The Cleveland’s Garden Reopens; Brunch at Pasar Malam

The Cleveland has reopened the lovely garden portion of its restaurant and will soon host weekly chef dinners. [Grub Street]

Ichimura at Brushstroke just completed a renovation, and it's now sectioned off from the rest of the restaurant. [Grub Street]

• Williamsburg's new Malaysian-night-market-inspired eatery, Pasar Malam, launches brunch this weekend, with an oyster omelette and egg-wrapped burger. [Grub Street]

The Brooklyn Kitchen and Victorinox Swiss Army are hosting an event called the State of Meat in New York from 7 to 9 p.m. on July 30. The panel includes Daniel Humm and Tom Mylan; tickets cost $20. [Grub Street]

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Extremely Rare Japanese Dessert Coming to Kajitsu for Four Days Only

Just remember, Kajitsu is closed on Mondays.Photo: Kajitsu

As we’ve already mentioned, this is the height of cold-noodle season, and connoisseurs might want to stick around town this steamy weekend to experience perhaps the rarest variety: kuzukiri, the chilled noodle dessert made from kudzu and water and served with black sugar syrup. The arguably most famous version can be found at Kagizen, a nearly three-centuries-old confectionery shop in Kyoto. For the first time, the venerable shop will be preparing it off-site, at Kajitsu in Murray Hill, from Saturday, July 26, through Wednesday, July 30 (closed Monday), from 1 to 4:30 p.m. This is very big news for the expat community and all lovers of esoteric Asian desserts. More details here. [Official site, Related]

Williamsburg’s Next Starbucks Will Serve Beer and Wine

Coming to 154 North 7th Street.

Back in March, Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz outlined plans to bring goat cheese flatbread and chardonnay to "thousands of stores" in the form of Starbucks Evenings, the coffee chain's attempt to almost double its market value to $100 billion by proving its mettle in truffled macaroni and cheese and various other small plates. It looks like Williamsburg's decidedly humdrum first Starbucks will soon be joined by another, at 154 North 7th Street, but that one will benefit from the added pizzazz of beer, wine, and most likely more savory food. The chain will appear next month at a community board meeting to explain its plans in full — the CB1 Brooklyn agenda confirms Starbucks by name —  which hopefully include parmesan chicken skewers, because Williamsburg doesn't have enough of those. [DNAinfo, Related]

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This Weekend Is Your Last Chance to Go to Rodeo Bar

R.I.P.

After 27 years in business, Rodeo Bar must close because of a steep increase in rent. This Sunday will actually be the last night for honkey-tonk: At 9 p.m., the Dirty Water Dogs and "many special guests" will pour one out for the New York institution. [Earlier, EV Grieve]

Cupcake Truck Accused of Anti-Semitism Might Want to Go Back to Tweeting About Frosting

According the one tweet, the truck went out of business in April of 2013.Photo: Cupcake Crew/Facebook

Someone who's been put in charge of the official account of Cupcake Crew, a one-time Vendy Award finalist that proclaims it "bakes with love daily" and may or may not be a defunct business, seemingly has an itchy Twitter finger and lots of hateful opinions. At least since January, the business has been firing off rantlike messages fairly regularly, and this week it delved right into the Israel-Palestine conflict, instead of sticking to topics like, say, red velvet or buttercream. "Ironically what the Zionist pigs are doing to Palestinian Arabs today is exactly what Hitler and the Nazi's did to them #FreePalestine," read one tweet, since deleted, but there are more.

"You people nuts. No hate against anyone ever." »

Shake Shack May Next Be Headed to Williamsburg

Shake Shack is opening on Flatbush Avenue next month.Photo: Jed Egan

Outposts of Parm and Umami Burger are already opening at North 4th Street and Bedford Avenue, and this morning, word started to spread that Danny Meyer's Shake Shack had signed for a space at North 4th Street and Berry, a residential building that will have at least three commercial tenants on the ground floor. (Starbucks opened nearby this week, chain-wise, but no one seems at all excited about that.) Specifically, the "head construction guy" at the site told Free Williamsburg that Shake Shack was moving in.

"We're huge fans of Williamsburg ... " »

Russia Declares War on McDonald’s Burgers, Filet-O-Fish, and Pretty Much Everything Else on the Menu

Better stick to Rusburger.

Russia's McDonald's outlets (424 total) will be serving Vlad-knows-what if Rospotrebnadzor, the government's consumer protection agency, gets its way. The authority has essentially asked the court to declare the fast-food chain's salads, cheeseburgers, "Royal" burgers, Chickenburgers, Filet-O-Fish, milkshakes, and ice-cream desserts with fruit toppings illegal because of "inappropriate physical-chemical and microbiological parameters." (In a surprise move, however, the watchdog group has determined that Big Macs are okay.)

Russians say they want the chain out altogether. »

Ding Dong Lounge Will Close July 31

Punk's still not dead.Photo: Shanna Ravindra

The dimly lit and grungy Ding Dong Lounge, which has for 13 years been home to several generations of punk rock show flyers plastered to the walls, a vintage Ms. Pac-Man console, and $2 happy hour cans of Genesee Cream Ale, will close on July 31. The bar, once described by Gothamist as the only dive bar "doing its best to create the kind of crappy atmosphere we desperately desire in our watering holes," is planning to relocate, and is shutting down despite a steady influx of customers. "The Ding has lost its lease. Victim to landlord greed, avarice, and douchebaggery," writes Linda Rizzo, a DJ at the space.

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What to Eat at Bar Sardine, Now Open and Serving a $10 Burger

The Fedora Burger with smoked cheddar, crispy potatoes, cucumbers, and barbecue mayo.Photo: Melissa Hom

Last night, Gabriel Stulman opened Bar Sardine on West 10th Street — the former home to Chez Sardine. As part of this restaurant redo, Stulman has ditched the Japanese concept in favor of a classic, all-American bar. Chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly's menu includes a nice mix of hearty and healthy foods: Cod fritters, arctic-char tartare, Gruyère grilled cheese with beer mustard, and, notably, a $10 burger with smoked Cheddar and barbecue mayo. Renovations include a bigger bar in the center of the room and a drink rail along the windows, where you can order cocktails like Supply & Demand Julep (with rye, peach, lemon, and mint), or choose from four different bottles of rosé. Take a look, straight ahead.

Smoked-bird rillette. »

Year-Old Grace Bar Closes in Murray Hill

Pizza and cocktails are coming in next.

Grace Gaelic Hospitality opened last September, offering a menu of drinks devised by a posse of illustrious women bartenders known for their work at places like Raines Law Room, Clover Club, Death & Co., and a number of other great bars, but apparently the concept just didn't work for the space. "They could never fill the restaurant side and were consistently losing money," an employee tells Eater. The bar has now closed; its owners will reopen as something called Nick's Pizza Bar, a brick-oven-based sibling of sorts to lower Manhattan's Harry's Italian Pizza Bar. [Thirsty, Eater]

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Mick Jagger Dines at Marea; Taylor Swift Goes Vegan at Angelica Kitchen

The original.Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

In this week's installment of Celebrity Settings, stars flocked to Marea: Mick Jagger, Peter Frampton, Roger Daltrey, and Fran Drescher all dined separately at Michael White's seafood restaurant. Others enjoyed more low-key ice-cream outings to beat the sweltering heat — Jenny McCarthy ate a sundae at Carmine's, and Lena Dunham ordered vanilla ice-cream. Read all about it, straight ahead.

Frampton comes alive at Marea! »

Singer-Songwriter Somi Stays Fresh With Kale, Blueberries, and Callaloo

"We ended up doing a late round of drinks and brussels sprout tacos."Photo: Melissa Hom

"I moved to Harlem because I loved the fact that there was so much African fare here," says Somi, an acclaimed East African vocalist and songwriter. "Even if the food's not straight African, I love that it’s inspired by African heritage and culture and flavors." Somi, now a pescetarian after 18 years of vegetarianism, was born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganda, spent a portion of her childhood in Zambia, and holds a degree in anthropology and African studies. She also recently spent 18 months in Lagos, Nigeria, — the inspiration for her upcoming album The Lagos Music Salon, out August 5. Learn where to get stuffed avocado and shop for African spices and teas in this week's Grub Street Diet.

"...an actual blend of teas from my family's village in Uganda!" »

07/24/14

Bar Sardine Opens; Cherry’s Williamsburg Location

Bar Sardine officially opened today in the former Chez Sardine space at 183 West 10th Street. The menu includes modern twists on bar snacks, like herbed French fries with mustard-maple aïoli. This weekend, it'll open at 2 p.m., but moving forward, it'll be open starting at noon. [Grub Street]

• Chelsea Japanese restaurant Cherry will open its Williamsburg location, Cherry Izakaya, tomorrow, July 25, at 138 North 8th Street. The vibe is more casual, with shareable dishes like duck kumquat gyoza. [DNAinfo]

• Mexican-Spanish restaurant El Paso on Houston Street has shuttered after several decades in business. [JVNY]

Is Richard Blais’s Cat Food Ad the Biggest Reach Ever for a Top Chef Endorsement Deal?

Fancy Feast put Richard Blais to work on his own line of cat food, and the fruits of that labor are now just in. By the looks of it, the Top Chef franchise regular's approach seems to have been relatively hands-off, and the conversation only finally turns to food when his "broths" randomly show up in the mail 90 seconds into the commercial. "I know a good broth when I see it," says Blais, who we note does not actually taste the broth. In terms of subject material in relation to the chef, this one goes pretty far beyond Fabio Viviani's shill for Domino’s "Artisan" pies, way past Edward Lee's side work for Colonel Sanders, and probably even edges out Spike Mendelsohn's efforts to extoll the virtues of prescription acid reflux medication.

Blais busts out the tweezers. »

What to Eat at Corkbuzz’s New Chelsea Market Outpost

Cured sardines.Photo: Melissa Hom

Master sommelier Laura Maniec opens her second location of Corkbuzz tonight in Chelsea Market — specifically, near the 15th Street entrance. It's a wine bar, first and foremost, but the food menu is quite different from the original Union Square location. A Voce alum Missy Robbins has collaborated with Maniec on dishes like veal tartare with lardo, a foie-gras-and-jelly sandwich, cured sardines with tomato conserva and sesame, and to-go snacks for long walks on the High Line. (Robbins is only onboard temporarily, though.) There's already a third location in the works: Maniec will open Corkbuzz 3.0 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Take a look at a few of the dishes and the space, straight ahead.

Wine time. »

Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Bar Sardine, a New Corkbuzz, and More

Photo: iStockphoto

Each week, Grub Street surveys the entire restaurant landscape of New York, crunches the numbers, and comes up with this: a list of the most-talked-about, must-visit places in the city. They might be new, or they could be older places that have gotten a recent jolt of buzz. No matter what, these are the restaurants where you should make a point to eat sooner rather than later.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Will Sic More Aggressive Cashiers on Afternoon Customers

Perhaps a bagel with that doughnut?

In an interview today, Dunkin' Donuts CEO Nigel Travis basically gave the chain's customers advance notice to prepare for all kinds of pitches and spiels the next time they pop in for their mid-afternoon Coolatta. Unlike the morning crowd, who prefer quickly delivered coffee and carbs and to get the hell out, Dunkin's afternoon customers "are in a slightly different mode," he says, which the chain now hopes will translate into more turkey sausage sandwiches and other items to offset rising prices. Doughnuts will migrate from the racks behind the counter up front into conspicuous, miniature pastry cases, the idea being that proximity to rainbow sprinkles wears away customers' self-restraint, and we're sure someone's also done a behavioral study on the optimal way to up-sell Munchkins. "Franchisees are kind of excited about it," Travis says. [AP/PPH]

Angry Tweeting Chef Will Develop His Own Kitchen Nightmares-esque Show

Going places.Photo: Bravo

Dallas chef John Tesar, of recent enraged-Twitter-meltdown fame, has signed a deal with a production company to assemble a show in which he makes "Gordon Ramsay style visits to restaurants and helps them improve their game." However, Tesar says he's not looking to follow in Ramsay's screaming, fear-inducing footsteps, but rather come off as more of a nurturing role model, and — of course — address things like the "decreasing impact" of professional food critics. "It would be me going to a restaurant and help fix it up, but I want it to be interesting and not just a guy who yells in a kitchen," he says, adding that he also needs to "do a few preliminary things like get with an entertainment attorney." [CultureMap Dallas, Related]

Let’s Talk About This Cake Batter That Comes in a Spray Can

These are for the oven.

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that people are way excited about Spray Cake, an aerosolized can of on-demand organic cake batter invented by two Harvard undergrads, Brooke Nowakowski and John McCallum. Its instructions are simple — "Just add heat" — and the product stays "fresh," meaning you can have insta-cupcakes for weeks if you ration it out. Cakes cook in a minute and cupcakes take less time; you can use the microwave or a conventional oven and it's really that simple, as the start-up's ad demonstrates through the power of interpretative dance.

"We were kind of surprised it hadn't been done before ..." »

5 More Things You Need to Know About the NoMad Bar’s Cocktail Explosions

Bring some friends.Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

Earlier today we took a look at what goes into one of Leo Robitschek’s Cocktail Explosions — the large-format Big Gulps served in supersize spigot jars filled with crushed ice. (For the drink that Robitschek calls a Madison Park Smash, pictured, that would be eight ounces of Pierre Ferrand cognac, eight ounces of Royal Combier liqueur, six ounces of lemon juice, two ounces of Demerara syrup, about an ounce of Angostura bitters, and 200 ounces by volume of crushed ice, not to mention six lemons and a quarter pound of mint for garnish.) Not exactly a quick one for the road. Here’s the NoMad drinks czar himself to further explain the thing.

Read more »

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