Posts for April 23, 2012

Bricola Opens in Hell’s Kitchen; Zagat’s ‘30 Under 30’

• Japanese restaurant Nippon is closing down, following in the footsteps of Ramen Kuidouraku, the previous tenant of 121 Ludlow St. [Bowery Boogie]

• Okay, so we're a little late on 4/20 news, but this was too good not to mention: A 24-hour marijuana vending machine has been created and is primed for release by dispensaries in California. [Gawker]

• Pretzelmaker wants you to celebrate National Pretzel Day by visiting its Herald Square or Port Authority locations for a free twisted treat on Thursday. The national chain is giving away pretzels all day. [Grub Street]

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Is Your Cooking Playlist Cooler Than David Chang’s?

A few chefs have revealed their go-to cooking songs — from Emma Hearst and her Salt-n-Pepa "Push It" to Daniel Humm and his endless Miles Davisness to Jesse Schenker and his hard-to-kick Alice in Chains habit to "Sweet Lady Genevieve" by the Kinks for David Chang. What are your gastro-beatz? [NYT]

April Bloomfield Isn’t Alone in Her Badassness

Kudos, Ken Friedman.

"When I ask what’s in the glass and my host says lilies, my barback says popcorn, and one of my top servers says printer toner, I enthusiastically thank them for participating with me. It’s all in. Who am I to say their nose is off? That’s the way you kill a spirit." —Carla Rzeszewski, wine director of the Spotted Pig, the Breslin, and the John Dory Oyster Bar. [Brunellos Have More Fun]

What to Eat at Pounds & Ounces, Bringing Upscale Bar Food to Chelsea

Maybe a cherry float?

If a lobster-pot-pie roll or smoked chicken-truffle potstickers sound appealing, then you may want to grab one of the 120 seats at Pounds & Ounces, opening Wednesday. Managing partner Etai Cinader hails from Tao and Sushi Samba, so he knows how to please a crowd. Chef Ted Cipollone's (the Smith) roving, eclectic menu should help, along with the in-house D.J., and desserts including a peanut-butter-waffle sundae and caramelized banana bread won't hurt either. There's also a 36-foot food-themed oil painting by artist Manny Castro (known for his controversial reimagining of Lady Gaga as Christ). The restaurant is dinner-only for now, with brunch and lunch coming soon.

Dinner and Drinks Menu
Dessert Menu [PDF]

Pounds & Ounces, 160 Eighth Ave., at 18th St.; 646-449-8150

Man Eats $70,000 of Caviar in a Couple of Seconds

World winner of caviar consumption.

It's never pretty witnessing competitive eating via hot dogs and hunks of cheese, but a food competition involving $70,000 of caviar at least has a bit of cachet. Check out the Moscow-based event, where Alexander Valov, 49, speedily spoons more caviar into his mouth than most will have in their entire lifetime. Give the man some champagne. [BuzzFeed]

It’s Raw Milk, Man, Not Marijuana

No raw milk allowed.

Is raw milk the new pot? That's the question Dana Goodyear poses in this week's New Yorker, mostly based on the milk raids and arrests at Rawesome, the Venice food co-op targeted last year. She lays down a pretty solid case — federal agents, raids, wads of cash, illegal transport and sale of goods, a robust underground market, secret farms hidden in the mountains, thousands of gallons of product destroyed, and arrests. Just switch out marijuana, DEA and "farmacies" for raw dairy, FDA and members-only food stores, and you get the idea.

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Rouge Tomate Truck Is Back, and Even Better

Not too healthy for a Valrhona chocolate cookie.

The environmentally advanced Rouge Tomate truck is back today, with a menu that blows the fish out of the water. Think "Teton Waters Ranch grass-fed beefburger with avocado mayonnaise and salsa verde" for seven dollars, and "Fossil Farms grass-fed buffalo burger with spring-onion jam, wild arugula, horseradish yogurt and pickled ramp" for the same price. Find all the rouge and all the tomate at the Central Park Zoo on Fifth Avenue and East 64th Street. [NYT]

My Cousin Vinny ... and Vito ... and Frank ... and Other Fibs Restaurantgoers Tell for a Table

Not so fast, fake famiglia. Aggressive customers who pretend to be related to big-family Italian restaurateurs are only getting their asses served to them now that managers like Frank Clemente of Graziella’s have caught on to their games. “Sometimes I’ll just say, ‘Sorry, sir, Vito doesn’t know you." [Brooklyn Daily]

Wylie Dufresne’s Favorite Burger Joint Has Closed

Closed, just days before the JBFA.

Just a few months ago, Wylie Dufresne told Grub Street that he mourned his James Beard loss at Fresh-N-Fast on East 23rd Street. "Their burgers are awesome. On the night of the James Beard Awards, I went in my tux and had a burger alone." Sadly, his place of comfort has closed, which raises the question: where might the Susan Lucci of the James Beard Awards ("I've yet to win anything, ever") situate himself this year?

Per Se Now Offering a Dessert Tasting Menu

Wd~50 had better take note: Per Se has introduced a five-course sweets-only option in its slightly more casual Salon area, reports Eater. The $65 lineup changes daily; today's includes Adam Platt favorite coffee & doughnuts, exciting-sounding "popcorn cola," and a poached meringue with coriander ice cream. If you're not quite up for the ensuing sugar coma, sweets can also be had à la carte. [Eater NY]

What to Chew on at Sugar Shop, Cobble Hill’s New Candyland

Sugar Shop: Cobble Hill's new candyland.Photo: Courtesy Sugar Shop

While patisseries specializing in rainbow-colored macarons, not to mention chocolatiers, seem to be popping up on every block, it’s been a while since a good old-fashioned candy store opened in New York. The new Sugar Shop in Cobble Hill embodies the sentiment of a penny-candy store with a contemporary Wonkaland design, complete with gumball-filled plastic columns and a side room for candy-themed parties. As a nod to sweets shops of yore, the back wall is lined with a “nostalgic candy bar” full of old-school treats like Charleston Chews, saltwater taffy, Mary Janes, and Mallo Cups.

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Genius Vegas Doctor Launches Hangover-Cure-on-Wheels

Going mobile.Photo: Courtesy of Hangover Heaven

How did this not happen sooner? Today we get word that enterprising anesthesiologist Jason Burke launched an operation called Hangover Heaven. Of course, this is in Las Vegas, on a bus, outfitted with plush seats and flat-screen TVs. He calls his treatment room a "medical practice on wheels, analogous to a physician with an RV offering X-rays, MRIs or mammograms, a mobile dentist, or a blood bank bus set up in an office-building parking lot." Well, it's almost like that, except his patients' wounds are self-inflicted.

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Paulaner Will Open a Beer Bar on the Bowery

The beer craze of the past few years doesn't seem to be losing any steam: Bowery Boogie discovers that German beer brand Paulaner is planning a 4,000-square-foot flagship (the first on U.S. soil) at 265 and 267 Bowery, just down the block from Whole Foods. The project will join area suds specialists Loreley and the new Randolph Beer. Get ready to raise a stein. [Bowery Boogie]

Mario Batali’s Vespa Got Butchered

Mario Batali found his beloved Vespa all banged up after filming The Chew last week, with damages so bad he had to call the cops. Another day, another drama. [Page Six/NYP]

Adam Platt on Perla; Yunnan Hits the Post-Cantonese Chinese Scene

Perla.Photo: Danny Kim/New York Magazine

In this week's New York, Adam Platt visits Perla, Gabe Stulman's new one, which this time focuses on "rustic Italian food." In a "a snug little space ... decorated with tastefully curated retro tchotchkes," you'll find "esoteric varieties of handmade pasta," "obscure peasant delicacies like roasted lamb’s head," and pizzas "fired in that great totem of the Italian nouveau-rustico movement, the wood-burning oven." On chef Michael Toscano's (Babbo, Manzo) menu, "sweetly crisped roast duck is a thing of beauty, and so is the chicken cacciatore for two," writes our critic; the restaurant receives two stars.

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See Zadie Smith’s Brother Bug Out Over a Bad Cup of Tea

Novelist Zadie Smith's younger brother Ben has a rap-comic alter ego, Doc Brown, who cannot abide a subpar cuppa. In fact, it's the one topic that gets him properly fired up to rap, as you can see by the lyrics: "What I see made my heart burst / you went and put the fucking milk in first. ... You picked the wrong brother's cup to mess with / Now go get me a motherfucking digestive." Guess we all have our hot buttons. See the rest of his raging in the video below.

Video this way. »

The Big Meal Playwright on the ‘Chain-Restaurant Goopiness’ in His Show

A play examines how lives evolve around years of restaurantgoing.

The Big Meal, Dan LeFranc’s dark-comedy, which ends its run on Sunday, takes place at a series of grim, unnamed restaurants, because as he says, “The thing about a restaurant meal is that you can’t escape.” Though LeFranc is a self-proclaimed "foodie" who loves Franny's and grew up in the industry, the grub on the his actors' plates is deliberately "grotesque," with the most depressing of all: chicken fingers. “There’s just something sad about chicken fingers.” [NYT]

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