Ten Moments to Remember From 2007
“Life fades … vision dims … and all that remains is memory.” Such are the haunting first words of The Road Warrior, and we can’t help but think of them as we look back, through heavy lids, at the year that was. 2007 was a memorable restaurant year in so many ways, but there are a few that stick out in our minds. Our favorite moments of the last year would definitely have to include:
Calling All Casseroles; Jonathan Waxman to Cook Southern on the UWSGreenpoint: Casserole fanatic turned cookbook author Emily Farris is hosting a cook-off at Brooklyn Label on October 16. Register now! [Brooklyn Based]
Midtown East: The Tao formula should fit right in on Lincoln Road in South Beach. [Down by the Hipster]
Tribeca: Bubby’s owner Ron Silver is finally giving up his pie recipes in a cookbook out this month. [NYS]
Upper West Side: Barbuto chef-partner Jonathan Waxman turns to southern fare this fall when he opens Madaleine Mae on Columbus Avenue at 82nd Street. [NYT]
West Village: In comparing Bay Area restaurant trends to those in New York, critic Michael Bauer concedes: Blue Hill chef Dan Barber “does Chez Panisse one better by growing most of the food at his farm in Hudson Valley.” [Between Meals/San Francisco Chronicle]
Ask a Waiter
At Freemans, the Deer Heads Smile and So Do the Servers
Actor Cass Buggé found work at Freemans almost a year ago, shortly after the restaurant expanded and began serving brunch. Unbeknownst to her, Frank Bruni may have been one of her first customers. So does she agree with Bruni’s assessment of indifferent service? “Initially we got a bad rap for being rude,” she says. “I know that’s sometimes the rumor on the street, but if you go to Freemans, you’ll see the people are really nice. I’m really nice!” After asking her about her job, we couldn’t agree more.
Gastropub Trend Winds South, Touching Down in Orlando Soon
Orlando is a swell place to travel (preferably in a cherry-red Corvette) if you’re craving hash browns all-the-way at Waffle House, but what about Floridians who want a taste of the big city? Until recently, a restaurant called Babbo (unrelated) was one of their only options, but now it’s being renamed Nonna! (Too confusing?) Don’t worry — this fall comes The Ravenous Pig: An American Gastropub, opened by a student at New York’s own Culinary Institute of America (or so the place’s MySpace page seems to indicate). Could this be the most egregious Spotted Pig knockoff since Chodorow’s ill-fated Spotted Dick? Either way, the Orlando Weekly hilariously assures: “If ‘gastropub’ sounds unappetizing, never fear. It just means upscale food served in a relaxed, pub-like setting.” And with that, Orlando’s culinary innocence is dead.
What’s Cooking [Orlando Weekly]
Profile: The Ravenous Pig [MySpace]
Related: The Pig and the Pudding [NYM]
Food Blog Awards Give Us Joy, Not PainLast week, the Wellfed Network gave out some food-blog awards. When we saw that we weren’t among the nominees, our immediate response was rancor. But then we got that it was an award for individual bloggers, and we found a lot of pleasure in discovering some good ones. Among the winners we liked:
Best Food Blog - New: Pinch My Salt. By a housewife in Sicily, this plain, recipe-centric blog has some of the most dazzling images around and is written in a totally simple and direct style that we wish we saw more of.
Best Food Blog - Rural: Farmgirl Fare. Here at Grub Street, we hear a lot of talk about local cooking and seasonal ingredients, but this blog that is actually about life on a farm. Sometimes Farmgirl lays it on a little thick, but you do feel at times as if you’re actually involved with her baby animals and various hay-related chores.