Adam and Oliver Platt on Critics, Chef, and Molten Chocolate Cake

Oliver Platt, channeling his critic brother Adam in Jon Favreau's new movie.Photo: Courtesy of Aldamisa Entertainment

In Jon Favreau's new movie Chef, which had its Tribeca Film Festival debut this week, Oliver Platt plays a key role as a restaurant critic — excellent casting, since Oliver just so happens to be the brother of New York's own critic, Adam Platt. The two sat down to talk about the role, how chefs and actors react to reviews, and which critics Oliver looked to when honing his character's particular breed of vitriol.

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Will Guidara and Anthony Rudolf Announce Hospitality-Focused ‘Welcome Conference’

Don't expect any chicken beheadings.

Want to learn the art of hardcore coddling? Eleven Madison Park's Will Guidara and Anthony Rudolf, former director of operations at the Thomas Keller Group, will host a conference dedicated to hospitality on June 17. The impressive list of speakers includes Charles Masson, Frank Bruni, Nick Kokonas, Gabriel Stulman, and Rita Jammet — and they'll all share ideas about how to make diners feel good. The event will take place at Cooper Union, and $125 tickets go on sale here on April 30.

Rosemary’s Carlos Suarez to Open Provencal Restaurant Claudette

Coming next month to the former Cru space.Photo: Courtesy of Claudette

More proof that New York's in the midst of a French-food revival: Carlos Suarez, owner of Bobo and Rosemary’s, is opening the Provençal-flavored Claudette next month with partner Mark Barak, an old college buddy. The restaurant will be located at 24 Fifth Avenue, the corner spot that previously housed Washington Park and Cru, and has sat empty since the closing of the ill-fated Lotus NY. Chef de cuisine Koren Grieveson, who won a Beard Award for her work at Chicago’s Avec, will collaborate on the menu with Rosemary's Wade Moises; the pair will also hop the Mediterranean to look for inspiration in North Africa and the Middle East.

Sara Jenkins Unleashes Porchetta Banh Mi

You want this.Photo: Rob Patronite

The thought that springs to mind even before you’ve had a bite of Porchetta’s brand-new porchetta bánh mì: What took so long? Jenkins, an admitted bánh mì addict, already has a porchetta taco on the rotation, so a porchetta bánh mì always seemed to us like a no-brainer. It’s true, the trusty combination most Vietnamese sandwich shops list as a No. 1, consisting of various porky mystery meats, is hard to beat. But slow-roasted heritage-breed pork loins wrapped in bellies, combined with pickled veggies, Kewpie mayo, Sriracha, jalapeño, cilantro, and a squirt of lime is pretty much a match made in sandwich-mash-up heaven. They cost $10 each and will be available Thursday through Sunday, which means you can get your hands on one today.

Not Everyone Is Happy With Coffee Company’s New Tasting-Note Wheel

Does anyone really need to describe a cup as tasting like "black tea"?

From wine to cheese, lots of people find taste descriptions on food labels pointlessly annoying, but if it's that Yirgacheffe single-origin that's bugging you, blame the Specialty Coffee Association of America's 20-year-old flavor wheel. Critics say it's like a bad thesaurus — either too vague (a "mellow," "mild" sweet?) or too technical ("leguminous," "phenolic") — and so Timothy Hill, the buyer for roaster Counter Culture, has come up with a wheel he thinks is easier to follow.

Bergamot? »

50-Story Tower May Go Up on Junior’s Site in Brooklyn

Crain's reports that JPMorgan Chase is contemplating selling the "hundreds of thousands of square feet of untapped development rights" above its MetroTech Center home, which happens to be adjacent to Junior's. In February, owner Alan Rosen announced his famous cheesecake restaurant would close in advance of demolition and construction of a new building, but vowed to reopen Junior's inside whatever goes up next on the site. (Rosen also said he'd open another restaurant in the interim to supplant the pastry shortage.) If the parcels are combined, this means the iconic Brooklyn restaurant may eventually be returning to the base of a 50-floor, 385,000-square-foot behemoth building. “Every developer in New York City is looking at this,” Stephen Palmese, a partner at Massey Knakal Realty Services, tells Crain's. [Crain's, Earlier, Related]

Watch Anthony Bourdain Talk About Jiro Ono and Excessive Drinking on Late Night

Last night, Anthony Bourdain stopped by Late Night With Seth Meyers to talk Parts Unknown, President Obama at Sukiyabashi Jiro, "child foodies," and more. On drinking in Russia, Tony says he can no longer keep up. "It's not, Am I going to vomit after this meal?" he says. "It's, Will I make it out the door before I throw up all over myself?" The TV host and writer also talks about the strangeness of ordering pay-per-view adult movies in hotel rooms that were clearly once bugged by the KGB. "I'm glad you like not just food porn," Meyers quips. "I'm glad you cover all the porns."

The video, straight ahead. »

So, What Happened to Grub Street Yesterday?

As you can probably see, we stopped posting mid-afternoon yesterday — not exactly our typical schedule. So, what happened? The short answer is that an error made during site maintenance temporarily took us down. The long answer — and Twitter reactions to the outage — can be found here. In any event, the important thing to know is that we're back in action today, ready to talk about Black Seed's bagels, a killer new bánh mì, and whatever else pops up. (Not the cat cafe, though. We just can't.)

04/23/14

Empellón Taqueria’s Next Taco Tasting; Organic Avenue’s Flagship Opens Friday

Melvin's Juice Box is offering a new menu for children: Melvin's Junior. The most popular juices and smoothies come in kid-friendly sizes. [Grub Street]

• On Monday, April 28, Empellón Taqueria will host another taco tasting dinner, which includes a margarita upon arrival. Reserve a seat here. [Grub Street]

Sotto 13 will debut its weekly Italian-style Clambake for Two on Thursday, May 1. [Grub Street]

• Grab-and-go destination Organic Avenue will open its New York flagship on April 25 at 5 Bryant Park. Menu items include a hot curried vegetable wrap, kimchi wild rice bowl, and a green bean wrap served with Romesco sauce. [Grub Street]

Suntory Whisky Made the Most Beautiful Ice Cubes Ever

That's really ice.Photo: Suntory

Japanese liquor giant Suntory commissioned more than a dozen of what are easily some of the neatest ice cubes ever made, carved from solid blocks using a computer-assisted router before being dispatched to cool two fingers each of whisky in rocks glasses. (Watch a futuristic pagoda-etching video here.) Because 3-D-printing advocates say everyone's about to start chowing down computer-generated dinner, and because Suntory bought Beam, we're going to guess this ice artistry is the near future of all drinks on the rocks. For now, though, it's a gimmick that's really just one small step for cocktail-kind, which is exactly what this whirling-ice astronaut is probably thinking. The whole thing was no doubt really expensive; let's hope they used some fancy filtered water. [3D Rocks via Spirits Business]

Fast-Food CEOs Get Paid 1,200 Times More Than Workers

Recent walk-outs staged at chain restaurants throughout the country and class action lawsuits have drawn attention to what workers say are essentially criminally low wages, but a new study lays out how wide, exactly, the gap is between the bottom and top of the food chain. In 2012, fast-food CEOs out-earned the average worker by more than 1,200-to-1 — all of which contributes to what's been called the "most extreme pay disparity of all the sectors in the U.S. economy." Workers are winning wage increases in some states, but by way of comparison, some CEOs are pulling in roughly quadruple what they made in 2000. No matter where your opinion falls in the minimum wage debate, the study's results make typical responses from executives to workers like this one seem even more insincere. [WYNC, Related]

Nudist Beer Festival Headed to the Poconos

Mark your calendar: It only costs $18 ($16 in advance) to gain entry to Sunny Rest Resort's Beer Festival, which takes place June 28 in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. Because Sunny Rest is a "relaxed clothes-free resort," you'll have to get naked to get past the bouncers, who may also be naked; we're not sure. On the other hand: Unlimited craft beer samples. [Drinks Nation via Foobooz]

New Regulations Threaten New York's Wood-Burning Ovens and Food Trucks

Coal and wood-burning ovens are affected.

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio voiced support for an overhaul of the air-pollution control code — the biggest since 1975, in fact — which would have a profound impact on restaurants and food trucks throughout the city. The stated goal is to target "pollution sources that currently have little or no emission control requirements," the mayor's office says, and it turns out that most of those are food-related.

Fines for food-trucks not running "the cleanest technology." »

First Look at Cafe El Presidente, the Tacombi Team’s New Flatiron Food Complex

Tacos al Pastor.Photo: Liz Clayman

On Monday, the owners of Tacombi at Fonda Nolita and La Brisa in Montauk will open a 6,500-square-foot food complex on West 24th Street, complete with a taqueria called Tacos Madison, as well as a tortilleria and a Veracruz-style coffee bar. The idea is that Cafe El Presidente will feel like a traditional Mexican market, where customers can visit different little shops and bars. Luis Aguilar, the head chef at Fonda Nolita, will produce tortillas made of beetroot, calabaza, nopal, yuca — both corn and flour styles. Jason DeBriere, most recently of now-closed Peels, will head up the brunch menu.

Taco time. »

Eben Klemm Planning New Restaurant for Former Exchange Alley Space

EV Grieve scouts a flyer posted to the former Exchange Alley space on East 9th Street indicating that barman Eben Klemm is planning a restaurant called King Bee and will apply for a full liquor license. In his career as a consultant, Klemm has brought the world over-the-top things like boozy candy-cane milkshakes and popcorn-infused vodka, but he also created the less showy, aperitif cocktails served at Pearl & Ash, so it'll be interesting to see what's planned for the space. [EV Grieve, Related]

Eataly Considering Second NYC Location Inside 4 WTC [Updated]

Culatello!Photo: Elliot Black

Citing sources close to the deal, New York Post real-estate columnist Lois Weiss reveals — somewhat mind-blowingly — that a branch of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's Eataly will open in the base of 4 WTC when the shopping-centric portion of the building debuts in the summer of 2015. The restaurateurs' first U.S. outpost of the Turin-based Slow Food mega-grocer opened four years ago, in advance of expansion nationwide (and world domination).*

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President Obama Ate at Jiro Ono’s Sushi Restaurant

"Hey, come on guys, we only have ten seats and lots of other people are waiting."Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, President Obama, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe just took up four of the ten counter seats at the subterranean Sukiyabashi Jiro. (You may know it as one of the most respected, and most difficult to get into, sushi restaurants in the world, presided over by Jiro Ono, the octogenarian chef made famous in the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.)

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The Other Critics: Wells Takes Telepan Local to Task; Ryan Sutton Does Dim Sum at Má Pêche

Wells did love Telepan Local pastry chef Larissa Raphael's coconut cake.

The Underground Gourmet visited Rose Bakery, which it gave three stars and praised for its "Brititerranean" cooking and light touches on dishes like eggs on toast. Pete Wells dropped a solo star on Telepan Local, Ryan Sutton loaded up on Má Pêche's new dim sum, and Stan Sagner couldn't get enough of Gato's Mediterranean dishes. All that, and more, straight ahead.

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There’s a Feature-Length Peeps Movie in the Works

It's perhaps not so much of a surprise that the success of The Lego Movie means a bunch more family-friendly movies based on toys are in the pipeline, and now it seems the brightly colored marshmallow chicks, bunnies, and assorted other Peeps-iverse creatures manufactured by Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, company Just Born are headed to the big screen. The forthcoming Peeps epic will be set "the night before a Peeps diorama contest, when a wayward Peep gets misplaced and must adventure through the fantasy lands of different-themed dioramas before the contest’s judging begins." Sounds great, but we're still holding out for the Cadbury Creme Egg movie, which promises to be a much quieter affair. [Vulture]

04/22/14

Celebrate Earth Day at the Musket Room; Calliope’s Literary Series Continues

• Celebrate Earth Day at the Musket Room tonight with a candlelight, six-course special menu. Courses include ramps with berries in buttermilk dressing and spring peas with egg yolk and caviar. [Grub Street]

• This Sunday, Calliope continues its literary dinner series with author Andrés Neuman, where he'll be discussing his new book, Talking to Ourselves. Dinner includes four courses and costs $55. [Grub Street]

Red Rooster will welcome Brooks Winery on April 30 for a five-course tasting dinner with pairings. Tickets are $110 per person. [Grub Street]

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