Anne Burrell Is Riding High; Jean-Georges’s Foot ProblemCentro Vinoteca chef Anne Burrell’s inspirations? Why, only the people she’s worked for, including Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali. [NYDN]
Crowds gathered at Cafe La Fortuna, the small 71st Street storefront once patronized by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, for its last day. [Lost City]
Bobby Flay has a new TV show, and you can have a small part of it. [Eater]
Eye Candy: Where to Eat With an Interior DecoratorDear Grub Street,
My interior-decorator friend is visiting soon, and I’d like to take her to see some interesting places. We can’t really afford to eat at Per Se et al, but maybe we could get a drink at some of the super fancy places. My concern is not to sacrifice taste with décor. Where would be good places to be wowed visually and orally? Where would be good for dessert or a drink just for their interiors? Thanks!!
Calling All Casseroles; Jonathan Waxman to Cook Southern on the UWSGreenpoint: Casserole fanatic turned cookbook author Emily Farris is hosting a cook-off at Brooklyn Label on October 16. Register now! [Brooklyn Based]
Midtown East: The Tao formula should fit right in on Lincoln Road in South Beach. [Down by the Hipster]
Tribeca: Bubby’s owner Ron Silver is finally giving up his pie recipes in a cookbook out this month. [NYS]
Upper West Side: Barbuto chef-partner Jonathan Waxman turns to southern fare this fall when he opens Madaleine Mae on Columbus Avenue at 82nd Street. [NYT]
West Village: In comparing Bay Area restaurant trends to those in New York, critic Michael Bauer concedes: Blue Hill chef Dan Barber “does Chez Panisse one better by growing most of the food at his farm in Hudson Valley.” [Between Meals/San Francisco Chronicle]
Jean-Georges Schools Chodorow in the Art of BloggingSo it’s not anywhere near as dishy as Chodorow’s site, but it seems Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s two-week-old blog is at least sticking to its promise to update us every Tuesday on “what I’ve been cooking, where I’ve been traveling, and what I’ve been thinking.” (It’s a Blogger site with a pretty standard template — did Jean-Georges make this himself?) Even if he isn’t slamming Bruni and Platt, Vongo is at least confessing to cooking with a machine developed for Kentucky Fried Chicken (scandalous!) and getting his daughter’s birthday cake from a bakery instead of from his dessert man Johnny Iuzzini (c’est impossible!). Another shocker: “I love eating in New York. From the tacos and margaritas at Los Dados (where I often stop after a night of cooking at Spice Market).” Jean-Georges is still cooking at Spice Market?
Jean-Georges Vongerichten [Blog]
Bourdain Lays Into ‘Top Chef’ Hung; Restaurant to Open in Back ofAnthony Bourdain jumps on Top Chef’s Hung even harder than he laid into Marcel last season: “‘Flavor’ counts for very little in a competition for ‘Top Chef.’” [Amuse Biatch]
Related: ‘Top Chef’ Biases Finally Out on the Table
‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner Lia on What Went Wrong
Kanye West is a soul-food connoisseur, when he’s not eating out in haute Asian eateries like Spice Market and Philippe. [WSJ]
An unrelated restaurant will open Thursday in the back room of Setagaya and will feature Thai, Japanese, and Malaysian food. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Related: New East Village Ramen Spot Insists It’s More Authentic Than Momofuku
Pearl’s Oyster Bar Sues Ed’s Lobster Bar; Ducasse Taking OverThe owner of Pearl Oyster Bar sues the owner of Ed’s Lobster Bar for intellectual-property theft, accusing her former sous-chef of having stolen everything from the paint job to the Caesar salad dressing. [NYT]
Alain Ducasse has taken over Brasserie LCB and is looking to convert it into a bistro along the lines of Benoit, his casual place in Paris. [NYT]
It might not be such a good idea to hire a Top Chef. [NYO]
Pastis Atop Zagat Nightlife Ratings; City Trans-Fat Seminar FlopsPastis sits atop Zagat’s just-released nightlife rankings, with Buddha Bar, Balthazar, and Spice Market following close behind. [NYDN]
The city invited 33,000 restaurant and food-supply workers to attend their trans-fat seminar, and only 20 showed up. Half of them were city employees. [NYP]
Maybe Tony Bourdain doesn’t hate The Next Food Network Star as much as he makes out. Today brings another suspiciously obsessive-sounding post by the acerbic chef-author. [Ruhlman]
Back of the House
Look for P*Ong in April, Okay? These Things Take TimeP*Ong, the long-awaited all-dessert restaurant from former Spice Market pastry chef Pichet Ong, has been delayed yet again. Previously we had heard that the date was set for this week. Now, Ong tells us, he’s looking at mid-April. There’s final painting to be done, juicers and dehydrators still to come in, a sanitation inspection yet to be passed, and other typically troublesome details. “I’m doing all this by myself,” says the chef, who studied design at Berkeley and is laying out the restaurant. “But I kind of wanted to so that next time I’ll really know how to open a restaurant. The Department of Buildings has been my worry. So many restaurants have opened illegally, either applying for permits afterward or being grandfathered in; we want everything to be just right from the first day.”
Back of the House
Jean-Georges Vongerichten on His Gift for DelegationNo chef in New York restaurant history has been more successful, or more influential, than Jean-Georges Vongerichten. As he begins his third decade of cooking and running restaurants in New York, we sat down to ask him some questions about the scene: how it’s changed and where it’s going.
Back of the House
Inside the Troubled Russian Tea Room; Meyer and Others on Media ScrutinyThe fullest account yet of the debacle that is the new Russian Tea Room. Gary Robins comes out looking far more sinned against than sinning, and the owner comes out looking like a jerk. [NYP]
A blue-ribbon panel including Mario Batali, Bill Telepan, and Danny Meyer study the question of whether it’s possible to open a restaurant under the radar. The near unanimous answer is no. Will Goldfarb suggests one way: “Do it in Queens.” [Snack]
Pichet Ong formerly of Spice Market is the first of the hot pastry chefs to open his own restaurant, the eponymous P*ong. Rivals Sam Mason and Jehangir Mehta (formerly of Aix) are close behind. [NYS]
Related: The Launch [Grub Street]
Ming Tsai Shares His NYC Asian PicksMing Tsai, known to viewers around the country for his Simply Ming and Ming’s Quest TV series, is probably one of the foremost East-West fusion chefs in America. Although his base restaurant, Blue Ginger, is near Boston, the chef was in town recently promoting his new line of packaged Asian foods (which are being distributed through Target). We asked him what his favorite Asian restaurants in the city are, and in particular, who he thinks does the best fusion.
Exotic Dessert (Supposedly) Enrapturing New Yorkers
We’re not usually in the habit of perusing Indian news media — other than when the latest Amitabh movie opens, of course — but a food item recently caught our eye. Most New Yorkers probably have never heard of kulfi, the ultra-dense Indian version of ice cream that’s traditionally made with water buffalo milk. But don’t tell that to Mumbai Newsline, who published an exuberant feature last week on how the obscure dessert is supposedly taking the city by storm. The piece references NYC’s handful of outstanding Indian and pan-asian restaurnants, including Devi, Spice Market, 66, and Tabla, going into loving detail relating the restaurants’ particular recipes. Although the writer admits that “the man on the street” isn’t yet fixated on the treat, the piece implies that a kulfi craze may well overtake the nation: “Could we be seeing the next popsicle?”
Let’s hope so — for Mumbai’s sake.