Posts for May 10, 2012

Bushwick Gets Its Own Flea Market; Happy Hour Deal on China Grill’s New Sushi Menu

•Courtney Novak, whose own specialty is dandelion coffee, is opening a flea market in Bushwick. The 30-year-old will set up shop May 19 at the 9,000-square-foot lot at 19 Bogart Street off the Morgan L stop, which fits up to 30 tables. [DNAinfo]

• In other Bushwick tidings, Roberta's announces its garden dinner series (via Tumblr and an interestingly Photoshopped invitation), with each month featuring a different animal. Starting May 21 at 7 p.m., a five-course spread focuses on lamb (fried lamb tongues with watercress, lamb shank with purgatory beans ... ). June is seafood, July, goat, and August, pig. All-inclusive tickets are $95. [Roberta's]

China Grill adds creative sushi to its menu.The Wagyu Tartare roll packs Australian Wagyu, cornichons, wasabi, pickled onion, and crispy rice. Monday through Friday from 4 to 7, all sushi is half price at the bar. [Grub Street]

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A Third of New York’s Bangladeshis Suffer From Diabetes

That's three times the city's average rate. And it's actually the least of their problems, says a story in the Daily News documenting the untold hardships of the mostly Brooklyn-based immigrants. Mamnun Haq runs a health-and-education program for the community and notes, “Their food is too starchy; they eat too much rice." [NYDN]

A Takedown of Marshmallow Vodka and Other Flavored ‘Poison’

One professional drinker is just sickened by peanut-butter-and-jelly rum and bubblegum gin, saying, "You know who loves flavored liquor? Underage kids." After being offered blackberry whiskey, the writer reached his breaking point and cried, "My favorite flavor of whiskey is whiskey." Salute to that. [Bon App├ętit]

Accused Wine Counterfeiter Actually a Brilliant Wine Blender

Back in March we reported on the arrest of jet-setting wine collector and dealer Rudy Kurniawan, a.k.a. Dr. Conti, who was busted for allegedly selling counterfeit bottles of ultrarare French vintages. It turns out that a key to Kurniawan's success over part of the last decade was his palate, and his skill at mimicking — via blends he made in a home laboratory using recent vintages — the bouquet, color, and flavor of very old and expensive wines.

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Now Lidia Bastianich Is Being Sued by Felidia Servers


Lidia Bastianich is no stranger to a court summons, following the very weird allegations that surfaced last summer from a former employee. Now wage-violation-crusading attorney Maimon Kirschenbaum sends over a complaint filed by some former Felidia servers, who allege that Bastianich and the restaurant illegally distributed tips and failed to meet minimum-wage requirements; there are also questions of overtime compensation and spread-of-hours pay. Wonder what Joe Bastianich, Kirshenbaum's most vocal detractor, will have to say about this?

Gratuity Included: A Quick History of Big Celebrity Tippers

We've spent enough time working restaurant jobs and slogging through part-time drudgery to truly appreciate any baller who knows how to tip big. And in celebrity circles, a huge gratuity (made public) is a surefire path to good PR and image rehabilitation. Yesterday, we learned that John Travolta wasn't too shabby with a tip at a fortuitously timed dinner at Mr. Chow in New York. So today, we present some huge tipping moments that might make you think, however, briefly, that the celebrities who left them aren't such bad people after all — even notorious ne'er-do-wells such as Naomi Campbell and Russell Crowe. Check it out, straight ahead.

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Take a Look at Handsome Dan’s Stand, Serving Snocones and Sodas in the ‘Burg

Handsome Dan, in the shop.

It’s rare to catch a glimpse of a snow cone in New York City — except for maybe when the circus is in town. But Daniel Levin started changing that last summer when he sold his housemade snocones (as he spells it) at the now-shuttered Blackbird Parlor. Now he’s opening an artisanal snocone and sweets shop, Handsome Dan’s Stand, in Williamsburg’s Mini Mall. The shop, which is soft-opening this week, sells snocones in grown-up flavors like thyme dream, earl grey cream, orange blossom ginger, rose pomegranate, and chili passion fruit.

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Vegemite’s Sales Stink

And how about revamping the dated packaging?

Australia is having something of a culinary identity crisis as younger eaters increasingly fail to embrace Vegemite, writes The Wall Street Journal. The yeasty spread (a by-product of beer-making, we just learned) is notorious for its pungent smell and salty flavor, not qualities generally beloved by children. And a growing Asian population in places like Sydney means many youngsters have no familial obligation to ingest the stuff, since their parents never did.

Marmite, however, is in demand. »

‘Around the World in 80 Plates’ Recap: David Rees on the Premiere

Cheers!Photo: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

Do you like food? Do you like the world? If you’re like me, you do! But here’s the most important question, reader: Do you like plates? I think plates are pretty cool — I like big circular plates covered with leafy greens and pork chops and mashed potatoes and other such delights. I’m also fond of oval platters suffocating under the weight of extreme nachos. I’ll confess to hating rectangular and triangular plates of the type you find at certain restaurants who take as their motto “Let’s confound diners’ expectations about the most basic shit in the universe,” but overall I guess you could call me a fan of plates. Anyway, there’s a new show made for people just like you and me: Around the World in 80 Plates is Bravo's celebration of travel and cuisine and arguing and all that stuff we’ve come to expect from reality TV (and reality itself).

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Crown Heights: The Hasidic Soho?

It is according to the Daily News, anyway. There's an artsy flower shop, an art gallery, and a Kosher food emporium that sells $20 bottles of truffle oil and other gourmet grub. There's even the requisite mommies-with-strollers hang in the form of a Kosher pizzeria, Basil, whose owner is planning a second restaurant for the hood. Sarabeth's and Magnolia Bakery, you listening? [NYDN]

Alinea Has Insomia: Grant Can’t Sleep

Chef needs nap.

He may have looked all award-clad and Ethan Hawke–like at the James Beard Awards, but apparently Achatz is suffering from insomnia, tweeting, "Any tips on readjusting sleep schedule after being in 5 time zones within 18 days. I am up at 4 every morning now. Productive I guess ... " Unfortunately, he's not getting the answers he needs either, with a follow-up tweet: "Responses 2 correcting jetlag sleep disorder range:Booze, weed, cocaine ambien, herion or cocktail of all vs Melatonin/fasting. Who r u ppl?:" [Gachatz/Twitter]

Donatella, Mommy Blogger

Hello, hot mom.

Donatella Arpaia takes to HuffPo to write about being "the 40-Year-Old Mom." Each Mother's Day, she says, "As much as I loved being the cool celebrity aunt, what I really wanted was the title we were celebrating that day." She only felt ready for a family in the past few years, "having gone through the high highs and extreme lows of a career in a male-dominated industry." She claims Mommy Donatella is a different person than the glamorous one known for nurturing a Prada habit: "while I still like to put on heels, I don't panic if someone sees me without mascara." You go, Donatella, and if you need somewhere to celebrate Mother's Day ... [HuffPo]

Ten Fantastically Nasty Fast-Food Meltdowns

It's a fact: Crazy things happen at fast-food restaurants. But we always assumed that people who did things like dial 911 for McNuggets or stiletto-stomp patrons at Taco Bell were predisposed to such behavior despite their diet. But turns out, if they favored wheatgrass over Whoppers, things could be different. Recently Ohio State University announced a research project that seeks to link fast food to the body's reaction to stressful situations (like, say, not getting McNuggets right now.) And in that spirit of academic pursuit, we've put together a list of the ten most outrageous fast-food freakouts. All the people on this list behaved poorly, but don't judge. Science might just be on their side.

Ed Schoenfeld Loves Newark Like He Loves Noodles

Don't knock it till you've tried it.

“I love seeing how people’s eyes roll to the back of their heads when I tell them that I live in Newark,” says RedFarm's Ed-Eddie Schoenfeld. In addition to expanding RedFarm to the laundromat below and to the Upper West Side, he has moved from Brooklyn to Jersey, into a big old house that came with oddball furniture and art. [NYP]

Osteria Morini’s ‘Industry’ Night Means Ten Dollar Pasta for All

You're supposed to "mention" you're in the industry, but in reality, all are welcome to Osteria Morini on Monday nights from 9:30 p.m. on, when Michael White is serving up pasta for ten bucks a plate starting this week (and will be there himself). Sounds like a steal, and a scene.

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