A Restaurant Gala on a Scale We Can Live WithIt’s event season in the New York restaurant world, so it’s not exactly news that there’s another charity gala featuring chefs from local restaurants giving out signature samples. But we love Careers through Culinary Arts Program’s A Taste of Fall. For one thing C-CAP is one of the coolest programs we know of, encouraging culinary talents in public high schools to find careers in the restaurant business. (The participating chefs are all New York City public-high-school graduates, the pride of Long Island City, Harlem, and Prospect Heights.) Plus, the scale of the event is a lot more manageable: It’s only $110, and $75 of that is tax deductible. C-CAP students will assist chefs from Asiate, the Four Seasons, Tabla, and other good restaurants. While you’re eating, $5 raffle tickets could score you a bunch of good stuff, including lunch at Café Boulud, dinner at Craftsteak, or a session with “hairstylist to the stars” Michael Stinchcomb (that’s the one we’re hoping for). So stop by Taj tonight — you can buy tickets at the door.
A Taste of Fall [C-CAP]
Cuban Flavors Dominate New Socialista Downstairs Menu
If you finagled your way into Socialista last week and weren’t too busy being impressed with yourself, you may have noticed a new menu at Socialista Downstairs. It’s the handiwork of new head chef Sarah Pliner, formerly of Tabla, Tocqueville, Ducasse, and Aquavit. “We’re using classical French and American techniques with Cuban flavors,” Pliner tells us of the retooled food program.
More Meatopia: Our Readers Get All Old Testament
Meatopia, the Woodstock of edible animals, has captured the imagination of Grub Street readers. Suggestions for next year’s theme have flooded in, nearly overwhelming both the Grub Street in-box and our wildest expectations. Send your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 p.m., and we might see you tomorrow. Among the contenders:
A Toddle Around Jackson Heights With Floyd Cardoz of Tabla
Many are the times that we’ve found ourselves wandering around the Indo-Pak wonderland that is Jackson Heights, wishing we only knew a little more about what was behind the counters in all those sweet shops, restaurants, and grocery stores. So we recruited Tabla’s Floyd Cardoz, arguably the country’s top Indian-American fusion cook, and asked him if he would give us a quick guided tour. Floyd assented, and we headed off to Queens in a 1990 white Coupe DeVille, with empty stomachs and open ears.
Blue Ribbon to Conquer Columbus Circle by Mid-AugustBrooklyn Heights: Montero’s earned “duty watch bar” status from the British Royal Navy when its seamen passed through Brooklyn last week. [NYT]
Columbus Circle: Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill should open simultaneously with Thompson Hotel’s new Six Columbus by the middle of August. [Down by the Hipster]
Elmhurst: Always wanted your tacos open-face, deep-fried, and splattered with crema? Try the memelitas from Taqueria Coatzingo at 40-18 82 Street. [Gothamist]
Flatiron: Tabla and Tamarind are only a few of the restaurants extending their Summer Restaurant Week menus through Labor Day. [GoNYC via NewYorkology]
Fort Greene: Former Top Chef contestant Josie Smith-Malave has left Island restaurant to prepare for a fall opening of her next project, the Speakeasy. [Eater]
Harlem: Gentrification is apparently a lesser evil than filth: A Taste of Seafood restaurant relocates from dingy to spiffy new digs. [Uptown Flavor]
Midtown East: Two sake masters from Japan will host a tasting that also features shochu and snacks at Sakagura next Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. [Eat for Victory/VV]
West Village: Centro Vinoteca won’t be opening until the 20th or 21st at the earliest, the restaurant’s representatives say. [Grub Street]
What to Eat This Week
Tabla’s Floyd Cardoz Corners the Market on Indian Mangoes
For years, Indian mangoes have enjoyed the reputation, among food writers and gourmands, as the world’s best. But since the things were never allowed into this country, those of us who rarely left home were forced to take it on faith. The government has now allowed the forbidden fruit at last, but you still can’t taste them – unless you go to Tabla, where chef Floyd Cardoz has more or less cornered the market on Indian mangoes.
Danny Meyer Can’t Close a Deal in Central ParkBrooklyn Heights: Brutal attacks on plastic restaurant mascots has become an alarming trend. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Central Park: Danny Meyer’s having trouble closing the deal on Shake Shack No. 2. [Down by the Hipster]
Clinton Hill: Pan y Mas is already shuttered; no word if it giving away too much free coffee was the culprit. [Clinton Hill Blog] But Community Supported Agriculture has finally found a new home at Christ’s Church on Clinton Street. [Brooklyn Record]
East Village: Birdbath bakeries offer from 25 to 50 percent off your order if you ride a bike to get there. [Gridskipper]
Flatiron: Tabla hasn’t given up on New Orleans; every bill includes a line for an optional Katrina-relief donation. [Gotham Gal]
Greenwich Village: Otto hostess harangued a party of eighteen over the limit of its dining time throughout a two-hour, $2,000 dinner. [Eater]
Little Italy: A mobster institution may no longer be in the family, but it looks like all debauchery won’t cease; the owner of L.A.’s Forty Deuce, Ivan Kane, will introduce burlesque to the Little Charlie’s Clam Bar space. [Eater]
Red Hook: The land Brooklyn Brewery’s been scouting for a new operation is described as “toxic soup.” [Gowanus Lounge]
Tonight’s Beard Awards: a Referendum on Haute Cuisine
Times are changing in the restaurant world – but just how fast? Tonight’s James Beard Awards will help answer the question of whether the traditional tablecloth restaurants, which seem to be on the way out, still wield their old clout in the gastronomic Establishment.
Beard’s Best Chef Nominees Spill Beans
The Beard nominees for New York City’s Best Chef know that there’s more to the award than who makes the best plate of spaghetti. Looking back at previous years in which he was nominated, Picholine’s Terrance Brennan says, “Our customers were always loyal, but because I wasn’t playing the game, we were under the foodie radar. Being friends with the [Beard] committee helps … I imagine if you know some people, your odds are probably better.”
Seder Gets Spicy!Happening as they do at Uncle Marty’s and in church basements, Seder meals aren’t usually known for being very tasty. But if you’re not worried about the meal being kosher — we won’t say anything to Marty — you can go out and have an Italian, Mexican, or even Indian Passover celebration. Here’s where to go.
Hark! James Beard Award NominationsAfter much speculation, the 2007 nominees for the James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the restaurant world, are in. Adam Platt, Rob Patronite, Robin Raisfeld, and Grub Street all filled out Beard brackets (or at least revealed whom we’d like to see win) on Friday. Here’s how the academy’s coming down.