Posts for July 24, 2014

Bar Sardine Opens; Cherry’s Williamsburg Location

Bar Sardine officially opened today in the former Chez Sardine space at 183 West 10th Street. The menu includes modern twists on bar snacks, like herbed French fries with mustard-maple aïoli. This weekend, it'll open at 2 p.m., but moving forward, it'll be open starting at noon. [Grub Street]

• Chelsea Japanese restaurant Cherry will open its Williamsburg location, Cherry Izakaya, tomorrow, July 25, at 138 North 8th Street. The vibe is more casual, with shareable dishes like duck kumquat gyoza. [DNAinfo]

• Mexican-Spanish restaurant El Paso on Houston Street has shuttered after several decades in business. [JVNY]

Is Richard Blais’s Cat Food Ad the Biggest Reach Ever for a Top Chef Endorsement Deal?

Photo:

Fancy Feast put Richard Blais to work on his own line of cat food, and the fruits of that labor are now just in. By the looks of it, the Top Chef franchise regular's approach seems to have been relatively hands-off, and the conversation only finally turns to food when his "broths" randomly show up in the mail 90 seconds into the commercial. "I know a good broth when I see it," says Blais, who we note does not actually taste the broth. In terms of subject material in relation to the chef, this one goes pretty far beyond Fabio Viviani's shill for Domino’s "Artisan" pies, way past Edward Lee's side work for Colonel Sanders, and probably even edges out Spike Mendelsohn's efforts to extoll the virtues of prescription acid reflux medication.

Blais busts out the tweezers.»

What to Eat at Corkbuzz’s New Chelsea Market Outpost

Cured sardines.Photo: Melissa Hom

Master sommelier Laura Maniec opens her second location of Corkbuzz tonight in Chelsea Market — specifically, near the 15th Street entrance. It's a wine bar, first and foremost, but the food menu is quite different from the original Union Square location. A Voce alum Missy Robbins has collaborated with Maniec on dishes like veal tartare with lardo, a foie-gras-and-jelly sandwich, cured sardines with tomato conserva and sesame, and to-go snacks for long walks on the High Line. (Robbins is only onboard temporarily, though.) There's already a third location in the works: Maniec will open Corkbuzz 3.0 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Take a look at a few of the dishes and the space, straight ahead.

Wine time.»

Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Bar Sardine, a New Corkbuzz, and More

Photo: iStockphoto

Each week, Grub Street surveys the entire restaurant landscape of New York, crunches the numbers, and comes up with this: a list of the most-talked-about, must-visit places in the city. They might be new, or they could be older places that have gotten a recent jolt of buzz. No matter what, these are the restaurants where you should make a point to eat sooner rather than later.

Dunkin’ Donuts Will Sic More Aggressive Cashiers on Afternoon Customers

In an interview today, Dunkin' Donuts CEO Nigel Travis basically gave the chain's customers advance notice to prepare for all kinds of pitches and spiels the next time they pop in for their mid-afternoon Coolatta. Unlike the morning crowd, who prefer quickly delivered coffee and carbs and to get the hell out, Dunkin's afternoon customers "are in a slightly different mode," he says, which the chain now hopes will translate into more turkey sausage sandwiches and other items to offset rising prices. Doughnuts will migrate from the racks behind the counter up front into conspicuous, miniature pastry cases, the idea being that proximity to rainbow sprinkles wears away customers' self-restraint, and we're sure someone's also done a behavioral study on the optimal way to up-sell Munchkins. "Franchisees are kind of excited about it," Travis says. [AP/PPH]

Dunkin' Donuts Will Sic More Aggressive Cashiers on Afternoon Customers

In an interview today, Dunkin' Donuts CEO Nigel Travis basically gave the chain's customers advance notice to prepare for all kinds of pitches and spiels the next time they pop in for their mid-afternoon Coolatta. Unlike the morning crowd, who prefer quickly delivered coffee and carbs and to get the hell out, Dunkin's afternoon customers "are in a slightly different mode," he says, which the chain now hopes will translate to more turkey sausage sandwiches and other items to offset rising prices. Doughnuts will migrate from the racks behind the counter up front into conspicuous, miniature pastry cases, the idea being that proximity to rainbow sprinkles wears away customers' self-restraint, and we're sure someone's also done a behavioral study on the optimal way to upsell Munchkins. "Franchisees are kind of excited about it," Travis says. [AP/PPH]

Angry Tweeting Chef Will Develop His Own Kitchen Nightmares-esque Show

Going places.Photo: Bravo

Dallas chef John Tesar of recent enraged Twitter meltdown fame has signed a deal with a production company to assemble a show in which he makes "Gordon-Ramsay style visits to restaurants and helps them improve their game." However, Tesar says he's not looking to follow in Ramsay's screaming, fear-inducing footsteps, but rather come off as more of a nurturing role model, and — of course — address things like the "decreasing impact" of professional food critics. "It would be me going to a restaurant and help fix it up, but I want it to be interesting and not just a guy who yells in a kitchen," he says, adding that he also needs to "do a few preliminary things like get with an entertainment attorney." [CultureMap Dallas, Related]

Angry Tweeting Chef Will Develop His Own Kitchen Nightmares-esque Show

Going places.Photo: Bravo

Dallas chef John Tesar, of recent enraged-Twitter-meltdown fame, has signed a deal with a production company to assemble a show in which he makes "Gordon Ramsay style visits to restaurants and helps them improve their game." However, Tesar says he's not looking to follow in Ramsay's screaming, fear-inducing footsteps, but rather come off as more of a nurturing role model, and — of course — address things like the "decreasing impact" of professional food critics. "It would be me going to a restaurant and help fix it up, but I want it to be interesting and not just a guy who yells in a kitchen," he says, adding that he also needs to "do a few preliminary things like get with an entertainment attorney." [CultureMap Dallas, Related]

Let’s Talk About This Cake Batter That Comes in a Spray Can

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that people are way excited about Spray Cake, an aerosolized can of on-demand organic cake batter invented by two Harvard undergrads, Brooke Nowakowski and John McCallum. Its instructions are simple — "Just add heat" — and the product stays "fresh," meaning you can have insta-cupcakes for weeks if you ration it out. Cakes cook in a minute and cupcakes take less time; you can use the microwave or a conventional oven and it's really that simple, as the start-up's ad demonstrates through the power of interpretative dance.

"We were kind of surprised it hadn't been done before ..."»

Let's Talk About This Cake Batter That Comes in a Spray Can

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that people are way excited about Spray Cake, an aerosolized can of on-demand organic cake batter invented by two Harvard undergrads, Brooke Nowakowski and John McCallum. Its instructions are simple — "Just add heat" — and the product stays "fresh," meaning you can have insta-cupcakes for weeks if you ration it out. Cakes cook in a minute, cupcakes take less time; you can use the microwave or a conventional oven and it's really that simple, as the startup's ad demonstrates through the power of interpretative dance.

"We were kind of surprised it hadn't been done before ..."»

5 More Things You Need to Know About the NoMad Bar’s Cocktail Explosions

Bring some friends.Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

Earlier today we took a look at what goes into one of Leo Robitschek’s Cocktail Explosions — the large-format Big Gulps served in supersize spigot jars filled with crushed ice. (For the drink that Robitschek calls a Madison Park Smash, pictured, that would be eight ounces of Pierre Ferrand cognac, eight ounces of Royal Combier liqueur, six ounces of lemon juice, two ounces of Demerara syrup, about an ounce of Angostura bitters, and 200 ounces by volume of crushed ice, not to mention six lemons and a quarter pound of mint for garnish.) Not exactly a quick one for the road. Here’s the NoMad drinks czar himself to further explain the thing.

Watch Mario Batali and Jimmy Fallon Pal Around on the High Line

Photo:

Mario Batali has a new Hulu show that has so far taken the chef onto a shuffleboard court with George Stephanopoulos and onboard an aircraft carrier with Anthony Bourdain. Now, The High Road meets up with Jimmy Fallon at Manhattan's High Line. Watch as Fallon discusses the virtue that comes from boiling food before the pair plays mini-golf for money.

"$5 bucks a hole?"»

Watch Mario Batali and Kimmy Fallon Pal Around on the High Line

Photo:

Mario Batali's new Hulu show has so far taken the chef onto a shuffleboard court with George Stephanopoulos and on board an aircraft carrier with Anthony Bourdain, and now here The High Road meets up with Jimmy Fallon at Manhattan's High Line. Fallon discusses the virtue and blandness that comes from boiling everything from corned beef to cabbage to potatoes, and then the pair go play mini golf for money.

"$5 bucks a hole?"»

Subway Inn Will Close Next Month

Since 1937.Photo: Carmen Lopez

As intimated earlier, the 77-year-old Subway Inn will indeed close — as soon as the middle of next month — but its owners say they will move and reopen somewhere else. The dive bar, along with its classic red neon signage, is part of a grouping that will likely be demolished by a real estate developer and replaced with a new building. "We are sad to inform you that Subway Inn will be closed for business on or about the 15th of August," the dive posted this morning on Facebook. "That's not to say we aren't opening another location. Subway Inn WILL be [sic] relocate." The full message, straight ahead.

These Simpsons-Themed Wine Bottles Are Pretty Special

Aged for 26 years — get it?Photo: Courtesy of Constantin Bolimond

Homer Simpson once flirted with Outsider Art, but the doughnut-scarfing dad probably never gave much thought to Mondrian. Nonetheless, those are the high- and lowbrow influences united here in one super-sleek Simpsons homage by Russian designer Constantin Bolimond. On the back label of this design project, the designer warns of the contents, "May be it is wine, may be not." Whatever's inside, the 1987 vintage is a nice nod to the year The Simpsons debuted as a "bumper" on The Tracey Ullman Show. [Behance via Kinja]

Rice Burger Shop Will Open in the East Village

One intrepid chef already made New York safe for hamburgers with buns made out of ramen noodles, so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that people will likely be excited to try burgers that have steamed and grilled rice patties instead of bun halves. Yonekichi opens August 18 in the minuscule former Otafuku space at 236 East Ninth Street and will offer rice burgers with six to seven different fillings, from chicken meatball to eel to avocado, with prices ranging from $7 to $11. "We don't want this to be just a craze; I think it'll be something that people see as an alternative to regular burgers and a little bit healthier," says manager Sakura Yagi. [Bedford + Bowery]

Rice Burger Shop Will Open in the East Village

One intrepid chef already made New York safe for hamburgers with buns made out of ramen noodles, so it shouldn't be too much of stretch to say that people will likely be excited to try burgers that have steamed and grilled rice patties instead of bun halves. Yonekichi opens in the 220 East 9 Street August 18 in the miniscule former Otafuku space and will offer rice burgers with six to seven different fillings, from chicken meatball to eel to avocado, with prices ranging from $7-$11. "We don't want this to be just a craze; I think it'll be something that people see as an alternative to regular burgers and a little bit healthier," says manager Sakura Yagi. [Bedford + Bowery]

This 8-Drink Megacocktail Takes 2 Bartenders 7 Minutes to Make

It takes two bartenders working like a ­NASCAR pit crew to put together one of the large-format “cocktail explosions” at the new NoMad Bar: One packs ice and garnish into a spigot-equipped glass vessel that wouldn’t look out of place filled with sweet tea on some southern antebellum porch; the other builds the drink using two shakers. Seven minutes later, a supercolossal eight-drink megacocktail emerges—the Madison Park Smash, bar director Leo Robitschek’s own creation, is one of several on offer. Robitschek recommends that you only attempt to tackle a cocktail explosion when in the company of five to seven fellow revelers. But four seasoned lushes chugging along at a steady clip, we’ve discovered, works out just fine.

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