Posts for May 1, 2012

Brick-Oven Pizza From a Vintage Chevy Flatbed; Frappuccino Happy Hour Alert

• Mediterranean eatery Gastronomie 491 will host a Joy of Cheese event series featuring four wine and cheese pairings on May 1, 8, and 15. The event starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased online. [Grub Street]

Scarpetta is ringing in its four-year anniversary with a special four-course prix fixe menu featuring some of Scott Conant's most beloved dishes, paired with a complimentary wine flight, for $60. Raw yellowtail with olio di zenzero and flaked sea salt, as well as spaghetti with tomato and basil, will be served. The special will be available May 7 through 10; tickets can be purchased by calling 212-691-0555. [Grub Street]

• LES burger joint Interstate Food & Liquor will open for breakfast and lunch every day beginning tomorrow. As they clarified for us, that means “All Sliders. All the Time.” [Grub Street]

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Mary Queen of Scots Succumbs

In the New York restaurant world, some spaces are simply cursed, and 115 Allen Street, the home of Mary Queen of Scots until it shuttered on Saturday (as Eater reports), is one of them. Must be the bad juju from Allen & Delancey stuck around. We liked Mary, with her creative Brit bites, deep Scotch whisky list, and swingin' Scottish decor. Now you'll have to hit Highlands or Whitehall (from the same owners) for a cross-pond fix. [Eater NY]

Niko Is Closed, Probably for Good

After a little more than a year in business, super-trendy Niko, the Japanese restaurant that took over the former Honmura Ahn space on Mercer Street, has closed — for now, anyway. "We had a flood; whether or not we reopen depends on what happens with the insurance,'' says owner Cobi Levy, who was a partner in the equally trendy and short-lived Charles before opening Niko. But sources close to the situation say that Saturday was the restaurant's last night, and the damage caused by a burst water heater could have easily been repaired if the restaurant had wanted to remain in business.

The Eleven Most Shockingly Gross Food-Industry Settlements

This week KFC's parent company was ordered to pay over $8 million in a settlement to the family of an Australian girl who suffered brain damage after eating the chain's chicken. The case is completely disturbing, but the scarier news is that it's hardly an isolated incident in the annals of fast food. In fact, it seems like every month we've got another good citizen falling prey to the industry's safety lapses and plain old stupidity. Here now, a look back at eleven such cases where food companies were pressed to settle with their victims customers, each one more disgusting and disconcerting than the one that came before.

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Wylie Dufresne Has Dissolved the Entire wd~50 Menu

Out with old, in with the ... carrots that look like peas.

If change is good, Wylie Dufresne is in for some happy days. This week, the kooky chef-trailblazer scraps his entire menu at wd~50, most of which has been offered since opening day nine years ago, for something brand spankin' new. Even the format is new, as the restaurant will now offer two tasting menus, a concept he tried to avoid for fear of self-importance (“I was afraid people would associate a tasting menu with a temple, a church”) but has come to embrace. He also says his mad-scientist touch has been tamed, not that his crew isn't currently using "vacuum pressure to press the essence of pistachio oil directly into pores of zucchini" or anything. [NYT]

First Look at Mile End Sandwich, Now Slinging Poutine and More on Bond Street

At long last, Mile End Sandwich (don't call it the Canadian Torrisi) has opened on Bond Street in Noho, and we apologize to the I.T. department, but we're going to need a new keyboard on account of the drool. There's a killer-looking eggplant sandwich in a flatbread wrap, the "Mish Mash" (eggs, sausage, and green things between bread), poutine, and more, including breakfast favorites like the lox-and-bagel Beauty, served from 8 a.m. till midnight. The clean, streamlined space is reminiscent of the original in Brooklyn — see that, and the grub, straight ahead.

See the menu. »

No One Is the Next Nigella Lawson

If it is in fact true that Nigella has past her prime, Britain is feeling out a few new options for the "domestic goddess" spot, starting with these three ladies who seem like watered-down Lawsons in our smitten-American opinion. [Guardian UK]

Watch the Making of a ‘Banh-Meat’ From the ‘World’s Worst Supermarket’

There's "no cilantro, no daikon, no carrots," but Josh Ozsersky still calls his "New Jersey–stoner" breakfast, bought exclusively at C-Town, a "Banh-Meat" — a highbrow composition of Spam, kosher salami, and plastic-wrapped cheese, cooked over a dirty grill on a dodgy rooftop. [Ozersky TV]

Watch the mess unfold! »

Fall Into Line: The Case for the ‘Buffet Rule’

Total chaos.Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Like many Americans, I follow political news for the sole purpose of not being embarrassed during telephone civics surveys. I scan the headlines grudgingly and am easily distracted by things like college football and food. This practice has caused me confusion regarding the so-called Buffett Rule. In reality, the rule has something to do with taxes. But "Buffett Rule" is easily misread as "Buffet Rule," i.e., a reference to the method of distributing food that combines eating old scrambled eggs with the convenience of having to get them yourself. (The buffet proprietor's motto: "We're barely trying.") But during one misreading, it hit me: The buffet industry, currently regulated only by informal etiquette, could use some more substantive oversight of its own.

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Watch Jacques Torres Teach Chocolate Lovers to Make Chocolate Truffles

Remember that chef-eat-chef contest we ran last week about your best cooking tip? The winner got two tickets to attend this: Jacques Torres's truffle class at last weekend's New York Culinary Experience. Looks like someone had fun ... and that's just starting with Mr. Chocolate. Watch and learn!

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Fig Newtons Sounded Too Laxative-y, Now Just ‘Newtons’

The Puff Daddy/Diddy of snacks.

Who knew? Fig Newtons have dropped the "Fig" and now go exclusively by the name "Newtons." “We needed to let fruit be the core of the brand as opposed to the fig,” said a spokesperson, alluding to various fig-killers like chewy strawberry and pomegranate. Also, the word fig is associated with "prune," which is associated with IBS and old people, “and that’s not good.” [NYT]

LaFrieda Says Dark Meat Is Having a Moment

Pat LaFrieda Jr. says the best way to find out what's good in meat today is to ask a butcher what he's taking home. For the LaFrieda family (and many more consumers these days), it's chicken thighs. Because, as with all dark meat, he says it's "the least expensive protein that you could buy, but it had the most amount of flavor." In other fleeting food trends, scary cannibal shrimp are making a splash. [AP]

Meet the ‘Drag Queen of Healthy Cooking’

Carrots, eggs, bread... and a wig.

Jaime Montalvo Jr., a mild-mannered Time Warner Cable employee, finds that the best way to teach people about healthy Latino cooking is to don a wig and heels. The Jackson Heights resident hosts a cooking show as female alter ego Soraya Sobreidad, whom he dubs “the Drag Queen of Healthy Cooking.” Now Montalvo/Sobreidad has a chance at a $10K prize at tonight's Queens Taste event, which the cook says he would use to further his cause for spreading low-fat, fiber-rich Puerto Rican grub — if you need proof it works, just check out his gams. Come to think of it, Queens Taste seems like a pretty apt name. Can somebody please get this dude a show on Bravo? [NYDN]

Rick Bayless Isn’t Feeling the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List

"I'm studying Pellegrino list of World's 50 Best Restaurants 2012. Does anyone else think it's an odd collection&wonder how it's arrived at?" —Rick Bayless on yesterday's announcement, with Noma yet again being named best restaurant in the world. [Rick Bayless/Twitter]

‘Prick’ John Mariani vs. ‘Vile’ Joe Bastianich

Calls Mariani "not important."

Sounds like Joe Bastianich's Restaurant Man has taken a page from How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, now that Esquire's John Mariani (who was described in the book as a "self-righteous, condescending prick" who "slashed my balls off") has torn JoBa another new one, with a publicly released letter calling him "vile" and "duplicitous," and describing the memoir as "what seems an attempt to out-Bourdain [Anthony] Bourdain and must appall your mother ... " [Page Six/NYP]

KFC Ordered to Pay Millions After Customer Gets Chicken-Related Brain Damage

Don't lick those fingers just yet.

And you probably thought the Double Down was the most dangerous thing on KFC's menu: A judge ordered the chain's parent company to pay one Australian family $8 million AUD ($8.3 million USD) after one of its Twister chicken wraps gave a girl permanent brain damage.

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Sheen in Legal Blow With a Naked Sushi Room at NYC Strip Club

This wouldn't happen at Yasuda.

Charlie Sheen's lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to a classy New York strip club called Cheetahs, claiming the Charlie Sheen Room, a VIP area that served sushi off naked dancers, could hurt their client's reputation. Threatening millions in damages, Team Sheen insisted his name be removed from the den of naughty maki and sticky rice, or else. The president of Cheetahs said Sheen's name wasn't doing much for business anyway, assuring that the naked sushi room is "not where you do crack." [Page Six/NYP]

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