With the Fall Preview out of the way, we can move on to TOC’s actual reviews.
But first, some truly excellent (we mean this. We really really mean this.) service journalism from Heather Shouse: A province-by-province breakdown of the various subgenres of Chinese food, plus listings of where in the city to get a sampling of each. Regional styles like Cantonese and Sichuan are familiar to most Chinatown-goers, but Shouse illuminates the flavor profiles of less ubiquitous cuisines, like Taiwanese, Shanghainese, Hakka, and Buddhist (not so much a region as a culinary philosophy). [TOC]
As for actually passing make-or-break judgment on restaurants!
• It’s been almost a month since the opening of Duchamp, and David Tamarkin has an experience there that reads like an eerie retread of last week’s TOC review: inexplicably inconsistent food quality, overwhelmingly wonderful atmosphere. The lows on the menu strike Tamarkin as novice mistakes — all the more confusing, considering that chef Michael Taus is no new kid on the chopping block. And yet that patio lures you back in! Here’s our request for the TOC team: Revisit Duchamp and Piccolo Sogno in, say, January, when you’ll be less susceptible to the seductive charms of their apparently drug-laced patios. [Tamarkin, TOC]
• Speaking of Heather Shouse (again!) she’s at Marc Burger (Macy’s, 111 N State St, 7th floor, 312 781 1000), where chef Marcus Samuelsson (ostensibly of C-House, more accurately of various New York City eateries) has set up shop alongside other luminaries in this “gourmet food court” to peddle burgers and other bun-borne delights. The burgers are good, but for $13 they edge in on the pricey side for what is, essentially, food court grub. Try the mahi-mahi — Shouse thinks it’s better than the fish at C-House, and it’s like a quarter of the price. [Shouse, TOC]
[As long as we are repeating photos, let’s revisit Prof. Dr. Marc Burger, Forschungsinstitut für Mathematik, Zürich, Switzerland, via his faculty page]