Posts for May 30, 2012

Perilla’s Summer Dinners and Beer Pairings; Alias’s 2 Fat Trannies ‘Beach Blanket Bimbo’

• The first-ever Bon Appetit Grub Crawl kicks off this Friday, June 1. Lounge with Lambrusco and crostini at Prime Meats, slurp oysters at Maison Premiere, and experience a homemade Korean-style breakfast at the Good Fork. [Grub Street]

Men’s Health has lined up Sullivan Street Bakery’s Jim Lahey, Tertulia’s Seamus Mullen, Kin Shop’s Harold Dieterle, and ABC Kitchen’s Dan Kluger to teach the first-ever Men’s Health Cooking School. The one-day seminar will take place on June 9 at the International Culinary Center; tickets here. [Grub Street]

• In honor of today’s opening of their second location in Union Square, Italian specialty foods market Agata & Valentina will offer free delivery for the first month to parts of the East and Central Villages, Noho, Soho, and to Lenox Hill and the East 80s, near their uptown location. [Grub Street]

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It’s Okonomiyaki Time!

Flake-out

The claustrophobic Otafuku in the East Village is always a sure bet to find okonomiyaki, since it's one of two things the takeout shop sells. Yet when it comes to us and the crispy, Kewpie–drenched, squid-laced Japanese pancake, we say the more okonomiyaki we can get out there on the streets of New York, the better we'll be. Which is why we're excited about the following two things.

Great balls of takoyaki, too. »

Drink Dr. Ruth’s New Wine So You Don’t Fall Asleep on Your Mate

Aged, like a fine wine.Photo: Patrick McMullan

Really, it was only a matter of time before geriatric sex guru Dr. Ruth Westheimer came out with her own line of mood-loosening libations. Her Vin d'Amour (translation: Wine of Love) hits shelves in early July, just in time for summertime trysts. One thing, though: Ruth's wine has half the alcohol content than most (6 percent to the typical 13), because that's the sexually prudent way.

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Now Open: Momofuku Milk Bar Montauk Pop-up

Should you happen to be headed east, bear in mind there's a compost cookie waiting for you at the end of the LIRR. The Montauk Milk Bar pop-up is a magical place of Arnold Palmers, cereal milk, and coffee slushies. Also, bench seats supported by milk crates. How fitting. Open Friday through Sunday until June 22, the newest member of the growing Milk Bar family goes seven days a week afterwards, through Labor Day. Check out the full menu here.

Google and Zagat Make First Big Move Together, Announce Google+ Local

Today Zagat and its parent company Google announced Google+ Local, which sounds a heck of a lot like their answer to Yelp. In fact, it's the same thing, user reviews on local restaurants with photos and a map, but you need a Google+ account — you do have one of those, right? Citizen reviews will also follow Zagat's famous grading scale, with 30-point ratings for decor, service, cost, and food. It's the first major move from the two since Google bought Zagat last fall, and it sounds like it will potentially mean more for Zagat than for Google.

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Cooking Their Way Through Gourmet’s Entire History

New York–based photographers Paul Wagtouicz and Noah Fecks posted a video today about a cooking project they're doing that makes Julie & Julia look like amateur hour. On their Tumblr, The Way We Ate, the couple plans to cook their way through every issue of Gourmet magazine ever published, making a meal from each issue one night a week. They estimate the project should take, oh, "fifteen-and-a-half-years," so hopefully Tumblr won't go the way of MySpace before then. Also, somebody should option the movie rights now.

See video below. »

First Look at Silk Rd Tavern, Opening Tomorrow

In ancient times, the Silk Road was the trade route between Europe and Asia — and when Silk Rd Tavern opens tomorrow in the Flatiron, it'll be the means of bringing you such exotic specialties as "Everything Eggrolls," featuring the whole duck, foie and all. You might also want to tuck into Singapore chile crab potpie; macaroni and cheese made with Korean rice cakes and cheddar; or maybe egg-topped barbecued short rib with Brussels sprouts. There's also a fusion-y cocktail list, to be enjoyed at the 30-seat bar or in the 40 dining-room seats. See a slideshow straight ahead.

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Felidia Lawyer Speaks Out on Tips Lawsuit

Bastianich, in pre-lawsuit days.Photo: Melissa Hom

Earlier this month, we told you that wage-violations specialist Maimon Kirschenbaum filed a complaint on behalf of Felidia's employees alleging, among other things, that the restaurant illegally distributed tips and failed to meet minimum-wage requirements. And yesterday, Kirschenbaum sent around a document (the full PDF of which is here) indicating Bastianich offered current employees a lump sum payment in exchange for signing a document indicating the person signing it "unconditionally releases and forever discharges" the restaurant from any legal obligation over "any claims for unpaid tips, wages, gratuities, and/or service or related charges." In short, it looks like Bastianich is paying people off in exchange for their silence. We reached out to Bastianich's legal team to see what they had to say.

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Doritos Versus Drugs: Literal War on Snack Food Erupts in Mexico

Temperature-hot, not spice-hot.

A drug cartel firebombed a snack-food company's warehouses and parking lots in the Mexican states Guanajuato and Michoacán over the course of the weekend. The manufacturer Sabritas is owned by PepsiCo; dozens of delivery trucks were destroyed in the attacks, said to be the "first time a multinational firm has been targeted in long-running drug wars." Members of the Knights Templar cartel have been arrested and while the Daily Mail reports the attacks resulted from extortion attempts, ABC reports that widely circulated e-mails suggest the drug cartel believed that the trucks — used to deliver Fritos, Doritos, and Cheetos — were also used to spy on their activities. Chester Cheetah was always a bit shady, but we never pegged him for a narc. [DailyMail UK, ABC]

At Taco Bell, ‘Mixology’ Means a Horrific Breakfast Beverage

Don't cross the streams!Photo: Reddit/AllenJacoby

After pole-vaulting its public image with the introduction of co-branded Doritos tacos (that Cool Ranch–flavored shell was confirmed last week, by the way, along with the promise of "cookie sandwiches"), Taco Bell has outdone itself once again by rolling out a breakfast drink called MTN DEW A.M. in its Fresno and Southern California markets. Let's face it, Fresno needed this. Photos of a drive-through card billing the "Mixology of Mtn Dew and OJ," hit Reddit the other day, and have since ignited our imaginations and captured our immobilized hearts. Fox News, thanks be, got word from a company spokesperson that if MTN DEW A.M. does well, the company is threatening planning to "roll it out to all our restaurants that serve breakfast." [Reddit, Earlier]

Jehangir Mehta Takes On Downtown Brooklyn

FloFab has it that Mehtaphor and Graffiti chef Jehangir Mehta consulted on a "tapas-style" menu for a café called Misdemeanor, located in the NU Hotel, at 85 Smith Street. Guess the chef wants to get in on the BK hotel-restaurant boom. [NYT]

Finding Grace: How a Sommelier Builds a World-Class Wine List

In the second installment of our video series "Finding Grace: The Making of a Restaurant," chronicling the creation of Michelin-starred chef (and former Alinea chef de cuisine) Curtis Duffy's highly anticipated Grace in Chicago, we meet sommelier and general manager Michael Muser. In a frank and funny nine-minute interview, Muser and Duffy talk about putting together a wine list for a menu that doesn't exist yet, finding the right balance between what customers expect and a sommelier's own wine geekiness, and the one wine that sommeliers wish they could drop from their list (and why customers won't let them). Check it all out, straight ahead.

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Sloshed: How to Make the Perfect Summer Drink Out of Anything

Requirements: Bubbles, booze, lots of ice.Photo: Hannah Whitaker

I gauge the turning of the seasons by which drinks I desire, and my strong yearning for daiquiris and mint juleps is as accurate as any calendar for telling me it's summer. Normally, I'd be stocking limes, mint, and soda. But my summer drinking plans have been disrupted by the fact that I am moving cross-country to San Francisco, so I need to use up all the leftover specialized booze that I bought, made a drink or two with, then stuck back into my liquor cabinet: things like Bénédictine and Crème Yvette that I don't want to lug to the West Coast. You probably don't have quite the same dilemma, but everyone has bottles of random booze sitting around. So, I wondered, is there a single technique that I can apply to any booze to make a great summer drink? Little did I know frat parties would end up inspiring the solution.

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More Coffee, Please: Segafredo Zanetti Espresso and Irving Farm Open This Week

We love you, too, coffee.

If this infographic is at all true, New Yorkers sip and slam 6.7 times more coffee daily (and consume more oatmeal, thank goodness) than people in other big cities. So it makes sense that not one, but two new cafés are opening this week: The new, rebranded Irving Farm opens Friday at 224 West 79th, near Broadway, playing a sort of David to the Goliath that is the very first stand-alone New York location of Segafredo Zanetti Espresso, a Bologna-based chain, opening today at 504 Sixth Avenue near 13th Street. The official bulletin from the Department of Gamechanging advises that both coffee shops will serve alcohol. [Wonkblog, NYT]

Daniel Humm Loves Veggies, Gummi Bears

Finish your vegetables.

The illustrious and soft-spoken chef Daniel Humm recently sat down with World Radio Switzerland to discuss his culinary upbringing in the shadow of the Alps, saying "I was 19 the first time I had fast food, eating at McDonald's. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world." He also admits he has a soft spot for gummi bears, sour ones in particular, and that the ornate food served at Eleven Madison Park has evolved in a somewhat surprising direction. "Probably 70 percent of our dishes are vegetarian," he says. "We're moving away from all the meat." Think Michelle Obama had something to do with this? [WRS, Related]

WTF: Travel + Leisure Ranks NYC Ninth, L.A. Tenth on ‘Best Burger Cities’ List

America's Best Burger Town is ... Providence? That's what T&L says. New York ranks ninth, and L.A. is tenth, which seems ... off. Congrats to Philly, however, in No. 2. [Travel & Leisure]

Huge Beef Producers Would Like You to Reconsider Your Feelings on Pink Slime

It just looks so tasty!Photo: Francois Nascimbeni/Getty Images

Summer grilling season is here, but demand for ground beef is down, according to a report in USA Today. It's because of that whole pink-slime thing! Consumers are moving away from pre-ground beef produced by huge companies like Cargill in favor of beef that's ground at butcher shops and in-store. (Lots of people are choosing ground bison, too.) That's a good thing! Unless of course you work at Cargill, which according to the story "saw 80% of its customers for finely textured beef [the industry term for pink slime] disappear after the controversy erupted in March." Pink slime isn't that bad, they say. In fact, according to Cargill spokesman Mike Martin, "There's no legitimate reason why it shouldn't be part of ground beef." The emphasis there is ours, because, dude, really? [USAT]

Sutton Unimpressed by Brasserie Pushkin; Sietsema Calls Sao Mai’s Vietnamese the Best in NYC

Hakkasan.

This week, London Chinese chain-import Hakkasan (a.k.a. "Ruby Foo's for rich people") got no star love from Adam Platt. What did New York’s crop of professional eaters think about the rest of the city’s restaurants this week? See their reviews, straight ahead.

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Life’s Getting Harder for Delivery Guys

It seems the city's "Don't Be a Jerk" safe biking campaign isn't working: The Daily News has it that powers are working on legislation that would jack up the current $100 fine on delivery bikers who ride on sidewalks. The new rules would likely also target the commercial bikers' bosses (restaurants and messenger services), which seems appropriate, since they're the ones paying virtually nothing and applying the pressure to make quick trips. Ordinary bikers, don't worry: Your right to terrorize pedestrians by riding on the sidewalk will not be affected by these new laws. [NYDN, Related]

Michelle Obama Talks Vegetable Feasts on The Daily Show

FLOTUS hit The Daily Show last night to talk up her brand-new book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, the latest effort in her campaign to get America eating healthy. "The garden is a good way to start the conversation," she told Jon Stewart. "When I grew up, you cooked broccoli until you could cut it with a fork." Adding, "It's not supposed to be that way." No, no it isn't. Check her tips on vegetable feasts, engaging kids in growing, and more on conscientious eating, straight ahead.

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