Posts for May 24, 2012

Free Falafel at Mamoun’s; Big Gay Ice Cream Shakes It Up

The Highliner in Chelsea will offer a lobster roll-cocktail combo for $25 from lunch to close Monday in time for Memorial Day. Dine outside (if the weather allows) on Maine lobster tossed in lemon aioli and a California Surfer: housemade California apricot syrup, muddled orange, Sauvignon Blanc, and vodka. [Grub Street]

• Celebrate Bastille Day (that's July 14 for you non-francophiles) with French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Taste of Two Forks food and wine event in the Hamptons. Food from the tri-state area will be highlighted, and tickets are selling out. [Grub Street]

• Marine-esque dive bar Rusty Knot appropriately offers free drinks to any uniformed military persons thru May 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. in celebration of Fleet Week. [Eater NY]

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Importer D. Coluccio & Sons Opening Second Shop, Adding Prepared Food [Update: No It Isn't]

If you've ever visited the compact storefront of standout Italian importer D. Coluccio & Sons in Bay Ridge — a favorite among chefs like Andrew Carmellini — you've no doubt been impressed by the bins of baccalĂ  and mini-kegs of castelvetrano olives. Perhaps you've even raced a cutthroat gang of nonnas to score the best wedge of grana padano. (For the record: Grub Street would never do such a thing.) If this describes you, you'll likely be thrilled: The Brooklyn Paper is reporting that a new Coluccio will soon open a second shop in the heart of Bay Ridge, at 86th Street and Third Avenue (awfully close to the newly closed Gold Coast Deli). [See update, below.]

Porchetta and panini! »

See Photos of Organic Avenue’s Giant New Pop-up Store in Midtown

Having noticed the dearth of healthy options in midtown, Organic Avenue founder Denise Mari and CEO Doug Evans leapt on the opportunity to nab a short-term lease at the former Ferragamo store (and onetime bank), a Deco'ed-out nearly 5,000-square-foot space. This morning they opened their pop-up, the largest Organic Avenue location yet, which will run for the next three months and possibly longer. Inside, you'll find a sprawling selection of fruit and vegetable juices and raw, vegan entrees and snacks packed to go, not to mention nondairy yogurt and ice cream made from cashews; there's also a communal table should you prefer to dine in. Midtown lunchers and tourists, take note: The shop is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends.

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No Hester Nights Tonight

For obvious reasons (the same reason the bottom halves of our pants are comically damp right now), Hester Nights in the Eventi plaza will not launch tonight as planned. Instead of forcing us all to stand around soggily trying to enjoy our La Sonrisa empanadas, the whole shebang has been pushed back till next Thursday, May 31.

Restaurant Girl Gets a Makeover

Danyelle Freeman, known to many as Restaurant Girl, has relaunched her site, which is devoted to food culture, restaurant reviews, chef interviews, write-ups of gear and gadgets, and pro tips. The new site also doles out write-ups of single dishes at restaurants: Of the blockbuster potato chips all’Amatriciana at Perla, R.G. writes "they should bag these puppies and sell them." We'll second that. [Restaurant Girl]

Ukrainian Chain Restaurant Taras Bulba Coming to West Broadway

Sunflowers, mustaches, and vodka. Four Stars.

Looks like that enormous Times Square food complex won't be the only giant, ambitious Russian project opening in New York. Following Brasserie Pushkin and Onegin, another Russian-lit inspired restaurant is set to open in Soho: Taras Bulba Korchma is a homey, country-style Ukrainian restaurant chain based in Moscow. They'll open their first U.S. location at 357 West Broadway, former home of brunch-party hot spot Via dei Mille.

Salmon roe, butter, and lettuce. »

Burgers (and Bellies) Have Tripled in Size Since the Fifties

Titled "The New (Ab)Normal"Photo: CDC

The Centers for Disease Control is really getting radical on the issue of America's bloated belt-line. It's just released this new (and scientifically very accurate) graphic that's easier to comprehend than the buttons on a McDonald's cash register. The infographic clearly illustrates two things: the spiking size of fast food burgers and sodas, and the growing size of our citizens, as portrayed by that same family making that perpetual run from the border. Basically, the latest in "we're all really fat" news boils down to this: Our burgers and fries have tripled in size since the fifties (um, what's the problem?) and so have our bellies (oh, right). Scarier still, New York Daily News relays the scoop that soda serving sizes have gone from 7-ounces to 42-ounces in the same period. (Big) gulp! [ NYDN]

Cake Boss Cast Member Gets Nine Years for Child Sex Abuse

Gonzalez.Photo: Newscom

There's nothing funny about this: After a judge rejected an effort to withdraw the guilty pleas he made earlier this year, Remigio “Remy” Gonzalez, brother-in-law of Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro, was sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in New Jersey, the AP reports.

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Listen: Times Scribe Versus Gawker Writer on This Whole ‘Food Is the New Rock’ Debate

GoogaMooga is a battlefield.

A quick refresher: In the run-up to this past weekend's Great GoogaMooga, the Times ran a piece by Jeff Gordinier about food being the new rock (perhaps you've heard this analogy before?). Soon after, Gawker's Hamilton Nolan dropped an F-bomb-laden salvo in response. And yesterday, both writers were on WNYC's "Soundcheck" to debate the issue mano a mano. Gordinier argues that chefs are like bands with traditionally divided fan bases: "Are you for David Chang or are you for Dan Barber? Where do you stand?" He adds that he hears these questions "all the time ... it's actually a very potent argument right now." Nolan goes for the ontological jugular: "Can you have a really hardcore music festival while everybody is eating lobster rolls? It's kind of a philosophical question." For your delectation, the whole show is available for your listening pleasure, right this way ...

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Not So Bad After All? Khloé Kardashian Reportedly Kordial and Konsiderate at Restaurants

The Texans just love her!

We are bringing you this news despite a few misgivings: Tabloid rumors have swirled that Khloé Kardashian isn't really part of the krew at all. And the real proof could have nothing to do with science. A couple new reports say she's nice to the little people, specifically waiters! Who can forget slimy Scott Disick (now a restaurateur!) stuffing dollar bills into the mouth of a hapless waiter in Vegas? Or Kim Kardashian's Twitter rant about restaurant breast-feeders? Or her $20,000 wedding cake? But Khloé, you see ... is different.

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Top Chef Masters Season Four Announced: Francis Lam, Missy Robbins, Dita Von Teese, and Vegas

Bravo just announced that Top Chef Masters season four will start its run July 25, and this year judges Curtis Stone, Ruth Reichl, and James Oseland will return, joined by Gilt Taste's Francis Lam and friend of Grub Street Krista Simmons. (You'll recall that Grub Street's Alan Sytsma was a judge on several episodes last year.) The chefs this time around include Missy Robbins, Sue Torres, Chris Cosentino, and Art Smith. But enough yammering — see the full release and a preview clip for yourself straight ahead.

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Around the World in 80 Plates Recap: David Rees on the Famous Squabbler Squid of Madrid

"You missed a spot."Photo: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

This week finds the chefs in Barcelona, Spain. Turns out Barcelona is a wellspring of memories for a couple of our friends: Nookie lived as a professional poker player (?!) in the city for a year, while Nicole once visited the city with her ex-wife, before her chef-related stresses tore her marriage apart; she’s still heartbroken. And BAM — just like that, Nookie and Nicole are my favorite contestants.

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Fuds: The People, and the Story, Behind GoogaMooga’s Funniest Fake Menu

Not actually coming soon.

Even more news from this weekend's GoogaMooga: During the festival, many people received fake menus from a restaurant called Fuds. It's funny, and by this point has made the rounds online — we've included the full menus below — but until now, one question has remained: Who was actually behind the gag? Well, we tracked them down.

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Old Delhi Is Dunzo

It seems like not long ago we told you about the opening of Old Delhi in Curry Hill, for which Tamarind's Peter Beck was at one point a consultant. Well, now comes word that the fast-food Indian spot is no more. That space on Lexington Avenue just can't seem to keep a tenant (it was the short-lived Kati Roll previously), probably owing to the tiny street-level footprint and charmless basement dining room. We'll see what crops up next. [Related]

See a Magician Pour Beer From an iPad

There've been some exciting developments lately in the world of beer, but none quite match the wonder of seeing a dude pour beer from a spout attached to his iPad, in this video posted by Cheese Culture. We have no idea how he created this e-keg, and neither do any of the tourists who stop by the Hofbräuhaus and get a free beer. It's all set to a background of silly oompah music, naturally. See for yourself below, and let us know if you figure out how he does it.

Right this way for video. »

Eric Hara’s 9 Restaurant Is No More

We haven't heard a peep about former Oak Room chef and purported "monster boss" Eric Hara or his Hell's Kitchen restaurant, 9, in months — and now comes a tip that the restaurant has closed. A call reveals the number to be disconnected and even the website seems to be disabled. Wonder what's next for Hara?

Adrian Grenier Wants You to Work for Your Beer

Yesterday we heard about Adrian Grenier's ambitious new plans to teach city kids how to grow and cook their own food, which is an idea we can get behind. And now we find out he's also an investor in a beer company that puts its pilsner inside old-school, flat-top cans that need to be opened with a churchkey, which is an idea that's so incongruous with the first plan that we find ourselves again disappointed in the Entourage actor.

"Bringing you this forgotten beer experience once again." »

This ‘Sexiest Vegetarian’ Guy Is Actually Pretty Articulate

This man-candy is totally vegan.Photo: PETA

Apologies for the stereotyping, but when somebody has abs like Zachary Koval, a Brooklyn-based actor and PETA's "Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door," we don't really expect much from his brain. However, Brooklyn Paper interviewed the guy, and he sounds downright sharp (must be all the chlorophyll goes to one's head). He succinctly parsed the vegan/vegetarian difference (veganism is a "lifestyle" that's "holistic") and talked up the cruelty-free options in Williamsburg, Fette Sau notwithstanding. Also, if you want to look like that, all you have to do is bike everywhere, work out for an hour four times a week, and throw in a couple of weekly running sessions. Oh, and presumably be a vegan. PETA, this campaign is definitely way better for your image than storming seafood restaurants. [Brooklyn Paper]

Jim Gaffigan Has Lots of Thoughts on Subway

A comedian's life on the road is tough: Just listen to Jim Gaffigan, who made a name for himself hating on Hot Pockets, tell it. On last night's Late Night, the comic told Jimmy Fallon that he ends up hitting Subways, a lot. And it's "not just because it's fun watching a clinically depressed person throw together your sandwich." Hear his Sandwich Artist argument in the video, straight ahead.

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