Posts for May 22, 2012

Brewers Bash at Brooklyn Brewery Tonight; Nolita House to Close After Eight Years

• Summertime nightclubgoers will be thrilled to hear that the Bowery’s Bantam is adding a new 1,000-square-foot outdoor lounge just in time for the warm weather. The new addition will be called "The Patio," and is slated to open next Thursday. [Bowery Boogie]

• It seems that as of late, the East and West coasts have been swapping a few of their favorites. So it’s no surprise, really, that Murray's Cheese Shop should open up in artisan Portland, Oregon, on June 3. [Culture]

• When giant seafood shack Brooklyn Crab opens soon in Red Hook, it'll offer shuttle service from the Carroll Street subway station. Could this be the new IKEA shuttle? [Zagat Buzz]

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Alex Stupak Sticks to His Guns

"I think that if you were to adapt based on what critics say then you're a puppet or a whore of sorts." —Alex Stupak does not take kindly to certain kinds of criticism, in an interview where he also calls himself a "nihilist." [Serious Eats NY]

Yep, Those Are Meat Balloons

If you found yourself significantly jazzed yesterday by that pepperoni pizza T-shirt, steel yourself now for meat balloons. These puppies, which are not made from puppies, were created for the Noho Design District in conjunction with last weekend's New York Design Week 2012. They've been on display at Japan Premium Beef on Great Jones for the last few days, and starting tomorrow, they're on sale for the very low price of $8 a pop (do not actually pop them). Quantities are limited; it's your choice of steak or sausage. All we need now to complete the funnest outfit ever is some boot-cut fro-yo pants. [ODLCO, Earlier]

Semen-Laced Cupcake Leads to Arson Threats at Minnesota High School

Kids in St. Paul have got to find some hobbies. [Pioneer Press]

Judge Deems POM Wonderful’s Health-Centric Advertising Misleading

Heart logos are still totally legal.

Remember when POM Wonderful's voluptuous bottles of pomegranate juice first hit supermarket shelves? Those were the days: The stuff tasted good, and it was supposedly great for your heart and prevented cancer and fixed broken boners and all that stuff insinuated in the brand's print, web, and television ads. Yesterday, a federal judge pretty much confirmed the health claims are bullshit, upholding complaints from the FTC filed in September 2010 that the L.A.–based company misled customers through false advertising about the juice's health benefits. After hearing expert witnesses debunk some of the company's science, Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell ordered POM to cease with all misleading ad claims on Monday. So why is Roll Global, the company behind the product, celebrating the decision?

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Funny or Die Spoofs Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP

Any reader of Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP newsletter knows the woman loves to name-drop. So of course, over on this Funny or Die spoof, she can't even make a frittata without reminding us all that she dated Brad Pitt, is married to Chris Martin, and is pals with Mario Batali and Cee Lo Green. And Gwynnie would never make any ordinary omelette: This one's done with Fabergé and dodo eggs, plus salt from "adjacent to the Dead Sea Scrolls." See for yourself straight ahead.

Right this way for video. »

The Hester Street Fair Heads Uptown

But oh, those Hester Nights.

Our favorite Manhattan-based food fest, Hester Street Fair, is heading uptown on Thursday nights beginning this week. "Hester Nights" will debut with a vendor lineup that includes Grub's empanada specialist of choice, La Sonrisa, plus grilled cheese from Little Muenster, chicken biscuits from Pies-N-Thighs, and offerings from Luke's Lobster, Bombay Sandwich Co., Purple Yam, and many other street-food stars. The fun runs 4 to 9 p.m. every Thursday from now through October at the Eventi hotel plaza at 851 Sixth Avenue.

Is 10 Downing Turning French? Signs Point to Oui

About to get a face-lift.

It's looking like the three-and-a-half-year-old West Village restaurant 10 Downing will soon shed its contemporary American vibe and reopen as a French bistro. La Villette appears to be the restaurant's new name; representatives appeared before Community Board 2 in April to request a liquor license transfer for what they're calling a "full service French restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner."

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Grub Street Editor Alyssa Shelasky Wrote a Great New Book, and It᾿s Out Today

Alyssa often stands on counters while she's blogging, too.Photo: Random House

Close readers will notice one byline has been absent from Grub Street this week: That's because our own Alyssa Shelasky is taking a quick break from the blogging grind to release her brand-new memoir, Apron Anxiety, which, coincidentally, can be purchased right this second.

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Falafel Vendors Versus Bay Ridge Merchants Case May Be Headed to Court

The cause of so much consternation these days.

Relationships between halal food vendors and an association of Bay Ridge merchants continue to deteriorate. Tony Gentile is the owner of Lone Star Bar & Grill, which is, by the way, according to its website, Brooklyn's "only country and western bar." Last month, Gentile formed a coalition of Fifth Avenue business owners allied by an increasing unhappiness with the vendors, citing a loss of revenue and general proliferation of shawarma litter. In April and early May, the so-called "Save Our Streets" members woke early each morning to occupy the curbside spaces where the vendors usually set up. "Food vendors are destroying our neighborhood," Gentile told CBS. Instead of selling food, the Bay Ridge Courier reported, the coalition sold cookbooks and distributed "literature about how food carts destroy neighborhood businesses."

Of course there are accusations of racism. »

Eric Ripert Knows How to Stay on Top

"For a restaurant so determined to stay on top, keeping such a deep repertory and refreshing it so often would seem to be a risk. It is also, of course, one source of its enduring success. Le Bernardin’s four-star rating in The New York Times has been confirmed every time the restaurant has been assessed, from 1986, when it opened, through 2005, when Frank Bruni wrote its most recent review. Why wait to say it: today I fall in line, happily, with my predecessors." —Le Bernardin! This week Times critic Pete Wells says it's just as good as ever, and who could possibly disagree with that opinion? Go for the review, stay for the very lovely slideshow of dishes. [NYT]

Horror Stories: The Thirteen Most Terrifying Restaurant Standoffs

It might seem like a rare occurrence, but leaving the house to grab a quick bite can turn into a drawn-out tragedy of terrifying proportions when a random robber or crazed gunman hits the same restaurant you do. The scary thing: This is happening more and more often these days. This past weekend, masked men assaulted patrons in a restaurant outside Chicago. Last week, Savannah, Georgia's Olde Pink House restaurant was the site of a nerve-shredding standoff between a police SWAT team and an armed suspect in a failed kidnapping plot. That followed a sick scenario just last month when a man horrifically gunned down his entire family at a Cleveland Cracker Barrel. Sadly, these kinds of horror stories are really nothing new. Bomb scares, hostage situations, and straight-up mass murders have plagued our nation's restaurants. Here now, a chilling look back at fourteen of the most horrifying, fear-inducing incidents to date.

Public Theater’s New Café to Get Carmellinized

A new mezzanine-level café and lounge opening in the iconic Public Theater will be called the Library at the Public Theater, and will be a casual place, open until 2 a.m., where the "audience and artists can meet, talk, eat, drink and extend the conversation past the curtain call," a representative from the theater tells the Times. The café will be designed by the Rockwell group; its name commemorates the Astor Library, a public institution that once thrived on the same site as the renovated cultural hot spot. Best of all, the F&B program will be run by Andrew Carmellini and Luke Ostrom in collaboration with Joe’s Pub. [ArtsBeat/NYT]

Bugs, a New East Village Sushi Spot From a Jewel Bako Alum, Opens in July

The East Village dreams of sushi.

Sho Boo is about to become the rarest of creatures, a female sushi chef who owns her own restaurant. Boo, who is Korean and was born in Japan, developed an impressive following during her time at Jewel Bako. But she's now left that gig to open her own fifteen-seat spot at 504 East 12th Street. The restaurant, which will be called Bugs, is due in July and will serve sushi and Japanese small plates like chicken saikyo yaki. Boo previously had a bar in Osaka, which she also called Bugs, a name she says she selected because insects tend to gather around a bright spot.

Video: Grant Achatz and Richard Rosendale on the Bocuse d’Or

You could say that America has not been a standout in the Bocuse d'Or competition held every other year in Lyons, France. We've tended to be the nation-state equivalent of the seemingly formidable Top Chef contestant who goes home in week three for undercooking the lamb. But a group of top American chefs — such as Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud — continue to put a lot of energy and resources behind changing that. And with the competition having grown more contemporary in outlook in recent years, they're determined to help U.S. team captain Richard Rosendale (from the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia) take advantage of everything that's happening on America's culinary scene and show off the best of modern American cooking. As part of that, Rosendale is spending time at a number of America's top restaurants, including the French Laundry in Napa, Daniel in New York, and Alinea in Chicago, working with their chefs on ideas for how to approach the contest. As Alinea's Grant Achatz says, "When Thomas Keller calls, you don't turn him down," and so last week he showed Rosendale around his kitchen, his city, and not least of all Crucial Detail, the atelier where many of Alinea's unique serving pieces are created. In our exclusive seven-minute video interview below, chefs Rosendale and Achatz talk about what the competition is like, how you prepare for it, and why it matters for American chefs to be part of the Bocuse d'Or.

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Ted Allen on His New Book, Crushing Chefs’ Dreams, and Chopped’s Lost Chihuahua

Poppin' champers across the country.Photo: Gail Oskin/Getty Images

Ted Allen is on a roll: At this month's James Beard Broadcast awards, his show Chopped picked up two medallions, one for Allen's hosting skills, and another for the best studio-based cooking show. So how has Allen been celebrating? By working more, of course. His latest book, In My Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Discoveries for Passionate Cooks, was released last week and he's now in the middle of a tour to promote it. (Check out the remaining tour dates here.) We caught up with Allen, who's in San Francisco at the moment, via phone to talk about how he manages to entertain himself on tour, how Chopped came to be, and his upcoming trip to Nathan Myhrvold's cooking lab in Seattle.

"I do have some really fun shit going on." »

Listen to a Clip From Harvard’s Asparagus Opera

Tastes best set to music.Photo: iStockphoto

Start your morning off right with the ambient sounds of asparagus! Tonight, Boston chef Jason Bond (Bondir) and composer Ben Houge stage a one-night-only asparagus opera, Food Opera: Four Asparagus Compositions, at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. Invited guests will feast upon an asparagus-themed menu while music plays to enhance the flavors and textures. We've got an exclusive clip of what we can only assume is the world's first-ever asparagus opera right here, so you can visualize at your desk. This ditty is called "Hot White Asparagus Soup, Togarashi Marshmallow, Nori Powder, Miso-hazelnuts."

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Killer Sushi Chef Convicted of Murder

Not a sushi knife, but you get the idea.

Two years ago, sushi chef Julian Kurita slashed his father's neck with a fish knife; yesterday a Manhattan jury convicted Kurita of murder. Per the Daily News, Kurita's father "had just taken a bite of his spaghetti dinner when he was killed." DNAinfo says Kurita explained his motives to police when he was taken into custody at the scene of the crime: "He used to fuck me up when I was kid, and he used to try to rape me and I was abused." He'd reportedly stopped taking psychiatric medication before the murder. [NYDN, DNAinfo]

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