Wylie Wins Respect for Molecular Gastronomy With a Third Star; Bar BouludIn a landmark for molecular gastronomy in America, the movement’s top proponent, Wylie Dufresne, gets his third star for wd-50. A historic review, especially as Frank Bruni expresses the usual reservations about overly cerebral cooking. [NYT]
Bar Boulud finally gets some respect from Alan Richman, who praises its blue-ribbon charcuterie and says of its much-maligned mains, “The worst that can be said…is that the recipes are relentlessly conventional — lamb stew, roasted chicken, boudin blanc. The best is that such a style of cooking is terribly missed.” [GQ]
Restaurant Girl seems to have been distinctly unimpressed with about half of the dishes she tried at Adour, resulting in a lukewarm, two-and-a-half-star review. Ducasse’s latest is not getting off to a great start. [NYDN]
Bar Boulud’s Wine-Tasting Table, Chop Suey’s Dining Room Both Half-Full
The first time we dropped in on a batch of new restaurants to take head counts, we hit the East Side. Then we threw it over to the West Side. Last Friday we took it uptown to see what’s doing above 42nd Street. It wasn’t easy hitting half a dozen spots between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., but luckily we were navigating familiar territory — Mermaid Inn? Magnolia Bakery? Blue Ribbon Sushi? Zak Pelaccio’s new spot? It’s like we never left downtown.
Sushi Eaters Face Tuna FearsThe Times tested the mercury levels in tuna sushi served at twenty different city stores and restaurants this week. At most of them, mercury levels exceeded those set by the Environmental Protection Agency. On Wednesday, New York’s Tim Murphy set out to see who in the city was still buying tuna sushi, and why.
6 p.m.: Whole Foods, Chelsea
Rebecca, a redheaded Web editor, is picking up salmon sushi. She’d noticed that the Times report found the highest mercury levels in tuna from Blue Ribbon and the lowest levels at Fairway. “People who eat high-class sushi are more at risk for poisoning than people like me who eat ghetto sushi from Whole Foods,” she said with some satisfaction.
Calories to Show Up on Menus Starting March 31; Mercury Levels Horrifically HighThe Board of Health decided yesterday in a unanimous vote to make all chain restaurants with fifteen or more outlets – approximately 10 percent of the city’s restaurants – post calorie info on their menus starting March 31. RIP, 1,230-calorie triple Whopper with cheese. [CNN]
Laboratory tests run on sushi samples from twenty Manhattan stores and restaurants revealed shockingly high levels of mercury in bluefin tuna, so high that the FDA could technically take the fish off the market. And if you’ve got to have your tuna sushi, you’d best head to Fairway and avoid Blue Ribbon Sushi at all costs. [NYT]
Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl is “obsessed with” Momofuku Ssäm Bar, “like everyone else in New York,” according to her. [TONY]
The Other Critics
Chicken to the Rescue at Blue Ribbon Sushi; The Smith Hit HardThe latest Blue Ribbon Sushi gets a whopping two stars from Frank Bruni, despite its titular sushi being not that great. No, it’s the souped-up fried chicken that added a star, making this two weeks in a row that poultry has saved the day. [NYT]
Paul Adams hits new East Village comfort-food zone the Smith with one of his rare bad reviews — generally, he finds the food clumsy and gross: “A main course of lamb schnitzel ($17) shows what the kitchen can do at its best: not particularly much.” Ouch! [NYS]
Nor was Danyelle Freeman especially enthralled with Brasserie 44, which got one and a half stars out of four. Her recollections of its food seem highly detailed, suggesting that she didn’t leave her notebook behind. [NYDN]
Related: So the Critic Left Her (?) Notes. So What?
Blue Ribbon Sushi at Columbus Circle Will Open in October
A reader wrote us today:
I was walking past the soon-to-be-open since this summer Blue Ribbon Sushi at 6 Columbus Circle on my way back from lunch. A guy who looked like he was in charge (headset and all) was talking to a bunch of construction workers who were working on it so I figured I’d ask when it was suppose to (FINALLY) open … his answer: October 1st.
Our photographer, Melissa Hom, went up for a look and confirmed the date. Click on the headline to see a larger version of the photo.
The New York Diet
Kristina Klebe of ‘Halloween’ Likes Her Yogurt With Pumpkin Seeds
If you’re one of the many who saw Rob Zombie’s Halloween during its record-setting opening weekend, you last saw Kristina Klebe playing trash-talking cheerleader Lynda. You’ll probably next see her alongside Uma Thurman in Griffin Dunne’s comedy The Accidental Husband, in which she plays Isabelle Rossellini’s (fully dressed and much more conservative) daughter. In the meantime, she’s jetting between her hometown, New York (she used to bartend at Serafina), and her adopted city, L.A.“I love that I can walk back to a place after dinner,” she says of New York. “If you go out in L.A., you’re full and you just go out to your car and go home.” So where did she dine and dash during this week of auditions and director meetings?
Blue Ribbon to Conquer Columbus Circle by Mid-AugustBrooklyn Heights: Montero’s earned “duty watch bar” status from the British Royal Navy when its seamen passed through Brooklyn last week. [NYT]
Columbus Circle: Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill should open simultaneously with Thompson Hotel’s new Six Columbus by the middle of August. [Down by the Hipster]
Elmhurst: Always wanted your tacos open-face, deep-fried, and splattered with crema? Try the memelitas from Taqueria Coatzingo at 40-18 82 Street. [Gothamist]
Flatiron: Tabla and Tamarind are only a few of the restaurants extending their Summer Restaurant Week menus through Labor Day. [GoNYC via NewYorkology]
Fort Greene: Former Top Chef contestant Josie Smith-Malave has left Island restaurant to prepare for a fall opening of her next project, the Speakeasy. [Eater]
Harlem: Gentrification is apparently a lesser evil than filth: A Taste of Seafood restaurant relocates from dingy to spiffy new digs. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown East: Two sake masters from Japan will host a tasting that also features shochu and snacks at Sakagura next Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. [Eat for Victory/VV]
West Village: Centro Vinoteca won’t be opening until the 20th or 21st at the earliest, the restaurant’s representatives say. [Grub Street]
In the Magazine
Lily Allen Eats Blue Ribbon Sushi Four Times a Week
Our interest was piqued when we read the last line of Jada Yuan’s piece about Lily Allen’s two weeks in New York. “‘Don’t worry,’ she says, cheerily chomping on chicken satay at Cafe Gitane, a few hours before double-fisting pizza slices at Joe’s. ‘I’m still eating like a fucking pig.’” Vulture, our entertainment blog, has some choice outtakes from the interview, but none of them clear up our curiosity about Lily’s New York diet — here, then, are some food-related kernels that didn’t make it into the magazine piece.
Choco Jesus Forsaken in MidtownChelsea: Surprise! The imminent opening of a Dunkin’ Donuts a few doors down from Donut Pub, a fixture since 1964, inspires anti-chain sentiment. [Villager]
Lower East Side: The soft opening of the 2,000-square-foot Boucarou Lounge offers leopard-skin tube tops and cocktails with dumb names — cocktails with dumb names? No way. [Gawker]
Midtown East: The showing of My Sweet Lord, the life-size, anatomically correct chocolate Jesus, has been canceled. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Times Square: Attention Department of Health: At Tycoon Sushi Steakhouse in “gentleman’s club” Cheetah, Shinsaku Yamakage of Blue Ribbon will serve his cuisine off naked women. [Eater]