New York’s food coverage this week has an air of decadence and satiety to it. Its mood is one of indulgence. Adam Platt wanders into two gastropubs and wanders out happy with one and very unhappy with the other. Charles Stuart Platkin describes the gastronomic orgy that is a tasting meal at Per Se and explains, scientifically, how insanely fattening it really is. Our three announced openings are likewise all of a starkly sybaritic kind: an expensive new sushi restaurant, a wine store, and a gelato parlor. And, this being Kentucky Derby time, this week’s In Season spotlights that perennial favorite of the idle, the classic mint julep, as prepared by LeNell Smothers, New York’s resident bourbon guru.
• In his review of E.U. and the Inn LW12, Platt, while declaring himself sick of gastropubs in general, finds much of the food at E.U. praiseworthy. On the other hand, his experience at the Inn LW12 suggests that a zero-star review may have been too high a rating for the place.
• The tiny portions and exquisite flavor control of a Per Se tasting seem the furthest thing in the world from the gross feedings that go on at McDonald’s, but it’s all the same to your body, as Charles Stuart Platkin points out in a cruelly disillusioning (and fascinating) article. What gets us is hidden in the kicker, which reveals the startling fact that six slices of DiFara pizza contains the same number of calories as the whole Per Se meal.
• This week brings only one full-fledged restaurant opening, but it looks to be a good one. Soto, a high-end sushi restaurant helmed by a former Food & Wine Best New Chef Sotohiro Kosugi, looks especially promising. The city also gets a new elite gelato shop on the Upper West Side and a wine store in Tribeca focusing on small producers in Italy, France, and California.
• In honor of the Kentucky Derby, Red Hook liquor goddess LeNell Smothers, owner of LeNell’s, gives Rob and Robin give her recipe for a mint julep. (But, Smothers points out, not the exact recipe, which doesn’t really exist.)
• Finally, in a classic “only in New York” vignette in this week’s Intelligencer, the backstory of how Citarella came around to accepting food stamps.