Momofuku Ko to Open Next Week; Wheat Prices to Affect Pizza and Bagel LoversMomofuku Ko is scheduled to open on March 12, and once the friends-and-family period ends, the only way to get in will be through online reservations. [Eater]
Café Boulud still has the power to draw big names like Tom Ford, Barbara Walters, and Bruce Springsteen. [WSJ]
The same I.D. scanners that help keep out underage drinkers at nightclubs are also helping police track down the various shooters and stabbers that frequent these places. [NYP]
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The hardworking listings department at nymag.com has just added a stellar new feature: recipes! Our extensive database includes dishes drawn from New York’s finest restaurants. Get Laurent Tourondel’s instructions for chestnut-stuffed guinea hens; serve Tom Colicchio’s bruschetta of clam ragout; and assemble your own tartlets, just like they do at Gramercy Tavern. Search by ingredient, cuisine, type of dish, and more. Now there’s no excuse to eat out.
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The Annotated Dish
BLT Market’s Five-Spice Glazed DuckLaurent Tourondel’s empire was built of single theme restaurants: BLT Steak, BLT Fish, BLT Burger, etc. But BLT Market has been a critical success because of its loose format. One need look no further than one of the highlights of its fall menu, duck breast with a five-spice glaze. “They’re very forward flavors,” Tourondel says. “They go together well, and while it’s not completely original — people in China were glazing ducks a long time before me! — I do think this is a more modern kind of dish.” As always, mouse over the different elements to see them described in the chef’s own words.
The Other Critics
One Star and Thirteen Recommended Dishes for Centro Vinoteca; BLT Market TakesAnother somewhat capricious Frank Bruni review: He gives Centro Vinoteca one star, praising nearly everything he ate (there are thirteen recommended dishes) but complaining about the noise and crowds on the first floor and presumably on that basis withholding a second star. [NYT]
Danyelle Freeman is so not impressed with BLT Market. According to her, the ingredients themselves aren’t even that good! But she likes the place enough to give it two stars anyway. [NYDN]
The usually harder-to-please Alan Richman, on the other hand, had a much higher estimation of the place, except for the part about it smelling like shit. But that, he hopes, will pass with the warm weather. [Bloomberg]
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]
In the Magazine
Gridiron Gluttony and Haute Barnyard Gastronomy in This Week’s Issue
We like football. We like seasonal vegetables, especially peas. We like Cuban sandwiches, and Italian food, and Mexican food, and new things to start the fall with. So we liked this week’s batch of food stories in the magazine, especially since it includes what passes for a glowing review by Adam Platt of BLT Market, despite his readiness to mock the Haute Barnyard movement and all that it stands for. Add in the intriguing Italian-Mexican hybrid Matilda, announced by Rob and Robin in openings, and a guide to football bars even Tom Coughlin would approve of, and it’s another first-class food issue of New York.
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]
Gael Greene Unmasked and on the Loose in Midtown WestAstoria: Sakura sushi has just opened on Ditmars near 36th Street, and they have quite an extensive menu. [Joey in Astoria]
Flatiron: Macaroni-and-cheese porn has been posted to tease an upcoming roundup on the city’s best, and Mayrose already sounds like it has a leg up on the crusty contenders: “Down and dirty, this macaroni. It will fight you on the way down, and you may lose.” [Gridskipper]
Midtown West: Gael Greene unmasks herself at BLT Market and is treated to some nice extras. “A note to my pal, Restaurantgirl, ” she writes, “that’s what a restaurant can do when you’re not anonymous.” [Insatiable Critic]
Upper East Side: An Alto Adige white on Sfoglia’s wine list does not name the varietals because producer Elena Walch refuses to share what grapes she uses. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
West Village: Julius on West 10th Street is open again after a brief seizure by New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and “crammed with the usual ancient drunkard queens.” [Eater]
The Other Critics
Franny’s Gets the All-Purpose Two Stars; Southern Hospitality Praised forFranny’s is the recipient of one of Frank Bruni’s periodic low-end caprices, and gets awarded an absurd two stars as a result. [NYT]
Paul Lukas, a pretty serious student of barbecue, delivers the verdict on the new barbecues, and the surprise is that Southern Hospitality has some pretty damn good Memphis ribs. Hill Country, it goes without saying, gets lauded as the best BBQ in town. [NYS]
Related: Insatiable Critic: Southern Hospitality
“Rivulets of delicious grease are a common theme” is the key note to Paul Adams’s review of Borough Food and Drink. Mmmm…grease…. [NYS]
Former Gertel’s Bakery Foe Turns Fallen Kosher Comrade on the Lower East SideHell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu has planned a sake dinner for August 26 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. that features five types of sake, a tasting menu, and cocktails for $60. [Grub Street]
Lower East Side: Moishe’s bakery at 504 Grand Street will soon serve wholesale products from recently closed-out kosher competitor Gertel’s. [Lost City] Spitzer’s Corner began its soft opening this weekend and was already chock-full of jolly drinkers. [Eater]
Midtown West: BLT Market (from this week’s Openings) won’t be serving dinner until Thursday, but here’s a peek at the interior to sate any premature curiosity. [Restaurant Girl]
Sunset Park: The taqueria Tacos 2004 draws legions of immigrants who come to twirl the waitresses across a teeny dance floor. [NYT]
West Village: Next Monday at 7:30 p.m. winemaker Alain Rochard of the Languedoc will host a four-course dinner and wine-pairing at Provence restaurant. [Strong Buzz]
In the Magazine
A ‘Top Chef’ Surprise and Other Summer Treats
The lull of midsummer is already over, and new growths sprout everywhere. A young chef gives his first restaurant a go, a veteran gets his own place for the first time, and an established star gets a fresh start. We have restaurant openings, new and better lemonades, and even a baked squash blossom. Summer is starting to tire, but the food stays sharp.
Alain Ducasse Hates Molecular Gastronomy; BLT Market Pushed Back to AugustAlain Ducasse speaks out on his restaurants, his rivalry with Joël Robuchon, and the challenge of running a global empire. But his most pointed remarks are about molecular gastronomy: “I prefer to be able to identify what I’m eating.” [Bloomberg]
BLT Market, Laurent Tourondel’s entry into the Haute Barnyard sweepstakes, has been pushed back to August. [RG]
“Hipster chef” Sam Mason’s new Internet TV show gets love in the Daily News, which swooningly describes him as “witty, goateed and extremely good-looking.” But you already knew that. [NYDN]
Related: The Launch