Ali on EgyptThe freewheeling chef-owner at Kebab Café waxes political.
Back of the House
We Solve Traver Rains’s Testicle TroublesSo designer Traver Rains of Heatherette can’t get cow balls here in New York? Well, why didn’t he ask us? Not that we are enthusiasts of the crinkly treats; the things have little taste and the gnarliest of textures (think of calves brains, but chewier). However, if the famished designer really wants them, they can be had. Ali frequently serves the dish at Astoria’s Kebab Café, and we’ve heard that they can be found occasionally at Kenka, the East Village izakaya that seems to specialize in weird bits and pieces. The ultimate place for this kind of thing, though, is probably A Fan Ti, a Flushing restaurant that has every part of the lamb and goat from the eyes to the oysters. As for the traditional Wild West breaded prairie oyster? That still hasn’t come to New York. Maybe a profitable new sideline for Heatherette?
Related: Traver Rains Loves Him Some Cow Balls [Daily Intel]
The Other Critics
Perilla Found to be Basically Okay; Richman Loves Balthazar Even More Than ThePerilla tried to be sober and sane, and what was the result? One star from Frank Bruni. But that’s still pretty good for a first-time effort, even by a ‘Top Chef.’ [NYT]
It’s no surprise Alan Richman approves of Balthazar, given his fondness for insouciance in restaurants. He all but opens the floodgates of his enthusiasm for Keith McNally’s flagship. [Bloomberg]
Related: Why Is Alan Richman So in Love With Brooklyn?
In an apparent effort to differentiate the two once and for all, Andrea Thompson considers both the Farm on Adderley and Flatbush Farm in one column. But read closer, and only one entrée is mentioned at each place, a disservice to both. [NYer]
Kebab Cafe Alert: Ali Is Back in AstoriaAstoria: Kebab Cafe has reopened with Ali cooking in the renovated kitchen. [Joey in Astoria]
Flatiron: Bowing to pressure from locals, Hill Country has opened for weekday lunch service starting at 11:30 a.m. [Grub Street]
Fort Greene: In the iced-coffee bracket, new coffeehouse Bittersweet advances past fellow newbie Bidonville. Next up: Urban Spring. [Eat for Victory/VV]
West Village: Resident chanteuse Nancy Danino returns to Paradou this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. [Grub Street]
Williamsburg: Egg has extended its hours to 3 p.m. and added a lunch menu. [Eater]
Click and Save
Chowhound Wonders If You’ve Heard of This So-Called ‘Chinatown’
One of the pleasures of cruising the Chowhound boards is the vicarious thrill of discovery: There’s always somebody who just found out about DiFara or Sripraphai or Kebab Cafe. Last week, apropos of nothing, user Brian S. posted a guide to Manhattan Chinatown that includes a basic overview of various regional cookeries. An added bonus is the long, link-rich thread, centering on Chinese bakeries, which follows the post. (We recently essayed the same topic.) If only the Chinatowns in Brooklyn and Queens were given the same treatment.
Eating in Chinatown — a beginner’s guide [Chowhound]