Posts for April 5, 2012

Third Floor Opens at Tiny’s; One-Hour Chinatown Lunch Tour

Tiny's gets topheavy with the opening of its third level. The Bar Upstairs is still the bar on the second floor. The third is a private-dining space for 24, or standing room for 40. [Tribeca Citizen]

• More great news for Tribeca: Yunnan newcomer Lotus Blue is now serving lunch. [Tribeca Citizen]

• Doritos lovers of the Cool Ranch variety don't have to feel slighted anymore. Given the success of the Nacho-Cheese flavored Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell, the fast food chain is rumored to have a Cool Ranch taco good to go this summer. [HuffPo]

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Atera Is ‘the Most Amazing Restaurant in the World’ to Somebody

Love me or leave me.

In a seriously impassioned slideshow entitled, "I Just Ate At The Most Amazing Restaurant In The World," Business Insider's CEO and EIC, Henry Blodget, documents his profound journey that was dinner at Atera, noting gazillions of random facts like, "By the way, when Jodi Richard was buying the hydroponic equipment to grow the herbs, the hydroponics dealer was convinced she was building an industrial-scale pot farm." [Business Insider]

McDonald’s Mega Millions ‘Winner’ Possibly Nuts, Can’t Find Ticket

Mirlande Wilson, the Baltimore McDonald's employee who went in on a Mega Millions lottery pool with some coworkers, only to claim that a winning ticket was hers and hers alone, may just be an attention whore, or she may be outright nuts and a total liar. What's clear from the weird press conference she went silent for yesterday is that (a) she's a fan of tight T-shirts, and (b) her lawyer hasn't even seen the ticket in question, and she says she can't find it. Below, some footage.

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Don’t Let the Pink-Slime Police Near This Crime Scene

Just in case you were about to reach for that 4 p.m. snack, here's something to ruin your appetite. A Russian immigrant murdered his roomie, and a meat grinder was involved. [NYP]

First Look at the New York Branch of Almayass, Bringing Basturma to the Flatiron District

Since its birth in Beirut fifteen years ago, the Armenian-Lebanese restaurant Almayass has expanded into Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, and (under a different name but affiliated ownership) Los Angeles, with branches in Qatar and Riyadh on the way. The New York outpost, slated to open April 12 in the former Flatiron home of Mark Strausman’s Campagna, hews to the proven Levantine-cuisine formula, with five versions of hummus; beef-and-bulgur kibbeh in raw, fried, or boiled form; and signature dishes like the yogurt-drenched dumplings called manti. The food and the space are meant to evoke eating at someone's home; here's a look at both.

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Researcher: Food Is More Addictive Than Crack Cocaine

Crack pie!Photo: Hannah Whitaker

Ever felt ready for rehab after one too many late-night nacho platters? Of course you have. Well, now Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has arrived on the scene to confirm what we long suspected is true: Food is addictive. Like, more addictive than crack.

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The Flushing Mall Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon

Buried in the middle of World's Fare's report about Vietnamese foie-gras dumplings (exciting in its own right) is some very happy news for food freaks: It seems the Flushing Mall, a.k.a. Asian-food heaven, will not be torn down anytime soon, despite reports to the contrary. Blogger Joe DiStefano ran into an employee of the company that owns the shopping center, who said it was safe for now. We plan to celebrate this weekend with a serious dumpling binge, or maybe a food-mall crawl. [World's Fare/Edible Queens, Related]

Todd Selby’s Edible Selby Cover Revealed

Todd Selby gets "Lit" again.

VoilĂ : the book cover for the ever-chic Todd Selby and his October-something publication of Edible Selby. Everyone knows that Selby has been largely focused on kitchens, gardens, homes, and restaurants for a while now. With his website and column in T Magazine, and his book, with its kooky watercolors and handwritten questionnaires, Selby is set to expand the mind even more.

Weird Foods: Eating the Embryonic Duck Eggs Known As Balut

If the graphic pink-slime photos of the past few weeks have put your appetite off, here's something to quell it further: Josh Ozersky has video of his recent experiment trying balut, the Filipino embryonic-duck-egg delicacy. Mr. Cutlets sits down with Maharlika's Nicole Ponseca and Noel Cruz while Ponseca walks him through the balut-eating process: first you consume the yolk, then the "Daffy Duck" portion (a partially formed, beaky baby fowl).* It's pretty, well, foul, squelchy sound effects included, and even Ponseca gets a little bit grossed out. Luckily, post-Daffy, there's a shot of gin followed by a shot of house-made vinegar, "like a pickle back," Ponseca says. File this alongside the bone luge for weird drinking rituals? Video below.

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Watch Curtis Duffy Make America’s Next Great Restaurant, Grace

As Grant Achatz's number two, Curtis Duffy helped design Alinea. When Graham Elliot Bowles left Avenues, Duffy stepped into his shoes — and won two Michelin stars. Now, Duffy is building one of the most anticipated restaurants in the country, Grace, on Chicago's hot Randolph Street dining strip. Duffy is aiming for world class when Grace opens later this year — and Grub Street invites you to come along. In our new video series, Finding Grace: The Making of a Restaurant, we'll watch as Duffy and his team work out every detail that goes into a restaurant of this caliber — as it happens in real time. In this first seven-minute episode, "Space," Duffy and architect Christopher Lawton walk us through the raw, empty space that will become Grace, explaining how they will create the environment that they want guests to experience — and why it's so important to Duffy to create a restaurant as good as any in the world.

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Nate Appleman on Hating Pulino’s, Loving Chipotle, and Embracing Change

"My son is the reason I lost weight; he's the reason I got a new job; he's the reason I get up in the morning."Photo: Nate Appleman

Let's be clear: Anyone who had a cheap little laugh when Nate Appleman — a "Best New Chef," James Beard winner, and Food Network Star — transformed himself from a culinary warrior to a Chipotle cook is an idiot. "It was the best decision of my life," he told Grub, without one kernel of confliction, last night at the Smart Chefs Stay Slim party inside Chelsea Market.

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Asellina The Gansevoort Park Hotel Will Offer an Easter-Brunch Petting Zoo

When we brought you a lineup of Easter dining options yesterday, one appetite-squelching option slipped our notice: Zagat is reporting that Asellina the Gansevoort Park Avenue will offer a petting zoo at Easter brunch.* Lest you ring up the health department right this moment, know that the furry critters (including turtles, bunnies and chicks) will be confined to the patio, where kids can pet them from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fun also includes balloons and a costumed Easter bunny, plus hopefully lots of Purell. Also, we doubt any rabbit specials will prove too popular Sunday morning. [Zagat Buzz]

*Reps evidently gave Zagat the wrong info: the petting zoo is being put on by the Gansevoort Park Avenue, not its restaurant Asellina.

Little Owl Shuttered by DOH, Hopes to Reopen Next Week [UPDATED]

Little Owl closed: there goes date night.

Bedford Street cutie the Little Owl, home of Jonathan Waxman's second favorite meatballs in NYC, was shuttered last night by the DOH, reports Eater. Despite its itty-bitty kitchen, the restaurant aced its last health inspection in October, so this is unexpected. When we rang the place up just now, a staffer told us the spot will not reopen until next week. She indicated there was some kind of problem, but wouldn't say what, noting only that "we're working on it actively right now." What a bummer for west side date nights. More when we get it. [Eater NY]

Update: Gothamist tracked down a rep for the DOH, who informed the blog that Little Owl had earned itself 44 points for a lotta mice. Yikes — we could've lived without knowing that.

Kosher (Sausage) for Passover

Sausage, in all its porky goodness, has not generally been part of a Kosher diet — until now. The Daily News has the story on a pair of Crown Heights entrepreneurs who've rolled out Jack's Gourmet Spicy Southwestern and Beef Kielbasa links — available in ShopRite chains and Kosher grocery stores nationwide — just in time for Passover. "Never in the history of Passover have Jews had sausage," claims co-creator Jack Silberstein. Pair it with the holiday's traditional brisket and you're two thirds of the way to a barbecue platter; just skip the side of bread. Happy Passover, y'all. [NYDN]

Back on the Ranch?

Say hello to "the new ketchup."

Grub Street has known folks who like ranch dressing on French fries, and even a few renegades who enjoy it on pizza — but now Hidden Valley wants ranch's reach to extend beyond salad and bar food. The company has rolled out a new product dubbed Ranch Dressing for Everything; not exactly subtle, a blurb on the bottle also proclaims it "the New Ketchup." Never mind that creamy salad dressing is generally mayo-based, execs want this stuff on every restaurant table, refrigeration be damned. Somebody alert the kid critic — he'll probably be all over this. Also, as long as we're expanding our condiment repertoire, can we get some Maggi as well? [WSJ]

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