BarFry to Become Cabrito by Next FridayBarFry won’t be closed long, Nick Fox reports on Diner’s Journal. The former tempura joint will reopen as Cabrito, a casual Mexican eatery helmed by longtime Zak Pelaccio lieutenant Dave Schuttenberg. The menu will feature slow-roasted goat, as the name implies, and will be open by next Friday.
BarFry Gives Up the GhostSaturday was the last night in the life of BarFry, the West Village tempura restaurant helmed by Josh DeChellis.
Back of the House
Pelaccio, Goldfarb to Open the WindsorDespite efforts to keep their new project a secret, Zak Pelaccio and cake whiz Will Goldfarb have been outed! A blog called the Life Vicarious sussed out the existence of the Windsor by examining a James Beard–event listing. The Windsor, says the listing, will be a “cozy yet elegant collaboration they hope will become a hangout for chefs and food lovers alike.” Life Vicarious surmises the new restaurant will be next door to BarFry, at 51 Carmine Street. BarFry man Josh DeChellis is also involved, as well as Goldfarb cohort Robert Truitt. “It will have European, elegant, elevated snacks — jamón ibérico, oysters, a big Champagne list, and we’ll have something going in a Crock-Pot every night,” Pelaccio tells us. “It will be homey and casual, and, we hope, open from four to four. I’ll be creating panini and a lot of other things.”
“The mark of a cad” [The Life Vicarious, via Eater]
BarFry’s Naughty Valentine’s Day Does Not Include Oil; Irving MillAstoria: Named for the spongy Latin cheese bread, Pao de Queijo has opened at 31-90 30th Street, between Broadway and 31st Avenue, and is serving a Brazilian mix of snacks and batidos. [Time Out]
Flatiron: Irving Mill might be Gramercy Tavern lite, but the owners are ready to expand with an Italian wine bar. Who will be the next nearby inspiration? Bar Stuzzichini? [Eater]
Tribeca: Brandy Library is hosting a New York whiskey tasting on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Upper West Side: Magnolia Bakery North officially opens on Monday, but eager cupcake fiends might want to try stopping by Saturday to see if there’s a soft opening. [Cupcakes Take the Cake]
West Village: Josh DeChellis will make you a “naughty doggie-bag” of after-dinner treats from BarFry for Valentine’s Day, but, don’t worry, no fried hot dogs, just good old-fashioned strawberries and squirt-bottle chocolate. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Want to Eat Josh DeChellis’s Food for Free? Here’s How.
The only thing we like better than eating Josh DeChellis’s Japanese-inspired small plates is eating them for free, and thanks to BarFry’s new happy hour, we all can! West Village drinkers sample DeChellis’s sophisticated fusion creations (the tempura program having been something of a letdown) between 4 and 6 p.m. and again after 11 p.m. “It’s a chance for us to experiment, to essentially recipe-test and see what people think. Then if it goes over, I may add it to the menu,” says DeChellis.
The Other Critics
Primehouse’s Steak Saves Its Star; BarFry BlastedThe best steaks at Primehouse NY are good enough to earn a single star from Frank Bruni — which is saying something, given that he had problems with service, didn’t like the other entrées, and even found the rib eyes to be less than they ought to be. But the Creekstone strips carried the day, as they always do. [NYT]
The small, porky tapas at Jason Neroni’s Cantina seem to impress Robert Sietsema, but his review leaves you with the sense that, croquettes aside, the place is still a work-in-progress. [VV]
Paul Adams dines at Smith’s and praises the rich, possibly too rich, appetizers, while frowning over some of the mains. But on the whole he likes the place: “Some dishes are excessive by design, others poorly executed in the heat of the dinner rush, and a few, like the pasta, remarkably good and worthy of a return visit — perhaps after the first wave of crowds has moved on.” [NYS]
Two ‘Iron Chef’ Contestants Eliminated; Michelin-Zagat Wars Rage OnAfter all the woman got canned from The Next Iron Chef, Aaron Sanchez was overheard warning Morou Ouattara, “Next they’ll be going after the brown people.” [Ruhlman] And last night Morou was one of two chefs booted. [Serious Eats]
Related: Who Will Be Cut Next on ‘The Next Iron Chef’?
One classic New York deli is fighting the good fight against history, the Zeitgeist, and its own storied past. 2nd Avenue Deli reopens next month with the same name and a new location on East 33rd Street near Lexington Avenue. [NYT]
Now that his guides are competing with Zagat in New York, Michelin Guide director Jean-Luc Naret says he’s also eyeing Boston, Miami, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.[AP]
Related: Michelin’s Madness Drives Ed Levine (and Us) Up a Wall
Josh DeChellis Frying Lunch in the West Village; Gray’s Papaya Still PoliticalClinton Hill: Il Torchio may have only opened in August and be prone to underseasoning and overbearing Italian accents, but the restaurant is already gearing up to expand. [Eat for Victory/VV]
East Village: Savoy chef Peter Hoffman’s new restaurant Back Forty has a soft opening today and will officially begin service on Wednesday. [Grub Street]
Greenwich Village: The 70-year-old founder of Gray’s Papaya who posted the “Bloomberg for President” sign on 8th Street “has never been shy about using his store windows for political expression; Jimmy Carter, in 1976, and Bill Bradley, in 1999, both earned his presidential endorsement. And in 1998, when Bill Clinton was facing impeachment, Mr. Gray displayed a sign that read, ‘Hang in there, Mr. President.’” [NYT]
Midtown: Beacon has added a “kitchen counter” which functions as a chef’s table, a burger bar, and the site of a weekly tasting menu. [Strong Buzz] A midtown pizza-truck war has broken out. [Midtown Lunch]
West Village: BarFry kicks off lunch service today. [Grub Street]
Trans-Fats Fines Round One; Gordo Like BreastsOthers agree: The Ciprianis’ “deal was sugary enough to let the nattily dressed pair stride out of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice John Cataldo’s courtroom looking like the cats that ate the cannolis.” But they forgot to mention the bimbos in Lambos. [NYP]
Related: Ciprianis Get Out of Jail, Open New Restaurant
On the Ciprianis Cooking Pasta — and the Books!
In his new book, Gordon Ramsay reveals the importance of private-equity firm Blackstone in his career, like the company’s bankrolling “the installation of a chef’s table, where … three women showed their appreciation by baring their breasts to the cooks after one convivial meal, he writes.” Way to keep it classy, Gordo. [Bloomberg]
The first round of trans-fats fines, ranging from $200 to $2,000, have been issued to restaurants across the city including Little Guyana Bake Shop in Queens — whose owner “didn’t know [the new rules] applied to bakeries as of yet.” [NYP]
The Other Critics
Kudos to Park Avenue Autumn; Jeers to the Five GuysPark Avenue Autumn’s gimmicky concept might have turned Frank Bruni catty but for the fact that Craig Konketsu’s cooking is so flawlessly brilliant. The place got two stars, and the review reads like three. [NYT]
Paul Adams must be a happy man today just for the headline he came up with for his positive review of the cheese-centric newcomer Casellula: “The Cheese Stands Alone.” It sounds like it does, too, with what might be the best macaroni and cheese going. [NYS]
Peter Meehan puts the Five Guys, and their deliberately dried-out, overrated burger, in their place; Julia Moskin gives Market Table its first praise, a measured and thoughtful mini-review. [NYT]
Reasons to Stay in Williamsburg; Green-Tea Cupcake in West VillageBattery Park: The Treats Truck will be on hand at CultureFest NYC on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. [Treats Truck]
Clinton Hill: Two armed men robbed the White Castle at 531 Myrtle Avenue yesterday. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Meatpacking District: Next Tuesday is Dirty Bingo night at Paradou. [Paradou NYC]
Midtown West: The Royalton hotel has reopened after a brief renovation and has already started serving breakfast at Bar Forty Four. [NewYorkology]
Upper West Side: Thankfully, the old-school Murray’s Sturgeon Shop holds a long-term lease because the neighborhood’s “soul currently hangs on the continued existence of a few shops, among them Zabar’s, Fairway, Citarella, H&H Bagels, Barney Greengrass, Gryphon Book Store and Murray’s.” [Lost City]
West Village: The green-tea cupcake Josh DeChellis serves at BarFry is not only intensely and deliciously flavored, it’s also ” a study in green: the kind of snack a stay at home Incredible Hulk would send off to the school bus in dozens if his kid were having an in-class birthday party.” [Gothamist]
Williamsburg: In an effort to dissuade those thinking of leaving Brooklyn for greener (cleaner) pastures out west and elsewhere, one blogger has compiled this list of some of the hood’s best dishes. [Cakehead]
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]
The Other Critics
Wakiya Earns a Second Bagel; Meehan Mistreated at BarFryWakiya’s brief flirtation with the possibility of success seems to be over, now that Frank Bruni has concurred with Adam Platt by handing the restaurant what seems to be a well-deserved bagel. How long before it goes down for the dirt nap is anybody’s guess. [NYT]
Alan Richman, by the way, hates the place even worse. You don’t even have to look beyond his subheads: “Preening.” “Small Portions.” “Incomprehensible Menu.” The bottom line? The place is wildly expensive and “Wakiya suffers from an absence of delights.” To say the least. [Bloomberg]
Peter Meehan, though taking care to praise Josh DeChellis’s cold dishes, had what sounds like a series of awful experiences at BarFry, with terrible service issues. Talk about picking the wrong guy to leave stranded with bottles in his hands! [NYT]
Bouley’s New Japanese Restaurant Off the Chain; ‘Top Chef’ ProducerThe restaurant that David Bouley plans to open next year with Japan’s largest professional cooking school will be a multilevel space featuring a robata grill, a Japanese room with Western touches, and a kaiseki dining room serving Kyoto-style seasonal tasting menus. [NYT]
Related: David Bouley to Open Restaurant With Japan’s Top Cooking School
Scott Bryan has left Veritas, and not for 10 Downing Street, apparently. And, in underwhelming FloFab news, Daniel Boulud still hasn’t chosen a name for his master’s burger restaurant, and Lever House’s Deborah Snyder is the new pastry chef at Alto and L’Impero. [NYT]
The executive producer of Top Chef answers questions about cheftestants who hook up and challenges that didn’t make the cut. [NYDN]
No Rest for the Red Hook Vendors; Bourdain Considers ‘Top Chef’ Episode a WasteCan the Red Hook Vendors never rest? Now Cesar Fuentes is causing concern for resigning and threatening to sue the same people he represented. [NYT]
Bourdain considers Wednesday’s Top Chef a waste, as the producers snagged Eric Ripert only to “shoehorn him into a Scout jamboree” when “it would have been nice, given the all-too-rare presence of a distinguished specialist, to see what the kids could REALLY do with fish.” And why won’t Hung cook Vietnamese? [Bourdain’s Blog/Bravo]
Discrimination lawyer Marc Rapaport is surprised by his own defense of O’Reilly in a Times op-ed about the Sylvia’s incident, saying “it is apparent from [his comments’] context that O’Reilly was actually attempting to dispel racial stereotypes regarding African-Americans.” [PR Web]
Josh DeChellis Brings Special Beer and More Special Foods to BarFryWhen Josh DeChellis opened up BarFry, we were a little skeptical. It seems a waste of the chef’s prodigal talent to just be throwing stuff into a pot of oil, which is pretty much what we imagine tempura cooking to be. Well, not to worry. Like he did at Sumile Sushi, DeChellis is breaking out his brilliant composed dishes.