Wood Ovens, and Eventually Dinner Service, Coming to Café St.Beautiful, one-of-a-kind spaces rarely serve good food, for the simple reason that they don’t have to. But in bringing in former Savoy and Porcupine chef Matt Weingarten, the new owners of Café St. Bart’s have put in more effort than anyone had a right to expect. The place is already doing boffo business with its lunch menu, which consists of typically simple but potent Weingarten dishes like linguine and clams with pancetta lardons, summer savory, and wild ramps; pan-braised hake in a spring herb nage; and his signature grilled-lamb-and-prune-hyssop-butter sandwich.
Do People Really Think Adam Platt Is a Miserable F-Word?When the dignified and unflappable restaurant critic Adam Platt learned that, in a moment of unzipped candor, the great Mario Batali had called him a “miserable fuck,” the critic removed a dusty bottle of rye from his desk drawer and poured himself a noonday toast. After all, if chefs don’t squeal like stuck hogs once in a while, a restaurant critic isn’t doing his job. But the Gobbler had a different reaction. “Miserable Fuck”?!??!?! Wasn’t that a bit over the top? The Gobbler got on the phone with Mrs. Gobbler to find out.
Bar Stuzzichini Promises Conviviality, Eggplant
Though not technically the owner of Bar Stuzzichini (the place is in his wife Carolyn’s name), Gerard Renny is plainly its animating spirit – or so Rob and Robin suggest in this week’s Openings. Of course, although Renny, a veteran restaurateur and the author of The Men of the Pacific Street Social Club Cook Italian, brings deep feeling for southern-Italian conviviality to the eatery, its fate will be determined by chef Paul Di Bari’s namesake stuzzichini —small tapaslike appetizers ranging from southern-Italian standards like eggplant caponata and arancini (rice balls) to less familiar snacks like ricotta with saffron and honey, or baccala zeppole. You can skim the menu online here, thanks to our ever-acquisitive database, but it probably won’t be same without the friendly atmosphere.
Openings: Bar Stuzzichini, Bodeguita Cubana, and Cecel Crepe Cafe [NYM]
Bar Stuzzichini menu
Chodorow and Pelaccio Planning a ‘Malaysian Coffeehouse’Fatty Crab may not be coming to the Upper West Side, but locals need not fret — we’ve learned that Jeffrey Chodorow and Zak Pelaccio are in discussion to do a Malaysian place called Kopi Tiam in the neighborhood. A kopi tiam is what Chodorow calls a “Malaysian coffeehouse,” and this one would occupy the 77th Street space that formerly housed Fishs Eddy. Kopi tiams, Chodorow tells us, “are popular throughout Malaysia and frequently serve both Malaysian and Western foods…this restaurant would be very different from Fatty Crab.”
Triumph of the Dulce de Leche con BrownieEarlier this month we told you about Adam Riff’s heartfelt effort to persuade Cones to offer dulce de leche con brownie. According to a deal he made with the owners, if he managed to send 50 people into the shop to request the flavor, the folks in charge would make him a special batch. We’re pleased — in a highly objective, journalistic way, of course — to inform you that Riff reached his goal shortly after our report, and owner Raul D’Aloisio kept his end of the bargain and made the gelato last week.