Litchi Brownies Turn Up in Gramercy; Cassoulet and Cornmeal Cake in TribecaBoerum Hill: The ricotta that Lunetta sous-chef Betsy Devine makes with help from Rachel Mark from Hudson Valley Fresh milk would make for a great locavore cannoli. [Gothamist]
Gramercy: Amai Tea and Bakehouse (and its dessert blogger owner, Kelli Bernard) makes a mean litchi brownie. [NewYorkology]
Midtown West: Pure Food and Wine’s Matthew Kenney has transcended “‘tastes good for healthy food’ expectations” at his fast-food organic restaurant, Free Foods NYC, which is “like a Vermont country store” on West 45th Street. [Restaurant Girl]
Tribeca: Cercle Rouge is adding cassoulet, potatoes cooked in duck fat with garlic and porcini mushrooms, cornmeal-orange blossom cake, and other dishes from their chef’s native Toulouse from March 3 to 9. [Grub Street]
David Waltuck on Cooking in Tribeca for 30 Years; Clover Club Coming to CarrollCarroll Gardens: The Clover Club — the Smith Street cocktail spot from the Flatiron Lounge people have a sign up. Getting close! [Off the Presses]
Gramercy: Shockingly, for some cooked-food enthusiasts, “some of Pure’s dishes, and not just obvious things like salad, are downright delicious.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Greenwich Village: Somebody told somebody that a bartender at a new bar told him that Keith McNally may have put a $1 million bid on Minetta Tavern. [Eater]
Hell’s Kitchen: Video of Dave Martin concocting a special Valentine’s Day gelato to serve at Crave. [Snack]
Tribeca: David Waltuck “first got behind the stove [at Chanterelle] — and set the restaurant on its path to becoming one of the city’s most cherished — before he was 25 years old. He’s now 53.” And ready for a Q&A with Frank Bruni. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
West Village: Grom is totally coming to Bleecker Street, and they’re accepting applications now for a March opening. [Eat for Victory/VV] Was Beatrice Inn raided and shut down last night? [Down by the Hipster]
Dave Chappelle Tiffs With the Wife at Coffee Shop, ‘Entourage’-ers
This week’s juiciest bit of celeb-sighting gossip was, of course, the Post’s report that after a performer dumped a drink on Demi and Ashton, Box honcho Simon Hammerstein sent an e-mail to his partner and a GM saying, “I can’t stand those two” — apparently because they’re “so far up their own arses” and “don’t spend anything” — “and I applaud whoever spilt a drink on them.” We’re thinking Kid Rock got kinder treatment when he went to Southern Hospitality, or there would’ve been a Tommy Lee–style throwdown.
Matthew Kenney Is Alive and Well and Selling Food in MidtownEast Village: A customer who complained to the waiter who took her drink at Butter was apparently told “We’re just doing our job here” and “Look — I’m clearing a full drink right now” before being referred to as Babygirl. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Fort Greene: The Fort Greene Park Conservancy Gala Wine Tasting will be held on October 1 in the rooftop gardens of the Forte Condo project. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Hell’s Kitchen: Gaucho Steak on Tenth Avenue at 51st Street now serves egg empanadas and chocolate-banana-macadamia-nut pancakes for weekend brunch. [Grub Street]
Midtown West: Former Pure Food and Wine chef Matthew Kenney has opened a lunch spot on West 45th Street called FreeFoods NYC, and though the food isn’t free, it does come in compostable containers. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
West Village: Ruth Reichl on the haute Italian at Fiamma: “lovely experience; whether it is one that New York will want is another question.” [Choptalk/Gourmet]
The New York Diet
Novelist Porochista Khakpour Drinks the Kool-Aid at a Hare Krishna Temple
In Porochista Khakpour’s debut novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects, a coming-of-age story that may make its Iranian-American author the next Zadie Smith (the Times Book Review, Radar, and Paper are planning profiles), Khakpour, who grew up in Los Angeles before moving to New York, describes the exasperation of stern father Darius Adam at discovering that his wayward son Xerxes keeps little more than Fruity Pebbles in his Manhattan apartment. “Xerxes offered potato chips,” the passage goes, “which his father looked at as if he had never seen a Pringles can before, awestruck at his son’s supposedly adult living conditions.” Given that the novel is loosely autobiographical, we wondered about the living (and dining) conditions of the young novelist.
Ex-Ramsay Chef Taking Over Allen and Delancey; High-End Chinese Fading FastNeil Ferguson, the former chef at Gordon Ramsay, will be in charge of the kitchen at Allen and Delancey when the place finally opens in September. [NYT]
Related: Allen and Delancey Tripped at the Finish Line, Won’t Open
The city’s Chinese fine-dining restaurants are on the run, the victims of changing tastes, high costs, and slim margins. The East Side’s Sichuan Pavilion just went under, and even the genre’s grande dame, Shun Lee Palace, is now peopled mostly by seniors. [NYS]
Organic chef Matthew Kenney, best known for his acrimonious exit from Pure Food and Wine, is back in town and preparing to open a retail prepared-organic-foods business. [NYS]
Related: Raw Foodist Sarma Melngailis Drinks Grapefruit Sake Mojitos Before Noon
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]
Ask a Waiter
Pure Food and Wine’s David Moltz Hangs With Gisele, Chases Raw Foodists for Tips
David Moltz just celebrated his first anniversary as a server at raw-food mecca (and popular anniversary spot!) Pure Food and Wine. He isn’t going anywhere — at least not until his band Salt and Samovar takes off — and why would he? He’s had the opportunity to serve everyone from raw foodists such as Woody Harrelson to fellow omnivores such as Bill Clinton (“I couldn’t believe it when he walked in,” says Moltz. “He rolls with a crazy entourage.”) We asked him to spill the beans (not cooked, of course) on fussy vegheads, surprisingly friendly models, and the “hump couch” in one of the city’s most coveted gardens (now open for spring).
Back of the House
Rocket Rod Dances Back Into the River Café; Nobody Likes IlanRod Stewart, banned for life at the River Café for pulling his own “rod” out, gets readmitted after a penitential jig for owner Buzzy O’Keefe. [NYDN]
McDonald’s coffee “the cheapest and the best,” according to Consumer Reports. Of course, it was only going up against Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks. [NYDN]
Frank Bruni also thinks Marcel got the shaft in the Top Chef finale. Does Ilan have any fans in the media at all? [NYT]
What to Eat This Week
Good Eats for Fashion Plates
With Fashion Week almost here, some of you may have switched gears, thinking less about “Where can I find the perfect piece of foie gras?” and more about “How can I fit into a size 0 by Saturday?” We can’t presume to help you with that one, but we can recommend three guilt-free, non-Atkins options for eating well as the models parade into town.
What to Eat Tonight
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
With Halloween around the corner, pumpkins are everywhere — on stoops, in soups, and, of course, at the Greenmarket. (Zoe Singer tells us which ones to buy this week in At the Greenmarket.) Some of the better restaurants around town are getting into the spirit and serving up pumpkin in its many forms. Here are a few we can get behind.
The Haute Barnyard Hall of FameNew York magazine restaurant critic Adam Platt files periodic musings for Grub Street, under the pseudonym the Gobbler.
Haute Barnyard restaurants like the Tasting Room have been around for a while now, but the phrase is new — so new, in fact, that the Gobbler is the only one using it. Therefore it requires a little elaboration. All Haute Barnyard restaurants are Greenmarket establishments, of course, their menus more or less dictated by the rhythms of the season. New York’s versions of the genre, however, have evolved their own highly self-conscious style.