Zak Pelaccio leaves 5 Ninth to pursue projects with Jeffrey Chodorow; his replacement, Dan Perilla, a.k.a. Chino, is a Pelaccio protégé who will oversee the restaurant’s move away from Asian flavors. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
The competition is brutal for Hamptons restaurants, and only the strong survive more than a season or two. [Newsday]
The current lobster-roll craze started at the Pearl Oyster Bar, and its shameless imitators really ought to admit who influenced them. [Serious Eats]
Brace yourselves, Latin-food lovers: The Red Hook ball fields, home to the city’s most beloved cluster of food vendors, may be closing for good in September. The city, eager as ever for the fat stacks that only a bidding war by commercial concessions can offer, has given the vendors notice that their Temporary Use Agreement, the permit given to them by the Department of Parks and Recreation, won’t be renewed. The city wants to open the parks up for concession bids, which will almost certainly mean an end to the makeshift food stalls that have been operating there for over ten years.
The attentions of New York’s food staff are divided between modernity and tradition. Gael Greene is vexed with Provence, a reopened French restaurant which was faithfully conventional even in its former incarnation. Rob and Robin, apart from their usual announcements of new places in Openings, extract from Anthos chef Michael Psilakis a comparatively novel recipe for mature dandelion greens. And Adam Platt finds himself caught in the middle of Marco Canora’s half-modern, half-classical menu at Insieme.
Yesterday we reported that a legal form of absinthe is hitting the U.S. market this month (among connoisseurs it’s no secret that certain purists around town have been discreetly serving wormwood absinthe all along in cocktails such as the Sazerac). But what about that other banned booze — moonshine? Though it won’t be legalized anytime soon, let’s just say there’s a saloon in Brooklyn that will pull it from under the bar if you ask nicely. We were recently treated to a few eye-popping, sinus-destroying shots, poured from the obligatory Mason jar, of what we were assured was the real deal, and when we called later to request it for a friend’s birthday party, we were told we’d be taken care of again. We won’t give away the place’s identity, but we will tell you to look for a bulldog.
Local asparagus, the Beard Awards, the shattered hopes of Knicks fans — there are a lot of unmistakable signs of spring in New York. But none trump the opening of the Red Hook Ball Fields, an explosion of ethnic home cooking and children’s soccer.
The level of Brooklyn sanctimony is always sky high, but this flyer, just posted on Epicurious, really takes the cake. Even innocent Peeps aren’t secure from freewheeling vegetarian assaults! But what really told us that Brooklyn had passed beyond the fringe was the fact that Gourmet food editor Ian Knauer, the poster, far from having a bit of sport at the flyer, goes even further. Though disavowing vegetarianism himself, he points out that if you are truly an orthodox believer, not only shouldn’t you eat marshmallows, but even sugar has the marrow taint: “Both the largest and second largest producers in the US use bone char filters made from beef bones.” Judas priest! Is there some kind of vegan-ethics Olympics going on in the 718 that we don’t know about? Never mind. We know the answer already.
Peep This [Epicurious]
Jason Neroni, as we suggested might happen, has been arrested and charged. At last word, he was cooling his heels in the 76th Precinct. [Gawker]
Earlier: Neroni Is Indeed Free — for a Few Days, Anyway
The Department of Health’s crackdowns have cost the industry millions, claims the New York Restaurant Association. [NYP]
The Shake Shack was only the beginning: The New York hamburger now has to be natural, ethical, and very, very good to compete in a crowded landscape. [NYDN]
It was a sad day for snow cones when artisanal water ice joint NYC ICY went under a couple of years ago. But now owner Jonathan Leeds tells us that not one but two NYC ICY locations will be opening in late May or early June— one in Brooklyn and a smaller one in Hell’s Kitchen. “It won’t be too different from the old place,” Leeds promises. “But we may let people in this time. We might even have a counter.” Counters? The places haven’t even opened up, and they’re already showing signs of decadence.
NYC ICY, 628 Tenth Ave., nr. 45th St.; no phone yet.
NYC ICY, 905 Church Ave., nr. Coney Island Ave.; no phone yet.
The bargains at Brooklyn Restaurant Week, which starts this Monday, aren't quite as overwhelming as the Manhattan version. The deal is the same — three courses for only $21.12 at any of the listed restaurants — but few of these places are hugely expensive to begin with. Look at it this way: What you save will cover the cab fare. What follows are a few of the more far-flung Xs on our own personal Brooklyn treasure map. Generally, these aren't destination restaurants, but this week they should be.
Eric Lind, the chef who opened Flatbush Farm, has left the Haute Barnyard hit. You may be disappointed to learn that neither of the two projects he’s consulting on center around seasonal foods: Stella Maris, a recently opened restaurant on Front Street, specializes in modern Irish cooking; Nelson Blue is a New Zealand–themed gastropub also on Front Street set to open in mid- to late April. Once he’s done downtown, Lind plans on another eatery of his own, likely in the “rustic, organic, country style” he established at Flatbush Farm. “This is the food that really appeals to me,” he tells us, “and the food that I like to eat.” He’s not the only one.
Haute Barnyard Take on a Classic SoCal SandwichFlatbush Farm Takes Haute Barnyard to the Next Level
The great old-time Brooklyn restaurant Lundy’s is no more. The place closed up without any warning three weeks ago; now, the Bay News reported last week, Lundy's is in chapter 7 bankruptcy, and what remains will be carved up to pay off creditors. This saddens us here at Grub Street. Lundy’s was one of the very last of the affordable seafood palaces that once catered to Brooklyn’s middle class.
This week in read-it-and-eat news, stomach-filling walks through midtown and the UWS; where to find the best wieners; and smoky drinks.
• Ed Levine sniffs out a couple dozen reasonably priced keeper restaurants on the UWS. [Ed Levine Eats]
• An eatery-focused stroll down East 58th Street. [NYT]
• The city's most savory hot dogs, including a prodigious Brooklyn pup. [NYS]
• Salted caramel: no longer just for French tots. [NYT]
• Smoky the Beer? Drafts, wines, and spirits with hints of smoke. [TONY]
• Manhattan User's Guide serves cheese and bread primers. [MUG]
It's not that there aren't good restaurants in Brooklyn — far from it! It's just that they're so spread out that getting to many of them feels less like grabbing a bite to eat than making a pilgrimage. But you can conveniently affirm your faith in the borough's food tomorrow night at the annual Brooklyn Eats tasting event, which convenes over 40 restaurants and stores in the downtown Marriot. For $75 in advance, $95 at the door, this cross-section of Brooklyn becomes your own personal all-you-can-eat buffet. Check out the Soul Spot, a beacon on Atlantic Avenue; Bierkraft's tremendous beer selection; Kush Cafe's aromatic French-African cooking; and, because you surely don't want to neglect dessert, the ethereal Sweet Melissa Patisserie.
New York magazine restaurant critic Adam Platt files periodic musings for Grub Street, under the pseudonym the Gobbler.
Haute Barnyard restaurants like the Tasting Room have been around for a while now, but the phrase is new — so new, in fact, that the Gobbler is the only one using it. Therefore it requires a little elaboration. All Haute Barnyard restaurants are Greenmarket establishments, of course, their menus more or less dictated by the rhythms of the season. New York's versions of the genre, however, have evolved their own highly self-conscious style.
Every Monday, Click and Save surveys food service journalism from the previous week. Today, shaking the trees for plums, we came up with a collection that ranges from Sunnyside to Seoul, with special attention paid to beer and chicken.