Posts for October 1, 2013

Hester Street Café Opens Tomorrow; Zagat Announces Results of Top Restaurant Survey

• As reported last week by Grub, Hester Street Fair has found a home year-round. Hester Street Café will open inside the New Museum tomorrow. [Grub Street, Earlier]

• A Taste of Brooklyn Bridge, a food crawl that celebrates the Brooklyn Bridge Park's culinary scene, will take place October 12 and 13 from 12 p.m to 6 p.m. Vendors include Ample Hills Creamery, No. 7 Sub, Luke's Lobster, and Calexico; tickets are $20. [Grub Street]

Zagat revealed the results of its 2014 New York City Restaurants Survey. Big winners include Le Bernardin, which took home top honors as New York City's best restaurant for the fifth year in a row; Prosperity Dumpling; Taim; and Mighty Quinn's. For more information, check out Bloomberg food critic Ryan Sutton's analysis. [Zagat, Bloomberg]

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José Andrés Is This Close to U.S. Citizenship

“We’ve done the whole process ... and the last thing is still the swearing-in.” —The government shutdown may have stymied the Jaleo chef's naturalization ceremony, but Citizenship and Immigration Services is still operational and expected to make it official very soon. [Reliable Source/WP, Earlier]

What to Eat at American Cut, Marc Forgione’s Tribeca Steakhouse

The surf-and-turf for two.Photo: Melissa Hom

LDV Hospitality and Marc Forgione have opened the second location of their Atlantic City–based steakhouse on Greenwich Street. It's a sleek space, with copper ceilings and brass chandeliers, and the extensive menu includes 21-day wet-aged and 28-day dry-aged cuts of beef. And some finishing options: You can choose to top any steak dish with bone marrow, foie gras, chili lobster, an egg, or double-smoked bacon. Take a look at the food, the menus, and the space, straight ahead.

Warning: carrot porn. »

Urban Outfitters Opening In-Store Coffee Bar in Midtown Next Week

Iced coffee is trendy, we hear.

In addition to that full-service restaurant bound for its first Williamsburg retail store, Urban Outfitters is also opening a café selling Kickapoo Coffee drinks inside its Fifth Avenue location in Manhattan on October 7. Sprudge reports that the as-yet-unnamed in-store coffee shop will operate from a modular counter area in what looks like the store's lower level, so now you'll be able to get cortados and lattes while you stock up on troll earrings, cheeky welcome mats, unicorn iPhone covers, and the blood-red True Blood Soundtrack Volume 4. The opening marks the Wisconsin roaster's first foray into NYC. [Sprudge, Earlier]

Michelin Releases 2014 NYC Star Ratings

He's looking at you.Photo: Courtesy of Michelin

The little red guidebook announced its "Bib Gourmand" picks for New York City last week, and this afternoon Michelin unveiled its star rankings for 2014. Brooklyn's River Café, which previously had one star but was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy eleven months ago, is not included in this year's guide. Meanwhile, César Ramirez’s Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare remains the only restaurant in that borough with three stars. Gordon Ramsay at the London has dropped off the list completely, and newcomers Carbone, Aska, and the Musket Room have all climbed aboard. The entire constellation, straight ahead.

Some unexpected surprises. »

Papa John’s Unleashes Pizza-Size Cookies on Unassuming Customers

Not gluten-free.

It's baked like a pizza, cut into eight slices like a pizza, comes in a cardboard box like a pizza, but it's not a pizza: It's Papa John's new "Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie" — built big and brawny and probably made with nebulously billed "better ingredients" like everything else the chain puts out. The "family-style" dessert costs just $5 with purchase of a real pizza and joins the somewhat suspect, doughy ranks of Papa John's Applepie and Cinnapie. [Brand Eating]

Keith McNally’s Pastis Closing in January

Some 200 employees are affected.Photo: Shanna Ravindra

Crain's notices a WARN notice was filed on Tuesday in advance of the closure of Keith McNally's Parisian-style brasserie in the meatpacking district. All 200 employees will lose their jobs on January 1, but will the restaurant, which is part of a compound at 9 Ninth Avenue, reopen?

It's complicated. »

Watch Mario Batali Discuss Banana-and-Mayonnaise Sandwiches

Of course Mario Batali had an obligation to praise mayonnaise at Hellmann's 100th-anniversary party, but he took it a little far. Batali told Potluck Video's Ali Rosen that he uses mayonnaise as a substitute for fat in cupcakes, burgers, coffee cakes — and adds it to bananas. "I do a little Hellmann's balsamic, a thin slice of bananas, and then a little bit of Sriracha hot sauce, and it's one of the greatest sandwiches of all time," he says. Watch it all, straight ahead.

Mayo in pancakes! Meatballs! Coffee cake! »

Grub Street and Top Chef’s Food Truck Is Now Serving Po’ Boys

New York publisher Larry Burstein, Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Bravo's president, and Grub's own Alan Sytsma.Photo: Bravo

It's lunchtime! That means that Bravo and Grub are giving away free Domilise's po'boy sandwiches (fried shrimp, roast beef, and smoked sausage), as well as jambalaya and rice, to celebrate tomorrow's season premiere of Top Chef. Right now, the truck is outside the Time Inc. building on 51st Street and Sixth Avenue — but it will only be there until 2:15 p.m. You can follow @BravoTopChef and @grubstreetny to learn where it's going to park next. [Earlier]

Soho’s MercBar Will Become a Tory Burch Store

The Mercer Street cocktail spot, now closed, will reportedly next become a really great spot to get handbags, flip-flops, and maybe riding boots. There likely won't be any antler-horn décor, canoe chandeliers, or cold gin cocktails anywhere in sight. [Racked, Earlier]

McDonald’s Enlists Genuine Chefs to Help Convince People That Its Food Is Real

If a top chef artfully plates McNuggets with an artful dollop of sweet-and-sour, they must be good, right? So goes the rationale behind McDonald's latest stunt, in which the chain goaded celebrity chefs like Dale Talde (on the McNuggets) into manipulating McDonald's ingredients into terrifying, "high-end" forms. Sure, anyone could get down with a Telemundo chef's "Tortilla Española With Garlic and Saffron Aioli" (translation: hash browns and eggs), but patty beef slow-cooked with blueberry-pomegranate smoothie base and French fry "gnocchi" just sounds like something improvised in prison.

Stop it. »

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Cancels Plans to Open Uptown

Austin's theater-cum-restaurant chain has been working since early 2012 to open an outpost on the Upper West Side, but it's no longer financially viable. "Construction costs have risen tremendously since engaging in the project back in early 2012 (due in some measure to ongoing Hurricane Sandy reconstruction efforts)," reads a statement on Alamo's website. In the meantime, you can schlep to Alamo's theater in Yonkers — or look forward to the opening of the Downtown Brooklyn location. [Earlier, Drafthouse via Gothamist]

Neta Loses Co-Chefs Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau

Will the scallops and uni stick around?

Critical favorite and perpetually busy West Village sushi restaurant Neta has parted ways with its chefs, Eater NY reports. Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau trained at Masa before opening the 42-seat omakase space in March 2012; New York's Adam Platt awarded the restaurant two stars last year. Kim says the split is amicable and that Neta's menu is now in the hands of its remaining chefs. Meanwhile, Kim also hints that the pair is working on a new project, which may or may not be based on a fifties-style Tokyo izakaya. [Eater NY, Earlier]

Read an Unpublished Chapter From Roy Choi’s New Memoir

The book comes out November 5.Photo: Ecco

Kogi founder and chef Roy Choi's new memoir, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food, won't be out until November 5, but Choi is sharing one chapter that didn't make the final cut. In it, Choi discusses West L.A. during the 1992 riots, when it "became very clear very fast that the city was up for grabs. Pandemonium. Whole plazas went up in flames." Where does food come in? "We had bowls of rice and soy bean stew or seaweed rolled kim bap to keep our bellies full as we set up for our next shift, me climbing into the back seat of a Honda Accord with my boy Yogi in shotgun, puffing on smokes, eyeballs rolling, searching for trouble." It's good; go read it here. [Riding Shotgun via Color Lines]

Inquirer Critic Head Over Heels With Serpico in Philly

Former chef and culinary director at Momofuku Peter Serpico opened an ambitious but casual restaurant with Stephen Starr on South Street in Philadelphia back in June. The kitchen has warmed up for a few months, and now Inquirer critic Craig LeBan weighs in: The chef is "one of the most thrilling culinary minds to land in Philly in years," cooking "in a style that is at once edgy, intricate, and beautiful." He gives the restaurant three bells. From the sound of things, pretty much everything on the menu — which includes fried frogs' legs, diver scallops with buttermilk and Sriracha, "Frankenlamb for two" with Sichuan chiles, and even a potentially humdrum vegetable plate — is doing something new. [, Earlier]

Heston Blumenthal Hints at Opening a Restaurant in Australia

The cool thing about British chef Heston Blumenthal, who one often suspects sports his Michelin accolades affixed to heavy gold chains worn just under his chef's jacket, is that you can seemingly track him down in any major city around the world and he'll be happy to talk about how much he'd like to open a restaurant there. He's opening in New York, definitely, maybe, and now also in Sydney or Melbourne. “I would like to think this will happen in the next three or so years, I haven’t got anything yet, but it is definitely on the radar," he tells the Daily Telegraph, going on to say that he could relocate to the country permanently, and that Europe "is all about snobbery," so there's that. [Telegraph Australia via FDL, Earlier]

How the Government Shutdown May Affect the Way You Eat

Things might get a little dicey.Photo: Library of Congress/Flickr

In a nutshell, here's what you need to know about food systems and the government shutdown: Food stamps and assistance through SNAP will continue, at least through October, and while the USDA has for the most part "gone dark" and its website is MIA, inspections of meat and poultry are considered "essential" and will continue for now. Reuters, however, notes that the business of farmers, livestock producers, and others may fall into disarray if the October crop report is missed.

Read more »

Grub Street and Top Chef Are Giving Away Café Du Monde Beignets and Coffee Right Now

Eat breakfast with Gail.Photo: Lauren Starke

Today's the big day: In honor of Top Chef's season premiere tomorrow, Grub Street and Bravo have a food truck driving around New York, handing out Café Du Monde beignets and coffee for breakfast, and then Domilise's po' boys for lunch. Right now, the truck's outside the New York Times building on 40th Street and Eighth Avenue — but it will only be there until 10 a.m. After that, you can follow @BravoTopChef and @grubstreetny on Twitter to learn where it's headed next. Gail Simmons is there this morning, and Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi should be dropping by later. [Earlier]

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