Posts for February 20, 2014

Taco Tasting at Empellón Taqueria; New Chef at Extra Fancy

Extra Fancy in Williamsburg has named Sean Telo as the restaurant’s new executive chef. Telo, who previously headed up the kitchen at STG in Atlanta, is revamping the New England-style seafood menu to include more Southern food. You can expect dishes like house-baked bread with uni butter, lobster potpie, and oysters with cornbread and Benton’s bacon stuffing. [Grub Street] • The Gilroy, a new Upper East Side restaurant dedicated to cocktails and late-night dining, will open tomorrow at 1561 Second Avenue at 81st Street. Cocktails included vintage Negronis bottled for two. [Grub Street] • Empellón Taqueria is offering an entire taco tasting menu on March 3. The menu will feature six brand-new tacos with fillings such as dry-aged sirloin tartare, braised short ribs, and deviled eggs. The dinner is $55 per person and seatings are available from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets and more info and can be found here. [Empellón]

Plans for Union Square Park Restaurant Resume

It's been back and forth in the courts for six years now, and today, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that the long-in-the-works "Chef Driven Market" should be allowed to open within the Union Square Pavilion. It's likely that restaurateur Simon Oren still wants to open his planned full-service establishment with 200 seats on the site, and in any event, the Parks Department must approve the proposed menus as well as other operational details. [Gothamist, Earlier]

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Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Mission Cantina, the Cleveland, Narcissa, and More

Photo: iStockphoto

Last week's Power Rankings focused on comfortable spots where you could avoid the miserable weather (and the Valentine's Day crowds). But this week we return once again to tracking the city's buzziest restaurants, spots both old and new that the food world sees fit to talk about for one reason or another. Whatever you're looking for, here are 20 restaurants you should check out ASAP.

Watch a Woman Decorate a Cake on the Subway and Serve Slices to Passengers

Photo:

What looks like it might be going the exact same gross-out route as "Well-Dressed Man Eats Giant Wheel of Brie" here takes an abrupt detour into the sweet and somewhat heartwarming, just soon as artist Bettina Behjat Banayan puts down her piping bag and starts offering subway passengers pieces of cake. The video (via Complex) runs almost 12 minutes, but it's fun to watch people's reactions to being offered a plate and a fork. "Did you make it?" one incredulous man asks. "She made it right here," a passenger replies. There's a beat and then the man smiles. "Can I have one of the small slices?" he asks.

"It was really good, yeah."»

Kelis’s Cooking Channel Show Saucy and Sweet Debuts February 26

Sure, R&B artist Kelis may be best known for concocting milkshakes that bring all the boys to the yard, but she's actually also a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who markets her own line of cooking sauces under the name Feast. Now, in addition to her new (perhaps unfortunately named) show Saucy and Sweet, which debuts February 26 on the Cooking Channel, First We Feast notes that Kelis is also releasing a full-length album titled, simply, Food. Concept album or not, it features tracks called "Jerk Ribs," "Cobbler," and "Biscuits n' Gravy," which sound less like potential jams and more like dinner. Check out the Cooking Channel trailer right here. [Cooking Channel via FWF]

What to Eat at Colonia Verde, the Cómodo Team’s Fort Greene Restaurant

The Lomo al Trapo.Photo: Melissa Hom

Husband-and-wife team Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe's new Latin-American restaurant is now open on DeKalb Avenue. Unlike Cómodo, this spot specializes in food that's cooked over an open flame: Weekends in Bogotá farmhouses inspired the signature dish, Lomo al Trapo — beef tenderloin that's wrapped in a wet cloth with salt, and then cooked on a wood-fired grill. Colonia Verde's menu also includes Cómodo's beloved lamb sliders on house-made Brazilian cheese bread, as well as new dishes like coffee-rubbed cochinita, poblano-pesto cavatelli, and banana cake with asado-smoked pecan frosting. The 58-seat restaurant, designed by Fort Greene resident Matthew Maddy (whose work you've seen at Weather Up), has a farmhouse feel, complete with a greenhouse room. Take a look at the space, the menu, and a few of the dishes, straight ahead.

Gif time!»

Le French Diner Reopens With New Owners

Orchard Street's Zucco: Le French Diner shuttered, seemingly for good, over the summer, but now Bowery Boogie reports the extremely tiny restaurant is once more serving food and wine. The name of its former owner, who died outside the restaurant four years ago last week, has been dropped from the establishment's name. [Bowery Boogie, Earlier]

Raekwon Rapped at Sweet Chick Last Night

In honor of its first birthday, the Wu-Tang Clan member got all festive last night at Sweet Chick and did a verse from "C.R.E.A.M." behind the bar, near the actual creamers, then sipped a bunch of Hennessy from a Mason jar for a while. In other news, Manhattan's forthcoming Sweet Chick outpost is set to open in the old Max Fish space sometime this spring. [Bedford + Bowery, Earlier]

Keith McNally’s Pastis Closes Next Week

The restaurant employs roughly 200 people.Photo: Shanna Ravindra

Eater checks in with an employee at the Meatpacking brasserie who says the restaurant will stop serving on Friday, February 28 in order to accommodate the long-in-the-works construction project slated for the site. A revised WARN notice filed with the State Department of Labor earlier this month also indicates Pastis as we know it will shut down on that date. A representative of the restaurant previously told Grub Street that Pastis would close around March 31, but that restaurateur Keith McNally has plans to reopen the storied restaurant after construction ceases in 2015. [Eater, Earlier]

GQ’s ‘25 Best New Restaurants’ for 2014 Includes Carbone and Dover

Carbone, with its moody blue walls and tableside Caesar salad prepartions, garners the No. 4 spot.Photo: Melissa Hom

The magazine's food critic Alan Richman today files his blockbuster 25 Best Restaurants in America, 2014 list. The lineup, interestingly, includes a number of TV-friendly chefs: Former Top Chef contestant Kevin Gillespie ranks at No. 7 with Gunshow in Atlanta, Ludo Lefebvre of The Taste lands the No. 2 spot with Trois Mec in Los Angeles, and Top Chef's Paul Qui's namesake restaurant in Austin ranks at the very top. In New York, Ivan Orkin's stateside debut, Slurp Shop, part of the vast array of great food choices at Gotham West Market, edges in at No. 24, while Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern's Dover comes in at ninth. Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi's food, along with the theatrical tableside service at Carbone lands a spot the top five at fourth. Check it all out, straight ahead.

The dream of the No. 21 spot is alive in Portland.»

Matt Levine and Joe Isidori Teaming Up on Chalk Point Kitchen in the Former Dalloway Space

Chalk Point Kitchen will occupy one part of the space, Handy Liquor Bar in another.Photo: Sam Dangremond

Matt Levine has confirmed that today's "Page Six" report indicating he's at work on a brand-new project is indeed the case. The restaurateur has partnered with Joe Isidori, who was last at Arthur on Smith in Carroll Gardens, to be the executive chef at Chalk Point Kitchen, with Blue Hill vet Freddy Schoen-Kiewart serving as chef de cuisine. Isidori* tells Grub Street that the new establishment's menu will focus on organic vegetables, seafood, and local produce, describing it as "Chinatown meets the Union Square Greenmarket." Arctic char, for example, might be plated with a miso glaze, along with supremes of Ruby Red grapefruit, Satur Farms radishes, herbs, and yuzu.

Lower East Side’s Anti-Pizza Crusader Has Really Had It Up to Here With Pizza

The creator of an online petition seeking to prevent new pizzerias from opening on the Lower East Side wants to make it clear that every single outlet that covered his or her intrepid crusade thus far — including NPR, Gothamist, CBS, and Grub Street — didn't quite understand the message, which is that all pizzerias must be stopped. Cheap, fancy, exotic, novel — none of this matters, and the petitioner's Change.org page has been amended: "To clarify the point of this petition," it now reads, "It is not an anti $1 slice pizza petition. We're sick of ALL pizzerias. No more $1 slice pizzerias. No more expensive brick oven pizzerias. NO MORE PIZZERIAS!" Garlic knots should presumably also shove it. [EV Grieve, Earlier]

Sweet: 101 Amazing American Doughnut Shops With Serious Street Cred

Let the French have their croissants. The real morning-pastry action is in doughnuts, and even if Americans can't claim sole ownership over something as simple as frying dough, the United States can certainly stake a claim on doughnut shops, those beautiful, Technicolor gut-bomb oases that dot this great land of ours.

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