Frank Bruni wants to dislike Mai House but just can’t quite bring himself to do it. [NYT]
Meehan has no reason to like Pardo’s so he doesn’t. [NYT]
Paul Adams tepid on Gordon Ramsay, citing his “great competence and little sparkle.” [NYS]
Alan Richman awards Ramsay one big “ouch”; he’s reminded of “the French-international cuisine that British chefs turn out whenever they ply their trade aboard cruise ships.” [Bloomberg]
Klee Brasserie apparently finds its way into Randall Lane’s heart, though thoughts like “it’s a bit of a mishmash, but a good mishmash” don’t fully convey the apparent chemistry they share. What with all the positive mini-reviews of Café Pierre, Guadalupe, and Benjamin Steak House, it’s a veritable lovefest over at Time Out. [TONY]
Brooklyn spot NoNO Kitchen charms Andrea Thompson, who rather drily observes that it’s “quite good, if not exactly phenomenal.” [NYer]
Gordon Ramsay has a problem or two of his own — neighbors outraged over his noise and stink, namely — but that’s not stopping him from lending a helping hand to restaurateurs in need. In the name of middling-to-bad television, that is. The producers of his new show in the U.S., Kitchen Nightmares (the series originated in England), have put out a call for hapless reality subjects seeking scorn and humiliation. Ramsay’s people even manage to produce an exceptionally obnoxious Craigslist ad: “LOOKING FOR RESTAURANTS THAT ARE HAVING problems & NEED GORDON RAMSAY to help turn their restaurants into an overnight success.” Can you speak up, Gordo? We can’t hear you above these exhaust fans.
Fox TV-New Gordon Ramsay Show-Looking 4 Restaurants That Need Help! [Craigslist]
Manischewitz looking to get hip: "It's not your bubbe's matzo and gefilte fish anymore." [BusinessWeek]
Gordon Ramsay, having not had his fill of abuse in New York, fixing to open in France. [Independent]
Related: We Spot-Check Gordon Ramsay's Stink
The Taco Bell E. coli found wasn't on green onions, but on white onions. Which we find reassuring. [WCBS-TV]
A glimpse of the days ahead, when the new regulations requiring chains to print their calorie information goes into effect. "One slice of [Cheesecake Factory] carrot cake will cost you about 1,510 calories and 84 fat grams!" [NYDN]
Restaurants agree: This whole calorie-info thing is a bad idea. [MediaPost]
We recently noted that the notoriously truculent Gordon Ramsay has finally pissed someone off with his new Gordon Ramsay at the London. His neighbors in the apartment building behind the restaurant have been complaining bitterly about the noise and smell produced by the restaurant's air exhausts, among other things. We decided to see for ourselves just how bad they really have it. Our correspondent, who shot the photograph above, was led into an apartment right across from an apparently unfiltered exhaust vent. "A steady, noticeable hum is apparent," he reports. "This becomes much louder when the windows are opened. I can definitely see how it would impact people living on that side of the building within a few floors of the vent." Then there's the smell. Shirley Lemmon, the residence manager, told our reporter that, "We know what they're having for dinner. Sometimes it's bacon, which I don't mind. I like bacon. But sometimes it's duck, and the smell is terrible." (Lemmon also claims that Ramsay's air-conditioning unit has been measured at 75 decibels. History's loudest rock concert — the Who at Leeds — peaked at 120 decibels.) Ramsay's people told us that "the hotel has addressed the problem and is working to resolve all issues." Something tells us they're not taking duck off the menu.
Earlier:Gordon Ramsay Finally Pissing Someone Off
The famously pugnacious Gordon Ramsay has managed not to alienate the entire city of New York — just his neighbors. The residents of 150 West 55th Street, the building that sits behind the recently opened Gordon Ramsay at the London, claim that the restaurateur has plunged them into what their spokesperson Elizabeth Hulings tells us is a "nightmare." "The smell of the third-floor exhaust fan guarantees that everyone in the building knows just what's being served that night," Hulings says. "The noise has people sleeping on their couches." According to an official release, two tenants "had to seek medical attention for respiratory problems" caused by "particulate matter" given off by garbage trucks. Ramsay's people didn't return our call right away, but Caterer and Housekeeper, a Website that covered the story earlier, quoted them as saying, "Such challenges are not uncommon during a major construction project such as undertaken at the hotel and restaurant," and added, "when brought to the attention of Gordon Ramsay Holdings by the hotel, the complaint was immediately addressed."
Kitchen Nightmare for Gordon Ramsay in New York [Caterer and Housekeeper]
When we heard that Gordon Ramsay's new joint was designed by David Collins, the man behind London's Nobu Berkeley and J Sheekey, we suspected the restrooms would be as high-flying as the 80-chef kitchen. Gord has threatened to ban anyone who photographs the food, but we chanced taking a camera into the loos.
• In openings, Rob and Robin give pride of place to this week's biggie, the British superchef Gordon Ramsay's maiden New York venture, Gordon Ramsay at the London; signal the arrival of Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, a relatively ambitious Turkish restaurant in midtown; and acknowledge a new red-sauce restaurant, Dean's Family Style Restaurant and Pizzeria (801 Second Ave., nr. 43rd St.; 212-878-9600).
New York Restaurant Openings and Buzz
• Gael Greene goes to Metro Marché at the Port Authority and gives what has to be the best review ever received by a restaurant in a bus station: "Amazingly good brasserie dishes at astonishingly gentle prices."
• Given that so much restaurant profit comes from the bar, you have to wonder why it took so long for restaurants to attach lounges. Rob and Robin look at four new ones: the Greek Kava Lounge, EN Shochu Bar (Japanese), and the eclectic Monday Room and Wined Up wine bars. All open over the next couple of weeks.
Rooms With Booze
Gordon Ramsay, the famously testy British gastro-deity and Hell's Kitchen TV star, is trying to play nice as the opening of his new restaurant in Manhattan, London NYC, approaches. (The first meals will be served November 17.) The only problem is that Ramsay's wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command still cut through. A piece in the Independent quotes Ramsay as having told an American interviewer, "I've already been warned. The moment I touch down at the airport I get put in my straitjacket and I go straight to the management skills manual to learn how to ask a kitchen porter to wash out a copper pan for me."
Ramsay turns nice guy in bid to win over New Yorkers [Independent]
Mr. Nasty disses Keller and Robuchon, says the grub's better in London, tries to poach Ducasse's staff, and admits he's "f****** shitting" himself. [Sunday Times of London]
Clearly, he's "not looking to take New York by storm." [The Independent]
Batali and landlord get into a pissing contest of sorts. [Gawker]
Klee's and Kyotofu's menus unveiled; Freitag gives Gusto a menu makeover. [Strong Buzz]
"The corner of West 12th and West Fourth Streets is one that cabbies will have to get used to." [NYT]
Related: Fall Preview: Great Eats on Seventh Avenue South
Would a trans-fat ban put the kibosh on Krispy Kreme? [NYP]
Monkey-arm purveyor meets the long arm of the law. [NYP]
In today's dining dirt, Spain comes to Manhattan, barbecue comes to Fort Greene, and Mr. Hospitality brings the pain.
• Danny "Mr. Hospitality" Meyer ponders hugs, serves up a knuckle sandwich. [Esquire]
• Gordon "Mr. Nasty" Ramsay opens up the lines; a feeding frenzy ensues. [Eater]
• Pushcart-prize finalists announced. [Street Vendor Project]
• Picholine buddies open up a Fort Greene smoke joint serving up "real NYC barbecue." Whatever that is, exactly. [Strong Buzz]
• On a sobering note, Michael Pollan forecasts the dangers of centralized food production and the specter of increased regulation in the veggie world: "Food poisoning has always been with us, but not until we started processing all our food in such a small number of 'kitchens' did the potential for nationwide outbreaks exist." [NYT]
Has Halloween come early? Bars disguise themselves to avoid the liquor ban, lettuce may be the new spinach, Gordon Ramsay's secret sister emerges from the shadows, and more.
• First the trans-fat fighters came for NYC. Then, D.C. Now, if N.J. lawmakers have their way, you won't even be able to water-taxi your way to the stuff. [Nation's Restaurant News].
• Having cracked down on spinach, the E. coli police go after green-leaf lettuce. [Los Angeles Times]
• Bars evade the booze freeze by posing as restaurants (and if that doesn't work, they'll buy pairs of mustache glasses). [NYP]
• Topping off a recent slew of testosteropenings — Lonesome Dove, Porter House, etc. — Corio promises servers in skivvies. [NYDN]
• Tony Bourdain and other food scribes recall no-can-do assignments; says Peter Elliot, "publicists should have their heads examined." [Snack]
• Glasgow and (soon) London get a Priceline-style Website for haggling over the dinner bill. Will there come a day when we can ask Daniel, "How does 50 bucks for the prix-fixe sound?" [Sunday Herald]
• Gordon Ramsay tells all, unfortunately, including how the name of his first restaurant was inspired by his penis. (Also, something about a long lost sister.) [Chow]
• Does Jamie Oliver fancy himself the new Ali G? First he gave a sophomoric fake interview on Danish television; now his fat suit causes a stir. [Daily Mirror]
• After chilling poolside with Charlie "Sturdy, Masculine" Palmer, Brendan Vaughan gives the restaurateur turned Vegas hotelier a royal buttering. [Esquire]
• Does Gordon Ramsay's kitchen rage stem from daddy issues? [Bloomberg]
• Michelin sizes up the West Coast, and Killer Keller becomes the second chef to hit the Deuce (two three-star restaurants, that is). [NYT]
• Bringing it back home: The lil' guys behind S'MAC are thinking "mac and cheese is going to be the new pizza." [NYP]