Charlie Trotter Details Emerge; Frank Bruni’s Cross-Country TripThe first details on Charlie Trotter’s still-unnamed restaurant on Madison Square Park emerge: It will have 80 seats as well as a bar and lounge. [NYT]
Merkato 55 may be turning New Yorkers on to African cuisine, but there have been plenty of excellent, albeit under-the-radar, restaurants offering the continent’s cuisine for years. [TONY]
Related: Merkato 55’s Most Popular Dish: Doro Wat
The Modern’s new wine director, Belinda Chang, is the kind of sommelier we want to be someday: “I’m definitely obsessed with magnums. They’re so fun to pour!” [NYS]
Back of the House
Platt Sees Only Disaster and Peril for Out-of-Town Chefs
With the recent news that the celebrated Charlie Trotter might be opening up an outpost here in New York, our thoughts turned to the whole phenomenon of out-of-town chefs and their usually disastrous forays to New York. We thought to contact our dour friend Adam Platt to see what kind of world-weary wisdom he might dispense on the subject. As expected, the big man had deep thoughts at the ready, and we transcribed our exchange for posterity, in case Charlie Trotter wants something to put on his refrigerator.
More Sex From Gael Greene; TKettle’s Veggie DumplingsGael Greene returns to her sexy-tables topic after an influx of reader mail: “Several romantics agreed with Francesco that ‘Jean Georges at lunch could not be more sexy.’” A reformed Madame Bovary concluded: “It was a lot of bang for the buck.” [Insatiable Critic]
Even the Brits are buzzing over the prospect of Charlie Trotter opening a restaurant overlooking Madison Square Park. [Caterer Search, UK]
Related: New York to Charlie Trotter: Bring It On!
This hefty roundup of book recommendations for foodies includes such Grub-approved picks as the Food Snob’s Dictionary and My Last Supper (where you can see Wylie Dufesne lounging like Lady Godiva, but with cheese). [Zagat]
Related: Meet the Original Food Snobs
David Kamp Brings Aid to Would-Be Food Snobs
Eating the Last Supper
Back of the House
New York to Charlie Trotter: Bring It On!
So Charlie Trotter is coming to New York at long last. (Or so the New York Times says today, reporting that the celebrated Chicago chef has plans for a restaurant on East 22nd Street, at One Madison Park.) Our question is, what took him so long? Trotter has been considered one of the top chefs in America for years, but big names in second-rate food cities rarely make a big splash here. Paul Prudhomme, the pride of New Orleans, had only mixed success here, and in recent years Charles Ramseyer of Seattle (at Wild Salmon), and Fabio Trabocchi of Virginia (at Fiamma), both the toasts of their former towns, have received tepid responses here. (Tim Love, the pride of Texas, washed out completely with Lonesome Dove.)