Calories to Show Up on Menus Starting March 31; Mercury Levels Horrifically HighThe Board of Health decided yesterday in a unanimous vote to make all chain restaurants with fifteen or more outlets – approximately 10 percent of the city’s restaurants – post calorie info on their menus starting March 31. RIP, 1,230-calorie triple Whopper with cheese. [CNN]
Laboratory tests run on sushi samples from twenty Manhattan stores and restaurants revealed shockingly high levels of mercury in bluefin tuna, so high that the FDA could technically take the fish off the market. And if you’ve got to have your tuna sushi, you’d best head to Fairway and avoid Blue Ribbon Sushi at all costs. [NYT]
Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl is “obsessed with” Momofuku Ssäm Bar, “like everyone else in New York,” according to her. [TONY]
apropos of nothing
‘Ratatouille’ Will Probably Not Be Nominated for Best PictureRatatouille may be one of the year’s highest grossing movies. It may have a higher Metascore than Pulp Fiction, Raging Bull, and Schindler’s List. But, as the New York Times asks this morning, does it really have a shot at a nomination for a Best Picture Oscar?
Stars Sate Our Curiosity at the ‘No Reservations’ PremiereNo Reservations, the new movie where Catherine Zeta-Jones plays (history’s most gorgeous) chef, had a prescreening last night, and Justin Ravitz was there to take down the red-carpet thoughts of the principals and attendees. The movie’s stew of rom-com clichés, from the hard-talking but vulnerable lady boss to the brash young hunk who breaks down her defenses, was tired when the Automat opened, so our questions ranged far outside of the kitchen, and so did the answers (Abigail Breslin? Just too cute). Aaron Eckhart said that he doesn’t know about the “cool and popular” new restaurants, citing Raoul’s as his favorite place to eat. Now there’s a sentiment we have “no reservations” about.
See pictures and quotes from Catherine Zeta-Jones, Katie Lee Joel, Aaron Eckhart, Alto chef Michael White, and others from the No Reservations premiere in Party Lines [NYM]
Vongerichten Sued by Ex-Waiters; Subway Complies With Calorie LawSix former employees of V Steakhouse file a class-action suit against Jean-Georges Vongerichten for the usual reasons: sub-minimum wage and garnished tips. “We were kind of given the idea that the waitstaff is dispensable, that there were a million people who would come in and do your job.” [NYDN]
Unlike the other fast-food chains, who have adamantly resisted the calorie-posting law, Subway has already started to implement it. [Consumerist]
Healthy zombies should do their best to follow the zombie food pyramid, which calls for six to eleven servings of brains every day, and only sparing amounts of bones and gristle. [Serious Eats]
Chefs Are All Over ‘Ratatouille’; Allen and Delancey May Open AfterChefs say “Ratatouille gets it, it totally gets chef culture.” Even Tony Bourdain is onboard, calling it “the best restaurant movie ever made — the best chef movie.” [Ruhlman]
Related: How Much Thomas Keller Is Really in ‘Ratatouille’’s Remy?
Allen and Delancey may be coming back. Or rather, opening for the first time. [Eater]
Related: Allen and Delancey Tripped at the Finish Line, Won’t Open
The good people of Iowa may not get the whole niche-pork thing, but they are happy to supply the product. [Des Moines Register]
The Pearl Oyster Suit Not Just About Lobster Rolls; Salman and Padma FinallyThere’s more to the Pearl Oyster Bar suit than the poaching of lobster-roll recipes or wainscoting; Rebecca Charles accuses Ed McFarland of what amounts to corporate espionage. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Related: Ed’s Lobster Bar to Pearl Oyster Bar: Step Off!
It’s finally official: Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi are bust-o. A source close to both suggests two of the possible reasons: Rushdie is “totally self-centered,” and Lakshmi “incredibly dull.” [Daily India]
PDT’s combination of conspicuous secrecy and promotional exertion is basically ridiculous. “It kind of gives you the idea that you’re the only one who knows about a place. But once you look around and are like, ‘What are all these people from New Jersey doing here?’ — obviously, you’re not.” [NYP]
Back of the House
How Much Thomas Keller Is Really in ‘Ratatouille’’s Remy?
Pixar’s Ratatouille owned the nation’s box offices this past weekend, a tribute both to its makers and the country’s seemingly inexhaustible appetite for shows about cooks and cooking. Ratatouille’s pedigree on this score is as impeccable as Pixar money could make it: The studio hired Thomas Keller of the French Laundry and Per Se as a consultant. The title dish which the movie’s rat hero Remy and his human assistant Linguini make is actually one that was served in the French Laundry. And, according to somebody who should know, Remy as a chef was wholly Keller-esque.
apropos of nothing
Disney Animation, 1938: No Girls Allowed!The Beat links to an amazing pop-culture artifact: a 1938 rejection letter from Disney to a woman looking for a job as an animator. Printed on gorgeous Snow White stationery, the letter lays out the company’s policy in brutal detail:
Who Drew Those Cool Little Taste Explosions in ‘Ratatouille’?With Ratatouille hitting No. 1 on the box-office charts this past weekend — though its $47 million take notably fell short of the openings of past Pixar hits Cars and Monsters, Inc. — animator and comics artist Michael Gagné sheds light on one tiny but delightful aspect of the film.
Nobu Coming to the Hamptons; AMA Gets Behind Calorie-Posting LawOn some summer weekends, Nobu will be setting up a satellite location in the Hamptons – presumably near Howard Stern’s place. [NYP]
The American Medical Association gets behind the city’s requirement that fast-food chains post calorie and other nutritional information on their menus. Not that the chains have any intention of complying. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
Ratatouille is being hailed as an instant classic, especially for foodies: “The food is drawn and imagined so beautifully (with the help of French Laundry chef Thomas Keller, who consulted on the movie) that you walk out wishing you’d made reservations at Per Se.” [Slate]
Will ‘Ratatouille’ Be Pixar’s First Flop?Amid all the Live Free or Die Hard hoopla, it’s been easy to forget there’s another potential box-office monster opening this week: Ratatouille, the newest film from Pixar, the geniuses who have delivered a nearly uninterrupted string of artistic and commercial triumphs since 1995’s Toy Story.