Women Rule the Wine Cellars of New YorkTwo of this season’s most anticipated restaurants — the three-star Dovetail and Ed Brown’s Eighty One — launched with female sommeliers. Former Daniel sommelier and wineshop owner Jean Luc Le Dû recently remarked to Grub Street that only a few years ago, non-white males in the role were considered an anomaly. Today, only three women (and 21 men) in the United States have the coveted “Master of Wine” designation, awarded to 264 sommeliers throughout the world. But in New York, women helm some of the city’s most respected wine programs, including Gramercy Tavern, the Modern, and the entire B.R. Guest group. We interviewed several of these ladies of the cellar for their ideas on the industry, their experiences on the floor, and picks on retail value bottles. Look for them at restaurants near you. —Alexandra Vallis
Slideshow: Women in Wine
Nick Anderer Is the Acting Pooh-bah at Gramercy TavernEach week, we highlight one of the great but obscure young chefs who are actually running one of the city’s major restaurants.
Name: Nick Anderer
Restaurant: Gramercy Tavern
Background: Anderer put in time with New American pioneer Larry Forgione at the start of his career, followed by a short stint working the line at Babbo, and six months in Milan at the well-regarded San Giorgio et il Drago. He joined Gramercy as a line cook under Tom Colicchio and became executive sous-chef, the restaurant’s equivalent to chef de cuisine, under new chef Mike Anthony.
Waverly Inn Eclipses Da Silvano in Press, But Blog Still a Snooze
The latest from the Waverly Inn’s blog brings the tale of a Spanish “lifestyle counselor” (hmm, we thought these only existed in the U.S.) being strangely content when only a 9:15 p.m. seating was available for a high-profile client. Yawn, we know Spaniards eat late — give us juicy stories about Lindsay Lohan showing up! Meanwhile innkeeper Graydon Carter, who once told the Guardian he’d be hesitant to seat Simon Cowell prominently (but no qualms about Lindsay?) can take solace in Gawker’s accounting that the Waverly Inn has eclipsed his old haunt, Da Silvano, in press mentions. But has his cachet been depleted at other restaurants? Gawker also brings the tale of someone who says he received shabby treatment at Gramercy Tavern despite the fact that Carter made a reservation for him. But come on, it’s not like this guy was Lindsay Lohan.
Ye Waverly Blog: The Spanish Visitor [Ye Waverly Blog/VF]
Graydon Carter: Restaurant Promoter [Gawker]
Is Graydon Carter’s Cachet Depleted? [Gawker]
Vanity Flair [Guardian]
Smoked Lagers Coming to Park Slope; Shake Shack’s New Heat LampsClinton Hill: The pizza place at 37 Washington will soon become a brick-oven pizza spot called Il Porto. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: The roasted shishito peppers at Jimmy’s 43 are so addictive they may drive you to try to “recreate this dish and drink a boatload of beer immediately.” Don’t forget, they’re prepared on hot plates. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Flatiron: Shake Shack’s fired up its heat lamps. [Eater] Flavor your coffee the old-fashioned way, with cardamom. At Gramercy Tavern, they’re “serving pots of the complex, medium-bodied Yirgacheffe coffee from Ethiopia brewed with cinnamon, cardamom and orange.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Greenwich Village: Bellavitae’s new Neapolitan chef Raffaele Ronca is “exceptionally adept at deboning an entire Cornish hen.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Little Italy: Luigi DiPalo of DiPalo Dairy can recommend a pizza joint for every palate. [Gothamist]
Park Slope: The new bar and snack spot on Seventh Avenue at 14th Street called Beer Table should be open and serving its “carefully curated selection of smoked lager, coriander-laced wheat beer and various obscure ales” by next Saturday. [NYT]
A Sausage-Fest Welcome in Chelsea; Gramercy Tavern RecipesChelsea: On January 15–20, Trestle on Tenth will begin its own yearly tradition of Metzgete, a Swiss winter celebration of sausage, choucroute, and wine. [Trestle on Tenth]
Flatiron: Adam Shepard hasn’t yet been able to clone the success of his Boerum Hill original at Lunetta, in the old Mayrose space, but Frank Bruni thinks he’s capable of making the necessary adjustments. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Gramercy: Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony provided this recipe for East Coast blackfish over spaghetti squash, but we have his recipe for fork-crushed purple majesty potatoes in our database. [Restaurant Girl]
Hells Kitchen: How is this world going to stop mispronouncing chipotle as “chi-POLE-tay” if restaurants like Kevin St. James on Eighth Avenue can’t even spell it right? [East Village Idiot]
Midtown West: Our In-box submission claiming there are prostitutes at Maze has inspired a call for the best restaurants that attract good ol’ traditional gold diggers. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Upper East Side: Agata & Valentina Ristorante has permanently closed, but the original gourmet shop is still lively. [Eater]
Pig Farmer to Deliver Pigs in Pig-Fueled Truck
Bev Eggleston, the Virginia pig farmer trying to revive Ossabaw pigs, has refitted his truck to run on barbecue grease! He’s struck up a symbiotic friendship with Hill Country’s Robbie Richter (Richter gets to try great pork, Bev gets to eat great barbecue), and the two have come to an understanding by which Richter will save his grease for Eggleston’s special diesel engine. The idea’s not as crazy as it sounds: San Francisco asks restaurants to recycle grease for the city’s bus fleet.
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Cook Like Your Favorite Chefs With Our New Recipe Database!
The hardworking listings department at nymag.com has just added a stellar new feature: recipes! Our extensive database includes dishes drawn from New York’s finest restaurants. Get Laurent Tourondel’s instructions for chestnut-stuffed guinea hens; serve Tom Colicchio’s bruschetta of clam ragout; and assemble your own tartlets, just like they do at Gramercy Tavern. Search by ingredient, cuisine, type of dish, and more. Now there’s no excuse to eat out.
nymag.com’s Recipe Finder
Green Greek Comes to Flatiron; Thanksgiving Eats AplentyChelsea: Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit will present a free Thanksgiving 101 wining and dining seminar on Saturday, November 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. that will be catered by City Bakery and feature chef Don Pintabona of Dani, pastry chef Nancy Olson of Gramercy Tavern and chef Galen Zamarra from Mas (farmhouse), giving cooking tips in addition to the requisite wine tasting. [Grub Street]
East Village: Chikalicious will be serving on Thanksgiving, if you’d like to pass up a traditional feast for a $12 tasting of “warm cornmeal pound cake with corn ice cream and a duo of grapes in Moscato d’Asti.” [Restaurant Girl] The new and improved Momofuku Noodle Bar now features soft-serve ice cream served in brownie-stuffed cones. [Eater]
Financial District: Blue Ribbon Sound on Ann Street is a recording studio brought to you from the restaurant group of the same name because the owners of the sushi houses and bakeries around town are also “dedicated to high quality sound production in a comfortable and professional environment.” [Down by the Hipster]
Flatiron: Parea will be remade into a rustic Greek eatery, with an organic menu and green architecture. [Restaurant Girl]
Flushing: Sai Bhavan Snack & Sweets at 141-20 Holly Avenue is a good place to find vegetarian South Indian fare to celebrate the India’s annual Festival of Lights. [Gothamist]
Harlem: The farmer’s market outside of Morningside Park at 110th Street and Manhattan Avenue on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. will close for the winter after November 17. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown East: Alto has a special table for two that overlooks the dining room, but protocol for securing the prized seating remains hazy. [Eater]
Virginia Pig Farmer Is the Toast of the New York Pork WorldIt sounds like a fairy tale: Some Spanish hogs, brought over by Spanish colonists in the sixteenth century, take over an island off the coast of Georgia and run wild there for hundreds of years. Feral and boarlike, they are also about the best tasting pork imaginable, and cousins to the world’s most celebrated ham. Is it a fable, conjured by the heated imagination of foodies? Or an eye-opening truth, as irrefutable as a piece of gamey and rich roast pork? We’re happy to say that it’s the latter. Bev Eggleston, of Eco-Friendly Foods in Virginia, has started selling his amazing pork to a handful of New York restaurants, and soon he may be giving the Spanish a run for their money in the ham business.
First Look Inside Irving Mill
The above will be a vaguely familiar site to anyone who was at Irving Mill’s opening party last night — unless of course you were busy rubbernecking at Benjamin Bratt or trying to snag one of the chicken-liver crostini that were in high demand. When the place opens next Monday, you’ll have less of an issue fighting off Shaggy and Steve Sands for former Gramercy Tavern chef John Schaefer’s Greenmarket-inspired veal-and-ricotta meatballs or his rabbit ragout. Still, on the off chance that competition gets fierce again, you might want to consult the dinner, lunch, and tasting menus beforehand.
Irving Mill, 116 E. 16th St., nr. Irving Pl.; 212-254-1600.
Irving Mill menu
Zagat 2008 Smiles on Daniel, Gordon Ramsay, OthersNew York’s little red book, the 2008 Zagat guide, is out today. It is more significant to the restaurant world than the Michelin guide, and for good reason: The same people who use it are the ones who write it. So what if it’s a popularity contest? Life is a popularity contest. There were some minor shakeups in this year’s rankings, such as Union Square Cafe retaking its sibling Gramercy as most popular restaurant, and Daniel retaking the top spot in cuisine from Le Bernardin. But the more interesting points required a slightly closer look.
Lady Chefs Reign Over on Flatiron; East Village Pizza Csar on Finding theBoerum Hill: The Brooklyn Inn owner hates bloggers and if you want to know what he’s doing with his legend of a bar you should go ask him yourself. [Lost City]
East Village: Una Pizza Napoletana czar Anthony Mangierei on finding the perfect pizza: “The place should smell slightly smoky (that’s from the oven) and like a really good bakery (that’s the dough cooking). But you don’t want to smell grease. I know a lot of people associate that aroma with a slice, but trust me, it’s not the sign of an amazing pizza.” [Slice]
Flatiron: Patti Jackson, Anne Burrell, and Gramercy Tavern pastry chef Nancy Olsen will take part in a five-course dinner held at Prince George Ballroom on 27th Street at Fifth Avenue to support culinary education for women. [Restaurant Girl]
Midtown West: Chodorow insists that “not only is Kobe Club not closing, but we’re opening more of them, first in Miami.” [Eater]
Times Square: Mandler’s Sausage Co. is closed. Union Square location remains open to satisfy all your sausage needs. [Midtown Lunch]
Engines of Gastronomy
Quest For Fire: The Gramercy Tavern Wood Stove
The wood-burning stove at Gramercy Tavern is an insatiable beast that requires two chefs to run. It’s effectively an overgrown campfire made from hot white oak logs, and it’s hard to maintain, requiring constant poking, prodding, and feeding.
Opera-House Restaurant Reopens With Burbella in Leading RoleAs you might expect from a high-class operation like Grub Street, we’re frequently out at the opera, taking in Roméo et Juliette, and getting hungry during the second act. Naturally, our thoughts drift toward the Grand Tier, the tall restaurant in Lincoln Center whose vast Chagall murals overlook the fountain. It’s been closed for a while, but the place is now reopening under chef Michael Burbella, an alum of Gramercy Tavern and Gotham Bar and Grill. The score Burbella will be arranging has a tonic note of modern Mediterranean cooking, with a leitmotif of autumn flavors. The place, formerly open just to operagoers, is now open to anyone with tickets to Avery Fisher Hall or the New York State Theater.
Rizzo’s Square Pizza Rules in Astoria; Picholine Alum Takes on the West VillageAstoria: There was a bit of volatile reaction from our readers to the quality of Rose & Joe’s Sicilian pies: “Any self-respecting pizza eater in Astoria will know that going anywhere but Rizzo’s for a square pie/slice is absolutely maniacal.” [Grub Street]
East Harlem: If you have trouble finding “cuchifritos (a.k.a. Puerto Rican soul food), Mexican, French, Caribbean, and pizza” in the nabe, you can join NoshWalks for a food tour this Saturday. [Uptown Flavor]
Flatiron: Gramercy Tavern jumps on the beer-for-dessert train by pairing stout with chocolate bread pudding. [NYDN]
Park Slope: Another cupcake shop mobilizes to join the bakery front on Flatbush Avenue. [Eater]
Upper West Side: Two food writers found a special of gnocchi with short-rib ragù and ricotta cheese at Ouest to be a perfect plate of food, and want it to make the fall menu. [Ed Levine Eats/Serious Eats]
West Village: Picholine alum Craig Hopson moves into the kitchen of One if by Land, Two if by Sea, now that Gary Volkov is opening his own spot. [Restaurant Girl] Da Silvano may not have been taken out of the rat feature on Inside Edition, but his lawyer was given uncommonly ample on-air time to respond. [Gawker]
Hard Times Drive Wall Street to Drink; Happy Birthday, Big MacThe unused Building D of Essex Street Market may get new life. Residents want low-rent housing there; city law compels the building to be used for food-related businesses. [NYT]
Two veterans of Gramercy Tavern and Blue Smoke will open Huckleberry Bar, described as “the bar at your favorite Danny Meyer restaurant” but in East Williamsburg. There will also be British and southern mix of small plates from a 5 Ninth alum, no doubt like the food at your favorite Zak Pelaccio restaurant. [Strong Buzz]
Hard liquor sales on Wall Street are up significantly since the stock market plummeted on August. 16, says one wine shop owner. [NYT]
Is Govind Armstrong Worried Enough About New York?When top out-of-town chefs move to New York, it’s always a crapshoot. Some, like Fort Worth’s Tim Love, come in conspicuously and wash out; others, like Atlanta’s Sotohiro Kosugi, now at Soto, come in under the radar but quickly grab our attention. L.A.’s Govind Armstrong doesn’t expect much of a problem: The ultra-laid-back chef made South Beach his own and expects New York to treat him equally well. “A lot of New Yorkers come down here to Miami, and I’ve been coming up there forever, so I have a lot of friends to support me,” he tells us. “I’m not trying to reinvent the way New Yorkers eat. But I can’t not grow, you know?”
Back of the House
Why Is Alan Richman So in Love With Brooklyn?
Given that Alan Richman has become a kind of professional debunker, the Amazing Randi of the food world, it was with some relief that we read his critical overview of Brooklyn in the new issue of GQ. The verdict: Brooklyn rules! Gramercy Tavern, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and the cities of Las Vegas and New Orleans, all victims of his scorn over the last few years, must be fuming.
The Other Critics
Gramercy Keeps Its Third Star; Randall Lane Trips But Likes Insieme AnywayFrank Bruni joins Adam Platt in giving Gramercy Tavern three stars, validating the efforts of new chef Michael Anthony and the usual Danny Meyer service level. [NYT]
Related: Gramercy Rehab [NYM]
Time Out’s Randall Lane likes Insieme a lot, to the tune of four (out of six) stars. Though he praises the food as most reviewers have, he also agrees with them that although it was beautifully executed, it didn’t make him swoon. Also, he tripped on the step coming in. [TONY]
The Sun’s Paul Adams comes down on Landmarc, “less a dining destination and more a hearty refueling station for ravenous shoppers and tourists.” But it’s affordable and competent, and what else do you want in a mall restaurant? [NYS]
Related: Will Landmarc’s Downtown Cool Play Alongside Its Ritzy New Neighbors? [Grub Street]