Wireless Restaurateurs Ponder Laptop EtiquetteYesterday Gawker lamented, “How sad and kind of pathetic is it that coffee shops and even bars have been taken over by computers and their zombie-eyed owners?” This got us wondering about the extent to which Wi-Fi–equipped restaurants welcome laptop users, so we rang up a few of them.
Savory NY Bringing Yet More Videos to the WebSavory NY was a site we liked a lot in its previous incarnation: It was video-driven, had a lot of useful info about restaurants in New York and elsewhere, and was easy to use. All those things are still true, but the site has now relaunched with more videos, including ones of Boqueria, Stanton Social, and the little owl, all with the respective chefs talking about them (such as Joey Campanaro explaining why the place is called the little owl). Savory NY has had the usual service-site upgrade: more restaurants, more reviews, and something called a “Savory Queue,” in which you can keep track of the places you mean to eat at. But go for the videos.
Savory NY [Official site]
Holiday High Tea Returns to Midtown East; Avenue B New Dining HotbedDumbo: An Eva Solo Oil/Vinegar Bottle, from Tivoli Home on 111 Front Street, made this list of gifts available in the neighborhood. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: Avenue B “has developed a thriving restaurant scene” now that Back Forty has joined the ranks of classics 26 Seats and Max. Even if there were tumbleweeds at Cantina the other night. [NYT] Food critic David Rosengarten has named Il Buco his pick for restaurant of the year in his weekly e-zine called Tastings. They do have great gift-worthy chandeliers. [Grub Street]
Midtown East: The Four Seasons is serving high tea with a view of its lobby’s 24-foot Christmas tree from 3 to 5 p.m. daily until December 29. [Zagat]
West Village: Little owl chef Joey Campanaro created this recipe for spinach gnocchi with pancetta beurre noisette and chanterelles. [Restaurant Girl]
Trump Denies Tip; Martha Stewart BlogsDonald Trump denies leaving a $10,000 tip for a waiter in a Santa Monica restaurant on Monday. [NYP]
No surprises, here: Masa tops the list of pricey U.S. restaurants. [Forbes]
It’s the holidays, so it’s time for the old chestnut about the popularity of fondue. [NYDN]
Shake Shack Instates Line-Cutting and Heat Lamps; There’s Only One DB, and He’sCarroll Gardens: Renovations seem to be happening at Jason Neroni’s old haunt, Porchetta, but as of yet there are no reliable rumors about the new restaurant’s pedigree. [Eater]
East Village: Tasty Falafel’s eight-cent sandwich deal set for this Friday might come with more than you bargained for, like the roach pictured in this order. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Flatiron: Shake Shack now accepts phone-in orders that allow burger fiends to skip to the front of the line; plus, Meyer has added heat lamps for those eating in the park. [Eater]
Forest Hills: Little Danny Brown’s db Wine Bar & Kitchen at 104-02 Metropolitan Avenue just lost a trademark battle to the original DB, Daniel Boulud. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
West Village: The trick to scoring a table at tiny, cozy, exceptional restaurants like the little owl: Show up late like Charlie Rose. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine]
Chef Cliques Revealed; More T-Day Dining OptionsFrank Bruni tries to put the chef network together and finds that Jimmy Bradley hangs out with Joey Campanaro of little owl and Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto. David Chang opts to stick with the “WD-50 gang.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Theater-district restaurants, including Barbetta and Kyotofu , are offering 15 percent off their menus this week (except on Thanksgiving) in light of the Broadway-strike breakdown. [NYC Visit via Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Related: Theater Strike Could Drop Curtain on Midtown Restaurants
Masa may be one of the most expensive restaurants in New York, but it’s almost chump change in the rest of the world, considering Tokyo’s Aragawa “an eight-ounce piece of Kobe steak from a sake-fed Wagyu cow” for $400. [Forbes]
The New York Diet
Comedian Aziz Ansari Won’t Stand for Gourmet Chicken and Waffles
Since being named Rolling Stone’s “hot stand-up,” Aziz Ansari has risen to still more prominence as — quite memorably — the racist fruit vendor on Flight of the Conchords and a star of MTV’s Human Giant (now filming its second season). One of the latter show’s memorable skits has Aziz taking a blood oath with his co-stars Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel to visit the fictional BBQ joint KC Rib Tickler’s (having grown up in South Carolina, Aziz is indeed a barbecue fan). Though they have yet to actually shed blood over it in reality, Aziz and his co-stars are passionate about checking out newly opened spots (using Adam Platt’s reviews as a pointer, we’re happy to hear!). We asked him where he’s been this week.
Shake Shack Opens Year-round; Five Guys On in MidtownFlatiron: Shake Shack is hammering out a year-round plan that may kick off after the New Year and will include heat lamps. (It better!) [Eat for Victory/VV]
Long Island City: Art-O-Mat sells nice neighborhood souvenirs like LIChocolate bars. [LIC-NYC]
Lower East Side: New bar and restaurant Cafe Katja has earned some positive buzz for its touches like house-made pickles and sauerkraut and well-priced Austrian and German wine and beer. [Blog Chelsea]
Midtown West: Five Guys Burger’s and Fries at 43 West 55th Street started serving today, a day ahead of schedule. [Midtown Lunch]
Nolita: Katie Lee Joel’s favorite New York restaurant is Ballato’s on East Houston near Mulberry Street. [Restaurant Girl]
Times Square: Top-notch steakhouse Del Frisco’s still has steak tips and mashed potatoes on its lunch menu for under $10, though the burger’s over $13. [Midtown Lunch]
Upper East Side: Sassy’s Sliders at 1530 Third Avenue near 86th Street is the front-runner in this roundup of the city’s best mini-sandwiches, which also includes Burke’s burgers at Bloomingdale’s and the Little Owl’s meatball version. [Gridskipper]
West Village: The new bar replacing Luke & Leroy on Seventh Avenue South is having a soft opening tonight. [Imbible/Citysearch] Voyage has finally given up the ghost, and its prime Perry Street restaurant real estate with it. [Eater]
LaFrieda Saves the Good Stuff for Restaurants
A sharp-eyed Eater reader wondered if our report about Pat LaFrieda breaking into the retail market was inaccurate: “I believe they already supply retail markets. The Jubilee market at Trump Place gets deliveries from there all the time.” The answer? The trucks carry commodity meat, of the kind commonly found in supermarkets, but never the high-end stuff LaFrieda sells to the likes of the little owl, the Spotted Pig, and so on. VP Mark Pastore confirms this, telling us, “We sell them regular commodity items. However Market Table will be the first place to carry our chopped beef, burgers, and heritage meats direct from us to the customer. We do not sell LaFrieda burgers or heritage products to anyone but restaurants at this time.” So there you have it. If you’re going to hijack that LaFrieda meat truck, make sure it’s the one bound for the Shake Shack.
EaterWire: Trump Trumps LaFrieda, Petraske to LIC, More [Eater]
Earlier: Shake Shack Hamburger and Little Owl Pork Chops Can Soon Be Yours [Grub Street]
Shake Shack Hamburger and Little Owl Pork Chops Can Soon Be Yours
The famous ground-beef mixture from Pat LaFrieda has been the talk of burger circles the last few years — a dizzying time in which the Spotted Pig, Shake Shack, Stand, and half a dozen other contenders have taken the previously humble sandwich to the proverbial next level. The source of all that burger greatness, as Men’s Vogue recently wrote, is LaFrieda, the city’s top source for high-end wholesale meats. Scratch the wholesale part! Soon, and for the first time ever, the burger that launched a thousand blog posts will be available at the retail counter at Market Table, Joey Campanero and Mike Price’s new restaurant in the West Village.
How Not to Have a Soul-Crushing Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is typically the busiest restaurant night of the year, so of course it sucks. But the food, rendered an afterthought, suffers most of all: The restaurateurs are busy counting their money, not watching the kitchen, and the couples, well, they’re wondering why they’re participating in this charade in the first place, seeing as how the flame flickered out years ago, and what were we saying? Oh, right. We understand why Valentine’s dates might not seem to be worth the trouble, so we thought long and hard about which holiday recommendations to make.
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New ‘Tenderloin District’; the Thai’s Bitchin' in Hell’s KitchenThis week in the news you can use, you’ll find guides to everything from sports grub to beets, plus an argument for why size matters.
• On the heels of Planet Thailand’s move to Chelsea, a roundup of chili-deploying joints in Hell’s Kitchen. [NYT]
• Ravioli and pierogies with beets sexify the “sturdiest of root vegetables.” [NYDN]
• Swear off Peter Luger after Alan Richman’s thrashing? Check out the new “tenderloin district” around Penn Station. [AMNY]
• Grub for sports fans, including all-you-can-eat wings at Blondies. That’s right — they went there. [AMNY]
• Size does matter: gems like the Little Owl versus trendy juggernauts (hello, Hawaiian Tropic Zone). [MUG]
• We’re also psyched about Ruby Tuesday: Chains like Japan’s grill-it-yourself-joint Gyu-Kaku and tofu-cheesecake purveyor Kyotofu to take Manhattan. [TONY]