Posts for February 27, 2012

Drink Pisco to Benefit Share Our Strength; Bordeaux Tasting at The French Consulate

Carroll Gardens: A city panel is scheduled to vote on the future of Whole Foods' proposed Brooklyn location — right next to the Gowanus Canal — tomorrow afternoon. [NYT]
East Village: Louis 649 is hosting a special pisco event tomorrow evening beginning at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the tasting go to Share Our Strength, an organization addressing childhood hunger. [Grub Street]
Hell’s Kitchen: Walt Frazier isn’t just a legendary point guard, two-time NBA champion, or current voice of the Knicks, he’s also a newfound restaurateur: Frazier is all set to open Clyde Frazier's Wine and Dine on March 8. [Paper]

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Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones & Butter Takes Up Three Subway Seats

"A real first: Three people on this subway car reading Blood, Bones & Butter. Kindle right, HC left, PB across." — Former New York Diet subject, Sloane Crosley, on literary, techie, and foodie observations from the subway. [Sloane Crosley/Twitter]

A Gourmet Rehab in the Hamptons

Curious what the food scene is like in a high-end Wall Street rehab? At the Dunes East Hampton, it might be called something like farm-to-sober. "The kitchen serves 'local fresh seafood' such as lobster, tuna, cod, striped bass, and scallops, in addition to steak, chicken, and game. Eggs are delivered from a nearby game bird and chicken farm, and many of the vegetables are organic and locally harvested," reports Bloomberg. For those looking to fall off the wagon, Colicchio's new place won't be a far drive. [Bloomberg Business Week]

Tables Available at Porsena, Ciano; Locanda Verde Fully Booked

It's 4 p.m., and that means it's time to play Two for Eight. We just asked ten restaurants the best time they can squeeze in a couple for dinner; you need only make your chosen reservation. (As always, we make the calls but don't guarantee the results.) Today: Notable Italian.

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Pizza Tour Hustlers Get Huge TV Break

Are pizza tours the new 'Breaking Bad'?

In case you thought that, maybe, food television had reached its peak, here's Slice of Brooklyn — a show about a pizza tour company airing on the Travel Channel — proving that we're not even close to reality TV rock bottom. Which is not to say the show, airing Wednesday, March 7 at 10 and at 10:30 p.m., won't be a success. After all, viewers get a glimpse of Brooklynites Tony Muia, his cousin Paula, and other pals from the nabe, as they take clueless tourists around to eat greasy things. Translation: Our DVRs are set.

Mac and Cheese and In-N-Out Burgers Ruled Oscars After-Parties

It sounds like Hollywood ditched its Champagne wishes and caviar dreams this year to get down with the kind of grimy foods the rest of us usually crave: pizza, sliders, and macaroni and cheese. Yep, comfort food ruled the night following yesterday's Academy Awards as Wolfgang Puck offered assembled nominees and statue winners at The Governor's Ball things like pizza, mac and cheese, and sandwiches, in place of his traditional formal dinner.

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Band Woos Day Drinkers, Lovers of Tater Tots

Delta Spirit's Matt Vasquez.Photo: C Flanigan/Getty Images

If you want people to buy your new record, it's hard to beat free tater tots and cheap beer as marketing tools. Over the weekend, the band Delta Spirit hosted a Brooklyn pub crawl to promote their new self-titled album. Along three crowded afternoon stops at the Manhattan Inn, d.b.a. Brooklyn, and the Lovin' Cup, the band played tracks off the album and hung out, with lead singer Matt Vasquez handing out whiskey and gratis tots to people along the way.

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David Burke Feels the Pinch, Gives Up His Chauffeur

Among other cost-cutting measures, David Burke has demoted his personal chauffeur from driver to produce-schlepper, directing him exclusively to Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx for all fruits and vegetables. Burke is also trying to consolidate his meat and fish purchases in an effort to trim the fat. [Crain's]

Somewhere Between J.Lo’s Nip Slip and Angie’s Right Leg, There Was Thomas Keller

What does it mean that Thomas Keller and his Yountville restaurants starred in a long, poignant, beautifully cinematographic ad for American Express, which dramatically ran three-quarters of the way through the Oscars? Well, a lot of things. For one, he's just as famous as half the nominees. Also, he's maybe opening a new place. Lastly, it kind of feels like he just negotiated the best deal in restaurant-advertising history right there. Does it not?

See the Am-Ex ad here! »

Worst Customers: The Dining Room Hummer

If you knew what these eyes had seen.Photo: iStockphoto

Restaurants are breeding grounds for bad behavior: Kitchens can spawn fiendish cocaine addictions, rampant alcoholism, and broken limbs, as well as broken marriages. But often, the after-hours antics of cooks have nothing on customers, who let dining rooms' dim lighting, sensuous food, and strong drinks get the best of them. We don't mean bad customers who talk too loudly or leave stingy tips; we mean the worst of the worst. Occasionally, we'll let restaurant staffers chime in with their horror stories. First is chef Jason Santos, who was heading up Gargoyles, a swanky neighborhood place outside Boston, when he saw what remains his most vivid customer memory.

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Manganaro Is Done, But Hoping to Reopen Soon

This time last year, news broke that the century-old Hell's Kitchen grocery and restaurant Manganaro would be forced to shutter when the building that houses it sold. Well, that time has come. A reader alerted Jeremiah's Vanishing New York that the place served its last meal yesterday. It's hard times for old-school Italian places like this one and Joe's Superette. However, Manganaro isn't giving up: Its website promises, "We will let you know when we reopen." May that day be soon. [JVNY]

New York Chefs Talk Expansion Plans at SOBE

Lots of things in the works.Photo: Flay: Larry Busacca/Getty Images, Dufresne: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images, Hamilton: Melissa Hom

This past weekend, the country's chefs headed down to Florida for the annual South Beach Wine and Food Fest, and as always the weekend was packed with marketing events, great meals at new restaurants like Red Steakhouse, 1500 Degrees, and Makoto, and — most importantly — plenty of parties where chefs were more willing than usual to talk about their future plans.

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Hachember Bites the Dust in Cursed Clinton Street Space

Any charm left over from Wylie Dufresne's 71 Clinton Fresh Foods has definitely worn off — Bowery Boogie brings word that the seemingly cursed space has lost its latest (admittedly wacky) tenant, Hachember. Part of the issue — or probably all of the issue — seems to be the string of bizarro restaurants that have insisted on having a go at the address, including Fat Hippo, Patate Fellow, and the late Hachember. Maybe it's time for a nice, earnest farm-to-table concept to set up shop. [Bowery Boogie, Earlier]

Paul Dano’s Excellent Taste in Girlfriends, Bars, and Brooklyn Restaurants

If you ever wanted to emulate, stalk, or seduce Paul Dano, here's list of his favorite hangs from Brucie to Prime Meats to Henry Public. Besides Cobble Hill, he's also into homeless shelters and Theater Row — where he first romanced equally stalk- or seduce-worthy girlfriend, Zoe Kazan. [NYP]

What to Eat at Back Forty West, Opening This Week

While we wait for Back Forty West to roll out sometime this week in the former Savoy space, here's a look at chef Shanna Pacifico's menu. As mentioned, it's organized by how you eat it: say, Bread (pumpkin and pistachio caponata), Spoon & Ladle (green curry fish stew), or Fork (grilled kale and escarole salad). Scope the whole thing out below.

Menu [PDF]
Earlier: Back Forty West Opens Next Week

Unsavory: Restaurants Fight Dead Fish–Rotten Egg Odor in Queens


Innocent waterfront restaurants around the Shellbank Basin in Howard Beach, Queens, like Frenasia and Vincent’s Clam Bar and Italian Restaurant, absolutely cannot stand the smell of rotting fish carnage around them anymore, and worse of all, the stench is most unbearable in summer, when they could theoretically have outdoor dining with water views. Also, Starbucks and the mafia are involved. Viva la Queens. [NYT]

The Underground Gourmet on Jack’s Wife Freda and Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter; a Zingy Radicchio Salad

The cozy dining room at Jack's Wife Freda.Photo: Danny Kim

In this week's New York, the Underground Gourmet checks out Jack's Wife Freda, a "spiffy new Soho café" that has already garnered "rollicking brunch and late-night crowds." Husband and wife Dean and Maya Jankelowitz met while working at Balthazar, and "they’ve created a "hospitable hangout with the understated style and savvy all-day service that one associates with their old boss, Keith McNally." The food could be called " South African Israeli Jewish Grandmother Cuisine," and it takes the form of fried fish ball fritters, "soothing" matzo ball soup, and "the best burger in Soho"; the restaurant receives three stars.

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Rent’s Life Café Is Officially La Vie B’Over

Seasons of ...

A few months ago, we heard that the legendary Life Café was closed, indefinitely, for repairs, and now we hear that it's going to take a lot more than 525,600 minutes to ever revive it. The Daily News reports, "The site of the Life Cafe, the 30-year-old Alphabet City eatery that inspired the late Jonathan Larson’s musical 'Rent,' is up for rent." Luckily, the Bushwick spinoff, Life Café 983, is still doing well ... and no one is opening up a restaurant in Santa Fe. [NYDN]

High-End Popcorn Pops Up; Latina Chefs in the Spotlight

• High-end popcorn infused with things like bourbon is trending — whether you like it or not. [Salt/NPR]

• Here's a look at the somewhat murky history of the Oreo, which seems to have originated at former Nabisco factory Chelsea Market. [NYP]

• Latina chefs like Evette Rios on The Chew and Cooking Channel's Ingrid Hoffmann are having a moment. Felicidades. [AP via HuffPo]

• Want to become an even bigger coffee snob? Here's a primer on judging latte art. [Salon]

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Grubstreet Sweeps


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