A Sausage-Fest Welcome in Chelsea; Gramercy Tavern RecipesChelsea: On January 15–20, Trestle on Tenth will begin its own yearly tradition of Metzgete, a Swiss winter celebration of sausage, choucroute, and wine. [Trestle on Tenth]
Flatiron: Adam Shepard hasn’t yet been able to clone the success of his Boerum Hill original at Lunetta, in the old Mayrose space, but Frank Bruni thinks he’s capable of making the necessary adjustments. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Gramercy: Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony provided this recipe for East Coast blackfish over spaghetti squash, but we have his recipe for fork-crushed purple majesty potatoes in our database. [Restaurant Girl]
Hells Kitchen: How is this world going to stop mispronouncing chipotle as “chi-POLE-tay” if restaurants like Kevin St. James on Eighth Avenue can’t even spell it right? [East Village Idiot]
Midtown West: Our In-box submission claiming there are prostitutes at Maze has inspired a call for the best restaurants that attract good ol’ traditional gold diggers. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Upper East Side: Agata & Valentina Ristorante has permanently closed, but the original gourmet shop is still lively. [Eater]
Virginia Pig Farmer Is the Toast of the New York Pork WorldIt sounds like a fairy tale: Some Spanish hogs, brought over by Spanish colonists in the sixteenth century, take over an island off the coast of Georgia and run wild there for hundreds of years. Feral and boarlike, they are also about the best tasting pork imaginable, and cousins to the world’s most celebrated ham. Is it a fable, conjured by the heated imagination of foodies? Or an eye-opening truth, as irrefutable as a piece of gamey and rich roast pork? We’re happy to say that it’s the latter. Bev Eggleston, of Eco-Friendly Foods in Virginia, has started selling his amazing pork to a handful of New York restaurants, and soon he may be giving the Spanish a run for their money in the ham business.
Engines of Gastronomy
Quest For Fire: The Gramercy Tavern Wood Stove
The wood-burning stove at Gramercy Tavern is an insatiable beast that requires two chefs to run. It’s effectively an overgrown campfire made from hot white oak logs, and it’s hard to maintain, requiring constant poking, prodding, and feeding.
Gordon Ramsay So Over? Josie Smith-Malave Back in BusinessAussies ask, “Has Gordon Ramsay’s gilded decade come to an end? Has the gifted chef gone off the boil?” [Sydney Morning Herald]
It’s back to business for former Top-Chefer and recent anti-gay-attack victim Josie Smith-Malave; her Clinton Hill restaurant seems well on its way to serving global comfort food this fall. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Initial impressions on Rickshaw Dumpling: “We enjoyed eating them, and even more, we enjoy knowing that we will file our $6 receipt for the six dumplings and be reimbursed. $1 per dumpling? Do I look like some kind of NYU kid to you?” [Eat for Victory/VV]
Back of the House
Chefs Knock Food Blogs to the Latest Food Blog
On the heels of Citysearch’s food-blog launch comes still another source of restaurant news: the NYC debut of Metromix (still in beta, it seems) and its own food blog Deep Dish. The juiciest item so far is a roundup of chef banter from the New York Rising Stars Revue awards. Not that the rising stars seem to have been that deep in their cups when they were interviewed (food blogger rule of thumb: Wait till they’re at the after-after-party), but some of their responses sure are punchy.
The Annotated Dish
The Springiest of Spring Menus at Gramercy Tavern
Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony, not to be confused with Van Halen’s Michael Anthony, is one of the city’s top Haute Barnyard cooks, a veteran of Blue Hill and a natural with produce. His Spring Vegetable Medley is a centerpiece of both Gramercy’s market menu and its vegetable tasting menu. “The idea is to bring springiness to a spring menu,” he says. “I don’t know a better way to do that then with a dish that highlights the crunch and brightness of spring flavors.” Mouse over each element to read the chef’s description.
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.
In the Magazine
Chefs Try to Take It to the Next Level in This Week’s Issue
Five established chefs take center stage in this week’s issue – or six, if you count Kurt Gutenbrunner, who, per In Season, has a way with white asparagus. The others? Michael Anthony, the Blue Hill Haute Barnyard prodigy who stepped into Tom Colicchio’s shoes at Gramercy Tavern; Christopher Lee, a major rising talent who filled big shoes at Gilt; Kerry Simon, a Las Vegas–based Vongerichten lieutenant who is now doing the food for a giant karaoke bar; and finally Marco Canora and Asian dessert master Pichet Ong, whose long-awaited debuts, Insieme and P*Ong, respectively, open this week. All this star power, along with two short lists that couldn’t be more different, awaits in this week’s magazine.
Give a Fast-Food Receipt, Get a MetroCardThe city, seeking to find out just how badly New Yorkers eat prior to implementing its new calorie-info law, is trading MetroCards for meal receipts. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
Akthar Nawab of E.U., Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, and Chris Lee of Gilt all talk about the challenges of taking over an established restaurant (getting reviewed too soon, finding the fuse box, etc.). [NYP]
The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield is being named Food & Wine’s Best New Chef. [NYP]
In the Magazine
Fork-Crushed Potatoes: More Than Meets the UtensilIf there’s one rule about the weekly In Season recipe in the magazine’s Strategist section that we try to adhere to, it’s to keep things simple. This is due not only to limited space considerations, but also to the fact that we are of the let-the-ingredient-speak-for-itself school of cooking. Put another way, we’re lazy and hate cleaning up after ourselves. Still, this week’s recipe for fork-crushed Purple Majesty potatoes, courtesy of Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony, was so exceptionally simple (yet undeniably delicious), it had people around the office talking. “This really couldn’t be much easier, could it?” said one admitted foodie, with a haughty note of reproof in her voice. Another cranky copy editor was more direct: “Even a small and not very gifted child can crush potatoes with a fork,” he said.
In the Magazine
Platt Seduced By High Society; The Robs Wait Patiently in LineIn this week’s issue of the magazine, things are a little topsy-turvy. Back from London after sampling (and writing about) that city’s burgeoning restaurant scene, Adam Platt eats at a place that hasn’t technically opened, and Rob and Robin provide some choices for killing time at one that reopens this week. And if the winter weather is keeping you home, the Underground Gourmet provides a recipe for little purple potatoes, cooked simply up and smashed with a fork, just the way they do it at Gramercy Tavern.
Back of the House
The Great Chef CrisisRecently, apropos nothing much, a prominent young chef we were chatting with launched into a tirade about the restaurant world’s “labor problem.” “None of us can get enough good cooks!” he exclaimed, by way of explanation. Between 2000 and 2006, only a handful of high-end restaurants — Lespinasse, Meigas, Quilty’s — have closed, and there has been an avalanche of major openings: Robuchon, Ramsay, Per Se, Masa, Craft, Del Posto, Morimoto, A Voce, the Modern, Lever House, Buddakan, Cafe Gray, Alto — the list goes on and on. “And it’s not just the massive boom of restaurants,” Adam Platt tells us. “They also have to be either bigger, or chefs have to open multiple places, so that they can enjoy the economies of scale they need to compete.”
What to Eat This Week
Good Eats for Fashion Plates
With Fashion Week almost here, some of you may have switched gears, thinking less about “Where can I find the perfect piece of foie gras?” and more about “How can I fit into a size 0 by Saturday?” We can’t presume to help you with that one, but we can recommend three guilt-free, non-Atkins options for eating well as the models parade into town.
Everything Topsy-Turvy at Gramercy TavernThere are currently 3,458 menus in our vast database. If you only have the time to enjoy reading one today, may we recommend the new menu that’s just been instituted at Gramercy Tavern. Executive chef Michael Anthony has been running the kitchen since the fall, but only now is his vision for the restaurant taking hold. Anthony, whose back-to-the-earth style was last glimpsed at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, leans on Vongerichten-like combinations of juices and herbs; butter and animal fat are used sparingly. “I want people to walk out of the restaurant not feeling heavy and full, but vibrant and restored,” the chef tells us. Which is not to say he’s completely shunning rich, meaty concoctions: There’s a boned-out suckling-pig porchetta, stuffed with house-made sausage and Swiss chard, that he’s cooking in the Tavern’s wood-burning oven. So what should you order when you come to Gramercy now? “It’s my dream to have a four-top sit down and order two seasonal tasting menus and two vegetable tasting menus,” Anthony says. Any volunteers?
A to Z List: Online Menus