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

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 will include a hot curried vegetable wrap, kimchi wild rice bow, and a romesco green bean wrap. [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).*

Read more »

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.)

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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]


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]

Read more »

Supreme Court Weighs In on Juice

"Don't make me feel bad, because I thought that this was pomegranate juice." — Justice Anthony Kennedy, in court trying to sort out the true nature of Minute Maid's "Pomegranate Blueberry," which contains 0.3 percent pomegranate and 0.2 percent blueberry juice. [NYT]

Häagen-Dazs Japan Releases Vegetable Ice Creams

Perfect for the rabbit in your life.

Joining that parallel vegetable-based product universe currently occupied by things like Blue Hill's savory yogurt (beet, sweet-potato) and Numi Tea's entire savory line (broccoli cilantro) are Häagen-Dazs Japan's forthcoming Tomato-Cherry and Carrot-Orange varieties, which are exactly what they sound like. Of course, we don't really need to go all the way to Tokyo as long as we have Beet Pistachio Honey Goat Cheese by the cup and cone right here at home. [RocketNews 24, Related]

Jordi Vallès Named Chef at Le District in Brookfield Place

How about some fresh black pepper with that swank?Photo: dbox

Barcelona native Jordi Vallès, who trained under culinary titans Juan Mari Arzak and Ferrán Adrià and worked at the St. Regis in Bal Harbor, has been appointed to helm the market at Le District in Brookfield Place. The project will open "in stages" beginning this year, the Post reports, and will consist of two restaurants with seating, a café with coffee and sweets, a section for provisions like cheese and meats, and an area for quick takeaway like flowers and prepared foods. Le District joins a new Jose Garces restaurant and a branch of Parm, as well as outposts of Black Seed, Num Pang Sandwich Shop, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Tartinery, Dos Toros Taqueria, Dig Inn, Umami Burger, Chop't, Skinny Pizza, Little Muenster, Olive's, Mighty Quinn's, and Blue Ribbon Sushi. Leasing director Ed Hogan says the organization is still looking for a fine-dining “Michelin-type” chef for yet another restaurant to open within the complex. [NYP, Related]

Check Out a Pretty-Great-Sounding Breakfast Menu From the Titanic

Their grilled ox kidneys will go on, and down, in history.Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son

Here's a decent restaurant concept idea, enterprising chefs: Up for auction this weekend is this menu for second-class breakfast aboard the Titanic served on April 11, 1912 — three days before it all went wrong. Unlike the ritzy first-class lunch menu that came up for auction in 2012, this one is all about downmarket things like grilled ox kidneys with bacon, herring galore, and potatoes fried, mashed, or served as hash au gratin. If that's not enough starch options, no fewer than six more grains — oats, hominy, scones, buckwheat cakes, and Vienna and graham rolls — were available. At least they also had watercress at the end as a palate cleanser. [NYDN, Related]

What to Eat at Berg’n, the New Brooklyn Beer Hall Serving Tons of Amazing Food

How about a sandwich from Mighty Quinn's?Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

Yesterday we told you about Berg’n, the Brooklyn Flea beer hall spin-off inside a 9,000-square-foot former garage that's opening soon in Crown Heights. Now here's everything on the vendors' menus, from Pizza Moto's grandma pies to Ramen Burger's late-night Bonkotsu. (And please note: Prices, where listed, are tentative and subject to change before the opening.)

Ramen, pizza, burgers, chicken, and everything else delicious... »

White Castle Thinks You Want to Make Its Coffee at Home

"Put a little Castle in your cup," they say.

Because things like this are inevitable, you can now buy White Castle's Original Restaurant Blend Coffee in a 12-pack for the Keurig. Little known fact: The chain's coffee does have its loyalists — alongside OG sliders and pie, quality coffee was an original menu item, and White Castle has sold its coffee in retail packaging since 1996. But times are changing, and in an effort to target "younger coffee drinkers," the fast-food chain is now moving on to the single-serve market, along with "Put a little Castle in your cup," its bold new tagline. [Beverage Industry]

World’s Most Ridiculously Expensive Restaurant Opens in Ibiza’s Hard Rock Hotel, Of Course

Can I get some extra blue glop on the side, please?Photo: Vimeo

Spain already boasts the world's top restaurant and probably its most exclusive (the single-table Mercès One, a "restaurant only for you"), so why not the planet's most overpriced, too? The new Hard Rock Hotel opening in Ibiza next month has that covered with Sublimotion, an "unparalleled gastro-sensory venture" brought to life by Michelin-starred Spanish chef Paco Roncero, which will feature a 20-course tasting menu that costs its 12 diners more than $2,000 apiece.

" ... a cold snack that they carve on their own iceberg ... " »

Tom Colicchio Wants to Make Sure No One Outlaws GMO Food Labels

A petition created by Tom Colicchio and Food Policy Action seeking to convince Congress not to ban GMO labels has attracted 231,000 signatures in just over a week. Despite a range of opinions on the potential threats (or non-threats) posed by the production and consumption of genetically modified foods, most consumers (and several states) already agree to support identifying GMO food as such. The so-called Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, however, introduced April 9 in the House, seeks to block these labels on the grounds that they will pose an "undue burden" on producers. The celebrity chef and food activist writes that it is "absolutely critical that we stand up to elected officials who introduce bad legislation or vote the wrong way on good food policy." [Credo Mobilize, Related]


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