Pretty Young ThingsSushiSamba’s kids’ meals will sate your tot’s ravenous appetite for Brazilian-Japanese fusion cuisine.
Omido Chef and Maybe AvroKo to Join Chris Eddy in Nolita ProjectYesterday, we brought news that Chris Eddy, owner of barmarché, has plans for the Forty Deuce space; today, Eddy tells us that he’ll be joined in the venture by Omido chef-owner and founding SushiSamba chef Eliji “Taka” Takase. “We’ve been trying to do a restaurant for ten years now,” Eddy says. Can we assume that AvroKo, designers of Omido and owners of nearby Public, will be on board? Nothing is final yet, but it’s a very good assumption. Eddy plans to open in summer and says that, although certain neighbors are concerned about rising property values, he’s working with them and has been assured by the community board that, if he agrees to certain concessions, he’ll have a liquor license by February. Wherever Ivan Kane is these days, he must be sick with envy.
Related: Chris Eddy of Barmarché and industry (food) Goes After Forty Deuce Space
Back of the House
Fernando Navas Brings El Bulli’s ‘Cheese Air’ to SushiSambaAbout a year ago, Argentine-born Fernando Navas, then a sous-chef at Nobu Miami, got the news that he was one of the 50 applicants out of 6,000 chosen for a four-month stage at Spain’s El Bulli, the stomping grounds of hallowed molecular gastronomist Ferran Adrià and pretty much the most famous restaurant in the world. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays in January, Navas will present an Adrià-influenced $110 tasting menu at his current restaurant, SushiSamba. We’re not saying it’ll be as hard as scoring a table at El Bulli, but only twelve people will be accommodated per night. We asked Navas what it was like to fulfill every young chef’s dream.
Drink Japan Without Leaving Little Italy
Sake has been the next big trend for so long that we’ve been loathe to recognize it now that it’s actually arriving. If, like us, you’re utterly mystified by the stuff (not being able to read the bottle is part of it), check out the Joy of Sake next week. The city’s biggest sake event will hit the Puck Building on Thursday featuring 300 different sakes, at least a third of which aren’t available outside of Japan. The restaurant lineup looks good too: Seventeen restaurants are creating dishes meant to be paired with sake, including wd-50, Sakagura, and 15 East. Tickets are $75 in advance, $90 at the door.
Joy of Sake [Official Site]
SushiSamba Manager Opening His Own Restaurant in Midtown WestClinton Hill: A walk-through of the mysterious chocolate bar. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: Gemma in the Bowery Hotel looks set to open but will probably launch with private parties. [Down by the Hipster]
Flatiron: Porky’s nabbed for selling alcohol to minors. [Blog Chelsea]
Gowanus: Whole Foods spearheads construction on contaminated site. [Gowanus Lounge]
Harlem: Manna’s, trying to become the Starbucks of soul food, opens its fourth location. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown East: Aquavit’s weeklong herring buffet to celebrate the fish’s migration starts June 11. [Grub Street]
Midtown West: A former manager and the chef of SushiSamba on Park will open their own Japanese restaurant near the Ed Sullivan Theater. [Restaurant Girl] The kosher falafel joint House of Pita is opening “another location” two blocks from the original; it’s not clear if this means they’re moving or expanding. [Midtown Lunch]
Soho: The opening of Lola Is Soul restaurant may be further delayed now that the owners have ousted weepy Top Chef alum Dave Martin. [Eater]
The New York Diet
This Is Why Rapper MIMS Likes His Tea Hot
Ever since his club banger “This Is Why I’m Hot” went to No. 1, Sean Mims has lived on the road, touring behind his new album, Music Is My Savior. What does he miss the most about his hometown? First off, the habichuela con dulce that push-cart vendors sell in his native Washington Heights. “It’s one of the best things,” he says. “It’s beans and a sweet milk mixed together with cookies. It’s almost like a thick sweet tea.” He didn’t make it uptown when he was in town this week for a show at Avalon, but over a plate of sautéed jumbo shrimp, string beans, and a hot tea at Keens Steakhouse he told us what else he’s been eating.
5 Ninth’s Interim Chef de Cuisine Just Wasn’t Management Material5 Ninth’s interim chef de cuisine Richard Sterling is now 5 Ninth’s former interim chef de cuisine. The cook, previously of SushiSamba, took over from Mary Ellen Heavner on an extended trial when Heavner headed uptown to Amalia. He apparently did some brilliant work in his short time there, but executive chef Zak Pelaccio tells us that Sterling’s problem wasn’t behind the stove: Chef de cuisines have to do a lot more than cook, and it seems he wasn’t up to the administrative duties. Pelaccio’s back from London and running the kitchen until a permanent replacement is hired. That lucky person will then implement a revamped menu, which we’re told will have less of an emphasis on Asian ingredients and techniques.
Back of the House
Rocket Rod Dances Back Into the River Café; Nobody Likes IlanRod Stewart, banned for life at the River Café for pulling his own “rod” out, gets readmitted after a penitential jig for owner Buzzy O’Keefe. [NYDN]
McDonald’s coffee “the cheapest and the best,” according to Consumer Reports. Of course, it was only going up against Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks. [NYDN]
Frank Bruni also thinks Marcel got the shaft in the Top Chef finale. Does Ilan have any fans in the media at all? [NYT]
The New York Diet
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand Dines at Sony’s Private RestaurantFor the past month, Franz Ferdinand front man Alex Kapranos has been spending long hours in a Chelsea studio producing a record by tourmates the Cribs; staying at the Greenpoint apartment of his girlfriend of four years Eleanor Friedberger, lead singer of the Fiery Furnaces; and celebrating the publication of Sound Bites: Eating on Tour With Franz Ferdinand, in which the culinary adventurer and former chef recounts everything from buffets in Singapore to bull’s testicles in Argentina. Before he returns to Glasgow next week to start work on a new record (and to tuck into his favorite curry), we thought we’d ask him where he’s been finding nourishment in his adopted city.
The New York Diet
Model-Heiress Lydia Hearst-Shaw Obsesses Over Sushi, Wears Caviar
Lydia Hearst-Shaw’s profile has only risen since People Magazine named her one of its “50 Most Beautiful People” in 2004. After modeling for Prada, Bottega Veneta, Clinique, MAC cosmetics, and more, the Hearst heiress and Heatherette darling was recently photographed for German fashion magazine Tush: “I got to smear caviar on my face. They warmed up an artichoke in a microwave and made it a little wet and they took it apart and they pulled my hair back and clipped it all over my head, so I looked like one of those Cabbage Patch Kids. I definitely wasn’t smelling too great after.” Sensing her love of food, we met up with her at SushiSamba and asked her what she ate during the past week.