Psilakis Moving Kefi to Better Space; Chodorow Moving Wild Salmon to a BetterMichael Psilakis is moving Kefi into a bigger and better space not far from its current location. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Jeffrey Chodorow’s plagued seafood endeavor Wild Salmon is rumored to close before the New Year. [Eater]
A list of restaurants for Christmas Eve and day dining includes traditional picks like the Café at Country and Allen & Delancey, and more unique options like a Scandinavian Christmas Eve feast at Aquavit and dim sum from Chinatown Brasserie. [Restaurant Girl]
‘Times’ Discovers Molecular Gastronomy; Invite Yourself toCooking as chemistry has never had more meaning with the use of “hydrocolloid gums — obscure starches and proteins usually relegated to the lower reaches of ingredient labels on products like Twinkies … helping Mr. Dufresne make eye-opening (and critically acclaimed) creations like fried mayonnaise and a foie gras that can be tied into a knot.” [NYT]
Marco Pierre White claims he never reads reviews, and Thomas Keller knows blogs are out there but doesn’t read them. [Epicurious]
These tips for dining in high-end restaurants insist that while some may consider it crude to ask the price of a special, even the owner of Aquavit believes “it’s tacky if the waiter does not volunteer the information without having to ask.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
In the Magazine
Come Fly With Us in This Week’s IssueWith all New York offers, it’s still not enough. Our appetite for change and novelty is insatiable and voracious. Good thing we have this week’s magazine! Why bother with traditional Thanksgiving, when there are so many global options here? We have recipes for Chinese Thanksgiving from Joe Ng of Chinatown Brasserie, Mexican Thanksgiving from Aaraon Sanchez of Centrico and Paladar, African Thanksgiving from Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit, and more. And if all that isn’t novel enough, and you have to jet out of town, we can tell you where to eat while you’re waiting – both in the airport, and in the surrounding areas. Finally, if you’re sticking close to home, the Underground Gourmet suggests where to get a proper hero.
Cuban Flavors Dominate New Socialista Downstairs Menu
If you finagled your way into Socialista last week and weren’t too busy being impressed with yourself, you may have noticed a new menu at Socialista Downstairs. It’s the handiwork of new head chef Sarah Pliner, formerly of Tabla, Tocqueville, Ducasse, and Aquavit. “We’re using classical French and American techniques with Cuban flavors,” Pliner tells us of the retooled food program.
Tailor Open; Marcus Samuelsson in Cahoots With StarbucksPut down your roman à clef! Tailor had its soft opening last night. [Down by the Hipster]
Related: What to Read While You Wait for Tailor to Open — Sam Mason: The Novel
Five recipes from Marcus Samuelsson’s cookbook Discovery of a Continent: Foods, Flavors and Inspirations from Africa were developed by a team from Starbucks as part of a deal that also includes the introduction of baked items and coffee blends sold under the chef’s name. [Eat for Victory/VV]
The closing of Dévi makes Frank Bruni sad, and in his elegy to the restaurant, he ponders our take on Suvir Saran’s motives. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Related: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects
Roddick Can Play Tennis, But Can He Cook?Daily Intel attended the Dacor Taste of Tennis event last night and got to see Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal in chef’s whites instead of tennis whites. Roddick cooked with Aquavit’s Marcus Samuelsson, and 2001 U.S. Open champ Lleyton Hewitt served braised beef short ribs. See who else whipped up what over at Daily Intel.
Andy Roddick Cooks Dinner (With Help From Marcus Samuelsson) [Daily Intel]
New York is Now Fat City; Korean KFC Comes to New YorkFat is where it’s at in New York today, thanks to the efforts of what Adam Platt would call the “refined meathead” school of chefs like David Chang and Zak Pelaccio. [NYT]
Related: You Know You’re a Meathead When… [NYM]
Kyochon Chicken, the Korean chain behind the current wave of Korean fried-chicken restaurants, has opened in Flushing. Two more locations are planned for Bayside. [NYT]
Ilan Hall defeated Sam Talbot in their outdoor Top Chef rematch yesterday, Hall’s soft-shell crab salad triumphing over Talbot’s grilled quail and potatoes. [NYDN]
Pegu Club Shaking More Than Just Cocktails in SohoForest Hills: The layout for Trader Joe’s coming to 90-30 Metropolitan Avenue. [Forest Hills 72]
Midtown West: Sample cuisine from more than 50 restaurants including Aquavit, Buddakan, and Eleven Madison Park at tonight’s Taste of the Nation at Roseland Ballroom; tickets are $200 and benefit the fight against childhood hunger. [Cakehead]
Soho: Pegu Club accused of shaking down its customers by pouring drinks that haven’t been ordered. [Majikthise]
South Hampton: Dune should pick up the slack where Cain left off. [Down by the Hipster]
Upper West Side: The lobby lounge of the Mandarin Oriental now has a cart offering $75 flutes of Dom Perignon, but at least the price includes dried fruit. [NYS] Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe hopes to see a bidding war over Warner LeRoy’s Tavern on the Green between top “concessionaires” including Dean Poll of the Boathouse and Danny Meyer. [NYO]
West Village: Awkward zoning prevents Camaje bistro on Macdougal Street from setting up outdoor seating, though it’s allowed for virtually all its dining neighbors. [NYP]
Jay-Z Now Has 100 Problems; Beef Prices Through the RoofJay-Z now has 100 problems: He’s being sued by the staff of the 40/40 Club for withholding tips and paying less than the minimum wage. [NYP]
Beef prices are getting higher, and the supply of the best stuff getting shorter. Guess what that means for your next steakhouse bill. [NYT]
There is a slew of new restaurants opening in the Hamptons, although none are what you would call world-shaking. [Newsday]
SushiSamba Manager Opening His Own Restaurant in Midtown WestClinton Hill: A walk-through of the mysterious chocolate bar. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: Gemma in the Bowery Hotel looks set to open but will probably launch with private parties. [Down by the Hipster]
Flatiron: Porky’s nabbed for selling alcohol to minors. [Blog Chelsea]
Gowanus: Whole Foods spearheads construction on contaminated site. [Gowanus Lounge]
Harlem: Manna’s, trying to become the Starbucks of soul food, opens its fourth location. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown East: Aquavit’s weeklong herring buffet to celebrate the fish’s migration starts June 11. [Grub Street]
Midtown West: A former manager and the chef of SushiSamba on Park will open their own Japanese restaurant near the Ed Sullivan Theater. [Restaurant Girl] The kosher falafel joint House of Pita is opening “another location” two blocks from the original; it’s not clear if this means they’re moving or expanding. [Midtown Lunch]
Soho: The opening of Lola Is Soul restaurant may be further delayed now that the owners have ousted weepy Top Chef alum Dave Martin. [Eater]
New Chef Brings Bangin’ Brunch and Killer Frog’s Legs to Park SlopeConsulting chef Jared King moved on from Alchemy shortly after its opening and was last seen in Florida, but fans of his Guinness pudding need not fret: Newly installed chef Paul Nanni is now whipping up Guinness pancakes for the Park Slope gastropub’s new brunch, and according to Monsieur Chef, “The brunch is bangin’.” Nanni, who cooked at Aquavit for two years before becoming the food stylist for Marcus Samuelsson’s show, Inner Chef, has created a new dinner menu, too, that includes buttermilk-fried frog’s legs (“I think they’re killer,” he informs us). Although Alchemy’s publicity materials still describe it as a gastropub (despite Platt’s protests this week that the fad has spun out of control), don’t say anything about that to the chef: “I don’t want it to be called that; we’re more of a tavern. We’re not like the Spotted Pig.” Sorry Park Slopers — no drop-ins from the Jigga Hov anytime soon.
Earlier: Park Slope Gastropub Serves Guinness on Tap — and as a Foam!
Aquavit Releases New Menus in Midtown EastEast Village: Stand offers ice cream and liquor? Yes, please. [NYP]
Flatiron: A ‘wichcraft has popped up on 20th Street and Broadway. [Grub Street]
Fort Greene: June has been closed by the Department of Health; the presence of mice less surprising than the low turnouts for their tasty enough fare. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Kensington: Newbie residents get scolded for desiring cafés and restaurants, which disturb the peace and wreak havoc, as in Park Slope. [Brooklyn Record]
Lower East Side: Tonic is closed; you may have missed Friday’s last gig. [NewYorkology] But Shopsin’s is about to open in the Essex Street Market. [Eater]
Midtown East: Aquavit has new menus, lots of new menus. [Grub Street]
Nolita: InTent has closed after only ten months. Remember? That was Payard’s downtown sibling? No? [Eater]
Almost as Good as Rodney Dangerfield: Back to School With Culinary StarsThis spring — a season which we’re glad to remind ourselves of as we enter drab February — the Institute of Culinary Education will be offering a roster of recreational classes that we heartily recommend, despite the fact that (full disclosure) self-deprecating Grub Street editor Josh Ozersky will be teaching one. Many friends of Grub Street — and a colleague, Gael Greene, who will head up “An Evening of Excess” — will be passing along wisdom on everything from blintzes to methylcellulose.
Gray Kunz Finds a Sweet New Business ModelGray Kunz’s lavish dining space Grayz — at one time thought aborted — is back on again, this press release trumpets. Set in the former Rockefeller mansion, which was previously occupied by Aquavit, Grayz will be devoted to corporate catering and private dining events, but there will also be a big lounge area where the chef will be serving cocktails and “finger foods.” “The layout of the space on two different levels inspired me,” Kunz tells us. “When I thought about midtown, I realized there were too few private party spaces and even fewer great cocktail lounges.” Restaurant consultant Michael Whiteman sees a more practical advantage. “Private catering is a lot more profitable,” he tells us. “You can charge more per person than you would in a restaurant, and there’s very little waste because you know just how many people are coming.” And those finger foods? “They sell a higher proportion of alcohol, and they are a lot easier to plate and prepare than high-end composed dishes.”
Ms. Gobbler’s Turn: Her Favorite RestaurantsIn pale imitation of great gastronome scribblers like Calvin Trillin and the late Johnny Apple, the Gobbler has written, perhaps too often, about his wife’s taste in food and restaurants (just read his last review). Possibly also like them (the Gobbler doesn’t know Mr. Trillin, but he met Apple during his gruff, un-cuddly, pre-foodie days), the Gobbler is often accused by his wife of egregiously distorting her views (you bet he does). Ms. Gobbler would like the world to know that her most-used word is not “yummy,” that if given the choice, she’d prefer to eat at home, and that her favorite drink really is champagne. “Also, you always make me sound elfin,” she told the Gobbler just a moment ago, “and I am not elfin.” In a hasty (and desperate) attempt to clarify the record, I’ve asked Ms Gobbler to list her current favorite restaurants in town. It goes without saying that Mr. Gobbler approves of these fine establishments, too.
New Cookbooks You Might Actually Open
Back in the day, of course, most kitchens could get by with a single massive reference tome; as the Times just pointed out, it was often Joy of Cooking. Now so many cookbooks come out every season that you could spend your entire grocery budget on them. Here are an exceptional handful by New York chefs or celebrities that have come out this fall.
The Other Critics
Michelin’s Explosive New Red BookMichelin dropped its ratings bomb today, and it’s safe to say that the New York restaurant world is, as usual, reeling. Though not as consequential as a Zagat snub, business-wise, the Michelin ratings are closer to the hearts of top chefs. (French chef Bernard Loiseau was widely believed to have killed himself over a Michelin downgrade.) The book is supposed to be in stores tomorrow (though our local Barnes & Noble says it’s not even at the distributor yet). We do, however, know of some surprises. Messrs. Boulud, Bouley, and Takahama are no doubt having lousy afternoons.