Calling All Oyster ProfessionalsThe Grand Central Oyster Frenzy is on Saturday, and all ‘professional shuckers’ are invited to enter a competition to win $1,000.
DOH Shows Mercy on Oyster Bar, Closes Les Deux GaminsAmong the cited violations were improper plumbing, conditions conducive to vermin, evidence of flies in food areas, bare contact with uncooked food (please, it’s an oyster bar), and food not cooled by an approved method.
BiCE’s New Milanese Bistro Open in Midtown West; Gary Robbins PreparingBedford-Stuyvesant: Egg didn’t make this list of top southern eats, but Five Spot Soul Food at 459 Myrtle Avenue was picked as a fave since dishes like Kentucky Turkey Chops and Charleston Low Country Smothered Chicken “sound good” even if they’re not necessarily authentic classics. [Gridskipper]
Chelsea: Klee Brasserie’s open for brunch and dinner on Easter, and you can order the “Thinly Sliced Easter Ham & Bio Egg,” which combines honey-glazed ham, deviled eggs, and capers, at both seatings. [Grub Street]
Lower East Side: The new vegetarian restaurant Broadway East adds to its sustainability cred by featuring local beer and wine. [Zagat Buzz]
Midtown East: The first soft-shell crabs of the season are now available at the Oyster Bar. [Grub Street]
Midtown West: Bistro Milano from team BiCE has opened at 1350 Sixth Avenue, and sidewalk seating opening this spring will double the restaurant’s 70-cover capacity. [TONY]
West Village: “Chef Gary Robins was the best thing to happen to the most recent Russian Tea Room relaunch. So, naturally, he was fired.” But, you’ll be able to taste his cooking downtown this spring, when rustic restaurant Sheridan Square opens at 134 Seventh Avenue South. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Kobayashi May Not Defend His Hot-Dog Title; Oyster Bar Has Best Year EverKobayashi is suffering from arthritis in his jaw and may not be able to compete in the Hot Dog Battle of the Century on the Fourth of July. [Gothamist]
Related: New York Hot-Dog Eaters Take It to the Next Level
Chefs debate what Paris Hilton’s first post-release meal should be: Amalia’s Ivy Stark says salmon, but Wolfgang Puck says pasta. [E!]
Grand Central Oyster Bar had the best year in its history, raking in $14.2 million. A post-fire renovation in 1997 helped a lot. [NYP]
Don’t Tell Al Gore: Soft-Shell Crabs Already HereWhen, in the very first week of March, soft-shell crabs appeared at the Grand Central Oyster Bar, they seemed as unnatural as two-headed kittens. These molted creatures, normally a summer treat, have been appearing earlier and earlier. (The Oyster Bar folks claim they’ve cornered the winter market.) Are they a product of global warming? And are these freaks any good? We asked David Pasternack, executive chef at Esca and our adviser on all things briny.
What to Eat Tonight
Oyster Bar Now Swimming in Shad RoeCole Porter immortalized the eggs of the Atlantic Shad in “Let’s Do It” — “Waiter, bring me shad roe” — and New Yorkers have treasured them for generations. Yesterday, the fish arrived at Grand Central Oyster Bar bearing their precious cargo of firm, nutty-tasting eggs. As for the herringlike fish itself, it’s bony and hard to prepare, and for those reasons not prized. It does have devotees, though, and they take it without any sauce or seasoning. The Oyster Bar serves boned shad with bacon and tomato.
In Season: Shad Roe [NYM]
What to Eat This Week
New York Oysters Are Fat and SassyOysters are born in the summer and get nice and fat with the onset of winter. This year has brought an especially good crop of New York varieties: Pine Island, Fisher’s Island, Blue Point, Great South Bay, etc. They’re all the same species (Crassostrea virginica), but their flavors are marked by the waters in which they’re raised. Here are three top places to slurp your share of the local abundance.
Best Seats in the House: Where to Eat at the Bar
Even before the arrival of Joël Robuchon and his bar-centric L’Atelier, the ancient urban tradition of bar dining was undergoing a great renaissance. And why not? Eating while seated on a stool is a uniquely New York experience. It’s convivial, expedient, and communal, but in a solitary way. The Gobbler has met Wall Street kingpins, ex–CIA agents, and loquacious bookies from Queens at restaurant bars. You don’t have to deal with sniveling waiters or go overboard on tips, and it’s often a convenient excuse for getting really, really drunk. Here are a few of the Gobbler’s favorite barfly destinations.