Coming Soon to Artisanal: Terrance Brennan’s Dream Steak
Despite the sky-high cost of meat and the rarity of aged prime, steaks continue to be a hot investment for today’s restaurateurs. Now even cheese guru Terrance Brennan has joined the bovine gravy train, introducing a whole steak-frites section to the Artisanal menu.
Jacques Torres Cocoa Will Get You Hot; Artisanal Bringing Cheesy Bites toDumbo: Jacques Torres’s Wicked Hot Chocolate is so good it will put you in the mood like “six gin and tonics.” [NYPress via Dumbo NYC]
Fort Greene: Seventeen-year-old African restaurant Keur N’Deye has closed. [Eating in Translation via Eater]
Midtown East: Terrence Brennan instated a bar menu at Artisanal this week that includes smoked paprika popcorn and grilled cheese bites. [Strong Buzz]
Upper West Side: The All State Café had a different name in 1973 when a teacher was brutally murdered after coming in for a drink but still survived until last night when the storied space closed due to rising rents. [NYT]
Williamsburg: The director of King Corn Aaron Woolf is a partner in Lodge restaurant and has decided to open a Slow Food natural market called Urban Rustic, on the edge of McCarren Park, by Thanksgiving. [Brooklyn Based]
Momofuku Won’t Close for Even One Day; Half Off Wine at ArtisanalEast Village: David Chang plans on wasting no time turning Momofuku Noodle Bar into Momofuku Ko next month: The place won’t close for even much a day but rather will morph overnight into its new identity. [Grub Street]
Related: Keeping Up With the Momofukus
Flatiron: Cookbook editor Judith Jones will lead a discussion and wine tasting at Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit on October 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. [Grub Street]
Fort Greene: On Saturday evenings the gourmet shop L’Epicerie turns into “a $40 per head, BYOB, family-style restaurant offering a casually sophisticated take on the dinner party.” [NYO]
Midtown: All the wines by the glass at Artisanal will be half off after 10 p.m., starting next week. [Grub Street]
Red Hook: The bar-robbing thugs who held up Bait & Tackle bartenders at gunpoint have been apprehended. [Eater]
Times Square: The Palm West will be serving a Purple Martini this season that includes some new liquor that to our knowledge does not include grape juice. [Grub Street]
Shacktoberfest! DeChellis Opening a Raw Bar in the West Village?Flatiron: Shacktoberfest at the Shack kicks off this Friday with live music and a special menu of brats, sausages, custard concretes in apple strudel and Sacher torte flavors, and artisanal beers. It will stick around through the 14th. [Eater]
Fort Greene: Gnarly Vines at 350 Myrtle Avenue has unofficially opened and is hosting a free wine tasting tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Midtown East: The owner of Bistro Le Steak has opened Bistro Desaret on East 56th Street near Second Avenue; the new place will be serving escargot and frog legs among other classic fare. [NYS]
Upper West Side: Bouchon Bakery and Artisanal tie for best grilled cheese, but only Thomas Keller’s version made Levine’s article on the 22 sandwiches that will change your life. [Serious Eats]
West Village: Don’t expect Josh DeChellis to start serving more than a couple of raw dishes a night at BarFry; he’ll need to save some recipes for the raw bar he might open up down the street. [Gotham Gal via Eater]
Terrance Brennan Sells Cheese Business, Plans New RestaurantAn interesting rumor came our way the other day: that none other than our reputed doppelgänger, Terrance Brennan of Artisanal and Picholine, was looking to sell his restaurants and get out of the day-to-day chef business. We checked in with the Blessed Cheesemonger, and it turns out the rumor is exactly wrong: Brennan has sold his Artisanal cheese company to American Home Foods for the express purpose of getting back into the kitchen. “It’s a lot more complex business than I thought,” he tells us. “There’s e-commerce and customs and all these moving parts. It took four years of my life … I’m done with it.” Brennan also says he’s planning a new New York restaurant, a different concept from Artisanal or Picholine. But that’s all he’ll say until the time is ripe — “as ripe,” he adds, “as a pungent Roquefort.”
My Kid Could Design That Restaurant Logo!
For every high-profile restaurant architect like David Rockwell or AvroKO, there’s an underappreciated artisan like Louise Fili. One of several people whose work is being honored by the Society of Illustrators at an exhibition opening tonight at the Museum of Illustration, Fili creates restaurant logos. Her elegant, Art Nouveau– and Art Deco–inspired designs give the Mermaid Inn, Artisanal, Pigalle, and Sfoglia, whose logo is exceptionally lovely and ornate, their trademark markings. A collection of her work can be viewed here; the museum exhibit runs through the 27th.
“Letter as Image, Image as Letter,” Museum of Illustration, 128 E. 63rd St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-838-2560.
Ms. Gobbler’s Turn: Her Favorite RestaurantsIn pale imitation of great gastronome scribblers like Calvin Trillin and the late Johnny Apple, the Gobbler has written, perhaps too often, about his wife’s taste in food and restaurants (just read his last review). Possibly also like them (the Gobbler doesn’t know Mr. Trillin, but he met Apple during his gruff, un-cuddly, pre-foodie days), the Gobbler is often accused by his wife of egregiously distorting her views (you bet he does). Ms. Gobbler would like the world to know that her most-used word is not “yummy,” that if given the choice, she’d prefer to eat at home, and that her favorite drink really is champagne. “Also, you always make me sound elfin,” she told the Gobbler just a moment ago, “and I am not elfin.” In a hasty (and desperate) attempt to clarify the record, I’ve asked Ms Gobbler to list her current favorite restaurants in town. It goes without saying that Mr. Gobbler approves of these fine establishments, too.
Chodorow and Payard May Also Ride Gravy Train to VegasThis morning we wrote that Artisanal owner Terrance Brennan may go prospecting for a new restaurant opportunity in Las Vegas. Looks like he might not be the only New Yorker with that idea. The real-estate broker who originally tipped us off says Jeffrey Chodorow, who already helms five spots in Sin City, is apparently looking for a place in which to install another branch of Asia de Cuba. Chodorow’s spokesperson would not comment. François Payard of Payard Patisserie & Bistro, meanwhile, openly tells us of his Vegas ambitions: “Yes, I’m working on a project in Las Vegas with Caesar’s Palace. It will be a small chocolate pastry shop called Payard. Most likely it’ll be open next year.”
— Daniel Maurer
Earlier: Terrance Brennan to Make Vegas Just a Little Bit Cheesier?
Back of the House
Terrance Brennan to Make Vegas Just a Little Bit Cheesier?The Sin City restaurant scene is so hot right now that according to a broker who works there, the owners of Tao at the Venetian (here’s our listing for the New York location) are projecting a whopping revenue of $35 million during their first year. So it’s no surprise that Terrance Brennan is apparently looking for a Las Vegas space in which to open a second Artisanal. When he turns his full attention to expansion after the New Year, however, he says he’ll most likely focus first on Chicago rather than Vegas or Boston, another city he’s eyeing. “I love [Chicago], and I’ve been up there a few times and talked to people,” Brennan says. And Vegas? “Eventually … ”
— Daniel Maurer
TV Dinner Stages Internet-Era Comeback
Picholine and Artisanal chef Terrance Brennan, working with FreshDirect, has reinvented the microwave meal. Or so we were told earlier this week. Apparently, the ingredients in his glorified TV dinners come raw or semi-cooked, and a release valve in the box allows the container to work as a pressure cooker, making the meal from scratch in about three minutes. Skeptical but intrigued — and inspired by a similar experiment by the Gobbler — we opted out of having lunch delivered to our desk yesterday and instead joined other Grub Street staffers in the kitchenette to sample six of the eight varieties. The best were better than many restaurant dishes; the average ones were an order of magnitude more enjoyable than any “frozen dinners” we’d ever eaten before; and the worst were terrible. (FreshDirect plans to develop more lines with other high-profile New York chefs.)