BarFry Gives Up the GhostSaturday was the last night in the life of BarFry, the West Village tempura restaurant helmed by Josh DeChellis.
Rachael Ray’s Show Is Safe; ‘Top Chef’ Dale Brought inYesterday’s report that Rachael Ray’s syndicated daytime TV show was in danger of being canceled was completely bogus. [NYDN]
Related: Rachael Ray Encounters a Setback in Global-Domination Scheme
Less women in the workforce means less money in the family budget, and that translates to less money going into the hands of restaurateurs. [WSJ]
Former Top Cheftestant Dale encouraged Stephanie from this season to audition for the show’s producers. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Back of the House
Pelaccio, Goldfarb to Open the WindsorDespite efforts to keep their new project a secret, Zak Pelaccio and cake whiz Will Goldfarb have been outed! A blog called the Life Vicarious sussed out the existence of the Windsor by examining a James Beard–event listing. The Windsor, says the listing, will be a “cozy yet elegant collaboration they hope will become a hangout for chefs and food lovers alike.” Life Vicarious surmises the new restaurant will be next door to BarFry, at 51 Carmine Street. BarFry man Josh DeChellis is also involved, as well as Goldfarb cohort Robert Truitt. “It will have European, elegant, elevated snacks — jamón ibérico, oysters, a big Champagne list, and we’ll have something going in a Crock-Pot every night,” Pelaccio tells us. “It will be homey and casual, and, we hope, open from four to four. I’ll be creating panini and a lot of other things.”
“The mark of a cad” [The Life Vicarious, via Eater]
Mixology Immortals Met at Last Night’s Astor Center Opening
Last night’s opening bash at the Astor Center was an amazing event – there was ibérico ham, hip-hop violinists, and Joey Campanaro, Josh DeChellis, and Seamus Mullen cooking hors d’oeuvres. But what people will remember will be the mixologists. A veritable cocktail hall of fame was present, and we managed to get them all together at once for an image that makes us thirsty just looking at it.
BarFry’s Naughty Valentine’s Day Does Not Include Oil; Irving MillAstoria: Named for the spongy Latin cheese bread, Pao de Queijo has opened at 31-90 30th Street, between Broadway and 31st Avenue, and is serving a Brazilian mix of snacks and batidos. [Time Out]
Flatiron: Irving Mill might be Gramercy Tavern lite, but the owners are ready to expand with an Italian wine bar. Who will be the next nearby inspiration? Bar Stuzzichini? [Eater]
Tribeca: Brandy Library is hosting a New York whiskey tasting on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Upper West Side: Magnolia Bakery North officially opens on Monday, but eager cupcake fiends might want to try stopping by Saturday to see if there’s a soft opening. [Cupcakes Take the Cake]
West Village: Josh DeChellis will make you a “naughty doggie-bag” of after-dinner treats from BarFry for Valentine’s Day, but, don’t worry, no fried hot dogs, just good old-fashioned strawberries and squirt-bottle chocolate. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Want to Eat Josh DeChellis’s Food for Free? Here’s How.
The only thing we like better than eating Josh DeChellis’s Japanese-inspired small plates is eating them for free, and thanks to BarFry’s new happy hour, we all can! West Village drinkers sample DeChellis’s sophisticated fusion creations (the tempura program having been something of a letdown) between 4 and 6 p.m. and again after 11 p.m. “It’s a chance for us to experiment, to essentially recipe-test and see what people think. Then if it goes over, I may add it to the menu,” says DeChellis.
Josh DeChellis Frying Lunch in the West Village; Gray’s Papaya Still PoliticalClinton Hill: Il Torchio may have only opened in August and be prone to underseasoning and overbearing Italian accents, but the restaurant is already gearing up to expand. [Eat for Victory/VV]
East Village: Savoy chef Peter Hoffman’s new restaurant Back Forty has a soft opening today and will officially begin service on Wednesday. [Grub Street]
Greenwich Village: The 70-year-old founder of Gray’s Papaya who posted the “Bloomberg for President” sign on 8th Street “has never been shy about using his store windows for political expression; Jimmy Carter, in 1976, and Bill Bradley, in 1999, both earned his presidential endorsement. And in 1998, when Bill Clinton was facing impeachment, Mr. Gray displayed a sign that read, ‘Hang in there, Mr. President.’” [NYT]
Midtown: Beacon has added a “kitchen counter” which functions as a chef’s table, a burger bar, and the site of a weekly tasting menu. [Strong Buzz] A midtown pizza-truck war has broken out. [Midtown Lunch]
West Village: BarFry kicks off lunch service today. [Grub Street]
The Other Critics
Kudos to Park Avenue Autumn; Jeers to the Five GuysPark Avenue Autumn’s gimmicky concept might have turned Frank Bruni catty but for the fact that Craig Konketsu’s cooking is so flawlessly brilliant. The place got two stars, and the review reads like three. [NYT]
Paul Adams must be a happy man today just for the headline he came up with for his positive review of the cheese-centric newcomer Casellula: “The Cheese Stands Alone.” It sounds like it does, too, with what might be the best macaroni and cheese going. [NYS]
Peter Meehan puts the Five Guys, and their deliberately dried-out, overrated burger, in their place; Julia Moskin gives Market Table its first praise, a measured and thoughtful mini-review. [NYT]
Reasons to Stay in Williamsburg; Green-Tea Cupcake in West VillageBattery Park: The Treats Truck will be on hand at CultureFest NYC on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. [Treats Truck]
Clinton Hill: Two armed men robbed the White Castle at 531 Myrtle Avenue yesterday. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Meatpacking District: Next Tuesday is Dirty Bingo night at Paradou. [Paradou NYC]
Midtown West: The Royalton hotel has reopened after a brief renovation and has already started serving breakfast at Bar Forty Four. [NewYorkology]
Upper West Side: Thankfully, the old-school Murray’s Sturgeon Shop holds a long-term lease because the neighborhood’s “soul currently hangs on the continued existence of a few shops, among them Zabar’s, Fairway, Citarella, H&H Bagels, Barney Greengrass, Gryphon Book Store and Murray’s.” [Lost City]
West Village: The green-tea cupcake Josh DeChellis serves at BarFry is not only intensely and deliciously flavored, it’s also ” a study in green: the kind of snack a stay at home Incredible Hulk would send off to the school bus in dozens if his kid were having an in-class birthday party.” [Gothamist]
Williamsburg: In an effort to dissuade those thinking of leaving Brooklyn for greener (cleaner) pastures out west and elsewhere, one blogger has compiled this list of some of the hood’s best dishes. [Cakehead]
Shacktoberfest! DeChellis Opening a Raw Bar in the West Village?Flatiron: Shacktoberfest at the Shack kicks off this Friday with live music and a special menu of brats, sausages, custard concretes in apple strudel and Sacher torte flavors, and artisanal beers. It will stick around through the 14th. [Eater]
Fort Greene: Gnarly Vines at 350 Myrtle Avenue has unofficially opened and is hosting a free wine tasting tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Midtown East: The owner of Bistro Le Steak has opened Bistro Desaret on East 56th Street near Second Avenue; the new place will be serving escargot and frog legs among other classic fare. [NYS]
Upper West Side: Bouchon Bakery and Artisanal tie for best grilled cheese, but only Thomas Keller’s version made Levine’s article on the 22 sandwiches that will change your life. [Serious Eats]
West Village: Don’t expect Josh DeChellis to start serving more than a couple of raw dishes a night at BarFry; he’ll need to save some recipes for the raw bar he might open up down the street. [Gotham Gal via Eater]
The Other Critics
Wakiya Earns a Second Bagel; Meehan Mistreated at BarFryWakiya’s brief flirtation with the possibility of success seems to be over, now that Frank Bruni has concurred with Adam Platt by handing the restaurant what seems to be a well-deserved bagel. How long before it goes down for the dirt nap is anybody’s guess. [NYT]
Alan Richman, by the way, hates the place even worse. You don’t even have to look beyond his subheads: “Preening.” “Small Portions.” “Incomprehensible Menu.” The bottom line? The place is wildly expensive and “Wakiya suffers from an absence of delights.” To say the least. [Bloomberg]
Peter Meehan, though taking care to praise Josh DeChellis’s cold dishes, had what sounds like a series of awful experiences at BarFry, with terrible service issues. Talk about picking the wrong guy to leave stranded with bottles in his hands! [NYT]
No Rest for the Red Hook Vendors; Bourdain Considers ‘Top Chef’ Episode a WasteCan the Red Hook Vendors never rest? Now Cesar Fuentes is causing concern for resigning and threatening to sue the same people he represented. [NYT]
Bourdain considers Wednesday’s Top Chef a waste, as the producers snagged Eric Ripert only to “shoehorn him into a Scout jamboree” when “it would have been nice, given the all-too-rare presence of a distinguished specialist, to see what the kids could REALLY do with fish.” And why won’t Hung cook Vietnamese? [Bourdain’s Blog/Bravo]
Discrimination lawyer Marc Rapaport is surprised by his own defense of O’Reilly in a Times op-ed about the Sylvia’s incident, saying “it is apparent from [his comments’] context that O’Reilly was actually attempting to dispel racial stereotypes regarding African-Americans.” [PR Web]
Mega Food Weekend Takes Over Pier 94Culinary events in New York are getting bigger all the time, and now comes word of a behemoth so immense that it’s going to require all of Pier 94. Cook. Eat. Drink. Live., to be held October 26-27th, will be a kind of vast, sprawling combination of a giant trade show (think the Fancy Food Show) as well as a giant dining event (à la Taste of New York), adding in fifteen cooking classes a day, five wine-tasting classes, and five mixology classes too, all with the likes of Will Goldfarb, Ilan Hall, Josh DeChellis, and Paul Liebrandt. Normally, this orgy of A-list epicureanism would cost $325 a day, but buy tickets with the NYMAG code for a reduced rate of $175 a day or $350 for the weekend, including all demos.
Cook. Eat. Drink. Live [Official Site]
Josh DeChellis Brings Special Beer and More Special Foods to BarFryWhen Josh DeChellis opened up BarFry, we were a little skeptical. It seems a waste of the chef’s prodigal talent to just be throwing stuff into a pot of oil, which is pretty much what we imagine tempura cooking to be. Well, not to worry. Like he did at Sumile Sushi, DeChellis is breaking out his brilliant composed dishes.
La Marqueta Fights City Hall and Wins; Josh DeChellis Out at SumileBrooklyn’s La Marqueta, facing the same kid of pressure as the Red Hook vendors, wins another year and postpones getting the heave-ho from the 70-year-old market. [NYDN]
Josh DeChellis has left Sumile Sushi to do a tempura restaurant at 50 Carmine Street. [NYT]
Related: Josh DeChellis Dodges a Bullet, and Hits a Bullseye [Grub Street]
This is a golden age of meatballs we’re living in. [NYT]
Related: Men and Their Meatballs [NYM]
What to Eat Tonight
Spring Vegetables Get the DeChellis Treatment at Sumile SushiJosh DeChellis’s Japanese-inspired cooking at Sumile Sushi is especially attuned to seasonality. Just look at tonight’s special, spring-vegetable sushi. Says DeChellis, “Spring’s first vegetables are so precious — just like the most prized fish of the sea — and deserve an equally simple preparation to highlight their annual arrival and delicate flavors.” Tonight’s vegetables include fresh wasabi peas, glazed spring onions, young Japanese peppers, steamed ramps, wild asparagus, enoki, water spinach and sesame, and daikon sprout “kimchee.” The special will change as it reappears from time to time throughout the spring, with different vegetables making guest appearances.
What to Eat Tonight
It’s Cherry-Blossom Time at Sumile
For the remainder of this month, Sumile Sushi chef Josh De Chellis will be preparing a Japanese spring tasting menu incorporating preserved cherry blossoms and leaves. “The whole cherry-blossom experience is an excuse to cook delicately,” says De Chellis. “That’s what spring is: the first grasses and first vegetables. It’s a delicate time of year.” De Chellis works the cherry blossoms and leaves into four courses, all accompanied by a Sparkling Sakura Sake Elixir infused with them. Unagi (eel) is smoked with cherry blossom, touched up with a blossom glaze, and served with a rich foie gras mousse. Boned squab is rolled up with blossom-infused rice, then roasted, sliced, and served over a bitter, smoky burnt eggplant purée. A chocolate-and-cherry-blossom tart rounds out the meal, which costs $70 including sake. On a cold and rainy day like today, you could do a lot worse for a shift in mood.
Back of the House
The Great Chef CrisisRecently, apropos nothing much, a prominent young chef we were chatting with launched into a tirade about the restaurant world’s “labor problem.” “None of us can get enough good cooks!” he exclaimed, by way of explanation. Between 2000 and 2006, only a handful of high-end restaurants — Lespinasse, Meigas, Quilty’s — have closed, and there has been an avalanche of major openings: Robuchon, Ramsay, Per Se, Masa, Craft, Del Posto, Morimoto, A Voce, the Modern, Lever House, Buddakan, Cafe Gray, Alto — the list goes on and on. “And it’s not just the massive boom of restaurants,” Adam Platt tells us. “They also have to be either bigger, or chefs have to open multiple places, so that they can enjoy the economies of scale they need to compete.”
City Against New Rat Weapon; Fatty Crab Gets Liquor License, Special CocktailsSome restaurant owners want to bring in garbage disposals as a weapon in the war on rats, but the city won’t allow it, claiming that the sewer system would be overwhelmed. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
Fatty Crab gets a liquor license and some original cocktails to go with it; meanwhile, McDonald’s will be giving away free coffee all day tomorrow. [NYS]
Ernest Gallo, co-founder with his brother Julio of the much-maligned but enormously successful California winery, dies at 97. [NYT]
Jovia Gives Up the Ghost at LastIt’s been a long, hard road for Jovia, which opened in 2005 to lukewarm notices. Chef Josh DeChellis left after just one year; last we heard, owners Stephen and Thalia Loffredo were selling the chandeliers. Meanwhile, Zoë, the Loffredos’ California-cuisine spot in Soho, has been flourishing. A restaurant insider who is also close to the couple tells us that they’ve finally decided to do the obvious and convert Jovia to a Zoë-like restaurant, perhaps even an uptown branch. “Nothing is final yet,” Stephen tells us, but “if the change occurs, it will be pretty quick.”
Back of the House
Jean-Georges Vongerichten on His Gift for DelegationNo chef in New York restaurant history has been more successful, or more influential, than Jean-Georges Vongerichten. As he begins his third decade of cooking and running restaurants in New York, we sat down to ask him some questions about the scene: how it’s changed and where it’s going.
In the Magazine
Platt and Nieporent Meet Again; Anna Nicole’s Refrigerator SpeaksThis week’s magazine spans the world of food, from Anna Nicole’s refrigerator to Drew Neiporent’s latest big-box feeding hall, reviewed this week by Adam Platt. Rob and Robin write about one of the most buzzed-about openings of the season, and Gael Greene checks out Sam DeMarco’s Fireside. And to round it out, we take stock of what, if anything, the skinny types consumed during Fashion Week.
Josh DeChellis Dodges a Bullet, and Hits a BullseyeWhen Josh DeChellis parted ways with Jeffrey Chodorow’s Kobe Club in November (as you may remember reading here), it seemed like the Sumile Sushi chef had missed a major opportunity. But now, with Kobe Club battered by the critics (with one notable exception), DeChellis smells rosier by the minute.
The Underground Gourmet
Josh DeChellis on How to Cook With Your Christmas Tree
Everyone knows a good cook is a frugal cook, and no one takes this culinary code more seriously than Josh DeChellis, the skateboard-riding boy-wonder chef behind Sumile (recently tweaked and rechristened Sumile Sushi). In the spirit of the post-holiday season, DeChellis has come up with an idea that is not only environmentally responsible but also would make Euell Gibbons’s eyes goggle and his mouth water.
“I was helping my parents take down the Christmas tree and the perfume was amazing,” DeChellis says. “So I took a few branches off and roasted a piece of grilled beef over the needles in an aluminum-foil pouch and I loved it!” DeChellis was kind enough to pass along a similar pine-scented recipe, below, so that Grub Street readers can recycle any trees or wreaths they have lying around the house instead of just dragging them outside to the curb. DeChellis also has a suggestion for stale gingerbread cookies: “Grind them up and crust scallops with it. Serve with a sauce of brown butter, gingerbread powder, and milk blended in a blender with Brussels sprout leaves on the side.” Delish! — Rob Patronite & Robin Raisfeld
Jeffrey Chodorow: I Am Not a Cheapskate
We recently speculated as to why Jeffrey Chodorow decided against hiring Sumile chef Josh DeChellis to head up the imminent Kobe Club. Could the decision, we suggested, have to do with food costs? DeChellis is a high-concept aesthete, and Chodorow a famously thrifty businessman. But we had it all wrong, the China Grill mogul tells us. “The fact that I’m efficient doesn’t mean I skimp on ingredients. The reason we ended up not going with Josh was that he wanted to do something that was avant-garde Japanese, and we wanted to go more mainstream. We’re sparing no expense with our ingredients; given how much we’re spending on meat, it would be silly to skimp on anything else.”
Earlier: Josh DeChellis, Kobe Club Break Up But Are Still Friends
Josh DeChellis, Kobe Club Break Up But Are Still FriendsJeffrey Chodorow’s imminent, elite-meat Kobe Club is out one chef: Josh DeChellis of Sumile will not be helming the kitchen when the restaurant opens in December. “Jeffrey Chodorow and company wanted to take their concept in more mainstream direction. We still maintain a good relationship,” DeChellis tells us. (Given how committed DeChellis is to using the very best ingredients and Chodorow’s reputation as a supremely efficient businessman, we’re guessing things might’ve broken down over the question of food costs.) Meanwhile, the chef, whose high-powered fusion cooking is still wowing them at Sumile, has plenty of other sashimi to slice: “I’m installing a sushi bar at Sumile [in mid-December], and I’m opening Sumile Tokyo next week.”
Jovia Hawking Its Chandelier?Restaurants meet their ends a few different ways. Here are two (rumored) examples.
The Turnkey Sale
Avenue B’s Dynasty, a 24-hour diner catering to locals during the day and drunks at night, was recently remodeled and is doing boffo business. But word around the campfire is that it’s up for sale, at a can’t-lose price of just under $400,000. Given that the place is probably profitable, features a sidewalk café, and is positioned to make hay as the East Village continues to gentrify, we doubt it will be long before someone jumps on it. 600 E. 14th St., at Ave. B; 212-529-5449.
The other story is a sadder one: After six anti-climactic months on Eater’s “Deathwatch” list, Jovia may actually begin dismantling. Word is that the beautiful handblown Murano-glass chandeliers, one of the place’s most memorable features, are for sale — soon to go the way of chef Josh DeChellis, who left months ago.