whose dinner he droit du seigneured were none other than New York’s Underground Gourmets, Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld. At Grub Street, read their tale of woe — and remember that the pen is always mightier than a fawning maître d’. Charlie Rose, Chicken Thief [Grub Street]
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    Openings! Openings!Tired of eating at the same handful of places? (Aren’t we all?) Well, good news then. Grub Street’s got word of two big new restaurants coming to the ol’ Apple. First, “haute southern favorite” Lola has finally gotten itself a new Soho space, a liquor license to go with it, and even a famous chef; look for a February opening. Plus, Hearth chef Marco Canora has announced he’ll be opening a new Italian spot in midtown; it’s set for March. The Grubbies have the details, and now we’re hungry. Lola Scores Liquor License, Teary-Eyed ‘Top Chef’ [Grub Street] Hearth’s Marco Canora Opening Two Restaurants in One [Grub Street]
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    Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Waiting Tables at Stanton SocialYou know you’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a waiter at Stanton Social. (No, really. You have. Just stick with us on this.) Well, today’s your lucky day! Grub Street talked to Jason Raines, an actor-waiter, and Jason revealed what to drink when you’re with Robert Downey Jr., what it takes to get your check comped, and why Jessica Alba was the restaurant’s poster child, if briefly. Stanton Social’s Jason Raines Will Comp Your Meal If Customers Make Out Near You [Grub Street]
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    It’s a Beautiful Day in Gordon Ramsay’s Neighborhood So let’s say a superstar British chef comes to New York, and let’s say he opens up a new restaurant right around the corner from your apartment. That’d be a good thing for you, right? Wrong, if you live behind Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant at the London NYC. Residents of the building backing up against the hotel have been complaining about incessant noise and unpleasant odors from the restaurant’s exhaust fans. Today Grub Street investigated, and the results aren’t pretty. Some view, eh? We Spot-Check Gordon Ramsay’s Stink [Grub Street]
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    Hot-Dog Recession Ends; Hot-Dog Inflation Rampant! It kills us to give George Bush credit for this, but apparently the recession is over. What recession, you ask? No idea. But the price of Gray’s Papaya’s omnipresent “Recession Special” has finally been raised, from $2.75 to $3.50. (Such inflation on your watch, Bush? So much for fiscal conservatism.) It seems this is part of a general Gray’s price hike — the standard dog jumped at the start of this month from 95 cents to $1.25 — and, indeed, just a symptom of a much larger hot-dog inflationary trend. Grub Street reports this sad Gray’s news — and rounds up what a dog will set you back at nearly every frankfurter emporium in the city. We’d tell you how the inventory was assembled, but, trust us, you don’t want to know how the list was made. Bummer Indeed: Gray’s Papaya Finally Raises Prices [Grub Street]
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    All the Petraske You’ve Been Dreaming OfHow many openings has Grub Street broken in the last 24 hours? So many we’ve nearly lost count. First was news of a new Sasha Petraske saloon, this one to forgo the mixology maven’s usual carefully constructed cocktails for beer and wine. Next was the report that Amalia, the restaurant and lounge scheduled to open a few weeks ago in the Dream Hotel, won’t awaken there till late January. (But Grub’s got renderings now!) Finally came one more bit of Petraskiana: The Milk and Honey and Little Branch proprietor wants to add food to his empire, aiming to open a restaurant in the old Grange Hall space in the West Village. Need to know more? It’s all on Grub Street. Milk and Honey Owner to Do Wine and Beer — and Queens! [Grub Street] Dream Hotel’s Restaurant Still a Dream, But Opening in January [Grub Street] Sasha Petraske to Take on Fine Dining, Too [Grub Street]
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    To Boldly Go Where No Toque Has Gone BeforeYou thought NASA wanted to establish a base on the moon just to further the causes of science and exploration? Hardly. The space race is back, baby, and this time the enemies challenging America’s rightful dominance are — zut alors! the French. Pardon? That’s right. Apparently bored of Tang and freeze-dried ice cream, NASA will soon be sending astronauts to space with meals crafted by Rachael Ray. The cheese-eating surrender monkeys, however, have contributed menus to the International Space Station, via the European Space Agency, by none other than multi-Michelin’d Alain Ducasse. Grub Street has the details — and, now that the battle is joined, will no doubt imminently have news of France’s surrender. Ducasse, Ray Feeding Astronauts [Grub Street]
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    Floating Bar-Restaurant to Leave Its Pier, TooSpeaking of long-tenured tenants of the Hudson River piers: The Frying Pan, that floating West Chelsea institution docked for years at Pier 63, is finally sailing off into the night. The 1929 lightship that houses the bar and café is being forced from its mooring as the city rebuilds that section of Hudson River Park, reports Daniel Maurer at Grub Street. Will that leave the pan permanently unfried? Oh, no, far from it. Grub Street’s got the goods. City Sinks Beloved Party Vessel; New Location in the Works [Grub Street]
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    Eating on a Jet Plane Think there are no new ways left to demonstrate that you have much, much too much money? Think again. As Grub Street’s Daniel Maurer reports, there’s now a service — Jet Dining, it’s called — that will pick you up, fly you across the country in a private jet, get you a dinner reservation at the restaurant of your choice, and drop you back home in time to wake the kids up for school the next morning. And it’s only a mere $30,000 to try the new Batali restaurant in Los Angeles tomorrow night. The cost of the meal is included in the tab, but there’s no word on whether the Jet Dining can score you a last-minute table at Per Se. Curious about other trips? It’s all at Grub Street. Got $25,000? A Learjet and a Table at Mozza Await [Grub Street]
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    Make Burgers, Not War Love greasy fast-food burgers but hate the guilty residue of knowing the multinational corporation producing your patty is destroying the world and exploiting its employees? Well, boy, are you in luck! Joe Bastianich, the less Batalian half of the Babbo–Del Posto ownership team, has a brilliant new idea for a sustainable, progressive burger joint. Tentatively called Heritage Burger, it’ll be run as a nonprofit. Josh Ozersky has all the details at Grub Street. Joe Bastianich Has a Hamburger Dream [Grub Street]
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    Vegas, Vegas, It’s a Helluva Town Tired of going away for a weekend and having that vacation spot feel, you know, different from home? Then it’s your lucky day. Because God forbid Las Vegas should have any indigenous cuisine, Grub Street’s Daniel Maurer broke news yesterday that potentially three more noted New York restaurateurs will be joining the other big-name, franchised eateries in Sin City. Soon, it seems, you’ll be able to gamble and ogle showgirls (do they even still have showgirls in Vegas?) while dining Terrance Brennan’s Artisanal, Jeffery Chodorow’s Asia de Cuba, or François Payard’s Payard Patisserie. Grub Street’s got the details. Terrance Brennan to Make Vegas Just a Little Bit Cheesier? [Grub Street] Chodorow and Payard May Also Ride Gravy Train to Vegas [Grub Street]
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    Smoked Versus Fried: You Make the Call! You know you like smoked food. (Mmm … ribs; mmm … lox.) And you know you like deep-fried food. (Mmm … well, anything.) But it takes a craftily hungry mind like Grub Streeter Daniel Maurer’s to carefully consider a question you never would have thought to ask: Is the same bit of food better when smoked or deep-fried? Daniel enlisted two Park Slopers in his quest — Biscuit’s Josh Cohen smokes and ChipShop’s Chris Sell fries — and they’ve been testing everything from PB&J to sushi. And in this morning’s climax, they face off over White Castle sliders. Which method comes out on top? Take a ride on Grub Street’s Trans-Fat Express to find out. Biscuit Battles ChipShop: Is PB&J Better Fried or Smoked? Biscuit Battles ChipShop, Part Two: Is Sushi Better Fried or Smoked? Biscuit Battles ChipShop, Part Three: Are White Castles Better Fried or Smoked?
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    Google Opens New Cafeteria, Induces Mass Jealousy Google moved its New York headquarters into the old Port Authority building in Chelsea a few months ago, and this week its fabled cafeteria finally opened. Grub Street has Wednesday’s opening-day menu, and, well, let’s just say we’re no longer quite as enamored of 444 Madison’s (usually) beloved Inhouse Nosh Café. Hanger steak, striped bass, ice cream imported from the Bay Area — and that’s just the beginning. Check out the whole thing at Grub Street. New Google Cafeteria Crushes Competitors’ Cafeterias [Grub Street]
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    And Adam Platt Saw the Beef, and It Was GoodNew York is teeming with big-deal new steakhouses these days, and New York’s venerable restaurant critic, Adam Platt, has been eating at most of them. Thinking of adding your own offering to the meaty mix? Absolutely free of charge, Platt tells you how to do it right. Over on Grub Street, it’s the Gobbler’s Nine Commandments of New York Steakhouses, running from the first course (“Thou shalt serve a crappy shrimp cocktail”) to the last (“Thou shalt serve very large, though tedious desserts”), with many stops along the way. What are the other seven commandments? Check them out on Grub Street. The Nine Steakhouse Commandments [Grub Street]
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    Another Openin’It’s all openings all the time, it seems, at Grub Street this morning. Fatty Crabber Zak Pelaccio isn’t going national, Josh Ozersky reports, but he is going international — taking over an Alain Ducasse restaurant in London and launching a Malaysian place there. Rob and Robin, meantime, bring news that carb impresario Maury Rubin is expanding his empire with two new Manhattan branches of Birdbath, his ecofriendly bakery. And Josh also has word of changes in Michael Psilakis’s Greek-food empire, including the reinvention of one restaurant and the creation of another. It’s all on Grub Street. Zak Pelaccio Opening New Restaurant — in London [Grub Street] Ecofriendly Bakery Suddenly Bent on World Domination [Grub Street] Michael Psilakis Aims for A-List With Midtown Opening [Grub Street]
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    Mario Batali, Slowly RoastedWe confess we’ve been a bit confused all along about why there was a big-deal celebrity roast scheduled for Mario Batali: Aren’t these sorts of things usually reserved for comedians? We always thought so. But somehow last night’s for-charity skewering of the chubby chef at Capitale became one of the big high-profile parties of the week. Roasters included Sarah Silverman, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and Anthony Bourdain. Josh Ozersky was there, too, and he reports the night’s best jibes at Grub Street. Mario Batali Is a Kobe Human, and Other Great Lines From His Roast [Grub Street]
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    Grub Street Pigs Out Cesare Casella, the chef at the West Village’s Maremma, is creating his own breed of pig, and Grub Street’s Josh Ozersky is more than a little obsessed. On Monday, Grubbie Josh hitched a ride with Casella and a crew of other leading city chefs to head upstate and visit Stonewall Preserve, where this genetics experiment is happening. They met the pigs, and they ate one. What did they think? And who was there? Head over to Grub Street for the story. Cesare Casella Invents a New Pig! [Grub Street] Earlier: Chef Plans to Build a Better Big [Grub Street]
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    Platt Reviews Hearst Cafeteria; Mag-Food Aficionados Rejoice There’s a not insignificant population of this city that actually stops to consider the relative merits of magazine-company cafeterias. (We know, for example, that we need to try Hearst and the new second-string Condé at 750 Third, and that we really ought to recheck Time & Life, which we were always fond of but haven’t been to in years. Oh, and that some of the best shrimp cocktail you’ll ever eat comes at Newsweek-catered events.) These wacky folks (ahem) can tell you what’s good at one place and bad at another, who’s got the best prices, and — in the most extreme cases — on which days you’ll get which specials. So why shouldn’t there be professional critics reviewing these places, too? Finally, there are! On Grub Street, Adam Platt gives his evaluation of the new Hearst cafeteria, located in the Norman Foster–designed Hearst Tower, catered by Restaurant Associates, and boasting sushi every day. Is it enough to lure him away from 444 Madison and our little, beloved In-House Nosh Café? Click over to Grub Street to find out. The Gobbler Visits the New Hearst Cafeteria, Finds Chiseled Cheekbones [Grub Street]
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    French Chefs Prep for Marathon the Way Americans Prep for Heart Failure So how does a team of French chefs in town for the marathon prepare for the big race? By eating, of course. But we’re not talking old-school, spaghetti-dinner carb-loading. No, these guys — sponsored, we kid you not, by the French tripe council — are spending three days wolfing down enough butter and cream to keep us from walking much farther than to the bathroom, let alone running 26 miles. Their full gastro-itinerary? Josh Ozersky’s got it at Grub Street. French Chefs Prepare for New York Marathon With Eating Marathon [Grub Street]
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    Daniel Picketed! When you drop $216 on dinner for two – that’s with one drink and a tip, of course – you naturally expect what Zagat reviewers have dubbed a “luxurious temple” of “fine dining” where the “flawless” New French fare is “enthralling,” the wines “wonderful,” service “seamless,” and the “exquisite room” “adorned with gorgeous flowers.” What you might less expect, however, is a “labor war” “brewing” “out front.” But that’s just what diners at Daniel – a 28/28/28, if you’re keeping track at home – discovered when they arrived Tuesday night. Grubbie Josh Ozersky explains that Mr. Boulud is battling a group called the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, and he lays out the terms of the battle on Grub Street. Daniel Under Attack! (Again) [Grub Street]
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    The Tea Room Is Coming! The Tea Room Is Coming! The Russian Tea Room most recently closed four years ago. It’s most recently returning this week, opening for a soft launch on Wednesday and taking its first reservations for Friday night. And today our very own Grub Street scores the first pictures of the caviar emporium; rest assured, there’s still a juggling bear. First Look Inside the Russian Tea Room [Grub Street]
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    Be Thin Like Adam Platt How does a restaurant critic — a man whose very vocation requires him to eat prodigiously — stay lithe and slim? (And how can the rest of us get a job where weighing in at 225 is considered “slim”?) In his most recent Gobbler contribution to Grub Street, New York’s leviathan of a professional eater, Adam Platt, shares the trade secrets for keeping in shape. Remember, he says, that nutritionists are your friends and that bread baskets are your enemies. There are more tips where that came from; just take a run down Grub Street. How a Restaurant Critic Diets [Grub Street]
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    When Chefs Wish Upon a Star…Allons, enfants de la patrie, le jour de Michelin est arrivé! That’s right, enfants, the new New York Michelin rankings came out yesterday, and it’s good to be Per Se, Le Bernardin, or Jean Georges — the city’s only three-star establishments. There are plenty of reasons for people to be happy, but also plenty of things to grumble about. Down on Grub Street, Josh Ozersky gives his take on the red book’s choices — and he gets some chefs, including starry Eric Ripert, to weigh in, too. Michelin’s Explosive New Red Book [Grub Street] Chefs Curse, Bless New Michelin Guide [Grub Street]
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    Queens Food Cart Wins Big at Vendys; Berlin FallsSunday night was the high point of the year for aficionados of our fair city’s fairly delicious street food. That’s right, it was the 2nd Annual Vendy Awards, which names the city’s most outstanding food vendor. The winner was Samiul Haque Noor, who runs Sammy’s Halal in Queens, where, according to his nomination, “the secret spices in this man’s chicken … have the entire South Asian community of Jackson Heights lining up for more.” But anyone could tell you that. Over at Grub Street, Josh Ozersky checked in with the outgoing Mr. Vendor, Rolf Babiel of Hallo Berlin, who looked back on his year of service and regretted that the experience wasn’t a little more like being Miss Universe. (In context, it actually makes sense.) Take a walk down Grub Street for the whole story. Last Year’s Vendy Winner Envies Miss Universe [Grub Street]
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    Beer, Glorious Beer Over at Grub Street, Josh Ozersky, Grubber-in-chief, has pointed us to what might be the single best thing going on in New York this weekend — or, for that matter, ever. It’s the Brewtopia Great World Beer Festival, and it’s at the Javits Center today and tomorrow. It costs $60 to get in, as we understand it, and then it’s all you can drink. And, hell, that’s cheaper than our average weekend-night bar tab, which is certainly not all you can drink. (Well, at least not de jure, anyway.) Grub’s got the full info. Beer-Fueled Madness at Javits Center This Weekend [Grub Street]
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