‘Times’ Asks If NYC Is Fat City No LongerThe Times article on portly foodists is out today, and we can’t help but wonder if this is some kind of seismic shift in the city’s gastronomic mood. After several years of what Alan Greenspan might have called “irrational exuberance” over the joys of pork belly, short ribs, bacon, and other such unwholesome treats, the city’s “fat pack,” as Kim Severson dubs them, seems to have put the brakes on the spree, opting instead to focus on their health.
Back of the House
Hamburgers Are in ‘Vogue’Hidden away at the back of this month’s Vogue is a pretty interesting essay by Jeffrey Steingarten on the current state of hamburger science (sadly, not online). Bracketing out how bizarre it is that the dean of American food writers should be publishing his scientific food forays amid images of Caroline Trentini jumping in Prada and furs, the piece has lots of interest for New Yorkers: There are more burger insights from Pat LaFrieda, the city’s undisputed top burger producer, and an explanation of what makes Ryan Skeen’s burger at Resto so good, in spite of its always being overcooked. The best part, though, is the revelations of burger science from the London lab of legendary chef Heston Blumenthal.
Related: Shake Shack Hamburger and Little Owl Pork Chops Can Soon Be Yours
De Marco’s Maniac Caught On Tape; NYC Denied Shamrock ShakesThe NYPD releases a surveillance video of the De Marco’s gun battle. It’s difficult to make out, but very graphic and not a little disturbing. [WNBC]
Brace yourselves: McDonald’s has decreed that there will be no more Shamrock Shakes in NYC, although they’re still widely available elsewhere. What’s up with that? [NYDN]
The Smith and Wollensky Restaurant Group is enjoying a sudden bidding war for its acquisition, after having already accepted a good offer. [Crain’s]
De Marco’s Bartender Shot in Village Gun Rampage; Big-Check Chains on theDeMarco’s bartender and two NYPD auxiliary officers shot and killed in Village gun rampage. [NYP]
High-end chain restaurants like Smith & Wollensky or Dos Caminos are on the rise, as some recent mergers and acquisitions suggest. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
Joël Robuchon stands behind the counter at L’Atelier this week; Alain Ducasse may not be going to Chicago after all. [Snack]
Trump Eyes Tavern on the Green, Tavern Blushes; Steingarten in a BathrobeDonald Trump covets the most vulgar thing in New York that doesn’t already have his name on it: the Tavern on the Green, which has two years left on its lease. [NYP]
A Zeitgeist moment: The East Village’s alt.coffee gives up the ghost, remaking itself as a “Hopscotch, a café tailored to the needs of children and families.” [Gawker]
Candela owners shutting down and reopening as Irving Mill Restaurant and Tap Room in the fall, with Gramercy Tavern alum Johnny Schaeffer doing his Greenmarket thing in the kitchen. [Strong Buzz]
Paul Liebrandt Back in Play; Rat Chief Vows to Exterminate the BrutesThe city’s rat-patrol chief vows that “the rats will not win.” [NYT]
In Vogue, Jeffrey Steingarten reveals that New York’s top unemployed chef, Paul Liebrandt, is doing a restaurant with Drew Nieporent. Snack asserts it’s Montrachet. [Snack]
Amusing slam of Bruni’s Robert’s Steakhouse review from conservative mainstay National Review. Need we say more? [National Review Online]
Back of the House
Caught on Video: Susie Essman, Jeffrey Steingarten Eating FrenzyIt’s a standard gripe among foodie types that TV food personalities are too plastic, too telegenic — that in other words, they’re chosen for their appearance rather than their cred. But witnessing a dinner conversation between the acerbic comedian Susie Essman, of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Vogue food critic (and Iron Chef guest judge) Jeffrey Steingarten on Serious Eats helps explain why TV food hosts look the way they do. Essman is likably gruff and witty, and Steingarten erudite, but these might be the two unhealthiest-looking people we’ve seen since Alexander Litvinenko. Watching them devour fried rice, egg rolls, and noodles at Chinatown Brasserie while talking about eating horse fat made us want to join an ashram and live on nuts and berries. And that’s saying something. Bring back the Stepford chefs! We finally see why TV needs them.
Serious Eats Video: Hecklers and Horse Fat [Serious Eats]