Pinkberry Domination Continues Apace; Chumley’s in Trouble AgainPinkberry’s quest for world domination becomes more tangible: Its founders have raised $27.5 million in the company’s first round of venture capital. [NYT]
Related: The New Cold War: The Battle for Bleecker Street
Hear the Pinkberry Jingle, Attempt to Get it Out of Your Head
Chumley’s prospective opening date of October 1 has come and gone, possibly because of certain “surprises” the engineers have found, including asbestos and an eroding foundation. [NYP]
Plate of Pig Liver Silences Bruni in Nolita; ‘Top Chef’ Contestant’sAstoria: Coffee and desserts are available at Tell Astorya Cafe on 28th Avenue during events including Friday’s Independent Film nights and afternoon jazz on Saturday. [Joey in Astoria]
Clinton Hill: Former Top Chefer Josie Smith-Malave has named her restaurant on Waverly and Greene Speakeasy. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: The food-feature documentary King Corn opens today at Cinema Village. [Cakehead]
Flatiron: Centro Vinoteca’s Anne Burrell, Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez of Lassi, and Dos Caminos chef Ivy Stark will be cooking for next Thursday’s benefit for Women Chefs & Restaurateurs at the Prince George Ballroom. [Gothamist]
Greenwich Village: Gray’s Papaya on 8th Street has endorsed Bloomberg for president because “he talks the talk, and he’ll walk the walk.” [Blog Chelsea]
Nolita: Frank Bruni is actually at a loss for words to describe a favorite dish that Frank DeCarlo serves at Peasant: “the suckling pig liver will fascinate you because it tastes so very much like other liver you’ve had and yet … and yet … different, but in ways that are tough to pinpoint.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Stark Cuts the Cord With Amalia; Betting on the Next Iron ChefIvy Stark has quit as executive chef at Amalia and may, in fact, return to the B.R. Guest group to spearhead plans for a Dos Caminos Las Vegas. [Foodservice Blog/Nation’s Restaurant News]
Related: Will Ivy Stark Return to B.R. Guest?
Tom Colicchio doesn’t mind that people come to his restaurants for his celebrity, plus he ponders a showdown with Harold Dieterle and Ilan Hall in this Q&A. [Radar]
Caesars Palace is setting the odds to see who will be the Next Iron Chef. Our money’s on Aaron Sanchez. [CNN]
Will Ivy Stark Return to B.R. Guest? We hear from an impeccable source deep inside B.R. Guest that Ivy Stark is returning to Steve Hanson’s corporate embrace, to cook at Dos Caminos. Stark, for her part, only denies half of it. “First of all, I’ve been made an offer but haven’t accepted it,” the Amalia chef says. “It’s not Dos Caminos. It might be some projects with B.R. Guest, but I wouldn’t necessarily be leaving Amalia.”
Women Chefs Come Out in Force for Benefit
It’s often remarked, and with some justice, that the New York restaurant business is a man’s world, with women having to claw and scratch for every bit of recognition. (At least, that was Keith McNally’s view.) A Second Helping of Life, though, a big benefit event for breast-and ovarian-cancer survivors, boasts a pretty heady lineup of stars, and all of the female persuasion: Prune’s Gabrielle Hamilton, Del Posto’s Nicole Kaplan, Butter’s Alexandra Guarnaschelli, Amalia’s Ivy Stark, and Rebecca Charles, inventor of the lobster roll, will all be present and accounted for, along with such founding mothers of the New York food scene as Gourmet’s Ruth Reichl, and the formidable Ariane Daguin of D’Artagnan. Tickets are $300 for the event, to be held on September 17 on Chelsea Piers. Visit sharecancersupport.org for more information.
Whole Foods Plot Still Grimy in Gowanus; Tony Bourdain on Ina GartenWhole Foods has only one more building to demolish to clear out its plot by the Gowanus Canal for its 2008 opening, but there are still no signs of environmental cleanup. [Brownstoner]
Related: Has the Benevolent Whole Foods Betrayed Its Health-Obsessed Customers?
Anthony Bourdain didn’t waste much time agonizing over the expulsion of Tre from Top Chef before laying into Casey, who slices slower the “Ina Garten on Thorazine.” [Bravo]
Related: The Gay Side of ‘Top Chef’ Comes Out
Amalia chef Ivy Stark hates chicken. So why is there chorizo-stuffed crispy chicken on Amalia’s menu? [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Kobayashi May Not Defend His Hot-Dog Title; Oyster Bar Has Best Year EverKobayashi is suffering from arthritis in his jaw and may not be able to compete in the Hot Dog Battle of the Century on the Fourth of July. [Gothamist]
Related: New York Hot-Dog Eaters Take It to the Next Level
Chefs debate what Paris Hilton’s first post-release meal should be: Amalia’s Ivy Stark says salmon, but Wolfgang Puck says pasta. [E!]
Grand Central Oyster Bar had the best year in its history, raking in $14.2 million. A post-fire renovation in 1997 helped a lot. [NYP]
What to Eat Tonight
A Seasonal Summit of Tilefish, Fava Purée, and Rhubarb Salad at Amalia
At Amalia tonight, chef Ivy Stark has reeled in a fish seldom seen in New York dining circles – which is too bad, because golden tilefish is one of our favorites. Meaty, dense, and full of oily goodness, it’s similar to mackerel in taste, but much, much bigger, typically weighing about twenty pounds. Since it can’t be done whole, Stark serves a pan-seared, skin-on filet of the fleshy creature, with a very springlike purée of fava beans and pineapple-mint leaves (the latter being one of the latest designer hybrid herbs on the market). “It’s really very Egyptian,” Stark says. “I was looking through my cookbooks, and I came across it and decided it would be perfect.” The dish is also served with an Iranian-style salad of raw salted rhubarb with whole mint leaves, spring chives, lime, and garlic. “I saw people eating raw rhubarb on the street in Iran,” Stark says, “and the salt completely takes away the sourness and bitterness … I love not having to cook it. It’s so much more refreshing this way.”
5th Ninth’s Chef de Cuisine Makes a Girl-Power MoveMary Ellen Heavner, the chef de cuisine who ran the 5 Ninth kitchen during executive chef Zak Pelaccio’s extended absences, has left the restaurant. Oddly, for a chef of Heavner’s reputation, it’s to take a lesser position, that of sous-chef to Ivy Stark at Amalia, the new restaurant opening next month in the Dream Hotel. (We originally wrote about Amalia last month.) Why take the step down? Heavner attributes it to girl power. “I thought it would be kind of cool to work for a woman,” she says, “and to see how she’s managed her career as a female chef. She opened Dos Caminos, she was the executive at Rosa Mexicana, and she did great cooking at Lespinasse and Lutece. And I really like her food.” It also cannot have escaped Heavner’s notice that the Dream Hotel is owned by Vikram Chatwal, one of the wealthiest hoteliers in the world. Chatwal won’t have to look far the next time he wants to open a big restaurant in one of his luxury hotels.
Earlier: Dream Hotel’s Restaurant Still a Dream, But Opening in January