Julia Jaksic, Now Head Chef at Employees Only, Shows Off New MenuJulia Jaksic, underground-dinner-club hostess and consulting chef at Smith and Mills, has been named head chef at Employees Only (where she was previously a sous-chef) and has completely revamped the menu. Look for nods to her Croatian heritage: A hamburger that’s served on a fluffy pita with pepper paste and carmac, and (on the brunch menu) polenta with smoked bacon and sauerkraut and brown butter. A hamburger that’s served on a fluffy pita with pepper paste, and (on the brunch menu) polenta with smoked bacon and sauerkraut and brown butter. Berkshire bacon makes another appearance wrapped around New Zealand lamb chops — an appetizer that’s fast becoming the Employees Only equivalent of Freemans’ devils on horseback. The late-night menu has also been jazzed up, surely good news for industry types still reeling from the loss of wee hours eating at Mas (farmhouse).
Employees Only dinner menu
Related: Sign Up for Secret Dinner Club’s Weekend Time Warp
New Orleans Chef to Creolize Mas for a Night
Displaced New Orleaners and their culinary sympathizers have a treat in store for them Sunday night when Galen Zamarra does a New Orleans dinner at Mas with haute Creole chef Bob Iacovone of New Orleans’ Cuvée. Iacovone is one of the leading lights of modern New Orleans cookery, and the menu represents some of his takes on classic New Orleans dishes such as a blue-crab Napoleon, a crawfish bisque with vanilla crème brûlée, and a lacquered duck in pastry. Some of what Zamarra considers his most representative dishes from Mas are offered on the menu as alternates, but then of course, Bob Iacovone is only in town cooking for one day, and having eaten at Cuvée, we can testify that he’s innovative without violating the spirit of the city’s traditional cookery. The menu is $79; call the restaurant to make reservations.
Unruly Patrons Force Mas (Farmhouse) to Cut Late-Night Hours Mas (farmhouse) is giving us one less reason to love New York.* As of this Sunday, you will no longer be able to get a nice plate of American Hackleback sturgeon roe at 3 a.m., because Mas is cutting its hours to 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. Daily? Here’s the good news: Starting this week Mas will be open on Sundays, with a new room seating 25 people — available for à la carte service and private parties — that will make the restaurant 40 percent larger. Since this is truly the end of an era for industry types craving a good cocktail and some Gruyère-laced choux-pastry puffballs after a hard shift, we asked owner Galan Zamarra to tell us the new deal.
Green Greek Comes to Flatiron; Thanksgiving Eats AplentyChelsea: Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit will present a free Thanksgiving 101 wining and dining seminar on Saturday, November 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. that will be catered by City Bakery and feature chef Don Pintabona of Dani, pastry chef Nancy Olson of Gramercy Tavern and chef Galen Zamarra from Mas (farmhouse), giving cooking tips in addition to the requisite wine tasting. [Grub Street]
East Village: Chikalicious will be serving on Thanksgiving, if you’d like to pass up a traditional feast for a $12 tasting of “warm cornmeal pound cake with corn ice cream and a duo of grapes in Moscato d’Asti.” [Restaurant Girl] The new and improved Momofuku Noodle Bar now features soft-serve ice cream served in brownie-stuffed cones. [Eater]
Financial District: Blue Ribbon Sound on Ann Street is a recording studio brought to you from the restaurant group of the same name because the owners of the sushi houses and bakeries around town are also “dedicated to high quality sound production in a comfortable and professional environment.” [Down by the Hipster]
Flatiron: Parea will be remade into a rustic Greek eatery, with an organic menu and green architecture. [Restaurant Girl]
Flushing: Sai Bhavan Snack & Sweets at 141-20 Holly Avenue is a good place to find vegetarian South Indian fare to celebrate the India’s annual Festival of Lights. [Gothamist]
Harlem: The farmer’s market outside of Morningside Park at 110th Street and Manhattan Avenue on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. will close for the winter after November 17. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown East: Alto has a special table for two that overlooks the dining room, but protocol for securing the prized seating remains hazy. [Eater]
Urgent All Points Bulletin for Spring Vegetables
You don’t have to look far to see spring vegetables on menus all over New York. But look for local spring vegetables, and you may find they’re AWOL. Unseasonal weather has put the kibosh on many area sources, and for chefs that pride themselves on local ingredients, it’s a problem.
What to Eat Tonight
Gulf Shrimp Make a Comeback
You can’t keep good shrimp down. Hurricane Katrina nearly wiped out the tasty specimens inhabiting the gulf, but replenished stocks mean that in the past week white shrimps have begun to reappear in New York. Big and sweet, with a hint of iodine, the fall shrimp are the best of the year. (Their brown brethren, which were brought in over the summer, also have a certain charm.) Here’s a short list of restaurants that buy them fresh from Louisiana.