Condos Eating Up Ethnic Restaurants; Eleven Madison Park Chef Bringing SomeAstoria: The café Oleput at 31-13 Ditmars has reopened, and they might have a liquor license. [Joey in Astoria]
Clinton Hill: Krumbs (or whatever the bakery will soon be called) is now open at 154 Vanderbilt between Willoughby and Myrtle, and mini–carrot cakes seem like a hit. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Flushing: The legendary Chinese food court at J & L mall may be closed for good after a brief shutter this summer. The condo curse strikes again. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Hell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu’s hosting a winter sake pairing Monday with the theme “An Evening at an Izakaya, a traditional Japanese Pub.” It includes real food like miso-grilled ten-grain yaki-onigiri rice balls and shiitake-and-pork-yuba dumplings. [Grub Street]
Park Slope: A new reason to join the CSA: Find a tiny frog in your lettuce and get a hilarious feature in the Daily News. [Gothamist]
Upper East Side: A San Francisco restaurant critic goes to Park Avenue Winter and other top-billed New York restaurants and admits being “struck by a trend that seems to be taking root [here]: Market-driven menus. Of course, this is common to the Bay Area.” [Between Meals/San Francisco Chronicle]
Upper West Side: Eleven Madison Park chef Kerry Heffernan has outfitted the old Cafe Botanica with mirrors and glass to prepare for the opening of South Gate, his new restaurant slated for a mid-February opening. [Restaurant Girl]
Esca’s Pasternack to Pitch Fish-and-Chips at Citi Field
We’re not Mets fans or anything, but Gael Greene’s (Web-only!) scoop that David Pasternack of Esca was planning a Fish Shack for Citi Field has really got us in a Flushing frame of mind. Pasternack told us the new Fish Shack would feature “simple stuff” like fish-and-chips, fried clam sandwiches, and lobster rolls. As at other Citi Field concessions, you’ll be able to see the game while you wait. So what makes Pasternack’s menu special? “I don’t know yet,” the chef told us. “But it’s going to be really good.” Pasternack also hears that there will be a Shake Shack at Citi Field, the same rumor we told you about in August. Is this going to be the greatest stadium food court ever or what?
Related: Hark! New Shake Shack to Open at Shea Stadium
The Orange Line
Riding the V Line: The Life Aquatic at Ping’sWe’re riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants along the way.
This far along the V, you can tempt death crossing Queens Boulevard, wander for blocks alone on the sidewalk, and pop into several houseware stores and travel agencies. Or you could go to Ping’s, a citadel of classic Cantonese food that makes even doubters delight and shout, “This is why I love Queens!”
Back of the House
Jennifer 8. Lee Tackles Fortune CookiesThe galleys for the The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee’s forthcoming book about Chinese food and restaurants, have flooded the city, and people are getting hungry. Since the mysterious, crowded world of Chinese food is something about which we can never get enough intel, a quick chat with Jennifer was in order.
Green Greek Comes to Flatiron; Thanksgiving Eats AplentyChelsea: Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit will present a free Thanksgiving 101 wining and dining seminar on Saturday, November 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. that will be catered by City Bakery and feature chef Don Pintabona of Dani, pastry chef Nancy Olson of Gramercy Tavern and chef Galen Zamarra from Mas (farmhouse), giving cooking tips in addition to the requisite wine tasting. [Grub Street]
East Village: Chikalicious will be serving on Thanksgiving, if you’d like to pass up a traditional feast for a $12 tasting of “warm cornmeal pound cake with corn ice cream and a duo of grapes in Moscato d’Asti.” [Restaurant Girl] The new and improved Momofuku Noodle Bar now features soft-serve ice cream served in brownie-stuffed cones. [Eater]
Financial District: Blue Ribbon Sound on Ann Street is a recording studio brought to you from the restaurant group of the same name because the owners of the sushi houses and bakeries around town are also “dedicated to high quality sound production in a comfortable and professional environment.” [Down by the Hipster]
Flatiron: Parea will be remade into a rustic Greek eatery, with an organic menu and green architecture. [Restaurant Girl]
Flushing: Sai Bhavan Snack & Sweets at 141-20 Holly Avenue is a good place to find vegetarian South Indian fare to celebrate the India’s annual Festival of Lights. [Gothamist]
Harlem: The farmer’s market outside of Morningside Park at 110th Street and Manhattan Avenue on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. will close for the winter after November 17. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown East: Alto has a special table for two that overlooks the dining room, but protocol for securing the prized seating remains hazy. [Eater]
Queens Restaurant Week Is Upon UsThe idea of Queens Restaurant Week, we maintain, isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. Sure, the borough is defined by great restaurants that cost next to nothing, so a $20.07 dinner special may not sound worth schlepping to Elmhurst for. But in fact, anything that brings people to Queens is worthwhile; its restaurants are the source material for so much of what is happening in Manhattan, and most chefs, at least privately, will admit that the ethnic kitchens of Bayside and Jackson Heights are usually better than their midtown emulators.
Anyone for Tennis? And Lobster Salad?
Damn! You’ve been so busy bragging about the tickets you snagged to tonight’s showdown between Federer and Roddick that you’ve forgotten to eat. Obviously, when you get to the Tennis Center, you’re going to want to know what’s what. According to our rundown of U.S. Open offerings, it looks like Aces is the best place to catch Newt Gingrich, Janet Jackson, Anna Wintour, Martha Stewart, or any of the other weird celebs that have been spotted courtside this year. Heineken’s Red Star Café? Not so much.
U.S. Open Eats [NYM]
The New Cold War: Fro-Yo Standoff in FlushingThe Frozen-Yogurt Wars have intensified in Flushing. We spotted two new stores going up a mere 85 feet from each other on Roosevelt Avenue. Does Pinkberry have the advantage, being so close to the heavily trafficked Main Street stop on the 7 train? Or will the discriminating dessert aficionado bypass the throngs (by walking about 40 steps) to Red Mango? Too soon to tell, but we fear New York’s post-apocalyptic future where the only structures standing are bank branches and frozen-yogurt stores. Oh, and the Arepa Lady. —Aileen Gallagher
Earlier: Our coverage of the frozen-yogurt invasion
U.S. Open Stadium Eats; Red Hook Vendors’ Bread and Butter in JeopardyAstoria: Get your feet rubbed while eating ice cream at Freeze Peach this Saturday — or maybe just stick to sampling the variety of flavors at this $9 tasting event that will also feature reflexology and tarot-card reading. [Joey in Astoria]
Flushing: New reasons not to fill up before a match: Five serious restaurants including a steakhouse, seafood restaurant, and Cuban café flank the U.S. Open stadium, all under the supervision of Charlie Palmer–trained chef Michael Lockard. [NYDN]
Hell’s Kitchen: Mitchel London Pizza from the owners of Burgers & Cupcakes has been open for a couple of weeks, but they’re still working on good char. [Slice]
Lower East Side: Whole Foods’ beer room, which stocks over 200 international, domestic, and local beers, opened this morning. [Gridskipper]
Meatpacking District: Los Dados from Sueños chef Sue Torres opens Monday. [Eater]
Red Hook: Department of Health inspectors are now turning a critical eye to restaurants associated with the ball-field vendors. Honduras Maya is already closed. [Brooklyn Eagle]
Crispy Pig’s Ears Land at Spotted PigClinton Hill: Bittersweet has tasty coffee and Balthazar pastries, but there’s no guarantee you’ll pass Keri Russell while you’re there. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: Gemma to diners: no I.D., no liquor. [Down by the Hipster]
Flushing: Aramark denies that Shake Shack is in the works for Citi Field. [Food Writer’s Diary] We stand by our story.
Upper East Side: Greek diner Gardenia Cafe has been open since 1977, but the lure of real-estate cash-money has finally led its owners to close. [NYT]
West Village: Crispy Pig’s Ears! Blueberry & Banana French Toast with Crème Fraîche! We have Spotted Pig’s new menus. [Grub Street]
Williamsburg: Kitchen Delight on North 8th Street offers the standard burgers and fries alongside a questionable menu item: “Lap Dances.” [Newyorkshitty]
The Yogurt That Started It All Is on Its Way — But Where?
The frozen-yogurt battle between Pinkberry and its competitors (Yolato, Öko, /eks/, et al) is pretty much a big bore by now, but the impending arrival of the grandfather of all Korean yogurt chains, Red Mango, may stir the pot a little yet. In sheer number of living germs or “cultures” as they’re called in the yogurt business, Red Mango claims to have an almost Malthusian population advantage. “To be called yogurt, a typical refrigerated supermarket product needs to have 10 million cultures. Ours has 500,” a Red Mango representative told us. But the big mystery is where Red Mango will land. A Grub Street informant noticed a sign in Flushing announcing a new store. Given the area’s large Korean population, this makes sense. But the company has spoken only of its future Manhattan store, at 723 Eighth Avenue. Just how many Red Mangos are on the way? And why are they called Red Mango when they sell yogurt? When we find out, we’ll let you know.
Spanish Harlem’s Caminito in the Path of ‘Carlito’s Way’Chelsea: The owner of now-defunct French Oven in Chelsea Market has opened a bakery that, despite its name of Madeleine, actually specializes in macarons; there will be at least eighteen flavors by next week. [NYT]
East Village: A wine bar with a garden, opening in Avalon Bowery Place, may foreshadow the successful outcome of plans to create a French-style pedestrian alley in the area. [Eater]
Flushing: The Chinese food court J&L Mall has reopened now that Con Ed has turned the electricity back on. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Harlem: The uptown outpost of Maroons is slated to open the end of September. [Uptown Flavor]
Spanish Harlem: The space now filled by Argentine steakhouse Caminito (found in this week’s Openings) once housed a barbershop featured in the film Carlito’s Way. [NYS]
Brooklyn Heights About to Get a Candlelit PizzeriaBrooklyn Heights: Oven, an “all candlelit, 150-label-wine-list pizza joint,” will soon open. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Flatiron: Hill Country barbecue does a preview, and Jason Perlow is there to document it in high-res detail. [Off the Broiler]
Flushing: A Fan Ti is doing amazing things with lamb. [Gothamist]
Long Island City: Water Taxi Beach to throw a “vegan extravaganza” on Saturday. [Joey in Astoria]
Lower East Side: Herring season has arrived at Russ & Daughters. [VV]
Park Slope: Rose Water chef Ethan Kostbar to leave in a few weeks. [NYT]
Marco Pierre White Sets Himself on Fire With Flaming CocktailJust another night at the Spotted Pig: Marco Pierre White, trying to demonstrate a flaming cocktail to Mario Batali, Tony Bourdain, and friends, sets himself on fire, gets doused with wine and Champagne, and stabbed in the hand. [NYP]
Related: Batali, Bourdain, and Ramsay Mentor to Finally Take on America? [Grub Street]
There are so many high-end restaurants looking for good ingredients that the world will literally run out of them, a world-famous Australian chef claims. [Australian News]
Utterly dependent as it is on illegal workers, the restaurant industry is lobbying hard against the new immigration bill in Congress. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
The Other Critics
Morandi Takes Another Hit; a Haute Barnyard SpreeThe Four Seasons gets perhaps the most negative two-star review in the history of the Times; Bruni seems to think the stars were grandfathered in. A telling example of how reputation floats reviews. [NYT]
Meehan, meanwhile, visits a chowhound’s paradise, a Hindu temple in Flushing. [NYT]
Morandi takes another blow, this time from Time Out’s Randall Lane, who like our own Adam Platt, finds it overdesigned and unimpressive, albeit with a few decent dishes. [TONY]
Related: Not So Bene [NYM]