Danny Meyer and the Union Square Partnership are planning to renovate the north end of Union Square Park, including a transformation of the decaying pavilion into a windowless restaurant space. [NYO]
Mia Dona, Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis’s newest baby, will start serving up rustic Italian with Greek influences in midtown next month. Marc Forgione, most recently the corporate chef for the BLT Restaurant Group, is planning an American restaurant for a spring opening. [NYT]
Forget about bringing your junior gastronomes to the finest restaurant Disney World has to offer: Victoria & Albert’s has banned all kids under the age of 10. [NYP]
Don’t get us wrong: We like mirror balls, cramped apartments, and warm bottles of cheap tequila as much as the next person. But if we were in the money? And New Year’s Eve were to be truly a blowout? We would turn our back on everyone we know to get to even the least extravagant of the New Year’s Eve celebrations offered at the ten restaurants in our New Year’s Eve guide. And while our New Year’s Day repast will probably be dehydrated hash browns and a sense of profound remorse, we would hit the places in our New Year’s Day brunch guide too. That is, if we had any sense.
Flawless First NightBegin With Brunch
We probably won’t be taking advantage of Pamplona’s just-introduced brunch (the place’s funereal color scheme might drive us to suicide on a hung-over Sunday), but we’ll say this: Make-your-own-tortillas beats make-your-own-omelettes any day (as the Times recently pointed out, starch-eating was crucial to our evolution, so bring on the patatas), and this is the only brunch offering a burger made from chorizo, suckling pig, and beef (trust us, it’s a beast). What really has us saying “Olé,” though, is the calimocho, the Spanish gambero’s (no-good teenager) cocktail of choice: half wine, half Coke. Williamsburgers can find this sangria-like libation at Zipi Zape just be warned that drinking it in front of a wine purist is like eating, well, a suckling-pig burger in front of a PETA member.
Pamplona brunch menu
The view of New York from Dubuque and Ho-Ho-Kus is a laughable one, but we could never understand the reason why. Don’t the editors of Forbes Traveler, author of this ridiculous “America’s Best Brunches” feature live in New York? It’s as if Vogue were to get its New York fashion sense from watching Sex and the City. The four brunches called out Balthazar, Prune, Cookshop, and Norma’s are places nobody we know would touch if they were giving away bottomless mimosas. Not because they aren't good. But they’re all wildly crowded, and in neighborhoods where no one would ever want to be on a hung-over weekend day. (Despite Forbes’ assurance that West Chelsea is “the trendiest of neighborhoods.”)
Actor Cass Buggé found work at Freemans almost a year ago, shortly after the restaurant expanded and began serving brunch. Unbeknownst to her, Frank Bruni may have been one of her first customers. So does she agree with Bruni’s assessment of indifferent service? “Initially we got a bad rap for being rude,” she says. “I know that’s sometimes the rumor on the street, but if you go to Freemans, you’ll see the people are really nice. I’m really nice!” After asking her about her job, we couldn’t agree more.
Most brunches offer “your choice of eggs,” but Colin Alevras of the Tasting Room is taking the concept to an almost ludicrous degree. In an act of Haute Barnyard extremism, the chef is giving customers the choice of eight different kinds of eggs: goose, pea hen, duck, wild turkey, pheasant, guinea hen, black silky chicken, and of course regular organic farm eggs for the terminally unadventurous.
Dear Grub Street, I am e-mailing you in a last, desperate attempt to find information about brunch at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. The Web boasts scores of reviews on the dinner menu, but I find not one mention of the merit of brunch, a menu, nothing. Cara Gouldey
Dear Grub Street, Please help me find a restaurant that serves creamed chipped beef for brunch. My friends and relatives from Philly refuse to visit unless I have one lined up. (I personally do not eat creamed chipped beef — it’s way too scary-looking.) K.M.