Posts for July 9, 2013

Benoit’s Picnic Lunch Box; Free Coffee at Café Quatrième at the Fourth

• Alain Ducasse’s Benoit is offering a ready-made picnic lunch box with a niçoise-style tuna sandwich, fruit tart, and iced tea or cilantro-strawberry lemonade for just $19. It's available through Labor Day. [Grub Street]

Olio e Piú is now open 24/7! Dinner for breakfast has never been this easy. [Grub Street]

• To celebrate the opening of Café Quatrième at the Fourth, the restaurant is offering a complimentary coffee drink with any purchase for guests who check in on Foursquare. The deal is available tomorrow through July 20. [Grub Street]

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Introducing the Crookie, Which Has Nothing at All to Do With Cronuts

They could have at least tried this with Nutter Butters.Photo: Courtesy of Olivier Jansen-Reynaud/Fox News

Here's the Crookie, the possibly soon-to-be trademarked creation of Toronto-based pastry chef Olivier Jansen-Reynaud, who realized that inspiration is also spelled N-A-B-I-S-C-O. As in the manufacturer of Double Stuf Oreos, which is exactly what Jansen-Reynaud pulverizes and packs inside 100 innocent little croissants every day — all this is, in other words, gavage for complex carbohydrates and an affront to pastry dignity. Cronuts have inspired tons of knockoffs, sure, but if everyone is just going to fecklessly go the Dr. Frankenstein route with laminated dough, why not do Crupcakes now and get it over with? Or Cracarons, for that matter, or Crogurt, croissants filled with brogurt? (That last one actually works for us.) [Fox News via Jezebel]

Saul on Smith Street to Close Sunday, Will Reopen Inside Brooklyn Museum This Fall

Are they taking the tables and chairs, too?Photo: Patrick Siggins

The chef Saul Bolton and his wife Lisa opened their pioneering Saul on Smith Street in August of 1999 at a time when few considered Brooklyn to be a destination for serious restaurants (or so the story goes). Yet the pioneering Saul became known as a forerunner of "new Brooklyn" food to the point that some might argue it belongs in a museum, which is precisely where the restaurant will relocate after it closes its doors on Sunday night, the New York Times reports. Bolton, who has since picked up a Michelin star and opened the Vanderbilt, Red Gravy, and the sausage business Brooklyn Bangers, says Restaurant Associates made him an offer to open Saul in the Brooklyn Museum, on the condition that the original location close. He accepted; the new restaurant will open sometime in the fall, "perhaps as the borough’s answer to the Modern," writes Florence Fabricant. Plans for the old Smith Street space have not yet been decided. [NYT]

Chicago Restaurant Manager Accused of Stealing Employee Identities to Fund Disney Trips

Alexander Pera saw Mickey everywhere.

A 26-year-old manager of Eddie Merlot's in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnshire has been charged with money laundering and identity theft after allegedly stealing identities of more than 50 customers and former employees, which he used to take fifteen separate trips to Disney resorts and two Disney cruises within a five-month period. NBC Chicago reports that Alexander Pera started working at the chain steakhouse last October and used stolen credit card data to buy prepaid gift cards, which he used to pay for goods while using fake names of co-workers. Pera is said to have a "fixation with" Walt Disney World and was carrying a loaded handgun when he was arrested earlier this month, by which time he had blown $50,000 on photos with Donald Duck and Captain EO tickets. He probably thought he'd keep getting away with it, too, until Lincolnshire police reminded him that it's a small world after all. Check out the video, straight ahead.

Fifteen trips in five months. »

Action Bronson Developing Cooking Show

Photo: Roger Kisby/Getty Images

When asked, half-jokingly, if he might want to replace Paula Deen, the Queens-based rapper and skilled cook tells MTV Hive he actually has something in the works. "I don’t know if the Food Network is the right home for me, but yeah I’m working on a cooking show," he says. "I can’t really speak on the details, but we’re having talks." You may recall Bronson was busy in the kitchen, expanding his repertoire of savory edibles last summer, some of which appeared in his Grub Street Diet. "I grilled branzino, made a vinaigrette infusing olive oil with the weed, lemon, capers, a little bit of basil, a little bit of parsley, and some red onions. I laid it over the fish after it was cooked," he said, "and it had the same effect as if I smoked twenty blunts." Yeah, well, the Food Network already has too many grilling shows, anyhow. [MTV Hive via Hip Hop DX, Earlier]

Chef Hacks: How to Instantly Infuse Alcohol With a Whipped-Cream Siphon

Dave Arnold

Spend enough time in a professional kitchen and you pick up plenty of MacGyver-like skills and tricks that can come in handy in all sorts of situations — techniques you only learn when you're on an undermanned, overworked line and every second counts. With that in mind, welcome to Chef Hacks, wherein each entry will be devoted to one such useful, unexpected technique that you can put to use immediately. Today: Booker & Dax's Dave Arnold shows us how to instantly infuse alcohol with a whipped-cream siphon — then clarify it with nothing more than milk.

If Mr. Wizard had been a bartender ... »

A Look at Luksus, Opening July 16 in Greenpoint

Lamb breast with marble potatoes, sunchokes, and lamb's tongue.Photo: Melissa Hom

Chef Daniel Burns, who innovated with various lactobacilli and spores at Momofuku's fermentation-centric test kitchen and previously ran the pastry program at Noma, has finally got his Danish modern nook in order at the back of Tørst on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint. Luksus has been in friends-and-family mode during the last week, and online reservations for the 26-seat tasting-menu-based restaurant are already fairly booked. There are, however, lots of reasons why you may want to grab your seat now.

Lamb's tongue and grilled romaine roots. »

Guy Fieri Promoting the New Adam Sandler Movie With ‘Grown Ups Chili’

Fingers crossed for a cameo.Photo: Tracy Bennett/Columbia Pictures; Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

If you're even remotely aware of the new movie Grown Ups 2 — starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, etc. — you know that "high art" probably wasn't the goal of the people who made it. So it only makes sense that the stars of the movie will promote it by appearing on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives tonight. If the pairing of Sandler and Fieri isn't enough for you, though, know this: Fieri created a special "Grown Ups Chili" recipe to honor his new bromance. The first two ingredients are butter and bacon grease, of course, and all you at-home cooks are in luck because the full recipe is available now.

With a side of French fries, even. »

Watch a CGI-Resurrected Bruce Lee Sell Whiskey in a New Johnny Walker Blue Ad

The venerated martial artist died 40 years ago this month but is nonetheless very lifelike and somewhat spectral in this subdued new commercial for Johnny Walker. "Dragons never die, because dragons draw power from water," the completely CGI Bruce Lee explains, observing the Hong Kong cityscape from a balcony atop the Crown Plaza Hotel in Hong Kong. In the afterlife, Fred Astaire dances with upright Dirt Devil vacuums and Audrey Hepburn makes Galaxy chocolate bars a routine part of all Roman holidays, so it's perhaps fitting, and also incongruous, that Lee, who never drank, is now selling Scotch whiskey.

"Everyone possesses this unlimited power." »

Beyoncé Purchased 150 Po'boys at Parkway

After a big show in New Orleans this weekend, Queen Bey bought sandwiches for her massive entourage. Parkway doesn't deliver, but owner Justin Kennedy made an exception, obviously. "Shrimps, Reubens, capreses, catfish, they ordered everything off the menu," he said. "We brung the restaurant to them." His team of four filled the order in an impressive two and a half hours, and Beyoncé's secretary called after to say, "Everything was wonderful." Daydreams about being Beyoncé's backup dancer just got so much better. [Nola Defender]

Nobody Wants to Buy SodaStream

The Israel-based company, which will generate $550 million in revenue this year, is looking for a buyer. Though it was rumored that PepsiCo was interested, CEO Indra Nooyi denied making a $2 billion offer — and Coca-Cola reportedly doesn't want to acquire the company, either. While SodaStream projects that it'll bring in $1 billion in revenue by 2016, and it's expanding by selling canisters in grocery stores, not everyone's convinced that carbonation systems are going to be ubiquitous in households. Your move, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. [Earlier, NYP]

There Are Now 500 Dunkin’ Donuts in New York City

Remember when there were a measly 341 Dunkin' Donuts shops just five years ago? Or in 2012, when the number was 484? Chains. They grow up so fast. Now that the city's 500th Dunkin' Donuts has opened in Times Square, the next thing you know they'll be selling gluten-free doughnuts and acting more and more like Starbucks, with comfy chairs, soothing satellite music, and lots of electrical outlets for computers. Oh, wait, that's already happening. [PRNewswire, Earlier]

City Council Introduces Legislation to Change Restaurant Inspection System

Lowered fines, improved communications between officials and restaurant proprietors, and test runs of ungraded inspections are part of a broad legislation package announced yesterday by Speaker Quinn at Jerry's Café in the financial district, the Times and others report. Restaurant owners have faced a sharp increase of inspection-related fines since Mayor Bloomberg introduced the letter grading system in 2010, from a total of $33 million to $51.4 million last year. Critics have argued that several small businesses, including institutions like El Faro in the West Village, have been put out of business because they've been unable to cope with fines.

Big changes. »

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