What Can’t Pichet Ong Do With Foie Gras?We checked in with dessertologist Pichet Ong recently and found him inordinately pleased with one of his newest creations: a foie gras Chantilly “taco,” created for the Valentine’s Day tasting menu and now served every day at P*ONG. The shell is made of chocolate and hazelnut, the filling foie gras Chantilly, with a little bit of red-chile jam for heat. “It has that creamy, melt-in-your-mouth feel that people want from foie gras, with the crunch from the taco. Everyone loves it.” So says Ong. And there’s more foie in the future!
Chris Cheung’s Foie Gras Bao Resurface in Midtown East
When chef Chris Cheung told us “Chinese cooking is cloaked in secrecy. I know those traditional recipes, but I also have been trained in the new, cutting-edge techniques that a lot of Western chefs are using” after leaving his post at Almond Flower last July, he simultaneously had us pining over the loss of his modern Chinese dishes and anticipating his return to the city’s dining landscape. Well, the liquid–foie gras–squirting bao are back — along with sweet-chile baby back ribs — and now available at Cheung’s newest post, Monkey Bar. The Glazier Group hired the Nobu alum as a replacement for chef Patricia Yeo in hopes that he will have better luck revitalizing the chronically buzz-lacking restaurant. With the Chinese New Year starting tomorrow, Cheung informed Gothamist he’ll be cooking dishes designed for prosperity, but his new permanent menu, which includes sliders in bao buns and wok-fried noodles with short ribs in house-made abalone oyster sauce, might just be all the luck he (and Monkey Bar) needs.—Alexandra Vallis Monkey Bar Menu
The Annotated Dish
Annisa’s Skate Duo Runs Hot and ColdAnita Lo’s work at Annisa has produced what Adam Platt calls “some of the most consistently interesting food in the city.” Her “skate with avocado and radishes, Korean flavors” exemplifies this: Three elements on the same plate are presented in both hot and cold combinations. As always, scroll over the different elements of the dish to hear it described in the chef’s own words.
Bruni Hot for Small Baguettes on the Upper West SideEast Village: Anita Lo thinks Degustation isn’t getting enough attention. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Bao 111 will now be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. [Eater]
Hell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu will be holding a seven-course dinner plus dessert paired with “six different types of specialty and esoteric sake” at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 17. [Grub Street]
Richmond Hill: RIP 80-year-old Jahn’s Ice Cream. [Lost City]
Upper West Side: Frank Bruni reveals he’s “hot for” small baguettes with butter and raspberry jam from Levain Bakery: “I demolish it in four or five bites, squeezing it so tight the jam drips from the edges, and I sometimes have to change my shirt afterward because of the jam stains.” [Refinery 29]
Ducasse Weds; Healthy Chocolate Fights for Shelf SpaceAlain Ducasse married his longtime girlfriend over the weekend before 150 guests at Hotel du Palais in Biarritz. [NYP]
Raymond Sokolov admires the food stunts of Anne Burrell at Centro Vinoteca and Annita Lo of Annisa. [WSJ]
The Four Seasons raises its Thanksgiving dinner price to $125 a head, but the most expensive turkey in town is the $10,000 tables at Café Gray. [NYS]
In the Magazine
Women Chefs Take the Reins in This Week’s Issue“It’s a man’s man’s man’s world,” James Brown once sang. Was it the official anthem of the restaurant world? Sometimes it seems like that, but this week’s issue has eight reasons to the contrary. The names of the first seven are April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig), Rebecca Charles (Pearl Oyster Bar), Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter), Sara Jenkins (formerly of 50 Carmine), Anita Lo (Annisa), Jody Williams (Morandi), and Patricia Yeo (formerly of Monkey Bar and Sapa). All talked about a woman’s place in the kitchen in a special New York forum. The eighth reason? Alex Raij, whose new tapas restaurant, El Quinto Pino, gets three stars from the Underground Gourmet. All this, and a recipe for pan-roasted chicken (plus a video!), come at you in this week’s issue of New York.
A Woman’s Place?
Small Is Beautiful
In Season: Pasture Raised Chicken [NYM]
Last Weekend at Red Hook Ball Fields; RUB Introduces Frito Pie to ChelseaAstoria: You can ask the chefs from Bistro 33, at 19-33 Ditmars Boulevard, to prepare a special tasting menu — but be sure to request the chocolate-espresso-stout ice cream served on a warm fudge brownie for dessert. [Joey in Astoria]
Chelsea: RUB has introduced the “open-face” and “sloppy” grease fest that is Frito pie to its menu and it’s best inhaled with a kindred Texas brew. [Gothamist]
East Village: David Chang is looking for one experienced cook to join his team for Momofuku Ko, “a very unique operation, with the possibility of no servers.” [Eat for Victory/VV]
Greenwich Village: Anita Lo has released a recipe for Rickshaw Dumpling Bar’s kimchee-and-tofu dumplings. [Restaurant Girl]
Red Hook: This is the last Sunday of the season for the ball-fields vendors. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Women Chefs Congregate in Chelsea; Sam Mason Has Fans on the LESChelsea: 25 women chefs including Anita Lo and Del Posto pastry chef Nicole Kaplan will cook at a cancer benefit at Pier 60 on Monday. [Restaurant Girl]
Related: Women Chefs Come Out in Force For Benefit
Flatiron: Hill Country hosts 4-Foodies on September 18 for the online group’s second tasting event. [4-Foodies]
Harlem: Mexican street vendors will prepare the fare at Restaurante La Hacienda on September 19 for a Tamale and Tequila Tasting organized by the non-profit group Esperanza del Barrio. [Uptown Flavor]
Lower East Side: Tailor gets high marks from opening-night diners who may not have understood the menu, but appreciated the results. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Midtown West: A food cart on 46th Street at Sixth Avenue is serving up special Ramadan “break-the-fast” boxes. [Midtown Lunch]
Tribeca: Cognac week at Brandy Library means free tastings every night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday.
Women Chefs Come Out in Force for Benefit
It’s often remarked, and with some justice, that the New York restaurant business is a man’s world, with women having to claw and scratch for every bit of recognition. (At least, that was Keith McNally’s view.) A Second Helping of Life, though, a big benefit event for breast-and ovarian-cancer survivors, boasts a pretty heady lineup of stars, and all of the female persuasion: Prune’s Gabrielle Hamilton, Del Posto’s Nicole Kaplan, Butter’s Alexandra Guarnaschelli, Amalia’s Ivy Stark, and Rebecca Charles, inventor of the lobster roll, will all be present and accounted for, along with such founding mothers of the New York food scene as Gourmet’s Ruth Reichl, and the formidable Ariane Daguin of D’Artagnan. Tickets are $300 for the event, to be held on September 17 on Chelsea Piers. Visit sharecancersupport.org for more information.
Prune Alum Doesn’t Fall Far From the East Village TreeClinton Hill: The construction workers who opened Il Torchio have created an intimate space serving elegantly constructed Italian tapas but can’t resist sporting baseball caps and — beer in hand — approaching customers to say what’s up. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: Prune alum Matt Hamilton will run the kitchen at Belcourt when it opens next month. [NYS]
Harlem: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que offers up a Labor Day-weekend recipe: really salty potatoes (yes, that’s 2:1 spuds to salt). [NYS]
Midtown West: The London Times picks the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridian as the best burger in New York. [A Hamburger Today]
North Fork: A foodie farm tour featuring tastings and cooking demonstrations on September 9 will make a stop at Garden of Eve, a supplier to Flatbush Farm. [Brooklyn Based]
West Village: Anita Lo always has a vegetarian entrée available at Annisa in addition to the one listed on the menu. [Restaurant Girl]
Provence Chef Pink-Slipped; Pichet Ong to Open Cupcake ShopChef Lynn McNeely has been handed a pink slip after mixed reviews at the new Provence; no word on who the next chef might be. [Eater]
Related: Provence Redux [NYM]
Pichet Ong is opening a cupcake store next to P*ONG. “Vanilla, chocolate, yuzu and cinnamon will be my staples,” he says. “I want to add a little salt & spice to my take on them.” [Restaurant Girl]
A tale of two bakeries under Health Department scrutiny: one, Magnolia, plays nice; the other, Delices de Paris in Park Slope, kicks back. Guess which one ends up closing. [NYO]
Men Still Rule the Roost in Kitchens; April Bloomfield a Rai Rai Ken FanIt’s still a man’s world in the kitchen, as Annisa’s Anita Lo or Ratatouille’s Collette can tell you. [NYDN]
Count April Bloomfield in the Rai Rai Ken camp when it comes to the ramen wars. [Restaurant Girl]
Hill Country pitmaster and noted “barbejew” Robbie Richter has borderline cholesterol, a meat bond with Zak Pelaccio, and little interest in side dishes. [Metromix]
Related: Barbecue: The New Kosher Food?
Whole Foods CEO’s Online High Jinks Unmasked; Magnolia Bakery ReopeningJohn Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, has been going online anonymously on Yahoo Finance bulletin boards for seven years to blast rival Wild Oats and talk up Whole Foods stock. [NYT]
Related: Did Michael Pollan Throw the Whole Foods Debate? (Just Asking)
Magnolia Bakery, closed for less than a day for having only one sink, has now been reopened after promising to install another one. [Eater]
Related: A Sad Day for Overhyped Pastries: Magnolia Shuttered [Daily Intel]
Anthony Bourdain is warming up to The Next Food Network Star. As a matter of fact, you could say that he’s become a devoted fan: “Whether it’s the butterfly mobiles dangling from my ceiling, the onset of early dementia, or long delayed side effects of past drug use drawing me to the tube Sunday nights, I’ll be watching.” [Ruhlman]