Novelist Joe Weisberg Unlocks the Mystery of ‘Ugli Fruit’ and
Acclaimed author Joe Weisberg’s new novel, An Ordinary Spy, follows a CIA officer serving abroad in an undisclosed country. To preserve the anonymity of the country’s “very spicy” cuisine, the author redacted all references to specific ingredients in the text. Weisberg tells us that when he himself trained to be a CIA officer, he was taught to offer food — or “amenities” — to potential recruits and was graded on his ability to bring pastries to his instructor. Now that he no longer has access to Quantico’s all-you-can-eat buffet of ice creams and pies (he lives and writes in Park Slope and teaches in Jamaica Estates), we asked him how he satisfies his voracious appetite.
Exclusive: Ivan Kane Kills NYC Plans for Forty Deuce Club owners have a long, proud history of ignoring Community Board rulings, so we were surprised to hear that Ivan Kane has taken the massive opposition to Forty Deuce to heart. According to a spokesman, Kane will not open a burlesque club at 19 Kenmare or anywhere else in the city. This is despite the fact that construction was well underway and despite implying, during the CB meeting, that he might pursue the project regardless of outcry. Kane, who moved his family to New York while building the club, has returned to Los Angeles to open his Hollywood restaurant and lounge, Café Was, and will focus on opening Forty Deuces in San Diego and — pending negotiations, we’re told — perhaps Atlantic City. And here we thought New York was becoming too friendly to chains!
Earlier: Neighbors Take the Riding Crop to Forty Deuce [Grub Street]
Frozen-Yogurt Wars: We Have Not Yet Begun to Flurt
Last week, Grub Street compiled a comparison chart of different frozen yogurts (and one gelato) found in New York City. We asked readers for thoughts and you responded with frozen gusto. The most popular response was “You missed Flurt!” Indeed we did; the chain (now with two locations) opened in July. So here’s what you need to know:
Country of Origin: New York City
Social Aesthetic: Tundralike minimalism.
Product Pitch: We’re cheaper than Pinkberry!
NYC Locations: Two: Gramercy and Battery Park City.
Critical Reception: Unofficial just yet, but commenters on Chowhound offered a “better than Pinkberry” consensus. One reader concurred: “Flurt is a takeoff of Pinkberry, but the yogurt has much better texture. Plus, they offer smoothies and Greek yogurt parfait.”
Restaurant I.D.-Theft Ring Exposed; Ted Nugent–Influenced CuisineWaiters in 40 restaurants formed a huge identity-theft ring, recording credit-card numbers and making $3 million in purchases. [Fox NY]
Donald Trump gets a sweetheart deal from the state to build Trump on the Ocean, a huge restaurant and banquet hall, on Jones Beach. [Newsday]
Chef J.J. Rachou is still feeling the sting from his Department of Health closure and can’t bring himself to reopen Brasserie LCB yet. “If you lift every can, you find a cockroach,” he says. [NYT]