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]
Greenwich Village to Get Another Gastropub, If You Want to Call It ThatThe definition of a gastropub, as Adam Platt points out in his E.U. review this week, is open to question. But there’s no doubt that even the most broadly defined one is an upgrade over a bar with bad food, or no food at all. The Half-Pint, on West 3rd Street, will soon be pouring hand-drawn cask ale and over 60 kinds of bottled beer for NYU students and other locals, as well as administering a better-than-it-has-to-be food program. Chef-owner Mark Whelan’s menu includes fried Wisconsin cheese curds, crusted yellowfin tuna over salad, and some creative rethinkings of familiar bar standards, such as a ground-bratwurst burger, and a Reuben pizza with French dressing, sauerkraut, pastrami, and Swiss cheese. (For our part, we plan to stick to cask ale and traditional bar pies with Esposito sausage and cremini mushrooms. At least for the first few pints.) The Half Pint is slotted to open Memorial Day weekend.
The Half-Pint, 76 W. 3rd St., nr. Thompson St.; no phone yet.
The Half Pint menu
Vendors at Red Hook Ball Fields Postpone OpeningBrooklyn Heights: Brooklyn Pigfest, a major outdoor barbecue event at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, is slated for May 12. [The Food Section]
Financial District: Front Street sees the soft opening of New Zealand gastropub Nelson Blue. [Eater]
Midtown West: Haven’t made it to Insieme? Jason Perlow’s photo-essay chronicles, in loving and lingering detail, every course at Marco Canora’s new restaurant. [Off the Broiler] Landmarc at the Time Warner Center makes a mean-looking burger. [Gothamist]
Red Hook: A new stoplight at the intersection of Van Brunt and Sullivan streets should help ease traffic caused by Fairway. [The Brooklyn Paper] Opening day for the ball fields’ food stands has been postponed, for one more week! [Gowanus Lounge]
Flatiron: Eleven Madison Park declines to keep their trial pastry chef, Richard Bies; until they hire a permanent replacement for Nicole Kaplan, Daniel Humm himself is handling the dessert program. [Grub Street]
Related: Nicole Kaplan Ditching Eleven Madison Park
In the Magazine
Gold St. and Zipper Tavern Bring Much-Needed Help to Their Neighborhoods
Rob and Robin bring good news to two very underserved neighborhoods in this week’s Openings. The diurnal financial district gets a 24-hour brasserie complete with sushi bar in Gold St. Meanwhile the West Thirties, the grim border area between Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, welcome Zipper Tavern, a legitimate gastropub with its own house-made charcuterie. We assume the view of passing tumbleweeds out the windows only adds to the atmosphere.
Openings: Provence, Resto, Gold St., Zipper Tavern
In the Magazine
Resto: Belgium Beyond Beer and WafflesNot shown: 56 other beers.Photo: Bumblebee Studios for New York Magazine
In this week’s Openings, Rob and Robin announce the birth of Resto, a new Belgian gastropub on Park Avenue South. The menu, newly added to our vast database, is ambitious: Aside from 60 Belgian beers, there are spiced lamb ribs and beef-cheek carbonnade along with other promising signs such as a frisée salad made with guanciale (the Roman jowl bacon more commonly seen in carbonara) and a fluke with sunchokes, caper berry, and beurre noisette. Add to that the dessert tasting menu of up to sixteen different kinds of Belgian chocolate and we’re sold. The place is pretty cool-looking, too.
Restaurant Openings: Provence, Resto, Gold St., Zipper Tavern [NYM]
John’s Is Back, If Not Better Than Ever; Colors in the RedDon’t worry about Lonesome Dove’s Tim Love. He’s doing fine back in Texas. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
John’s reopens, none the worse for wear after their brief run-in with the Health Department. [amNY]
Colors, the cooperative founded by former Windows on the World workers, continues to struggle with the economic realities of opening and running a Manhattan restaurant. [NYT]
Park Slope Gastropub Serves Guinness on Tap — and as a Foam!
A few months ago, we alerted you that the “gastropub” phenomenon, deftly explored by Rob and Robin, was infiltrating Park Slope. Well, on February 21 the eagle lands in the form of Alchemy, the love child of former Lucky Strike barkeep Kevin Read and Jared King, previously a chef at Peacock Alley, Windows on the World, and Oceana. Their collection of antique jars isn’t the most impressive in town (guys, how could you let Simon Hammerstein beat you? Those things come so cheap at the Seventh Avenue flea market), but the menu, available for you here exclusively, is nothing to scoff at. Hanger steak served with bone marrow? Scallops with acorn-squash purée and Guinness froth? Cuttlefish with chorizo-oil mayonnaise? O’Connor’s across the street better step up its game — bar nuts ain’t going to cut it anymore. —Daniel Maurer
Earlier: The Slope Gets Gastropub — With Garden, Perfect for Six Months From Now