Posts for May 01, 2014

Cull & Pistol’s One-Year Anniversary; Rosé and Burger Special at Maialino

• To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Cull & Pistol will offer a six-course tasting on May 8. It costs $58.13 per person (the restaurant opened on May 8, 2013); call 646-568-1223 for reservations. [Grub Street]

• Union Square Hospitality's Drink Pink kicks off tomorrow. May specials include a late-night burger paired with a glass of rosé for $15 at Maialino, and each restaurant will have special rosés. [Grub Street]

Crave Fishbar will host a New York Oyster Lovers Meetup on Monday, May 5. Tickets cost $50. [Grub Street]


Crif Dogs Plans to Open in Dogmatic Space

It's dog-eat-dog out there: Eater notes that Community Board 2 will this month consider a beer and wine application for a new outpost of Crif Dogs at 120 MacDougal Street, the same address that fellow sausage vendor Dogmatic moved into a scant five months ago. (Dogmatic's website now says it's moving to yet another new location.) If approval is granted and plans move forward, Crif Dogs West, as it's called on the CB2 paperwork, will be the specialty hot dog seller's third location. [Eater NY, Earlier]


Fort Defiance Will Serve $3 Daiquiris and $4 Mai Tais Tonight

Continuing its tradition of Thursday night tiki drinks — but also as a protest of sorts against that nasty lime shortage situation — Fort Defiance will tonight pour special cocktails made with Denizen's new Merchant's Reserve rum, an eight-year-old blend of Jamaican and Martinican spirits. The mai tais and daiquiris start at 5:30 p.m. at the Red Hook establishment, and will keep on keeping on until the last of the lime juice runs out. [Related]


Diner Claims Soto’s Chef Brandished Sushi Knife in the Dining Room

An anonymous, angry customer harnessed the power of the Daily News's chipper "Confidenti@l" column to all-out trash Sotohiro Kosugi, the chef-proprietor at the well-regarded West Village sushi restaurant Soto. The chef apparently had a meltdown Tuesday night after a customer complained the tuna had too much fat, a quality that is, incidentally, prized by some 100 percent of all sushi chefs who ever existed. Anyhow, the source tells the paper that Kosugi came out from around the sushi bar and started "banging dishes, walking back and forth through the restaurant swinging his knife," and that the outburst lasted "for a good 10 to 15 minutes." A waitress confirmed there had been an exchange between a customer and a chef Tuesday night, but she saw no knife-waving. In the meantime, the Daily News reports that the meal of "experimental dishes" was comped, but that hasn't kept some vigilant Yelper who's never been to the restaurant from warning prospective diners to stay away with this freshly minted one-star review. [NYDN]


Diners Who Pay More Money for Food Say It Tastes Better

Suckers.Photo: Shutterstock

A team of Cornell University researchers this week presented a paper that suggests buffet patrons don't enjoy the food as much when the menu is priced too low, and instead are more likely to love the meal when it's twice as expensive. Researchers took responses from 139 patrons of an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet in upstate New York, where the menu price was set at either $4 or $8. The red sauce and the fixins remained the same, however, and several dozen heaping servings of lasagna and breadsticks later, guests were asked to "evaluate the food and the restaurant and rate their first, middle and last taste" of the food using a scale of nine points.


Platt Chat: The World’s 50 Best Club

The bar at Eleven Madison Park.Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

Welcome to Platt Chat, where New York critic Adam Platt talks with Grub editor Alan Sytsma to discuss the dining world's most pressing issues. This week: the inherent clubbiness of the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.


Picnic Prep: 10 Seafood Conservas That Travel Very Well

Maiden Lane's canned mussels in escabeche sauce.Photo: Melissa Hom

Canned is all too often a dirty word here in the States, but in Spain, canned seafood is considered a delicacy. It's why the new Basque restaurant Huertas offers several conservas, tins of scallops, calms, mussels, anchovies, and sardines. In fact, canned seafood has been such a hit at one-year-old Maiden Lane that in a few weeks, the restaurant will launch an online retail store and begin delivering the cans through Caviar. But here's the most obvious bonus, especially this time of year: Tinned seafood travels well and requires literally no effort to prepare. It's why we're excited about all the excellent brands that are on the market now. Here are ten standouts to look for, providing a very easy way to take picnics to the next level.


Alice Waters on Giving Hugs, Kale Mania, and the Legacy of Mesclun Mix Salads

"We never actually had to take out an ad."Photo:

Chez Panisse proprietor, Edible Schoolyard Project pioneer, and all-around food legend Alice Waters flew into town to attend the Time 100 Gala at Lincoln Center on Tuesday. Sadly, she did not wear her local and sustainable "garlic hat" to the party, but she did take a few minutes to talk with Grub about her influence and the organic food movement she's credited with kick-starting into high gear in the 1970s. Waters also described getting into kale 20 years ago (a little "late," she says), and disclosed that in addition to championing their greens, she has a habit of literally embracing farmers.


Credit-Card Skimmers Allegedly Lifted $90,000 From Midtown Hale & Hearty Customers

The New York District Attorney's office has ended an elaborate card-skimming scheme that it says preyed on midtown Hale & Hearty lunchers for almost a year. Authorities say the enterprise got going last summer, when Iesha Jackson, an employee at the Madison Avenue–34th Street store, stole more than 20 credit-card numbers a day using a skimming device provided by her boyfriend, Gerald Spears. They made fake cards, shared them with friends, and did pretty much the usual for these types: "feverishly" bought $90,000 worth of jewelry, fancy clothes, and electronics, and attempted purchases for another $118,000. They also mined cardholders' credit reports for personal information, which got the Department of Homeland Security involved. The DA's office has slapped the whole crime ring with identity theft, grand larceny, and forgery charges, among at least a dozen others. [NBC]


Meet the New York Chef Who Opened Birmingham’s Hottest Pizza Place

John Hall moved back to Alabama after great gigs in New York City.Photo: Caleb Chancey

Ask anyone about the best restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama, and the answer will almost inevitably be Highlands Bar and Grill. (As Sam Sifton wrote last fall, "If you are from Birmingham and under 50, the Highlands has been the city’s best restaurant for your entire adult life.") Frank Stitt opened the lively restaurant in 1982, and he's opened two more restaurant since then, but his influence goes deeper than three restaurants: "There are a dozen good restaurants that owe their inspiration, and their fidelity to great ingredients, to the Highlands Bar and Grill," says John T. Edge, the writer and director of the Southern Foodways Alliance. Now a new roster of chefs is invigorating the city with progressive cooking and a casual approach that has come to define other southern food destinations like Charleston and Nashville. And the latest addition to the city's dining scene is perhaps the most unexpected: a chef who worked at Gramercy Tavern and Momofuku, and who previously ran a clandestine late-night pizza-delivery service out of his Cobble Hill apartment.


You Should Really Watch These Grilled-Cheese Sandwiches Get Delivered With Parachutes


There's a new, not-for-profit "sandwich-throwing venture" in Melbourne, which, of course, is the best kind of sandwich-throwing venture there is, called Jafflechutes. The gist of it is that customers check out ahead of time on PayPal, then wait in the street for ham or tomato jaffles — Australian for "grilled cheese" — that arrive by a "gravity-controlled melted-cheese delivery mechanism," a.k.a. a mess of plastic parachutes and string. The group just raised almost $5,000 on Pozible in order to bring jaffles to New Yorkers, so that's exciting, even if you always thought you were staunchly opposed to the idea of flying sandwiches. Straight ahead, the twee-est food-delivery drone to ever fly the friendly skies.


Mars Bar Will Reopen on Second Avenue in Some Form or Another

Mars Bar will ascend in what's now called the Jupiter 21 building.Photo: Youngna Park

Another nugget gleaned from the newly released May CB3 agendas is that a reincarnated form of Mars Bar is headed to 11-17 Second Avenue, the site of its former home in the East Village. The infamous dive closed in a blaze of glory — and fond recollections of the craziness contained therein — back in July of 2011 to make way for incoming condominiums and a TD Bank. "We are going to reopen," 80-year-old co-owner Hank Penza told Bedford + Bowery, which notes plans were always on the table to bring Mars Bar back in one form or another.


April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman Rumored for Former San Loco Space

The agendas for May's Community Board 3 meetings were released yesterday, and while the incoming applicant for the former San Loco space is not identified by name and the pre-filing questionnaires aren't yet online, blogger EV Grieve writes that restaurateurs Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield are angling to open an all-day "café-bar concept" in the space that would focus on espresso drinks and breakfast in the morning, then move on to wine and stiffer drinks later in the day. The cheap quesadilla-and-burrito spot closed in February. [CB3 Manhattan, EV Grieve, Related]


Terroir Puts Park Slope Location Up for Rent [Updated]

The Fifth Avenue space that's currently home to the lone Brooklyn outpost of Paul Grieco’s excellent, manifesto-driven wine bar is apparently on the market, which doesn't necessarily mean it will close. Terroir Park Slope opened in September of 2012, with a sprawling list of interesting ciders, sherrys, and wines on tap, and a menu that includes charcuterie plates named for Brooklyn Dodgers players. Update: Grieco tells Eater the location will close "after we find a great tenant to take over the space." [Here's Park Slope]


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