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Wildwood Barbeque

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This Week, It’s the Little Things

Savarona and Wildwood Barbecue open, Persephone and Elettaria get reviewed, and crayfish, wine, and butter all get their due.

Live Poultry Not Live for Long in Woodside; Champagne at Paradou

Dumbo: The Japanese publication Mapple released a guide to the nabe and recommends Jacques Torres Chocolate, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and Grimaldi’s as top picks. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: You don’t need to hunt down any Danish to track Frank Bruni; he’s a huge fan of Death & Co (and hopes the bar’s not really in trouble). [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Meatpacking District: A $25 Champagne tasting at Paradou next Tuesday also comes with snacks. [Paradou NYC] Midtown: A rare bottle of scotch fetched $54,000 at Christie's liquor auction last night. The Rob Roys we made with it were great. [Food and Wine] Woodside: For a truly hands-on holiday meal, you can head to Bismillah Live Poultry market in the warehouse quarter; choose your "turkey out of a flock of around 30, and off it went in a shopping cart to be slaughtered, scalded in hot water, and plucked by the staff. Fifteen minutes later it emerged in a bag, warm to the touch, its fat tail sticking out." [The Grinder/Chow]

No Plaza for Graydon; Mr. Rachael Ray Drops $35K for Lunchbox

Graydon Carter won’t be taking over the Plaza’s Oak Room, so you’ll still have to head downtown to the Waverly Inn for that truffled macaroni and cheese. [NYP] Jean-Georges Vongerichten seeks the elusive fifth taste by serving “umami bombs” at his restaurants. [WSJ] Related: Waiter, There’s a Fifth Element in My Soup It’s possible that locally grown products have a comparable or even greater carbon footprint than food that travels long distances, so you can stop patting yourself on the back for being a greenmarket fanatic. [NYT] Related: Local Schmocal [NYM]

Havana Chelsea, R.I.P.; Pigs Feet Run Amok in West Village

Chelsea: Havana Chelsea, one of the city’s top cubano sandwich spots, is no more. It will be replaced by Casa Havana. [Eat for Victory] Flatiron: Hampton Smoker blogger and barbecue savant Matt Fisher will be the pitmaster at Wildwood BBQ [White Trash BBQ] Lower East Side: ZoZos, Pizzeria De Santos give up the ghost. It’s a noodle bar town now. [American Madness] Related: Happy Valley Owners to Launch Pizza Empire Red Hook: Layla's, the replacement for the late, lamented Lillie's, is coming along. [Citysearch] SoHo: Provence has instituted happy hour, with $8 champagne and, more to the point, $2 oysters. [Strong Buzz] West Village: It’s all about pig feet at Hakata Tonton: “It’s as if chef/owner Himi Okajima watched the Bubba scene in Forrest Gump one day and replaced all mention of the word shrimp with pigs feet. Tonsoku carbonara, tonsoku rice ball, tonsoku consommé, sweet and sour pork with tonsoku…” [Gothamist]

Big Lou Elrose Hired as Wildwood Pitmaster

When Steve Hanson decided to launch a major barbecue restaurant (as we told you about in August), he didn’t have to look far for a pitmaster. He turned to the most critically acclaimed new barbecue in the city’s history, Hill Country. Big Lou Elrose, ex-cop, ex–competition barbecuer, and now ex–deputy pitmaster at Hill Country, will lead the pit team at Wildwood BBQ when it opens in December. The six-foot-five ex-policeman will also help develop operations for subsequent restaurants. “Lou has a lot of passion,” the B.R. Guest bigwig told us. “And he really knows pork. He’s truly gotten into the culture of barbecue, and he’s going to be one of our main guys.” Elrose, for his part, has a simpler ambition. “I just want to cook good barbecue,” he says. Related: B.R. Guest's New BBQ: Will Wildwood Succeed?