So the Critic Left Her (?) Notes. So What?Though it may not be a journalistic scandal up there with the Judith Miller saga, the missing notebook found in Brasserie 44, which may or may not belong to Danyelle “Restaurant Girl” Freeman, is getting a lot of play this morning. The story: Notes were left behind at a dinner and, according to their finders, could only be those of a restaurant critic. And, since Freeman is reviewing Brasserie 44 this week, they are naturally thought to be hers. What’s the big deal? Aside from the sloppiness factor on the critic’s part, which is fun for a quick snicker, what real difference does it make to the reviewer, the reader, or the restaurateur if someone has a piece of paper that says “mushy chicken” on it? Something about Danyelle Freeman just brings out the hate, but we can’t say it’s not entertaining to watch from the sidelines. Meanwhile, it’s a good thing Adam Platt only scribbles his mordant asides on a vellum tablet, or we’d be in trouble here at New York.
Which NYC Food Critic Is An Idiot? (Hint: Danyelle Freeman!) [Gawker]
At Kuta, There’s an Indonesian Party in Your Mouth
Alejandro Torio is a busy boy this week. Besides helping to open Le Royale tomorrow, he’s partnering with Iman R. Azeharie (also at one point a promoter) to open Kuta, a 40-seat Southeast Asian restaurant on the Lower East Side featuring the dishes of Azeharie’s native Indonesia. Chef Jutti Jitnopkun — formerly of Rain, Tuk Tuk, and others — is busting out his grandma’s tamarind chili sauce for meat and seafood skewers and turning out entrées like grilled Sumatra beef rendang, Manado spicy duck curry, and grilled red-curry-lemongrass chicken and garlic fries. (Care to see the menu?) The beer-and-wine license arrives today, Torio says, so sake cocktails all around.
Kuta, 65 Rivington St., nr. Allen St.; 212-777-5882.
Smith’s Plays Stevie Wonder, Thievery Corporation, and Bud PowellJust because we couldn’t care less what a chef is playing in the kitchen doesn’t mean we aren’t curious about what’s playing in the dining room — the better to avoid spots that blast “Who Let the Dogs Out” (we’ll give El Sombrero a pass for playing “La Macarena” because, well, it’s El Sombrero). And if they’re playing Weezer’s “The World Has Turned” like Momofuku was Sunday night, we’re there with cowbells on. That’s why every week we’ll pick a new or notable eatery and list ten songs you might hear there. This week: Smith’s, the new one from Danny Abrams and Cindy Smith.
World’s Biggest Cheese in Town Today
To say that we felt only excited at the prospect of seeing the world’s biggest cheese today would be an understatement. It was more like awe. Six-feet wide and weighing over 1,300 pounds, the Gouda-style cheese is the star of a special exhibit co-sponsored by Murray’s Cheese and the Beemster company of Holland. A bothersome case of gout will be keeping us from the cheese’s press conference, which we are told is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. But we’ve thought of some ways the milk monument might be put to use.