Cluizel, Goldfarb to Join Forces in Dessert PactWord in candyland is that a dual project of some kind is in the works between Chocolat Michel Cluizel, one of the city’s top chocolatiers, and none other than Will Goldfarb, Grub Street “It” boy and master of a million projects. Neither side would release details to us but did tacitly acknowledge that something is up. It wouldn’t surprise us to find out that at least one other dessert-making entity is involved as well. The project’s official announcement is likely a week or so away, but we thought you would want time to brace yourselves for its arrival.
In the Magazine
Pork and Chocolate: Two Great Tastes …They used to say that you could divide the world into Paul McCartney people and John Lennon people. But you could as easily say that the great divide is between sweet and savory fetishists, the sweet tooth versus the meat tooth. Such is the conceit of Rob and Robin’s double-barreled Gift Finder feature this week. For one group, they suggest a bouquet of gorgeous pork products, ranging from Flying Pigs Farm slab bacon to Salumeria Biellese soppressata; and for the other, a nosegay of chocolates from some of the city’s most high-powered confectioners, including Bouchon Bakery and Chocolat Michel Cluizel.
For the Chocoholic … [NYM]
… And the Pork Fiend [NYM]
What to Eat This Week
The Ultimate Halloween Candy: Boozy, Delicious, and Boozy
Chocolat Michel Cluizel, at the ABC store, is not for children — or the fainthearted. Unlike Max Brenner, a few blocks to the south on Broadway, there isn’t a festive vibe nor are there any novelty items like “The Bald Man’s” chocolate pizza. The signature item at Michel Cluizel is as serious as a heart attack: the chocolate-covered Morello cherry, which you must be 21 to sample — there’s so much kirsch, or cherry brandy, in each one that the store was forced to obtain a liquor license to carry it. The cherry — pit, stem, and all — is cured for nine months in the stuff, and there’s more still inside the intense blended chocolate shell. Candy that doubles as a cocktail? Never mind all year: We’ve been waiting for this our whole life.
Back of the House
Liquor Task Force Giving Restaurateurs the ShakesAlcohol is the lifeblood of the restaurant business. (We would liked to have said wine, which sounds less vulgar, but you can’t charge a 400 percent markup on that.) In light of the city’s recent nightclub murders, and with a growing number of protests over bar-generated noise, the State Liquor Authority is taking a verrry close look at who’s getting liquor licenses these days, and the hospitality business as a whole is getting nervous — morning-shakes nervous. This fear seems increasingly well founded. Crain’s reports that the SLA is now forming a “task force” to look into how licenses are issued. (Registration’s required to read the article.) Even in areas like Queens, local politicians are calling for a tightening, if not an outright ban, on new permits. “The blockade of issuing licenses to bars has hurt the restaurant business too,” Uovo owner Matt Hamilton told Eater in September, after his restaurant closed about a year into a license-less existence. The board is already so restrictive that before chocolate entrepreneur Richard Perl could open the Chocolat Michel Cluizel store in ABC Carpet & Home, he was forced to get a full liquor license in order to sell Kirsch-filled chocolate-covered cherries. Poor restaurateurs! They’re as alcohol-dependent, in their own way, as a red-eyed grill man the morning after.