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Daniel Boulud

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Excerpt: ‘The Hamburger: A History’

How the burger rose to cultural ascendency in the new millennium after years of critique from environmentalists and anti-establishment thinkers.

Le Cirque Gets on the Wine-Bar Bandwagon

As the fashion for haute cuisine falls away, the more casual wine bar has become a kind of economic savior for the city's classic high-end chefs — one reason, as we noted in our Fall Preview year, the likes of Daniel Boulud and Alain Ducasse have embraced the genre wholeheartedly. (It's easier to lure customers into wine bars, and wine is a much higher-profit item than food.) Now Le Cirque has gotten into the act, opening its new wine bar tonight. Says the restaurant’s legendary owner, Sirio Maccioni: “Our new wine lounge is a more casual side of Le Cirque, with chaise longues and where no jackets are required. We wanted to offer something, in our lounge, without all the rigueur of the dining room.” The centerpiece of the wine bar is an immense wine tower, with, according to Maccioni, “20,000 bottles of wine and the right menu to go with it.” Somehow it just doesn’t seem right to go to Le Cirque without a jacket, though — no matter how many bottles of wine they have. Le Cirque wine-bar menu Related: Grape Nuts [NYM]

Platt Disses Daniel, and Other Holiday Tales

Presidents’ Day is a holiday for Grub Street, but, thankfully, there’s enough in this week’s magazine to read till we return tomorrow. Daniel Boulud, whom Adam Platt respects as the Last Great French Chef, falls down in his new restaurant and gets only one star. In this week's "Openings," Rob and Robin introduce us to Olana (American with Italian influences) and marvel at Akhtar Nawab and Noel Cruz for putting a restaurant where Jimi Hendrix used to (reportedly) play. At Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Rob and Robin find the mind-bending “Frankensteak”: hanger steak that is literally glued to world-class rib-eye deckle. The Insatiable Critic falls for Fiore, a funky, rustic Italian place in Williamsburg; for those at risk of scurvy, pickled lemon is in "In Season" this week. But if you want a drink, you’ll find a guide to the city’s top boutique wineshops by the Gastropoda herself, Regina Schrambling.

No Liquor Love for Momofuku Ko and Veselka Bowery; Boulud and Keller Hit Dubai

Momofuku Ko may be ready to open in a couple of weeks, but they’ll have to get by with serving only wine and beer, since David Chang’s rep neglected to bring the necessary petitions to the liquor-license hearing last night. [Eater] Veselka Bowery was also denied a liquor license by Community Board 3 last night, but unlike Momofuku Ko, it doesn’t seem like they’ll ever be granted one, thanks to Daniel Boulud’s nearby liquored-up establishment. [Eater] Related: Veselka II Is Coming — Let the Burger War Begin Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter to put your leftovers in a doggie bag. After all, you did pay for that food. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

Food Network to Publish Magazine?; Food-Porn Photos for Sale

Hearst Publications is supposedly in talks with the Food Network to publish a new food magazine and has been stealing editors from Every Day With Rachael Ray for months. The only problem? The channel’s big stars don’t seem to be a part of the publication. [Mixed Media/Portfolio] Soto chef Sotohiro Kosugi responds to fears of too much mercury in tuna. “Eat with balance. Balance of meals is the key to a healthy life.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Related: Sushi Eaters Face Tuna Fears Neil Ferguson, Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, and others are leading a full-on British culinary invasion on our shores. [Chicago Tribune]

Michael ‘Bao’ Huynh Out at Bun; A Le Cirque Documentary

Michael “Bao” Huynh has left his post at Bun, saying he couldn’t get along with his partner. Next up: a new noodle shop in Tribeca. [Insatiable Critic] Burgerphilia: a new term about burger obsessives we won’t be using. [Time] Related: Daniel Boulud’s Downtown Burger Place Finally Signs the Lease A Table in Heaven, a documentary that looks at Le Cirque’s move from the Palace Hotel to the Bloomberg building, was screened at the Sundance Film Festival and promises to show Sirio Maccioni’s tendency to exceed the restaurant’s 2 percent cap on free meals. [NYDN]