‘Esquire’ Escalates Chef-Fashion War With ‘Maxim’Has it really come to this? Maxim and Esquire are going at it hammer and tongs to see who can print more ridiculous images of chefs as fashion models. Esquire started it, with a never-to-be-forgotten Simon Hammerstein–David Chang tough-guy shoot. This year, Maxim released its April spread early to get the jump on Esquire, but both mags shared a few models (formerly known as chefs): Michael Psilakis of Anthos, Neil Ferguson of Allen and Delancey, and Craig Koketsu of Park Avenue Winter. Psilakis, for his part, is even wearing similar suits in both spreads. (Did he leave the Maxim refrigerator and head straight to his Esquire lunch at Insieme?) Other chefs of note in the shoot include Ben Chekroun, the elegant maître d’ of Le Bernardin, whom we interviewed for Ask a Waiter back in the day; San Domenico’s affable wine director, Piero Trotta; and the boyish Wesley Genovart of Degustation, tucking into a plate of duck and soba noodles. We give Esquire the edge for shooting the dapper John McDonald at Keens. Though he’s more of a bon vivant restaurateur than a chef, Johnny Mac is a quintessential Esquire man.
Man’s Gotta Eat [Esquire]
Related: Chefs Put on Something a Little More Comfortable
When Chefs Play Dress-Up
Duck Necks Compete With Chicken Wings This Sunday; Midtown East Looking forBedford-Stuyvesant: If you don’t want to brave a sports bar Sunday but still want to catch the game, this restaurants-with-flat-screens list includes yet-to-open Rustik Tavern, which will be up and running by kickoff. There will only be a limited menu, but owner Frantz Metellus promises: “If I don’t have nachos, I’m nothing.” [Brooklyn Based]
Chelsea: Trestle on Tenth thinks it has the Super Bowl chicken-wing-tradition beat: braised and fried crispy duck necks with a garlic and anchovy dip. They’re not as adventurous as castrating a sheep with your teeth à la Giant Grey Ruegamer, but definitely easier to get your hands on; just pick up a few pounds on game day. [Grub Street]
Cobble Hill: “The natives are getting restless” that Trader Joe’s hasn’t opened, and the store’s PR company offers few answers. [Brownstowner]
East Village: Gramercy Tavern’s Haute Barnyard guru Michael Anthony is doing a Farm to Chef dinner at the Astor Center tomorrow night. Farmers, writers and activists aplenty will be present. [Grub Street]
Flatiron: Pinkberry on 26th Street at Third Avenue is now open. [Eater]
Midtown East: The Helmsley’s Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Ball hopes to attract “the recently dumped and ‘disenchanted,’ as well as the happily single and those looking for love,” or you could just come to see the Ice-Carved Anti-Cupid Satan Oyster Bar (and make fun of the desperates). [Grub Street]
Midtown West: “Today, the food you find on most bars is the salty kind: chip, pretzels, etc. As anyone in the bar biz knows, these are … meant to make you thirsty, so you order more liquor,” but Keens is one of the last spots to offer sobering snacks of the bygone era: hard-boiled eggs, and they’re free. [Lost City]
The Orange Line
Riding the Orange Line: Herald Square’s Unforgotten Hash BarWe’re riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants and food stores near the subway.
Herald Square, with its discount stores and the horrific Manhattan Mall, is merely an obstacle between you and MSG. But snake your way through the grim and random maze of cut-rate merchandise and defeated-looking office workers, and you’ll find yourself at Keens Steakhouse, one of the city’s last bastions of hash.
The New York Diet
This Is Why Rapper MIMS Likes His Tea Hot
Ever since his club banger “This Is Why I’m Hot” went to No. 1, Sean Mims has lived on the road, touring behind his new album, Music Is My Savior. What does he miss the most about his hometown? First off, the habichuela con dulce that push-cart vendors sell in his native Washington Heights. “It’s one of the best things,” he says. “It’s beans and a sweet milk mixed together with cookies. It’s almost like a thick sweet tea.” He didn’t make it uptown when he was in town this week for a show at Avalon, but over a plate of sautéed jumbo shrimp, string beans, and a hot tea at Keens Steakhouse he told us what else he’s been eating.
My Plus-Size Family Demands Nonethnic EatsDear Grub Street,So my college graduation ceremony is taking place in Madison Square Garden in less than a month and I need a suggestion for lunch around 2:30 for six people. As an amateur foodie, I’d usually have no problem picking a place if it weren’t for my family, who bring many stipulations to the table, so to speak: must be close-ish to MSG/Port Authority, must be handicap-accessible with seating arrangements that can accommodate, err, larger people, must take reservations, and must not be “ethnic” (that’s my two-star major-general grandfather speaking).Lida
A Beef Benefit With HeartNow here’s an event the city’s carnescenti can get behind: St. Francis’ Big Red, a meat-and-wine feast to be held Monday night at the Westside Loft. The event benefits educational programs of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food and costs $100 for AIWF members ($150 for nonmembers). But if buy your tickets over the phone and mention Grub Street, $50 will come off the top.
Among the bovine highlights will be Wagyu skirt steak, courtesy of Craftsteak; mustard-roasted beef-short-rib salad, via Porter House New York; and smoked prime filet mignon, from Keens Steakhouse. Wines, which will be poured in abundance, are by St. Francis Winery in Sonoma; cookout guru Elizabeth Karmel will give a grilling demonstration; and a five-night trip to Antigua will be raffled off.
Read more at the St. Francis’ Big Red Website.