Foodies Fear Not Death; No Drinking and Riding?Number of E. coli victims doubles; Cali green onions probably to blame. [NYT]
Long Island Railroad to curb bar-car pre-parties. [NYP]
After deadly mêlée at the Greenmarket, foodies continue seeking out Fuji apples. [NYDN]
Dream Hotel’s Restaurant Still a Dream, But Opening in JanuaryCancel your Outlook reminder about the opening of Amalia, the swank restaurant and lounge that Greg Brier of Jet East was supposed to bring to the Dream Hotel a couple of weeks ago: Perhaps because Brier is also managing the opening of Lan-Beijing in China, it’ll be late January before the bi-level space (88-person dining room upstairs, 200-person downstairs lounge) will be ready for Ivy Stark’s American-Mediterranean dishes. To tide you over, we’ve got exclusive renderings of what the space will look like — one’s above; the other’s after the jump — paired with designer Steve Lewis’s shopping list (lifted more or less intact, we should note, from a press release. Quotations around “‘enchanted forest’” ours).
Milk and Honey Owner to Do Beer and Wine — and Queens!Sasha Petraske, owner of Milk and Honey and Little Branch, not to mention one of the city’s most revered mixologists, plans on expanding his mini-empire. Shockingly — for those who aren’t aware that Petraske worked at Von before conquering the cocktail world — the new venture will be a wine-and-Belgian-beer bar; he’s calling it the Mighty Ocelot (“I really like cats,” he tells us). Petraske first applied for a beer-and-wine license at 226 Broome Street, around the corner from Milk and Honey, but the rent would’ve busted his “shoe-string budget.” So in January he’ll taking over the former Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar space in the East Village; come March, he’ll be offering cheese plates and light food. Not only this, but a project in Long Island City is also in the works. —Daniel Maurer
Back of the House
Gordon Ramsay Finally Pissing Someone OffThe famously pugnacious Gordon Ramsay has managed not to alienate the entire city of New York — just his neighbors. The residents of 150 West 55th Street, the building that sits behind the recently opened Gordon Ramsay at the London, claim that the restaurateur has plunged them into what their spokesperson Elizabeth Hulings tells us is a “nightmare.” “The smell of the third-floor exhaust fan guarantees that everyone in the building knows just what’s being served that night,” Hulings says. “The noise has people sleeping on their couches.” According to an official release, two tenants “had to seek medical attention for respiratory problems” caused by “particulate matter” given off by garbage trucks. Ramsay’s people didn’t return our call right away, but Caterer and Housekeeper, a Website that covered the story earlier, quoted them as saying, “Such challenges are not uncommon during a major construction project such as undertaken at the hotel and restaurant,” and added, “when brought to the attention of Gordon Ramsay Holdings by the hotel, the complaint was immediately addressed.”
Kitchen Nightmare for Gordon Ramsay in New York [Caterer and Housekeeper]
What to Eat This Week
New York Oysters Are Fat and SassyOysters are born in the summer and get nice and fat with the onset of winter. This year has brought an especially good crop of New York varieties: Pine Island, Fisher’s Island, Blue Point, Great South Bay, etc. They’re all the same species (Crassostrea virginica), but their flavors are marked by the waters in which they’re raised. Here are three top places to slurp your share of the local abundance.
Ms. Gobbler’s Turn: Her Favorite RestaurantsIn pale imitation of great gastronome scribblers like Calvin Trillin and the late Johnny Apple, the Gobbler has written, perhaps too often, about his wife’s taste in food and restaurants (just read his last review). Possibly also like them (the Gobbler doesn’t know Mr. Trillin, but he met Apple during his gruff, un-cuddly, pre-foodie days), the Gobbler is often accused by his wife of egregiously distorting her views (you bet he does). Ms. Gobbler would like the world to know that her most-used word is not “yummy,” that if given the choice, she’d prefer to eat at home, and that her favorite drink really is champagne. “Also, you always make me sound elfin,” she told the Gobbler just a moment ago, “and I am not elfin.” In a hasty (and desperate) attempt to clarify the record, I’ve asked Ms Gobbler to list her current favorite restaurants in town. It goes without saying that Mr. Gobbler approves of these fine establishments, too.
The Underground Gourmet
Teach a Man to Make a Sandwich of the Week …
Last week, the Underground Gourmet recommended Zingerman’s Reuben sandwich kit as the perfect holiday gift for the sandwich nut on your list. This week — in acknowledgement of the fact that even Kate’s Paperie cannot wrap a Reuben sandwich well enough so that placing it beneath a Christmas tree for several days would not run the risk of Taco-Belling the giftee — the UG has come up with a superb alternative gift idea. It’s the new book, called Simple Italian Sandwiches (HarperCollins; $21.95), by Jennifer and Jason Denton, and it requires no refrigeration. As anyone who knows anything about Italian sandwiches is aware, Jason Denton is to panini, bruschetta, and tramezzini what Masa Takayama is to sushi, sashimi, and Kobe sukiyaki. The Dentons opened the West Village panini parlor ‘ino back in 1998, and it’s fair to say that they started the whole local craze for delicately balanced, deceptively simple Italian sandwiches, and that no one outside of the Boot does a better job of it.
Back of the House
Epicurean Gentrification; New Orleans Fights Back; Kids Equal Liquor LicenseEssex Street Market not just for obscure South American root vegetables anymore: “Epicurean gentrification” under way. [NYT]
Fire-struck Medina reopening after a year and a half; London sushi chain to land in financial district. [NYT]
$4.25 mil gets you Hamptons hot spot Star Room. [NYP]
Alan Richman now No. 1 on New Orleans shit list: “I’d like to throw him in the back room at Tipitina’s with all the Neville brothers and see if he still thinks Creoles don’t exist.” [NYT]
Related: Richman Kicks New Orleans While It’s Down
Grey Dog Coffee plays the kid card to clinch liquor license for new location. [Gothamist]
Caterer Marcey Brownstein opens up a place in Chelsea; possibly the only time you’ll see muffulettas and edamame on the same menu. [Strong Buzz]
Back of the House
Zagat Fails to Number-Close Milk and HoneyThough we agree that table-scoring strategy is important (we winced when we recently overheard a woman pleading with a French gatekeeper, “I speak French, does that matter?”), Zagat’s recent tips of the trade aren’t exactly that useful: As the authors admit, all you really have to do to score a table these days at La Esquina is call, and their advice on clinching the perennial prize of every Moscow Mule worshipper (Milk and Honey’s secret number) doesn’t quite ring true. Per Google, the new number is nowhere on the Internet (owner Sasha scolds sites that post it, and he disconnected the old one 212-625-3897 not long ago), so don’t waste time on the recommended Web search. Next time the digits change, simply ask sister bar Little Branch for them. In the meantime, call two, one, two, eight, one, zero, seven, six, five, four. —Daniel Maurer
Back of the House
Taste of Arby’s in Fort Greene; Another Wine Bar, Burger JointFlo notices the new wine and drink lounges Rob and Robin mentioned, adds Unwined at Symphony Space to the mix. [NYT]
Foie-foe councilman says it wasn’t a constituent’s call that made him think twice about proposing a ban. [VV]
Bar Martignetti and its secret-ish underground lair now open to anyone who can’t get into La Esquina. [Thrillist]
The New York Diet
Actor-Director Ajay Naidu Will Eat Sugar But Only for Uma ThurmanAjay Naidu — known for his role as Sameer in Office Space and for parts in The West Wing and other shows — reported to the set of Griffin Dunne’s new romantic comedy, The Accidental Husband, while also doing post-production work on his directorial debut, Ashes. We wondered how a man who was at the mercy of Craft services and who had recently quit sugar (making it “doubly hard to get around and be satisfied in New York”) could survive for a week. Luckily, his co-star Uma Thurman convinced him to eat a cookie.
Trans-Fat Haters Winning Hearts and MindsIn the fight against trans fats, bad publicity might just do for New York what a protracted legal battle could not. The city’s move to ban the deadly oils, which was rolling forward like a hungry man heading toward a bodega for chiccarones, seems to have been stopped in its tracks, or at least slowed, according this Crain’s story referenced in yesterday’s Morning Line. Part of the reason might be the prospect of a long and costly war with Ronald’s army, which we outlined earlier. But even without being regulated, companies are tripping over each other to abandon the good stuff. KFC took the hint weeks ago. Taco Bell just saw the light, and earlier this week, the Girl Scouts got on board the zero-trans-fats train. At this rate, they might not have to pass the law at all. Except for McDonald’s, of course.
Click and Save
A Proud Tradition of Being Plucked, Stuffed, and Eaten: Heritage TurkeysWe’re fans of heritage breeds of turkey, those long-established birds that taste much like the ones our great-grandparents ate. Last year’s comprehensive turkey guide handily sketches out the basics about these guys, but the more in-depth writing we’ve seen on them usually descends into slow-food sanctimony — how evil factory farms are and the rest. That’s where Regina Schrambling, of Gastropoda, comes in. The acerbic critic offers a relaxed but no-B.S. guide to heritage turkeys, which we recommend to anyone thinking he might dump the Butterball this year. “An American Bronze turkey,” she tells us, “could not be more unlike the bloated birds hoisted out of so many ovens in November.”
Meanwhile, for a takedown of the entire turkey tradition, read what this crank had to say in Slashfood.
Talkin’ Turkey [Gastropoda]
Back of the House
Fort Greene Says ‘Hola’ to Bonita; Dinner Theater Gets Show on RoadFrank Bruni and Danny Meyer mouth off about Bruni’s review of Eleven Madison Park. [NYP]
Who’s the critic Mr. Hospitality “hosted” to the tune of a two-star review? [Eater]
Simon Hammerstein’s the Box preopens for business. [Eater]
The West End reopens as a Havana Central; Brooklyn gets another hipster golf-course bar, this one also a playhouse. [TONY]
The guys behind Diner and Williamsburg’s Bonita open an outpost of the latter in Fort Greene. [Eater]
The Great Pickle War rages on. [NYT]
Gothamist hits the Chocolate Show. [Gothamist]
Gordon Ramsay: Two hours and you’re out. [Diner’s Journal]
McDonald’s to cut trans fats but only in Europe. [NYDN]
More club violence in Chelsea. [NYP]
New rules may bring sweet silence to the Lower Eastpacking District. [NYT]
Ecofriendly Bakery Suddenly Bent on World DominationCity Bakery’s Maury Rubin employed CIA-worthy stealth tactics last winter to open Birdbath, his environmentally friendly, sustainably built organic bakery where the staff wears hemp and the walls are made from sunflower-seed husks. Now, though, with two new branches under way and more on the horizon, an expansionist-mode Rubin dispenses with the cloak-and-dagger routine. By January, he expects to open Birdbath No. 2 in a highly visible West Village location across McCarthy Square from Keith McNally’s impending Morandi, at the corner of Seventh Avenue South and Charles Street, and next fall, the third outpost should materialize at the megagreen Riverhouse luxury-condominium project in Battery Park City. Besides keeping Manhattan well supplied with oversize chocolate-chip cookies and raspberry bran muffins, Rubin aims to align the organic ingredients in his food with the renewable, ecofriendly construction materials used to build the stores where it’s sold. Learn more at buildagreenbakery.com.
— Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld
Mystery Muffins [NYM]
Zak Pelaccio Opening New Restaurant — in LondonWe were as surprised as all get-out to hear via Eater that Zak Pelaccio and Jeffrey Chodorow are planning to take Fatty Crab national. So we called Pelaccio: “It’s simply inaccurate,” the chef tells us. “I don’t know where Eater gets their info, but it’s not from me nor any of my business partners.” Fine — we Web types sometimes get the wrong information. But then, Pelaccio delivered a real bit of news: He’ll be taking over Alain Ducasse’s Spoon (owned by Jeffrey Chodorow) in the Sanderson Hotel in London and launching a Malaysian restaurant as consulting chef. “But that has nothing to do with Fatty Crab or even America,” he adds. But it has everything to do with a local guy making good.
EaterWire: Ramsay Lands, Drops Two-Hour Time Limit, Boxer’s Loses Their Lease, Fatty Crab Goes National! [Eater]
Head to Head: Battle of the Barnyard Bathrooms
Musing on the new crop of Haute Barnyard restaurants, the Gobbler has promised those in need of relief that “there will often be herbs in the bathroom, and, if you’re lucky, a sprig of lavender.” We put the loos of two recent contenders, Flatbush Farm in Prospect Heights and the Farm on Adderley in Ditmas Park, to the test.
In the Magazine
Carbo-Loading Alla ItalianaNot that we would know, but apparently major exertions like Sunday’s New York Marathon require vast expenditures of energy. The experienced athlete prepares for these with a carbohydrate-heavy meal. In this week’s Short List, Rob and Robin give four places to indulge in mass quantities of pasta.
Short List: Carbo Loads
‘Cold, Sweet, Liquid Crack’ MournedDaniel Maurer recently wrote about the fact that El Sombrero is no longer offering their margaritas (or, as we like to call them, “crackaritas”) to go.
Dear Grub Street,
The crackdown at the Hat is the biggest heartbreaker. I am totally convinced that those margaritas were filled with crack. Cold, sweet, delicious, barely detectable crack. The guy gave me a wink and said they would be back, just give them time. So my fingers are crossed.
Dear Grub Street,
FYI: The secret ingredient of the “crackarita” was not tequila at all but Everclear. I used to live across the street in the apartment above the wine store and saw them pour a bottle of Everclear into every batch.
Elizabeth and Mario,
The restaurant says it uses Tortilla Tequila Silver, an obscure favorite of fratire author Tucker Max that’s pretty much the cheapest tequila money can buy.
Jason Neroni: I Love Wylie, But …A friend of Porchetta chef Jason Neroni has alerted us to the fact that, despite having taken over for Wylie Dufresne at 71 Clinton Fresh Foods before starting his new gig, Neroni does not consider Dufresne his mentor. “Because Wylie made such a name for 71 Clinton Fresh Food, I think people tend to compare our styles a lot,” Neroni tells us. “But Smith Street isn’t the Lower East Side, and I’m in this business to do what I love, and to be myself.” The chef credits Alice Waters and Dan Hill for teaching him about ingredients, Floyd Cardoz for teaching him about “multidimensionality,” and Alain Ducasse for teaching him to “slow down, combine all the elements, and create a cuisine that I could, for the first time, truly consider to be mine.”
A Restaurant Revolution on Smith Street? [Grub Street]
French Chefs Prepare for New York Marathon With Eating Marathon
It was an impossible-to-refuse invitation: Come to Nougatine to eat lunch with a group of French chefs here to run the New York marathon. The team, which was sponsored by the French tripe council (and whose members had all been given shirts featuring the slogan “Trip for the Tripe”), was clearly taking its preparation for the race with the utmost seriousness. Yesterday’s lunch was a multicourse affair, to be followed by a blowout dinner at Daniel. Today the plan is to lunch at Per Se and then dim sum at Chinatown Brasserie for supper. And on Saturday, the chefs plan to carb up for the race by going on a Chinatown eating tour, followed by a big dinner party Saturday night.
A few highlights from the lunch at Nougatine.
Back of the House
Food Portal Launches, Sea Palace Folds, the Falls Gets a MakeoverIn possibly the most nutso opening profile ever, Michael Daly visits Midnight Cafe and ponders its former incarnation as the Falls: “The mirrors behind the long-bar-turned-diner-counter were also the same, the very mirrors that had shimmered with Imette St. Guillen’s reflection as she lingered alone at closing time, sipping her last drink before final moments that would end in terror.” [NYDN]
So much for the Calorie Restriction Diet: A study indicates wine and fat are the way to health. [NYDN]
They’re just like us: Lydia Hearst gets bounced from Scores. [NYP]
Danny’s Grand Sea Palace (home of the Skylight Room) to close after 31 years. [NYP]
Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray fans, meet Yahoo Food. [Yahoo]
A butcher shop becomes a café; Japanese fundamentals with French-Thai flair at Mantra. [Gayot]
Despite initial reports, the Grayz-Aquavit space may not be on the market. [Snack]
A Salumi-Obsessed Chef’s New GigWhen we were told that Italian Wine Merchants had a new chef, our first thought was, Why would a wine store need a chef? In fact, the Batali-owned specialty shop does a huge banquet business and is booked for private events nearly year-round. The new chef is Liz Chapman, a veteran of Craft, Casa Mono, and Babbo, and a big part of her mandate is to create the cured meats that Mario & Co. so adore. Chapman, whose fiancé is Per Se chef de cuisine Jonathan Benno, tells us, “I’m really here for the salumi. I wake up in the morning, and they’re all I think about.” We know how you feel, Liz. Just don’t tell Benno!
The New York Diet
D.J. and Waverly Diner Regular Mark Ronson Craves Skips and Walkers
Mark Ronson, the A-list set’s most in-demand D.J.— he’s spun parties like the Met gala and is a favorite of everyone from Tommy Hilfiger to Jay-Z — isn’t one for home cooking. “The only thing I really waste expendable income on is food. When I go to my accountant, he’s like, ‘Do you have to eat out all the time?’ He’s half happy I don’t have a heroin addiction instead.” We asked him how he allotted his dining dollars during the past week.
Ask a Waiter
Daniel’s Bernard Vrod Serves Presidents, Gets Wife Free Meals
An ex-pat of gloomy Brittany like so many classic French waiters, Bernard Vrod has been working under fellow farmboy Daniel Boulud for sixteen years, first as a waiter at Le Cirque and, these days, as a maitre d’ at Daniel. We asked him to take us into the latter’s hallowed halls and got tales of Secret Service shakedowns, fowl on the floor, and marriage proposals nearly gone awry.
Back of the House
A Japanese Gastropub and Other Openings; KFC’s New Recipe Tastes Like Chicken• More on “Japanese gastropub” Zenkichi, Lower East Side brick-oven pizzeria Cronkite, and others; Antoine Bouterin packs it in. [NYT]
• Taste-testers prefer trans-fat-free KFC. [NYDN]
• Cuozzo presses Michael Lomonaco for 9/11 memories, likes the drapes at his new place. [NYP]
• Guss’s in a legal pickle. [NYP]
• Patsy’s, too, fights for its name. [NYS]
• Park Slope sandwich and gelato spot Tempo Presto’s latest locale. [NYS]
• Vendy victor is doing brisk business. [NYDN]
• Emily Sprissler blows the whistle on “rat-trap” conditions (and Padma’s cellulite) on the “Top Chef” set. [Chow]
Daniel Under Attack! (Again)You may remember this Intelligencer item, from earlier this summer, about the face-off between Daniel Boulud and an activist group called the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York. (Coincidentally, we just responded to an article quoting an ROC spokesperson.) Well, the advocacy group is once again on the attack: The group protested Daniel’s allegedly discriminatory employment practices outside the restaurant Tuesday night. A well-groomed Johnnie acting on behalf of the restaurant handed out flyers printed with, “Two, four, six, eight, Daniel does NOT discriminate!” and other lines defending the restaurant. It was signed by Daniel De La Rosa, a captain who has been with the restaurant for ten years. “This is all over four busboys who make over 50,000 a year,” Brett Traussi, the restaurant’s director of operations told us. “For the ROC to pick on a high-profile restaurant like Daniel to increase their exposure is regrettable.”
No doubt. But watching the parade of aged grandees walking in between the Scylla and Charybdis of a ROC representative and De La Rosa was a spectacle we wouldn’t have missed.
The Other Critics
Michelin: Gastronomic Bible Reads Like In-Flight AdvertorialWhen we saw the new Michelin ratings on the Web, before getting ahold of the actual book, we were left scratching our heads. (Read our complaints and suggestions here.) Now that we’re reading the thing, we’re becoming even more confused. This is supposed to be a guidebook? The descriptions are all breezy, self-contained little blurbs which seem more like something you would read in an airplane magazine’s advertorial insert than in the American edition of the oldest and most powerful restaurant guide in the world.
Today: Better Cooking Through ChemistryShirley Corriher, a former research biochemist at the Vanderbilt Medical School, kicks off a series of classes on “The Science of Cooking” tonight at 7 World Trade Center. Science is the next big thing in the food world, we think: More and more people are becoming interested in why things burn, turn weird colors, and cook the way they do. On the highest level, they call this sort of thing “molecular gastronomy,” but it’s basically as simple as high-school chemistry. To RSVP, call Alyssa Zahorcak at 212-298-8616 or send an e-mail here.
Subsequent classes include “The Science of Wine,” “The Science of Beer,” “The Science of Taste,” and “The Science of Cheese.”
“Behind the Scenes: The Science of Cooking,” New York Academy of Sciences, 6 p.m. 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St., at Barclay St., 40th fl.
Earlier: Spanish Chefs Cook With Dirt, Dazzle Avant-Garde at Weekend Demo
The Ham That Drives Men MadNew York Magazine has gone Spain-crazy this week. Adam Platt sates his bottomless hunger at Boqueria, and Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld interview Spain’s most illustrious chef, Ferran Adrià of El Bulli. Let Grub Street pile on, then, with talk of the secret society of Spanish pork.
This society may be unofficial, but we belong to it. It is made of men and women who have tasted the meat of the celebrated pata negra, or black-foot pig, and will do anything for more. “Once you taste ibérico, you can’t compare it to anything else,” Bar Jamón chef Andy Nusser has said. The society’s holy grail, though, remains tantalizingly out of reach for Americans — even ones with a deep affinity for Spain.
Doctors and Lawyers Look Beyond Burgers Around 72nd and SecondStrollers crisscross with lawyers and Lenox Hill Hospital workers in the micro-micro-neighborhood centered around 72nd Street and Second Avenue. Indian and Mexican food are noticeably underrepresented, but you can still find damn good diner eats, tasty burgers, and above-average Chinese takeout.
Back of the House
Mr. Nasty Throws Open the Phone Lines; Mr. Hospitality Throws PunchesIn today’s dining dirt, Spain comes to Manhattan, barbecue comes to Fort Greene, and Mr. Hospitality brings the pain.
• Danny “Mr. Hospitality” Meyer ponders hugs, serves up a knuckle sandwich. [Esquire]
• Gordon “Mr. Nasty” Ramsay opens up the lines; a feeding frenzy ensues. [Eater]
• Pushcart-prize finalists announced. [Street Vendor Project]
• Picholine buddies open up a Fort Greene smoke joint serving up “real NYC barbecue.” Whatever that is, exactly. [Strong Buzz]
• On a sobering note, Michael Pollan forecasts the dangers of centralized food production and the specter of increased regulation in the veggie world: “Food poisoning has always been with us, but not until we started processing all our food in such a small number of ‘kitchens’ did the potential for nationwide outbreaks exist.” [NYT]
‘Izakaya’ Boom Hits Chelsea; Japanese Chains Plant Flags Uptown
If you still don’t know what an izakaya is (or haven’t lately been to St. Marks Place, where most of them are clustered), enlighten yourself at Izakaya Ten, the latest iteration of the space that was the French-Korean D’or Ahn, and then, for a nanosecond, the sushi restaurant Anzu. Owner Lannie Ahn has hired a veteran of Morimoto and Nobu to supplement the raw fish with a selection of small plates of the home-style Japanese fare one finds in a sake bar or pub — not your basic mozzarella sticks or buffalo wings but more exotic tidbits like natto omelettes, ginger pork belly, pan-seared rice balls, and the ever-popular chicken-meatball skewer.
What to Eat Tonight
How to Make Women More Tender, for Only $2,400 Per Pound
Alexandre Dumas reckoned that white truffles can, “on certain occasions, make women more tender and men more lovable.” We would hope so — the ‘shrooms, imported from Piemonte, Italy, were selling last week for as much as $2,400 per pound. If you’re going to throw down for some, you best leave their preparation to the city’s top Italian chefs. (Or, better yet, go straight to the source — here’s our five-point Piemonte Weekend Escape Plan.)
Wait until you hear what these cooks are doing with truffles (hint: it doesn’t involve pizza).
Back of the House
Owner’s Existential Rage as He Discovers Zagat SnubWe happened to be present when the owner and senior management of a critically acclaimed, major new Manhattan restaurant got their mitts on the spanking-new Zagat guide and discovered that they’d been left off the all-important “most popular” list (which once again featured Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe in the number one and two positions, respectively).
Greatest Chef Ever to Make Best Meal Ever, Give or TakeThe most admired chef in the world doesn’t have a restaurant in New York, Paris, or Las Vegas. He doesn’t appear on TV. His name is little known among the general public, but chefs speak it with awe, in low whispers. He is Ferran Adrià, and he is coming to New York on Saturday.
We kid you not: Adrià, who heads up the kitchen at Spain’s El Bulli, probably rates as the most influential cook in the world. As Rob and Robin explain, New Yorkers will finally have a chance to see him at work when he and nine other leading Spanish cooks demonstrate their “molecular gastronomy” techniques for Spain’s 10: Cocina de Vanguardia, at Guastivino’s, in the magazine. At $300 per person, the event, which includes food and wine samplings throughout the day and a tapas lunch, ain’t cheap. But neither is a Manhattan tablecloth meal. Nor round-trip airfare to Spain.
Buy tickets here.
Spain’s Ten: The Summit
The Underground Gourmet
Flatbush Farm Takes Haute Barnyard to the Next Level
76-78 St. Marks Ave., nr. Sixth Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-622-3276
With the possible exception of the Bay Area, Brooklyn may be the world epicenter of so-called local, seasonal, and — in the prevailing menu-speak — “organic whenever possible” cooking. In the past, it’s been enough to cite farm sources (360, Franny’s) or host farmer dinners (Applewood). Now, Kings County Haute Barnyard restaurants are confusing matters by naming themselves as if they were, in fact, produce-purveying competition for the Park Slope Coop.
First came the Farm on Adderley, in Ditmas Park, and now there’s Flatbush Farm, a bar and restaurant in the old Bistro St. Mark’s space that started serving small plates over the summer and launched its dining-room menu late last month. Chef Eric Lind, late of Bayard’s, has the right rural connections: His former boss, chef Eberhard Müller, co-owns Satur Farms on the North Fork and supplies Lind with locally grown produce. Aside from a few artfully displayed farm implements and staid portraits, the long, high-ceilinged space is more urban chic than country quaint; paper napkins and juice glasses for wine are the most notable signs of the restaurant’s commitment to the Simple Life. But Lind’s menu lives up to its rustic promise with hearty dishes like spaetzle with mushroom ragout and lamb shoulder with bubble and squeak. One night’s pork goulash was a tough, chewy disappointment, but the special salmon-cake appetizer was a textural triumph, moist and meaty over a bed of leeks and grainy mustard. One of those and a Pinkus Organic Ur Pils in the Indian-summer-worthy garden is about as bucolic as Brooklyn gets.
— Rob Patronite and Robin RaisfeldRead Adam Platt’s Haute Barnyard top ten.