What to Expect From Seymour Burton 2.0Seymour Burton owner Adam Cohn announced today that his restaurant will reinvent itself later this fall. In an interview with Grub Street, Cohn shares plans for his new, unnamed venture; his hopes for a new “truck stop”–style burger; and why Seymour Burton couldn’t fill seats.
Restaurant Ice Cream to GoA handful of sit-down restaurants hoping to cash in on summer ice-cream cravings have started selling creamy, pastry chef–approved servings to go. We sampled their results, and offered our own superlatives.
Get Your Seder on at Seymour BurtonConsider the exiled East Village Jew: She sits in a 350-square-foot walk-up tenement inferior to the one her great-grandmother occupied a hundred years earlier. She hasn’t been to shul in years. Her Sri Lankan boyfriend took her for a whole hog feast at Daisy May for their anniversary. But there’s still a way for her to get back to her Jewish roots, because Seymour Burton is doing a Seder on April 20, the second night of Passover.
Engines of Gastronomy
Seymour Burton’s Old Beast of an Ice-Cream Maker Churns Away in theIf the PacoJet is the ice-cream machine of the dessert avant-garde, then the old-fashioned, massive, nearly unbreakable Coldelite ice-cream maker is the 1972 Cadillac to the PacoJet’s 2008 Prius. At the very old-school Seymour Burton, chef Josh Shuffman inherited the machine from the restaurant’s former owner, Sammy Kader. “We could never have bought one like this,” he says. “I don’t even know how they got it into the basement.” The Coldelite produces four ice creams a night: caramel, bourbon chocolate, vanilla, and a changing special — usually blueberry or rum raisin. Like everything else at Seymour Burton, the ice creams couldn’t be any simpler or less challenging, or any better. Not that Shuffman will take credit for it. “It’s all the machine. I’m out of my depth! I’m not a dessert chef. But the best you can do as a chef is to find something that works and stick to it.”
Related: If It’s a Frozen Dessert at P*ong, Blame the Pacojet
The Other Critics
Wylie Wins Respect for Molecular Gastronomy With a Third Star; Bar BouludIn a landmark for molecular gastronomy in America, the movement’s top proponent, Wylie Dufresne, gets his third star for wd-50. A historic review, especially as Frank Bruni expresses the usual reservations about overly cerebral cooking. [NYT]
Bar Boulud finally gets some respect from Alan Richman, who praises its blue-ribbon charcuterie and says of its much-maligned mains, “The worst that can be said…is that the recipes are relentlessly conventional — lamb stew, roasted chicken, boudin blanc. The best is that such a style of cooking is terribly missed.” [GQ]
Restaurant Girl seems to have been distinctly unimpressed with about half of the dishes she tried at Adour, resulting in a lukewarm, two-and-a-half-star review. Ducasse’s latest is not getting off to a great start. [NYDN]
I Want to Eat in a Place Where Valentine’s Day Doesn’t Exist
Dear Grub Street,
Where should I go for an anti–Valentines Day dinner? My girlfriend of four years just broke up with me, and I want to eat somewhere where I won’t see any couples, or think of couples, or anything connected with couples. I want to eat out somewhere that is a million miles from Valentines Day.
Cupid’s Sworn Enemy
The Other Critics
Barbuto Saved by a Chicken; Fiamma Comes Up ShortThe wildly uneven Barbuto earns a single star from Frank Bruni, almost entirely on the strength of a well-roasted Bell & Evans chicken. To quote Winston Churchill, “Some chicken!” [NYT]
Alan Richman was appalled by how small the portions were at Grayz, how much they cost, and how shady most of them were, except for the magnificent, world-beating short rib: “In complexity and satisfaction, this dish reminded me most of the Gray Kunz of Lespinasse, the chef we miss so much.” [Bloomberg]
Randall Lane gets that Fiamma’s Fabio Trachocchi is cooking in a grand, Continental style and doesn’t hold that against him, but the food is too rich and the service too sloppy to give him the five or six stars the place would have liked And so they have to settle for four. [TONY]