Danny Meyer Finds Manhattan Prohibitive, But a Shake Shack in a Sports Stadium?Considering that only banks can afford to rent ground-floor spaces in Manhattan these days, Danny Meyer has a bold suggestion: the waterfront! Discussing the future of public life with New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger at a forum of the Design Trust for Public Space, Meyer noted that rent pressures had grown absurd in the island’s heart. (Starting rent for Union Square Café in 1985: $8 per square foot. Asking rent for the Zen Palate space on Park Avenue South: $300 per square foot.) His solution? “We have all these appendages to Manhattan called piers, and if the city took the opportunity to rent those spaces only to small businesses, that would be a vigorous signal,” he said. Meyer said he’d learned that restaurants must echo their surroundings, which we realize means a new Union Square operation would have to carry themes from Whole Foods and Max Brenner. “If we ever do another Shake Shack, we’d want it to look like where it is. The fascination of doing something in a sports stadium jazzes me.” Oh, yeah? Citi Field is looking better and better. —Alec Appelbaum
Related: Hark! New Shake Shack to Open at Shea Stadium
Victoria’s Secret Model Loves Chocolate by the Bald ManOur sister blog, the Cut, is up in arms today because Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr had the audacity to be spotted with Orlando Bloom at Max Brenner, rather than at a restaurant that has the fashion-industry stamp of approval. We’re not sure why a Vicky’s Secret model is expected to have good taste — I mean, these are the girls who date Axl Rose…still.
Why in God’s Name Would a Model Go to Max Brenner? [The Cut]
The Other Critics
Fette Sau and 15 East Get Strong Endorsements From the ExpertsPeter Meehan gives a highly thought-out, admiring review (probably the most knowledgeable one so far) of Fette Sau, taking pain to mention the place’s few but significant shortcomings. [NYT]
Related: Fette Sau’s Weird Williamsburg Barbecue Palace [Grub Street]
Alan Richman, a person with highly developed opinions about sushi, thinks 15 East a great find: “If you have pricey seafood cravings without the wherewithal to finance them, I don’t believe you can do better than 15 East,” he says. [Bloomberg]
Frank Bruni inexplicably reviews Max Brenner: Chocolates by the Bald Man, a place that no one would ever expect to be good. Unsurprisingly, he hands them a bagel. [NYT]
Related: Milking It [NYM]
What to Eat This Week
The Ultimate Halloween Candy: Boozy, Delicious, and Boozy
Chocolat Michel Cluizel, at the ABC store, is not for children — or the fainthearted. Unlike Max Brenner, a few blocks to the south on Broadway, there isn’t a festive vibe nor are there any novelty items like “The Bald Man’s” chocolate pizza. The signature item at Michel Cluizel is as serious as a heart attack: the chocolate-covered Morello cherry, which you must be 21 to sample — there’s so much kirsch, or cherry brandy, in each one that the store was forced to obtain a liquor license to carry it. The cherry — pit, stem, and all — is cured for nine months in the stuff, and there’s more still inside the intense blended chocolate shell. Candy that doubles as a cocktail? Never mind all year: We’ve been waiting for this our whole life.