The Ham That Drives Men MadNew York Magazine has gone Spain-crazy this week. Adam Platt sates his bottomless hunger at Boqueria, and Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld interview Spain’s most illustrious chef, Ferran Adrià of El Bulli. Let Grub Street pile on, then, with talk of the secret society of Spanish pork.
This society may be unofficial, but we belong to it. It is made of men and women who have tasted the meat of the celebrated pata negra, or black-foot pig, and will do anything for more. “Once you taste ibérico, you can’t compare it to anything else,” Bar Jamón chef Andy Nusser has said. The society’s holy grail, though, remains tantalizingly out of reach for Americans — even ones with a deep affinity for Spain.
Doctors and Lawyers Look Beyond Burgers Around 72nd and SecondStrollers crisscross with lawyers and Lenox Hill Hospital workers in the micro-micro-neighborhood centered around 72nd Street and Second Avenue. Indian and Mexican food are noticeably underrepresented, but you can still find damn good diner eats, tasty burgers, and above-average Chinese takeout.
Back of the House
Mr. Nasty Throws Open the Phone Lines; Mr. Hospitality Throws PunchesIn today’s dining dirt, Spain comes to Manhattan, barbecue comes to Fort Greene, and Mr. Hospitality brings the pain.
• Danny “Mr. Hospitality” Meyer ponders hugs, serves up a knuckle sandwich. [Esquire]
• Gordon “Mr. Nasty” Ramsay opens up the lines; a feeding frenzy ensues. [Eater]
• Pushcart-prize finalists announced. [Street Vendor Project]
• Picholine buddies open up a Fort Greene smoke joint serving up “real NYC barbecue.” Whatever that is, exactly. [Strong Buzz]
• On a sobering note, Michael Pollan forecasts the dangers of centralized food production and the specter of increased regulation in the veggie world: “Food poisoning has always been with us, but not until we started processing all our food in such a small number of ‘kitchens’ did the potential for nationwide outbreaks exist.” [NYT]
‘Izakaya’ Boom Hits Chelsea; Japanese Chains Plant Flags Uptown
If you still don’t know what an izakaya is (or haven’t lately been to St. Marks Place, where most of them are clustered), enlighten yourself at Izakaya Ten, the latest iteration of the space that was the French-Korean D’or Ahn, and then, for a nanosecond, the sushi restaurant Anzu. Owner Lannie Ahn has hired a veteran of Morimoto and Nobu to supplement the raw fish with a selection of small plates of the home-style Japanese fare one finds in a sake bar or pub — not your basic mozzarella sticks or buffalo wings but more exotic tidbits like natto omelettes, ginger pork belly, pan-seared rice balls, and the ever-popular chicken-meatball skewer.