Posts for April 17, 2012

Talde Opens for Brunch; Big Apple Barbecue FastPasses Now on Sale

• Beginning Tuesday, April 24, Whiskey Blue inside the W New York will add small plates to its menu, with traditional bar favorites under the direction of Chef Peter Andino. The comfort-food additions will include Kobe, Bahn Mi, and Maryland Sliders ($8 each/three for $21); Patatas Bravas ($12); Chicken & Waffle Beignet ($14); and Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls ($18). [Grub Street]

Monument Lane will celebrate its one-year anniversary this weekend with free samplings of Chef Berry's charcuterie (Duck Rillettes, Pork Terrine, etc.), in addition to a Bar Special Thursday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to midnight, and all day on Sunday. [Grub Street]

• Stop by the Fairway Market at its Upper East Side and Harlem locations to taste samples from local artisan vendors of cheese, meat, fish, baked goods, and more. [Grub Street]

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What You Missed at the Relais & Châteaux Grand Chefs Dinner

Relais & Chateaux hosted a culinary blowout last night that was not without its star factor (Greta Gerwig!) and its hype. Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Mark Ladner, Michael White, and Daniel Boulud were among those who cooked for a $1,500-a-plate benefit for Citymeals on Wheels. At one point, 45 star chefs from Relais & Châteaux properties worldwide gathered on stage to lift glasses of Pommery and toast New York in the spring.

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Going Down on Studio 54

Nostalgia!

An of-another-era cabaret and restaurant called 54 Below is set to open under the one-and-only Studio 54, where Patty Lupone and Justin Bond will perform, Chopped's André J. Marrero will cook, and Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality will consult. Expect three shows a night, and a lot of groovy ghosts from the past. Opening in June. [Zagat]

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A Hot Investment Tip

If you haven't managed to make a killing in the pressed-juice industry (like some people, ahem, are trying to), here's another hot tip: hot sauce. The Washington Post notes that hot sauce is the eighth-fastest-growing industry in the U.S. right now, after yoga studios, generic drugs, and for-profit universities. Might have something to do with global warming, and possibly that whole artisanal boom we read something about somewhere ... [Wonkblog/WP]

Punto Bianco Café Brings Phyllo to Dumbo

Punto Bianco — a husband-and-wife venture specializing in fresh, healthy Mediterranean food representing everywhere from Greece to Lebanon (serving kosher meat only) — has opened just across from supremely rad Brooklyn Roasting Company, enhancing the thriving Jay Street waterfront food scene (i.e., the perfect location for a Pok Pok Ny, Part Two).

Punto Bianco Café, 20 Jay Street, Dumbo

In Perfectly Actressy Fashion, Mary-Louise Parker’s Last Supper Would Be an Avocado and Some Nuts

No weed, maybe tequila.

She also, apparently, makes friends take butt-naked photos of themselves before offering up such profound, high-protein, low-carb, antioxidant-y answers. P.S. We luvvvv our Nancy Botwin but ... kinda weird. Watch the vid on Melanie Dunea's My Last Supper here!

This Ridiculously Huge Yellow Truck Belongs to Guy Fieri

We didn't realize, as we were collecting and captioning the photos from Pebble Beach Food & Wine yesterday, that the gargantuan, tricked-out, yellow SUV/truck thing that Elizabeth Falkner posed in front of belonged to none other than Guy Fieri. In retrospect, we should have known. As many of you may recall, his other car used to be a yellow Lamborghini, but that got stolen. Way to stay true to your brand, Fieri! [Earlier]

Why Are Canada’s McNuggets Saltier Than America’s?

Canadian McNuggets, eh.

Fast food is basically one giant salt bomb, which you've probably gathered from years of empirical research at the fringes of a greased-stained bag. But according to a new study conducted by World Action on Salt and Health, not all fast food gets salted equally. For example, researchers found varying levels of sodium while studying an international spread of Chicken McNuggets. The sample from the U.S. contained 1.5 grams of salt per serving, while the sample from typically safe-and-sane Canada contained 1.7 grams, and England's packed less than half of that, with just 0.6 grams of salt per serving. Elsewhere, the McNugget researchers found wavering salt content in samples procured in France, New Zealand, and Australia. So what does the research prove exactly (besides reminding us Yanks that we're still hopelessly unhealthy)?

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Deep Thoughts on Doughnut Lust

Lick the screen, you know you want to.

Some blame crops and convenience stores for the rise of the big, fat ass, but others might want to point a honey-dipped finger at ... the doughnut. Ralph Gardner visits Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop in Greenpoint, "whose donuts Tina Fey has compared to sex"; the dominating Doughnut Plant, where the owner insists he invented the killer crème brûlée (and the square doughnut — who cares?); and Baked by Butterfield, where "they're more like cakes in circular form." The best epiphany of all is buried somewhere in the middle of his box of diet-murdering deliciousness: "I'd go so far as to say there are few things on Earth as disappointing as stale donuts." Amen. And hole-y craving. [WSJ]

Is Martha Stewart to Blame for the Scarcity of Ramps?

This looks like it's more than half a peck.Photo: Courtesy of Amis

The only thing that gets those with locavore leanings frothing at the mouth more than the arrival of ramps each spring is their appearance on restaurants’ menus. But who can we blame for the dwindling populations of the precious and most elusive wild spring onion? Smithsonian is pointing fingers at Martha Stewart. In a piece today about the growing scarcity of ramps, and no signs of their popularity or the practice of foraging them from their native habitats letting up, it says that a recipe that appeared in Martha Stewart Living Magazine back in the nineties is a sort of patient zero for the growing problem.

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Have the Bankers Forgiven Batali?

He bit the hand that feeds him, but so what?!

Tonight will tell ... as Mario Batali — who five months ago compared bankers to Hitler and Stalin — co-hosts the Food Bank for New York City gala, an event which hopes to raise $1 million for the nonprofit, and which attracts the same exact demographic whom he regrettably insulted (causing many Wall Streeters to boycott his restaurants). Let's hope the ballers have short-term memories to match their big, fat wallets. Meanwhile, Eater hears the maj (!) news that Batali and Co. will today start up lunch at Babbo, meaning tourists will have a slightly easier time saying they tasted the Molto magic. [Bloomberg]

Watch the Country’s Best Chefs Pay Tribute to Thomas Keller

The country's most respected chef.

In case you missed it, Grub L.A. got its hands on the full Thomas Keller tribute video that premiered at this year's Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival. Think of basically any world-renowned chef — Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio, Daniel Humm — and they're probably in the video, singing Keller's praises. Of note: Bouchon Beverly Hills chef de cuisine Rory Herrmann lets slip that Keller makes his cooks head out to the golf course and caddy for him "at least once a month." At least it's a chance to get out of the kitchen! [Grub Street LA]

Restaurant Violations, the Old-fashioned Way

Here are a list of restaurant violations that won't result in a C grade, but maybe an LOL, like: “Server repeatedly and aggressively uses the words 'mootz-arell' and 'pruh-zhoot.'” And, "Open kitchen layout allows customers a clear view of line cook wearing regulation hairnet but no covering on his gigantic, filthy lumberjack beard." [The New Yorker]

What to Eat on Anella’s Spanking-New Lunch Menu

Anella.

Greenpoint seasonal fave Anella is kicking off lunch for the first time ever, right this moment. Co-owner Josh Cohen sends over the menu — a brief roster of simple fare, including steak and whitefish-salad sandwiches, mussels, a pasta, a few salads, and a chicken-liver crostini, served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The restaurant's gorgeous back garden is open now for the season, so file this away for your alfresco-lunching needs.

Lunch Menu [PDF]

Manna Catering Offers Pop-up Experience for Kosher Diners

Asparagus with mushroom cannelloni from a past dinner.

If last week’s matzo binge left you craving something a bit more refined, the latest Kosher pop-up from Manna Catering has a table waiting for you. Early last fall, Manna co-founder Dan Lenchner noticed the proliferation of pop-up restaurants and thought, why not go kosher? “A restaurant lets you [test things out], but it’s a huge venture,” he told us. “A pop-up allows you to do it on a small scale.” Now Manna's fourth kosher dinner, happening April 26 at Long Island City venue the Foundry, will be its biggest yet, accommodating up to 120 guests.

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Keep Getting Fat, It’s Not Your Fault

Blame evolution, not pizza.

Frank Bruni poses the theory that America's fatness has more to do with agriculture and abundance, plus an uncontrollable biological need to reach for calories when they're within chubby-arm's reach, than the simple, pedestrian answer: wrong choices and lack of discipline. He references the film The Weight of the Nation, because it “makes an especially persuasive case that gluttony isn’t Americans’ problem,” proposing that the issue is much bigger. [NYT]

Deadliest Catch: 59,000 Pounds of Tuna Recalled After Salmonella Outbreak

Watch out.

You’ve seen the small print on many menus, warning you about the dangers of eating raw fish or meat. Those dangers become greater when the fish or meat is ground up (which increases the chances of bad stuff getting into the food). Granted, ground fish seems like it might be a rare occurrence, but as Monica Eng warns in the Chicago Tribune, Salmonella has sickened many who have eaten scrape, the tuna back meat scraped off the bones and used in “certain sushi, sashimi, or ceviche preparations that call for a chopped or ground tuna product, most commonly spicy tuna rolls.” And now the California supplier of the tuna, which came from India, has recalled nearly 60,000 pounds of funky fish.

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Are Bodega Disability-Act Lawsuits the New Ambulance Chasing?

Screwed as usual.

While wage-violation specialists like Maimon Kirschenbaum make big bucks bringing suit against the big guys, others in the legal world are targeting the little guys — bodegas, yogurt shops, and the like — for failing to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines. While it's unfair to imagine a disabled person being unable to access their neighborhood deli, according to the Times, many of these legal eagles are not responding to complaints, but rather seeking out disabled people to testify in instances where they see violations. Plaintiffs collect around $500 while their lawyers keep thousands. And the mom-and-pop operations? Well, as usual, they're screwed. [NYT]

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