Riding the V Line: The King of Cuban Sandwiches
Night on Broadway in Woodside is electric: Trains rumble overhead, a hundred dialects of Spanish are barked in the air, and the promise of everything from dance lessons to roasted guinea pig glares nightward out of neon signs. When we step off the V at 65th Street, though, we somehow never find ourselves tempted by all that novelty. What we want is the undisputed classic, the El Sitio Cubano sandwich, the patriarch of its race. It’s just a few steps from the train to the counter, but even those are too many.
Cold War: Yolato Now, Red Mango in December, and MySpace Forever
When we mentioned that a new Yolato store is opening today, we wondered when exactly the Red Mango would open across from Pinkberry on Bleecker Street. Now a rep tells us it probably won’t be till mid-December, with stores to follow in Chelsea (63 W. 14th St.), the theater district (723 Eighth Ave.) and Flushing (136-53 Roosevelt Ave).
[Ed: Disclaimer — what follows is where we start to lose it a little bit.]
The Other Critics
Cipriani Charged With ‘Highway Robbery’; Market Table Gets a BigFrank Bruni pens one of his best zero-star reviews ever in putting down Harry Cipriani, hard: “The crime that comes to mind first when I think of the Ciprianis is highway robbery. Based on my recent experience, that’s what happens almost any time Harry Cipriani on Fifth Avenue serves lunch or dinner.” Brillo-like potatoes? $23 for asparagus? Bruni makes ‘em pay. [NYT]
Market Table gets two and a half stars from Restaurant Girl, who praises the solid American cooking and buys into the overall concept. We wondered if MT wouldn’t be the restaurant that absorbed the Haute Barnyard backlash, but it seems to have dodged it so far. [NYDN]
Paul Adams hits Tailor and delivers the most intelligently rendered version of what seems to be the verdict on the place: The food is brilliant but spotty, and the drinks are great. [NYS]
The Bodega Classic: Genteel Versus GrittyWhen we wrote about the Bodega Challenge last week, our imaginations went wild with thoughts of the kind of monstrosity that would win. The idea was to create a dish from ingredients strictly available at a bodega, costing no more than $20, with extra credit given for being especially “bodegic.” The winner entry, announced recently on the Brooklyn Kitchen blog, came from one aptly named Sarah Gentile. Her “Pumpkin Gobble Gobble.” was composed of apples, canned pumpkin, marshmallows, and pistachios — and though surely delish, the whole “fresh apples and other foods found in nature” seems kind of antithetical to the spirit of the bodega. But we’d still eat it.
Goldfarb Will Make Your Saturday; 1OAK Might Open SomedaySome desserts you’ll be able to try when Will Goldfarb starts serving at the new Dessert Studio at Michel Cluizel this Saturday include “white chocolate gelato drizzled with olive oil; Indonesian vanilla ice cream with American caviar; and chocolate-hazelnut cake with apricots and brown sugar ice.” Okay, we need to take a cold shower. [NYT]
Related: Cluizel, Goldfarb to Join Forces in Dessert Pact
1OAK really is close to opening, maybe two or three weeks according to one random construction worker — or is that four to six weeks? [Imbible/Citysearch]
Related: Until 1OAK Opens, Look for Richie Akiva at Scores
New French wine bar Solex is shaping up to be in competition with Momofuku 2.0 for late-night chef hangout. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine]
Back of the House
Johnny Iuzzini Is Clearly the Sexiest Chef in New York!Was there ever any doubt as to who would win Sexiest Chef contest over at the Daily News? Not here! The polls have closed and, as we always knew he would, our old pal Johnny Zs has walked away with the prize, thanks to 285 votes in the “sizzling” category. In his champion photo, Johnny (who, you’ll remember, has a newsletter that reminds us he “is becoming quite the superstar”) is photographed sitting next to his motorcycle, like a vanilla-coated Fonzie for the 21st century.
Bonus: In celebrating his win, Iuzzini gives us the perfect cocktail of quotage. First he declares — with a straight face — that “We’re chefs and that’s the main thing.” But then he later hints — also with a straight face, no doubt — that he’s available for the lucky ladies: “”There’s always time to date,” he said. “I work about 12 to 14 hours [a day], so that leaves about 10 hours for dating. I don’t need to sleep much.” Oh, swoon.
New York’s Sexiest Chef: Johnny Iuzzini [NYDN]
Earlier: Johnny Iuzzini’s Plea: Elect Me Sexiest Chef!
DuMont, Smith and Mills Players Head Toward McCarrenJohn McCormick, the designer behind the loveliness that is Smith and Mills and Tailor, has another project in the works, and it sounds like it’ll be every bit as quirky as his own restaurant Moto. He says that Jud Longell, a bartender at DuMont, and a silent partner have acquired Theresa’s Beauty Salon at 18 Bedford Avenue at Lorimer Street (right off McCarren Park) and are transforming it into what will eventually be a bistro of sorts. McCormick says he has in mind “a nautical design, but very subtle. I wanted to make the place look like it was a sunken transport ferry — there’d be a lot of distressing and rust and metal work.” The owners, meanwhile, have toyed with the idea of an “English-butcher-shop aesthetic.” No doubt that they’ll all meet at some magical halfway point that will be far cooler than anything we can conjure up. Whatever the final look, it’s safe to say that empty bar seats will be rare, especially after those McCarren Pool shows.