Posts for April 9, 2012

Bacon Reality Show in the Works; Introducing Tator-Tot Specialist Tot Spot

• Legendary soul-food joint the Pink Tea Cup will reopen in Greenwich Village after its owner secured a new space on Sixth Avenue and 14th Street. [NYT]

• That Tot Spot, Williamsburg’s tater-tot-centric café, opened this past weekend. If you’ve ever wondered if there’s any food that doesn't have its own dedicated booth/truck/shop, the answer is now officially “no.” [Grub Street]

• Parent/child favorite Moomah café is coming back May 1, albeit in kiosk form. Ownership will keep the coffee, juices, and smoothies flowing Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Tribeca Citizen]

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Wong’s Spring Menu Looks Wong’derful

Simpson Wong's new "locavore Asian" spring menu includes Rhode Island black bass with broccoli rabe and a spicy Tamarind sauce, and a grass-fed steak sourced from Rosenkrans Farm in Lake Cayuga with crushed fingerlings, Chinese leeks, and pickled cucumber. Plus, new cocktails like the Long Thailand Iced Tea. Also, we still want to come over!

Wong's Spring Menu [PDF]

Tom Colicchio Headlining Atlantic City Food and Wine Fest

Tom Colicchio

Though its culinary lineup is certainly nothing to scoff at, newly opened Revel won’t necessarily have the market cornered on celeb chefs this summer in Atlantic City. Caesars Entertainment sent word this morning that they’ve tapped Top Chef head honcho and restaurateur Tom Colicchio to headline its annual Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, which kicks off Thursday, July 26. Joining Colicchio is Aaron Sanchez, who we mentioned recently just popped his casino cherry with his Crossroads at Showboat’s House of Blues. (Other stars from the Food Network stall joining the fest include Anne Burrell and Robert Irvine.)

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Owing to Popular Demand, Birdbath Expands Uptown

The magic moves uptown.

City Bakery's precious, produce-driven little sister Birdbath will open its sixth location "and first ever in the northern territories otherwise known as north of 23rd Street" over at Greenacre Park (East 51st Street between Second and Third Avenues). "This is a most Birdbathian location," writes the eternally green Maury Rubin in his blog. "It's is one of the smallest, sweetest parks in New York, often referred to as a 'pocket park' [by people who deal in slang for parks]." Look for the 'bath to open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And ... make sure to offset all that kale with one of their killer cookies. [City Bakery Blog]

Red Lobster Builds World’s Biggest Lobster Farm to Raise Things That Aren’t Really Lobsters

The less attractive spiny or rock lobster.Photo: Ed Bierman/Flickr

Darden Restaurants, the company that owns Red Lobster and Olive Garden, among other chains, recently announced plans for the world's largest lobster aquafarm in Malaysia. But here's the thing: They can't raise Maine lobsters down there, only those spiny, clawless "rock lobsters" that most chefs would tell you aren't really lobsters at all, and only have tail meat anyway. So maybe Red Lobster might want to take that big-clawed Maine lobster out of their logo and replace it with one of these ugly things sometime soon?

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Sam Mason’s Mayo Restaurant-Lab Opened This Weekend

Spread it.

A point of major annoyance to many (and not just mayo-haters of Jimmy Fallon proportions), Empire Mayonnaise — the place where obsessive mayo eating and experimenting happens in Prospect Heights — opened on Easter Sunday, with deviled eggs and various assortments of Sam Mason and Elizabeth Valleau's creamy goods. [The Brooklyn Ink]

Ruth Reichl Is Hot for Hummus

"Great hummus is soft as velvet, with the seductive smoothness of whipped cream; the first time you meet it you experience an almost irresistible desire to slather it on your body." —Ruth Reichl might hate honey, but she really, really loves her hummus. [Gilt Taste]

Noodle News: Cocoron Expanding to Kenmare Street

Bowery Boogie does some sleuthing and turns up the happy news that Best of New York soba shop Cocoron is expanding. This is great news for slurpers, since Cocoron's current itty-bitty incarnation, while charming, only seats about twelve people — from BB's photos, the new one looks much larger. We reached out to the restaurant to find out if the first location will stay open, but we were unable to reach anyone. So, does this place — plus Toby's Public House and Ken & Cook — mean the re-rebirth of Kenmare is about to happen? [Bowery Boogie]

Alan Richman Announces NYC’s Best Restaurants, With Brooklyn Fare As Number One

Bouley and Corton make the cut.

No one quite understood his unparalleled love for Lincoln, and many were interested to see that he's a smitten little schoolboy over the San Fransisco scene, but Alan Richman's love of Brooklyn Fare, ranking it No. 1 in his list of Best New York Restaurants today, is no big surprise (remember this fan letter?). Read the rest of his choices here.

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The Complete History of the Life and Crimes of Pink Slime

It's the end of an era.Photo: Francois Nascimbeni/Getty Images

Pink slime — the fusion of ammonia and fit-for-dogs beef scraps — might be the latest cause among good-food crusaders, but it's been around for a while. Today, Food Safety News drops a comprehensive 30-year timeline that reveals the history behind lean beef trimmings: the long relationship with BPI, the stuff's celebrity inventor, and the strident defenders of all things pink and/or slimy.

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Pig Lit: April Bloomfield Opens Up About Her New Cookbook

April "I have a soft spot for porridge" Bloomfield.Photo: Melissa Hom

April Bloomfield's A Girl and Her Pig is out tomorrow, a cookbook as talked about for its fantastic recipes (Bloomfield says "only about ten are complicated") as for its controversial cover ("For anyone who doesn't like it, I really don't know what to say to them"). But a more apropos title for The Spotted Pig, Breslin, and John Dory chef this week might have been A Girl and Her Soup, as Bloomfield has been under the weather with a bad head cold, telling Grub Street, "I don't normally take lots of drugs but I've been living on Dayquil and Nyquil." Read her potentially-medicated musings on shyness, byline-sharing, and bad porridge, straight ahead.

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The Gallery in Dumbo Is Dunzo ... for Now

While their website assures that the Jay Street restaurant is closed "temporarily," things don't look good for the cursed corner across from the F Train which used to be Choice, and once fed Ludo, and now looks like a future grocery store. We'll see!

Kosher Eatery Olga’s on Smith Becoming Porktastic HBH Meats

That pig looks decidedly un-Kosher.

Well, here's some Passover irony: It seems that Kosher eatery Olga's on Smith, at 407 Smith Street, will be replaced by HBH, a shop selling "smoked meats and gourmet sandwiches." A tipster sent the photo you see here, which clearly depicts an oh-so-traif pig on the sign. Carrol Gardens residents had better find somewhere else to shop for Shabbat.

The Underground Gourmet on the Toucan and the Lion; Examining the Nouveau Potato Chip

The Toucan and the Lion.Photo: Danny Kim

In this week's New York, the Underground Gourmet takes on "four-month-old self-styled Asian gastropub" the Toucan and the Lion. What is an Asian gastropub?, you ask. Seems it's somewhere you can order a burger "slathered with cashew butter, topped with bacon, and served on a Chinese bao bun with a side of deep-fried pickles." Also, more "oddly intriguing morsels," including Scotch eggs "cloaked in duck sausage," sweet-potato patatas bravas, and "duck-confit mofongo with Chinese sausage." Even cocktails are "meticulously conceived and deftly executed," particularly the "Sriracha-spiked Lion, a kaffir-lime-and-ginger-­infused rum drink served up." And even the space is "a pleasant surprise"; the restaurant earns three stars.

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In England, People Divorce Over Cold Cuts and Tuna

Here in the United States, people do tawdry things like trade cheeseburgers for sex. Meanwhile, over in England, food is more divisive: Couples are legally allowed to divorce over seemingly petty nuisances like cold cuts.

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Five Guys Forcing McDonald’s to Pretend Their Food Is High Quality

Okay, yes, the fries are really good.

Here's something you might not know: McDonald's employs a "director of sensory science." (We wonder what her senses would tell her about the bathroom at the McD's on First Avenue in the East Village.) You see, now that chains like Five Guys and Smashburger are making people realize that fast-food burgers don't necessarily have to taste like burnt tar, McDonald's is, according to Bloomberg, "being forced to open up about the provenance of its beef, potatoes and more." Which isn't necessarily a great thing when you're a giant company focused on making and selling your food as cheaply as possible.

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Little Owl Reopened Friday Night

Despite an employee's prediction that mouse-infested Little Owl wouldn't reopen till this week, Diner's Journal has it that the restaurant was serving Friday night. It seems chef-owner Joey Campanaro got the Health Department in Friday afternoon, which, after a three-hour rodent hunt turned up nothing, gave the green light on opening back up that night. The eatery currently has a "Grade Pending" sign in the window, which will remain until a surprise DOH inspection deems the place squeak-y clean. DJ is also reporting that although Little Owl closed for two days, Campanaro is giving employees full pay. Now that's decent. [Diner's Journal/NYT]

The LaFriedas Are Flip-Flopping on the Black Label Burger

Lights, camera, drama.

Just a few months ago, Mark Pastore told Grub Street that he thought Wendy's Black Label burger was "funny" and "flattering" and "a totally different animal" from their famed Minetta Burger masterpiece. Yet, today, "Page Six" says the LaFrieda company is feeling litigious like the old days, sending Wendy's a cease-and-desist letter. Bipolar ... or building up the MeatMen buzz? [NYP]

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