Momofuku Ko to Open Next Week; Wheat Prices to Affect Pizza and Bagel LoversMomofuku Ko is scheduled to open on March 12, and once the friends-and-family period ends, the only way to get in will be through online reservations. [Eater]
Café Boulud still has the power to draw big names like Tom Ford, Barbara Walters, and Bruce Springsteen. [WSJ]
The same I.D. scanners that help keep out underage drinkers at nightclubs are also helping police track down the various shooters and stabbers that frequent these places. [NYP]
No Mansion for You This Weekend; Clinton and Obama ApronsDon’t expect to get into Mansion tonight without an invite – or anytime this weekend unless you’re a model or designer. But you can experience their sex toys firsthand on Valentine’s Day. [Down by the Hipster]
Related: Mansion’s House Is Not Entirely in Order
Frank Bruni thinks Allen & Delancey and Sfoglia are romantic choices for Valentine’s Day. Too bad you won’t be able to get in. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Restaurant Week may be over but there are still some (relatively) good deals to be had in this town. Case in point: on February 19 you can get a four-course meal at Café Boulud for the price of three courses. [Zagat Buzz]
Gavin Kaysen Tests His Menu at Café Boulud; Williamsburg’s Pampa Still aAstoria: Time Café is said to serve a solid brunch. The fries look a bit pale, but after a few “terrific” mimosas, they’ll probably hit the spot anyway. [Joey in Astoria]
East Village: The culinary study center the area desperately needs opens today. [Restaurant Girl]
Flatiron: On Monday, January 28, 4-Foodies is hosting an Italian Favorites tasting at Lunetta. [4foodies]
Upper East Side: Bar Boulud’s success hasn’t hurt Café Boulud, where chef Gavin Kaysen is currently testing his new menu; the latter DB spot still attracts eye candy like former Giants star Tiki Barber. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine]
Williamsburg: A sleek new building on Graham Avenue will soon be home to a restaurant called Pampa, but no one really knows what the place will be like. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Chefs Bored With Food, Move to Clothes; Pricey Plates and Polygamy Just GoWondering who actually orders $1,000 bagel or a $28,000 bejeweled sundae? Serendipity 3 owner Stephen Bruce “wouldn’t be surprised if soon we get a call from a Middle Eastern prince or Shah willing to give something sweet to his many wives on his next trip to the city.” [News.Com.Au]
Related: Have White Truffles Finally Gone Too Far?
Breaking: Serendipity 3 Closed by DOH
Since chefs, mixologists, and their restaurants are the newest breed of celebrity, it’s about time they started designing clothes. Get dressed at Freemans, Death & Co., and PDT. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine]
Restaurateur Jimmy Bradley on the source of his managing prowess: “The Art of War by Sun Tzu taught me many leadership and organizational lessons.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Adam Platt Defends His RatingsAfter seeing that our good friend Adam Platt awarded Allen & Delancey, a restaurant we especially admire, a measly two stars, we decided to confront him with his misjudgment, and request – nay, demand! – that he explain and even justify his method of awarding stars to us. We knew it was an argument we couldn’t win, and what’s more that we shouldn’t win, given the fact that Platt is arguably the city’s top critic, but we also know he would respond to us like the big baited bear that he is. The debate played out via our favorite medium, Instant Messenger.
A Restaurant Gala on a Scale We Can Live WithIt’s event season in the New York restaurant world, so it’s not exactly news that there’s another charity gala featuring chefs from local restaurants giving out signature samples. But we love Careers through Culinary Arts Program’s A Taste of Fall. For one thing C-CAP is one of the coolest programs we know of, encouraging culinary talents in public high schools to find careers in the restaurant business. (The participating chefs are all New York City public-high-school graduates, the pride of Long Island City, Harlem, and Prospect Heights.) Plus, the scale of the event is a lot more manageable: It’s only $110, and $75 of that is tax deductible. C-CAP students will assist chefs from Asiate, the Four Seasons, Tabla, and other good restaurants. While you’re eating, $5 raffle tickets could score you a bunch of good stuff, including lunch at Café Boulud, dinner at Craftsteak, or a session with “hairstylist to the stars” Michael Stinchcomb (that’s the one we’re hoping for). So stop by Taj tonight — you can buy tickets at the door.
A Taste of Fall [C-CAP]
Back of the House
A Voce’s New Pastry Chef Is HomegrownThere’s a new, high-powered young dessert chef in town. And get this — he’s homegrown! His name is Joshua Gripper, and his new boss, A Voce’s Andrew Carmellini, vouches for him thusly: “He’s the shit.” Gripper, a 27-year-old Queens native, has worked with Carmellini at Café Boulud and is also a member of A.C.’s hip-hop combo, the Crown. Primarily, though, he’s said to be a talented technician with a simpatico sensibility and eight years of classical training. So what is he doing at A Voce?
New Café Boulud Chef a Young BuckBoerum Hill: Lazy artists have nothing better to do with their time than wait in line for the unopened Trader Joe’s. [A Brooklyn Life]
Chelsea: Next Tuesday Del Posto will host a Wine. Dine. Donate. dinner with Epicurious to benefit America’s Second Harvest. [Gothamist]
Meatpacking District: The Inn Lw12 has a new fall menu. [Grub Street]
Upper East Side: Café Boulud’s replacement for Betrand Chemel is 28-year-old Food & Wine Best New Chef for 2007 Gavin Kaysen who’s riding into town all the way from Rancho Bernardo. [San Diego Tribune via Eater] From now through Sunday, the Garden Court Café at the Asia Society will feature a special Indian-French menu from Vikram Garg, executive chef of D.C.’s Indebleu. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Exclusive: Chemel Leaves Café Boulud and NYC; Head Chef Named at Bar BouludBertrand Chemel, the chef recently praised in Frank Bruni’s three-star review of Café Boulud for deftly filling Andrew Carmellini’s shoes, is leaving the restaurant in mid-December. A source says he made his announcement three days after the Times rave and will be starting his own restaurant in the Washington D.C. area. Boulud spokesperson Georgette Farkas confirms, “Bertrand is spreading his wings. He’s made an amazing contribution. Daniel has chosen a new chef, but he’s not prepared to announce it.” Daniel is, however, ready to name the head chef at his soon-to-open Bar Boulud, and that will be Damien Sansonetti, a sous-chef at Daniel for almost five years. So did media outlets jump the gun when they said Ed Cotton would be exec chef there? “He was someone Daniel had considered but decided it wasn’t his choice,” Farkas tells us. Not that Daniel left him in the cold — we hear he’s the one who scored Cotton the interview at Veritas, his new home.
Reading Fortunes in a Bowl of Pasta [NYT]
Your Chance Has Come at Last to Eat Boulud’s Food for FreeChef demonstrations tend to be pretty grim affairs, and the so-called “tastings” that come with it even worse. (Usually, it’s a sample of whatever horrible product the chef is currently hawking in groceries.) Tomorrow’s demo by Daniel Boulud at the Time Warner Center’s Williams Sonoma, though, will be a rare chance to actually eat the chef’s actual food. The chef is promoting The Cafe Boulud Cookbook, but there’s a bonus Bar Boulud tasting, too.
What Do You Mean? We Love the Upper East Side!
Dear Grub Street,
The Upper West Side is teeming with activity, as is every other area of Manhattan, but I very rarely see anything on the Upper East Side. What have you got against the several hundred thousand people who live there and their restaurants and chefs?
— A reader with a valid gripe.
The Other Critics
Monkey Bar Gets Hit; Three Stars for Café BouludPaul Adams liked some things about Monkey Bar, but it’s never a good sign if you hire a famous Chinese chef (Patricia Yeo) and the review includes the words “My neighborhood Chinese takeout does better dumplings.” [NYS]
Café Boulud, in an important rereview, gets three stars — enough to add momentum to Daniel Boulud’s empire building. [NYT]
Insieme looks dull, observes Lauren Collins in The New Yorker, but “profligate flavor and spirited service” show themselves once the food starts coming. [NYer]
‘Next Food Network Star’ Contestant Accused of Fudging Past; ScottEx-Marine Josh Adam Garcia, one of the standout contestants on The Next Food Network Star, is accused of lying about both his military service and graduating from cooking school. [Marine Corps Times]
Scott Conant has Miami and New York projects on the horizon. And his go-to restaurants in New York are Daniel, Café Boulud, Daisy May’s, Blue Smoke, and Tsushima. [RG]
Some food-world heavy hitters recollect their greatest meat moments, as a follow-up to yesterday’s Times story about the fatty times we live in. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
What to Eat Tonight
Appearing Tonight: Soft-shell Crabs at Anthos and Lamb Trio at Café Boulud
Every Thursday we’ll tell you what specials some of the city’s best restaurants have planned for that night. This week: Spring vegetables, the first fish of the warm seasons, and a few delicious holdovers from the cold winter months.
Anthos: Pan-fried soft-shell crabs, breaded in water chestnut flour, served over a smoked egg vinaigrette with lovage, white asparagus, spring green almonds, and pickled pearl red onions. 36 W. 52nd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-582-6900.
Café Boulud: Lamb trio: braised lamb neck, roasted and confited lamb loin, and lamb kefta (spiced ground-lamb turnover), garnished with red lentils, carrots, and almond-stuffed prunes. 20 E. 76th St., nr. Madison Ave..; 212-772-2600.
Gramercy Tavern: Suckling-pig porchetta, stuffed with house-made fennel sausage and Swiss chard, and served on a bed of rutabaga purée with grilled Swiss-chard leaves and braised Swiss-chard stems. 42 E. 20th St., nr. Park Ave. S.; 212-477-0777.
JoJo: Grilled organic pork chop, marinated with Chinese cumin and honey, and served with wild ramps and fava beans. 160 E. 64th St., nr. Lexington Ave..; 212-223-5656.
Blue Smoke: Barbecued organic turkey with apple sausage stuffing and bacon-braised collard greens. 116 E. 27th St., nr. Park Ave.; 212-447-7733.
What to Eat Tonight
Haute Brazilian at Café Boulud — Limited Time Only!We’ve got nothing against your typical feijoada, the black-bean stew that’s Brazil’s national dish and often as dark and heavy as a neutron star. But though there are fine meals to be had in “Little Brazil” (which you can find on 45th and 46th Streets near Fifth Avenue), New Yorkers rarely get to taste the best of what the country has to offer. This week, as Rob and Robin point out in the magazine, top Brazilian chefs João Leme and Fred Frank have been cooking more nuanced, tropical-tinged dishes at Café Boulud. Their repetoire includes a high-end feijoada, which will be served, once the chefs leave at the end of the weekend, every Saturday this month. But we’d try some of their other dishes while there’s still time.
Boulud at Red China’s ServiceSoon, the sun will never set on Daniel Boulud’s empire: The chef is opening a restaurant in China. Although it hasn’t been officially announced, someone from high up within his organization confirms that construction is about to start and that the opening is slated for the end of this year or the beginning of next. The restaurant, currently unnamed, will be in the style of Café Boulud and located in an area of Beijing called the Legation, a quarter of former embassy buildings. Just don’t expect any Chinese touches — Boulud’s not turning into a fusion chef just because he’s headed out of town. “It will be primarily French-influenced cooking,” our source confirms.
What to Eat Tonight
Gulf Shrimp Make a Comeback
You can’t keep good shrimp down. Hurricane Katrina nearly wiped out the tasty specimens inhabiting the gulf, but replenished stocks mean that in the past week white shrimps have begun to reappear in New York. Big and sweet, with a hint of iodine, the fall shrimp are the best of the year. (Their brown brethren, which were brought in over the summer, also have a certain charm.) Here’s a short list of restaurants that buy them fresh from Louisiana.
Ssäm’s Ssecret Chef’s TableVisitors to Ssäm Bar, David Chang’s sleek new “Asian burrito” emporium, may have noticed a big, unused kitchen that runs the length of the room. Chang fires it up tonight for the first time, rolling out a late-night menu of multiple-element small plates prepared by the chef and a rotating team of ambitious cooks — including his co-chef at Momofuku, Joaquin Baca; Cafe Gray and Cafe Boulud veteran Tien Ho; and several other classically trained Momofuku alumni.