Gordon Ramsay Even a Jerk on Other People’s TV ShowsA very contrite Gordon Ramsay was on display in Scotland’s Sunday Herald about a week ago — “We got screwed,” he says of Gordon Ramsay at the London’s opening, begging for sympathy because the ceiling caved in. No matter, Gordo is on to other things, like a restaurant in L.A. that will open in May and might — according to a rave review of Ramsay’s New York eatery in the Sunday Times of London — be backed by the Beckhams! The Times also mentions that Gordo might appear on The Simpsons, but will his cameo match his walk-on in the Extras Christmas special, in which a washed-up Andy Millman begs Gordo to get him into London’s Ivy restaurant? Click on the image above to watch.
To Hell’s Kitchen and Back Again [Sunday Herald of Scotland]
Gordon Ramsay in New York [Sunday Times of London]
Tony Bourdain’s Kitchen Is Just Like Yours; New York Chefs Cook for 50 CentSelf-styled badass chef Tony Bourdain plays 20 Questions, revealing that he lives with his wife and daughter on the Upper East Side these days — “proximity to Baby Gap is a priority” — and has a kitchen that is “small and functional and very crowded with baby food, cat food, a few essentials.” [Chicago Tribune]
Frank Bruni takes a moment to sort through the piles of food-related tomes that landed on his desk this year, finding his favorites to be David Kamp’s The Food Snob’s Dictionary and the recently released Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Related: David Kamp Adds Two More Entries to the Food Snob’s Dictionary
A recent NYU grad is suing Times Square club Arena for $2 million over a June incident in which he was overcharged by $1,000, beat up by the bouncer, and arrested for not buying enough alcohol. [NYP]
Embattled Bistro Now Serving ‘Nouveau African’ at Korhogo 126The saga of Bouillabaisse 126, described here last summer, seems to have had a happy ending. The Carroll Gardens restaurant, a French bistro formerly haunted by the ejection of partner Neil Ganic, has quietly become one of the city’s most interesting French-African fusion restaurants. Under former Les Enfants Terribles chef Abdhul Traore, it’s now Korhogo 126, and attempting to convey the flavors of the Ivory Coast via the refinements of French technique. Escargot are pressure-stewed and served with star anis and tomato under puff pastry, African honey sweetens an endive-and-pear salad, and the ratatouille is “served with West African, Wolof-inspired rice infused with tomato, onion, and Senegalese spices and sautéed vegetables.”
In the Magazine
Where to Eat in 2008New York’s Adam Platt has finally surfaced from the food trough. In between gasps, he has cobbled together his annual list of where you should be eating in the New Year. Platt’s got a bead on Italian small plates, which no-reservations restaurants to wait on line for, and what expensive meal is actually worth an entire paycheck. If all of that is too much to digest, Platt has bites of wisdom to guide you through 2008: his ten favorite new restaurants, the best up-and-coming chefs, and where to take your father-in-law for dinner, among others.
So read up and start making reservations. We have to attend to Platt, who is up to his ears in pork and tear-stained menus.
Adam Platt’s Where to Eat in 2008 [NYM]
Earlier: Platt: “The State of the Dining Nation Is Sound”
Back of the House
Ten Moments to Remember From 2007
“Life fades … vision dims … and all that remains is memory.” Such are the haunting first words of The Road Warrior, and we can’t help but think of them as we look back, through heavy lids, at the year that was. 2007 was a memorable restaurant year in so many ways, but there are a few that stick out in our minds. Our favorite moments of the last year would definitely have to include:
Find French Onion Soup in Manhattan; A Co-op for Fort Greene?Bay Ridge: A VFW post has been fined by the Department of Health because its ice machine constituted a need for “food protection certification.” [The Brooklyn Paper]
Cobble Hill: Now that the deli and the TV repair shop are gone, we can dream of the G&D Television Wine Bar. [Gowanus Lounge]
Forest Hills: A new development threatens restaurant culture, as for-rent signs specify “NO FOOD.” The horror! [Queens Central]
Fort Greene: Plans are afoot for a food co-op. Does anything else scream gentrification louder? [The Brooklyn Paper]
Manhattan: Look for delicious French onion soup at Pastis, Landmarc, and Rue 57, among others. [
Carroll Gardens to Get ‘Fine Dining Without Being Fine Dining’Ryan Angulo, the talented chef de cuisine who has helped Chris Santos make Stanton Social such a hit, is taking his knives and heading off to make his own show in Carroll Gardens. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant will be going in to 458 Court Street, down the street* from Frankies 457 Spuntino, and aims to serve “upscale, well-developed food that’s still kind of casual…fine dining without being fine dining,” Angulo tells us, mentioning Prune, Frankies, and San Francisco’s Zuni Café as models for the kind of thing he wants to do. “We don’t want to price anybody out. We want to make sure to get the neighborhood clientele included.” The place is looking at a possible mid-March/early-April opening.
*Correction: The original version of this item said Angulo’s restaurant would be across the street from Frankie’s 457.
Gavin DeGraw’s New Bar Promises ‘Best Cheeseburger in Town’UrbanDaddy has a first look at singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw’s new blues bar National Underground in the old Martignetti’s Liquors space (remember when Anthony Martignetti was just a lowly dive-bar owner?), which we’ve discovered will eventually include a downstairs where live acts will rock out after acoustic acts end at 10 p.m. upstairs. Co-owner Duggins King (longtime co-owner of Terra Blues) tells us he’s also planning to add about a dozen beers on draft and a food menu that he says will challenge Burger Joint for the best cheeseburger in town. Color us skeptical, but King assures us, “I come from Texas and my partner comes from upstate New York. We’re a couple of country boys who like cheeseburgers. If it tastes right, we’ll serve it. If not, we won’t.” We’ll have to wait till February to see about that, but in the meantime, the bar part of the operation opens on Thursday.
National Underground, 159 E. Houston St., at Allen St.; 212-475-0611.
The National [UrbanDaddy]
Back of the House
Breaking: Chef Nicolas Cantrel Out at BoboTime Out New York’s blog reports that Nicolas Cantrel, the chef at Bobo, is leaving — a seemingly strange move for a brand-new restaurant, but maybe not that surprising. The word on the street has been that while the décor is aces, the food was strictly junior varsity (we haven’t eaten there so we can’t say). Anyway, no word yet on who Bobo’s new chef will be. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear.
Exclusive: Bobo chef go-gos out the door [The Feed/TONY]
Back of the House
The Chef Comic We’ve Been Waiting For!
Grub Street’s with-it brother Vulture introduces us to new comics every week, but it’s taken almost a year to discover a manga that has to do with mangia. Vulture describes Wonton Soup as “a manga–meets–Gahan Wilson–meets–Iron Chef space-trucker opera,” which sounds pretty fantastic to us. Plus, this comic speaks truth! “My cooking is all about passion and fun,” laments the chef who trained at a ten-star restaurant. “Once all that gets taken away, it’s just food.” Click over to Vulture to read an excerpt.
A Hip-hop IHOP in Brooklyn; Grant Achatz Beats CancerMary J. Blige and Foxy Brown’s producer, known to fans as Don Pooh, owns what is already being called the “hip-hop IHOP” that opened in downtown Brooklyn yesterday. [NYDN]
Related: The Phantom IHOP of Midtown West
Meatpaper magazine is a popular read with both carnivores and vegetarians, which is how the founders learned that bacon, delectable treat of treats, “is how vegetarians change their minds” when they revert to their meat-eating ways. [NYT]
Today in unsubstantiated rumors: David Bouley’s forthcoming Japanese restaurant/cooking school will open across the street from Upstairs at Bouley. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Related: David Bouley to Open Restaurant With Japan’s Top Cooking School
The Other Critics
Primehouse’s Steak Saves Its Star; BarFry BlastedThe best steaks at Primehouse NY are good enough to earn a single star from Frank Bruni — which is saying something, given that he had problems with service, didn’t like the other entrées, and even found the rib eyes to be less than they ought to be. But the Creekstone strips carried the day, as they always do. [NYT]
The small, porky tapas at Jason Neroni’s Cantina seem to impress Robert Sietsema, but his review leaves you with the sense that, croquettes aside, the place is still a work-in-progress. [VV]
Paul Adams dines at Smith’s and praises the rich, possibly too rich, appetizers, while frowning over some of the mains. But on the whole he likes the place: “Some dishes are excessive by design, others poorly executed in the heat of the dinner rush, and a few, like the pasta, remarkably good and worthy of a return visit — perhaps after the first wave of crowds has moved on.” [NYS]
Meatpacking Moguls Remm, Birnbaum, and Rabin on How to Be CoolOur fave waitress Courtney Yates isn’t the only face Belvedere Vodka is using to try to look cool — the company, in association with UrbanDaddy, is running Web interviews with David Rabin, owner of Los Dados and Lotus, and Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum, owners of Tenjune. Remm and Birnbaum don’t exactly steer toward the underexposed when asked for their favorite restaurants: BondSt, Nobu, Bar Pitti, Los Dados, Mr. Chow, the Spotted Pig, Pastis, Buddakan, Dos Caminos Soho, Cipriani, Butter, Rose Bar, and Waverly Inn.