At the Rusty Knot, There’s a Bass on the Wall and ‘Barracuda’ on theBack when Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman first clued us in to the Rusty Knot, in the old West space, he said little more than, “We’re doing a little dive bar there — it’s going to have a pool table and a jukebox.” In this week’s issue, chef Joaquin Baca tells us what “dive bar” means (an addictive chicken liver, bacon, and avocado sandwich, it turns out), but he doesn’t say anything about the jukebox. All we can say is, don’t expect to hear Masta Ace or New Young Pony Club, like you might at the Pig.
Todd Barry Not the Only One Who Worships at the Altar of ChipotleAs you now know, Todd Barry is a big fan of Chipotle, and he’s not the only one that considers it one of New York’s “great restaurants.” The Tex-Mex chain is just one of five joints (along with Tia Pol, wd-50, Hearth, and the Spotted Pig) that Momofuku lists as “friends” on its Website, and in this magazine’s profile of David Chang, he makes clear that it influenced Ssäm Bar:
“I tried to get a job at Chipotle when I got back from Japan, but they wouldn’t hire me,” he says. “They knew what I was up to.” It’s easy to see the parallels between Ssäm Bar and the Tex-Mex monolith that’s invaded Manhattan. “A lot of this is premised on what Chipotle’s done: Make affordable, good food, and do it with integrity.”
We’ve noted that Bobby Flay is also possibly a fan of Chipotle (indeed Bret Thorn overheard him calling it “good food”). And we’re sure Chang and Flay aren’t the only ones. So when will Chipotle’s founder, Steve Ells, finally be nominated for a Beard Award?
Related: Comedian Todd Barry Eschews Tomatoes, Eggs, and Mayo, But Not 33-Cent Cookies
The Rusty Knot Will Knot Be Open TomorrowThe Rusty Knot, Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman’s new west side bar, was jam-packed last night. Maybe a little too packed: Friedman has decided to close the place back up for a few days until he can figure out how to handle the crowds, which are much more intense than he bargained for. (Just last night, we saw Mary-Kate (or was it Ashley?) Olsen coming out the door, and Kate Krader of Food and Wine says Jay-Z and LeBron James were frolicking inside too. “Our friends ate & drank us dry last night. We’ll open sometime next week,” Friedman says.
Related: Friedman Reveals a Little Bit (Just a Little Bit) About John Dory, Rusty Knot
LeBron James and Anna Wintour Cozy Up at Waverly; Moby Makes Out at R BarWe weren’t surprised to read in “Page Six” today that Anna Wintour dined with LeBron James at the Waverly Inn. We passed their table on Tuesday, and when the ceilings are that low, it’s impossible to miss a six-foot-eight baller extracting himself from the center of a corner booth. James was patiently sitting next to the bathroom when we emerged, causing our waiter to remark, “You made LeBron James wait!” We couldn’t tell whether he was chastising us or congratulating us for no doubt costing the man a Benjamin of his time, but either way we felt a sense of accomplishment unknown since Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand queued up behind us at the Spotted Pig. The rest of this week’s sightings are heavy on the PDA.
Friedman Reveals a Little Bit (Just a Little Bit) About John Dory, Rusty KnotDeodorant-eschewing Spotted Pig honcho Ken Friedman sits down with Bruni to say not much of anything about what he’s planning for the Rusty Knot, his “East Village–style dive bar” in the old West space. Despite the fact that he was last heard talking about the bar in a series of Belvedere ads, he says he doesn’t want the sort of exposure Sam Mason enjoyed on this very blog (“I was sick of [Tailor] before it even opened”) and reveals that his first choice for partner was Amy Sacco of Bungalow 8 rather than Taavo Somer of Freemans — a restaurant that’s one of his faves despite the fact that “the food’s never really that good.” Ouch!
A Chat with Ken Friedman [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Earlier: Daniel Boulud and Ken Friedman Reveal New Projects in Belvedere Ads
What’s It Take to Get a Decent Grasshopper Around Here?
Earlier, we noted that La Esquina served grasshoppers at the bar during the Spotted Pig’s Super Bowl party, and there’s more reason to believe entomophagy is catching on. Next Tuesday, the Gastronauts, last seen eating python, will hold a bug-eating dinner at a “posh apartment.” Their master of ceremonies will be David Gracer, a Rhode Island enthusiast who lectures on edible insects and serves them at private parties. Gracer recently wrote on his blog, Bugs for Dinner!, that he was bummed he couldn’t find markets selling them in New York. To help Gracer in his quest, we turned to Miguel Calvo, a mixologist who will be serving cocktails rimmed with grasshopper salt at Crema this Valentine’s Day.
Spotted Pig’s Super Bowl Party: Grasshoppers, Mariachis, and Pig (Natch)
Down by the Hipster has intercepted the menu for the Spotted Pig’s staff Super Bowl party at La Esquina and, we have to admit, it looks like it was a lot better than listening to “We Built This City” at the Village Pourhouse. A whole pig at the meat station? Baby crickets at the bar? Sombreros and mariachis? Definitely beats the plain ol’ pizza that La Esquina got for its staff party last year.
The Ultimate Super Bowl Party [DBTH]
Pickle in a Tube: More Blechtacular Than Burger in a Can?
If you thought a burger in a can was nuts, consider the PickleSickle, a frozen treat coming out of (where else?) Texas. You’d think the guy who first sold these at a roller-skating rink (they’re now available in freezer-ready plastic tubes) would think twice about putting the word “sick” in the name of his product, but it’s actually not quite as disgusting as it sounds: It’s made from pressed pickles rather than pickle brine. Still! No matter what mascot PickleSickle Bob tells us about the health benefits of pickles (apparently they soften blood-sugar spikes after high-carb meals), we doubt the cherry and lemon-lime varieties go down as easy as, say, the “pot of pickles” at the Spotted Pig. That said, no way is the Pig’s menu as amusing as the spiel on the PickleSickle Website: “This is one of those crazy ideas that should’ve died a quick and horrible death from the beginning, right?” Well, we wouldn’t go that far…
PickleSickle [Official site]
Cheeseburger in a Can is Both the Best and Worst Thing I’ve Ever Seen [Gizmodo]
Momofuku, Freemans, Spotted Pig Honchos Break Bread With Stephen Starr
Our favorite celebrity sighting of the week was, of course, Lindsay Lohan at Peter Luger on Tuesday night — that’s because we saw her with our own eyes. Of course, we can’t be everywhere and see everyone, so as usual we’ve combed the gossip columns for other stop-ins. We’re sorry we missed Tracy Morgan at the Plumm, shirtless and offering to father babies as usual, and boy do we wish we were a fly on the wall when partners Ken Friedman and Taavo Somer, along with David Chang, dined with Stephen Starr at Buddakan. Is there a Spotted Buddafuku in the works?
The Spotted Pig Serves Pumpkin Salad, Plays ‘Pumpkin Soup’
Does the Spotted Pig have music cred? Yeah, maybe just a little bit. Owner Ken Friedman used to be an industry player, and his partner Jay-Z is, well, Jay-Z. We recall being kicked out of the upstairs alcove so that Franz Ferdinand could take it over after a show (front man Alex Kapranos is a fan of the lamb shank with crusted celery root). With these musician types having their run of the place, what’s playing on a quiet Tuesday night?
Spotted Pig’s Ken Friedman Likes Your Sexy Stank
We can only imagine why Times writer Anna Jane Grossman rang Ken Friedman when she was looking for a quote about why folks forgo deodorant, but, boy, was he forthcoming about his use of what we call “meodorant”:
For those who managed to avoid underarm products, the idea of using them is anathema. “I never use deodorant,” said Ken Friedman, an owner of the Spotted Pig, a restaurant in the West Village. “I like girls who don’t use anything. They sort of smell like sex.”
Are you listening, Beyoncé?
Cast Aside Underarm Protection, If You Dare [NYT]
Daniel Boulud and Ken Friedman Reveal New Projects in Cheesy Belvedere AdsThe Tenjune lads aren’t the only ones to recommend not-exactly-under-the-radar places in Belvedere’s “keys to the city” series: The interview with Marquee’s “head doorman/actor” Wass makes us want to hand him a douche card, Centro Vinoteca’s Anne Burrell plugs no fewer than four Batali restaurants, and pretty much everyone plugs the Spotted Pig.
Meatpacking Moguls Remm, Birnbaum, and Rabin on How to Be CoolOur fave waitress Courtney Yates isn’t the only face Belvedere Vodka is using to try to look cool — the company, in association with UrbanDaddy, is running Web interviews with David Rabin, owner of Los Dados and Lotus, and Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum, owners of Tenjune. Remm and Birnbaum don’t exactly steer toward the underexposed when asked for their favorite restaurants: BondSt, Nobu, Bar Pitti, Los Dados, Mr. Chow, the Spotted Pig, Pastis, Buddakan, Dos Caminos Soho, Cipriani, Butter, Rose Bar, and Waverly Inn.
Win a Date With Thomas Keller; Year-end Lists AboundMix up your holiday charitable giving by entering a raffle for a coffee date with Per Se’s Thomas Keller or Ferran Adrià of Spain’s El Bulli. [NYT]
Related: Ferran Adrià, Molecular Gastronomist—Who, Me? [NYM]
On his No Reservations holiday special, Anthony Bourdain spoke with a veterinarian who explained that foie gras production is not the demonic act it has been portrayed as by animal-rights groups, so eat up! [Eat for Victory/VV]
If Amy Sacco didn’t convince you of the growing synergy between restaurants and real estate, consider that Centovini has just struck a deal with luxe condo Soho Mews that offers not only delivery to the building but also the option to have executive chef Patti Jackson provide in-home cooking. [NYP]
Misled Socialites Outraged by Tamsin Lonsdale’s Supper ClubIt looks like Tamsin Lonsdale, the London socialite looking to make a splash with her new private dinner club, might just have a flop on her hands. The Observer today chats with a couple of the club’s disgruntled ambassadors, one of whom says, “She’s not offering a service to the boldface names. She’s using these people to bring in the mass.” Shocking! You mean this wasn’t merely a way to get people together to talk about the new Ang Lee flick? It was a marketing gimmick? Hilariously, one member gripes that she paid $100 for a meal at the Spotted Pig that normally would’ve cost her $40, and Londsale defends herself by saying that Jay-Z ended up dancing with everyone. But really — if Gawker types can rub elbows with Jay-Z at the Pig, can’t anyone?
BURP! Sykes Sister Strikes Out! ‘Exclusive’ Brit Supper Club Lays an Egg [NYO]
Earlier Socialite Tamsin Lonsdale’s Supper Club Probably Doesn’t Want You
How to Eat in Tokyo, Michelin Capital of the World
When it comes to New York restaurants, the Gobbler’s views on the addled Mandarins at the Michelin Guides are well known. But when news came, the other day, that the first-ever Michelin Guide to restaurants in Tokyo had awarded our distant sister city a mind-boggling total of 191 stars (compared to 65 in Paris and 54 in New York), the Gobbler had to admit that those crazy fools might be on to something. Not long ago, we spent a week rampaging through Tokyo in a kind of epicurean daze. The Gobbler still isn’t sure exactly what he consumed (fugu sperm sacks, possibly; grilled chicken uterus, definitely; a very nice chocolate éclair flavored with bamboo), but one thing’s for sure. It was all pretty damn good. Here are a few rules for eating yourself silly in that great restaurant mecca, Tokyo, Japan.
Gordo Casting Restaurateurs; Thomas Keller Feels for Celebrity ChefsGordo’s back on Fox TV for another season of Kitchen Nightmares, and he’s looking for a floundering restaurateur to belittle on national TV. [Eater]
It’s hard out there for a chef, according to Thomas Keller: “No longer are critically-acclaimed chefs allowed — as they might have been even ten years ago — to call it a day after opening a single successful restaurant. Instead, he said, food wizards like him are … expected to pen best-sellers, give lectures, judge reality TV shows and host benefits like the one he gave last night.” [NYO]
The massive, multistory Pop Burger at 14 East 58th Street will start serving baby crab cakes and grilled filet mignon in addition to burger boxes by mid-November. [Strong Buzz]
Related: Massive New Pop Burger Popping Up in Midtown
Will Ken Friedman Open a Restaurant With Ilan Hall?We are hearing that Spotted Pig co-owner Ken Friedman is planning on doing a restaurant with former Top Chef winner Ilan Hall. The rumor chorus places the new eatery down the street from the Pig on far West 11th Street and says it may be only a few months out. Friedman did not confirm any of this, but he didn’t deny it, either. “I hope all those things are true,” he responded when we repeated the details.
Does the Name Chef Really Work in the Kitchen Anymore?Dear Grub Street,
I’m in New York on business for a little while and will have the opportunity to try a handful of restaurants while I’m here. What are some of the top spots in the city where the chef whose name is on the door is still in the kitchen? I’ve eaten at both Lupa and Otto, but I imagine Mr. Batali’s clogs haven’t graced either kitchen in some time (though the food and service at both were excellent, especially Frank behind the bar at Otto). It’s not that I need to see a celebrity chef in person … I just want to try good food from good chefs who are still plying their trade. For example, my understanding is that Wylie Dufresne actually still works at wd-50 every day, and, as you recently mentioned in one post, Eric Ripert is always in the kitchen at Le Bernardin. Anywhere else?
Meet the Chef
Josie of ‘Top Chef’ Opens Restaurant; Schumer Opens a Second FrontJosie Malave’s restaurant Speakeasy in Clinton Hill has had its soft opening. [Eat for Victory/VV]
One food editor learned some things from last week’s nose-to-tail feast Fergus Henderson–at–the–Spotted Pig including “Hung Huynh is much sweeter than the series might lead you to believe … Ilan Hall has a project up his sleeve … there’s no graceful way to eat a roasted pig’s head when Heath Ledger is sitting at the next table watching.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Related: Fergus Henderson to Cook Tomorrow at Savoy, Wednesday at the Spotted Pig
Chuck Schumer has joined another foodie cause: In response to the recent Topps Meat contaminations, he has accused the USDA as being “toothless tiger” and plans to introduce legislation that would give the Department of Agriculture authority to close down plants that repeatedly fail inspections and order recalls. [NYP]
Related: Senator Schumer Springs to the Red Hook Ball-Fields’ Defense
Fergus Henderson to Cook Tomorrow at Savoy, Wednesday at the Spotted Pig
We stopped by Soho House last night to speak to Fergus Henderson, the celebrated London chef whose gospel of offal, Nose to Tail Eating, conquered the culinary world back in 2004. Henderson and his friend Justin Piers Gellatly, his dessert chef at London’s St. John, have written a sequel to Nose to Tail called Beyond Nose to Tail (“It’s like Buzz Lightyear, isn’t it? Infinity and beyond?” Fergus said of the illogical title). Henderson will be cooking some of his signature dishes from St. John tomorrow night at Savoy and Wednesday at the Spotted Pig; both evenings are open to the public.
A Pastry Purge at Alto and L’Impero; Dosa Man Wins His VendyExecutive pastry chef Tim Butler has left L’Impero and Alto after a two-year stint citing “creative differences” with recently installed former Fiamma chef Michael White; Alto’s chef de cuisine Kevin Sippel has also stepped down. [Restaurant Girl]
In a stunning upset, Dosa Man Thiru “Susan Lucci” Kumar won at the Vendy Awards on Saturday. [NYDN]
Manhattan sidewalk dining is ghetto, and the reasons New Yorkers suffer through it might include wanting to pretend they’re like Europeans and “if something is in limited supply, New Yorkers want it, period.” [NYT]
Market Table Already Bumpin’ Market Table has opened for both lunch and dinner with little fanfare, and what we hear today predicts future success. Chef-owner Joey Campanero tells us that he did two and a half turns at lunch today (roughly 100 customers). Plus, the retail counter is cha-chinging away. The biggest seller, Campanero says, is the burger. No surprise, given that it’s made from the same magic meat found in burgers at the Spotted Pig, Stand, Borough Food and Drink, City Hall, and even (though not exactly) the Shake Shack. Expect a tough table: the place is even smaller than the Little Owl, Campanero ’s perpetually packed West Village favorite.
Related: Shop Like a Chef (Preferably in His Own Store)
Johnny Iuzzini Is the Badass You Want Him to Be; Bloomfield vs. an Iron ChefIn true badass-with-a-softer-side form, the latest rock-star pastry chef Johnny Zs reveals he dreamed of becoming a stuntman before discovering his love for baking. [Restaurant Girl]
The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield is stepping into the ring this morning to battle an undisclosed Iron Chef. [Down by the Hipster]
True top chef André Soltner formerly of Lutece goes on about the pros and cons of food TV. [Newsday]
The New York Diet
Director Arden Wohl Only Eats Fish Twice a WeekLast fall during Fashion Week, rising director and headwear-loving “alternasocialite” Arden Wohl was walking the runway for Imitation of Christ. This time around, she’s been holed up in pre-production for her movie starring Leelee Sobieski (the narrator of her student film Coven) which she’ll shoot later this month in Long Island City. “It’s about New York women, and life. It’s about dreams,” she breathlessly told us before running to a premiere party where she slowed down for just one second to let us photograph her catching a drink. What else did this confessed leather-wearing pescatarian eat this week?
LaFrieda Saves the Good Stuff for Restaurants
A sharp-eyed Eater reader wondered if our report about Pat LaFrieda breaking into the retail market was inaccurate: “I believe they already supply retail markets. The Jubilee market at Trump Place gets deliveries from there all the time.” The answer? The trucks carry commodity meat, of the kind commonly found in supermarkets, but never the high-end stuff LaFrieda sells to the likes of the little owl, the Spotted Pig, and so on. VP Mark Pastore confirms this, telling us, “We sell them regular commodity items. However Market Table will be the first place to carry our chopped beef, burgers, and heritage meats direct from us to the customer. We do not sell LaFrieda burgers or heritage products to anyone but restaurants at this time.” So there you have it. If you’re going to hijack that LaFrieda meat truck, make sure it’s the one bound for the Shake Shack.
EaterWire: Trump Trumps LaFrieda, Petraske to LIC, More [Eater]
Earlier: Shake Shack Hamburger and Little Owl Pork Chops Can Soon Be Yours [Grub Street]
LES Crackdown; Yogurt Wars Expand UWS FrontChelsea: Patricia Yeo is out at Sapa. [Eater]
Lower East Side: Turns out La Esquina’s basement is illegal! [NYP]
Midtown West: Get your Charlie Murphy fix at El Centro; it’s his favorite Mexican restaurant. [Gridskipper]
Soho: Former 66 chef Josh Eden has taken over the kitchen at Goblin Market. [Strong Buzz]
Upper West Side: Yogurt Wars update: Pinkberry takes over Excel Fine Art’s space on Columbus Avenue. [Eat for Victory/VV]
West Village: Something’s fishy about the seafood sister restaurant to the Spotted Pig: Diners at the original heard staff chatting about the location opening soon as the 10 Spot. [Down by the Hipster]
Gastropub Trend Winds South, Touching Down in Orlando Soon
Orlando is a swell place to travel (preferably in a cherry-red Corvette) if you’re craving hash browns all-the-way at Waffle House, but what about Floridians who want a taste of the big city? Until recently, a restaurant called Babbo (unrelated) was one of their only options, but now it’s being renamed Nonna! (Too confusing?) Don’t worry — this fall comes The Ravenous Pig: An American Gastropub, opened by a student at New York’s own Culinary Institute of America (or so the place’s MySpace page seems to indicate). Could this be the most egregious Spotted Pig knockoff since Chodorow’s ill-fated Spotted Dick? Either way, the Orlando Weekly hilariously assures: “If ‘gastropub’ sounds unappetizing, never fear. It just means upscale food served in a relaxed, pub-like setting.” And with that, Orlando’s culinary innocence is dead.
What’s Cooking [Orlando Weekly]
Profile: The Ravenous Pig [MySpace]
Related: The Pig and the Pudding [NYM]
Meatopia V: Grilled Gore and Guts The response to our Meatopia V contest has been overwhelming. Grub Street is populated by committed carnivores who have filled our meat cooler with brilliant ideas for next year’s edible animal gala. We’ll highlight some of the best throughout the day and announce the winners tomorrow. (Entry deadline is 6 p.m. today.) Here are three of our favorites.
Crispy Pig’s Ears Land at Spotted PigClinton Hill: Bittersweet has tasty coffee and Balthazar pastries, but there’s no guarantee you’ll pass Keri Russell while you’re there. [Clinton Hill Blog]
East Village: Gemma to diners: no I.D., no liquor. [Down by the Hipster]
Flushing: Aramark denies that Shake Shack is in the works for Citi Field. [Food Writer’s Diary] We stand by our story.
Upper East Side: Greek diner Gardenia Cafe has been open since 1977, but the lure of real-estate cash-money has finally led its owners to close. [NYT]
West Village: Crispy Pig’s Ears! Blueberry & Banana French Toast with Crème Fraîche! We have Spotted Pig’s new menus. [Grub Street]
Williamsburg: Kitchen Delight on North 8th Street offers the standard burgers and fries alongside a questionable menu item: “Lap Dances.” [Newyorkshitty]
Ciprianis to Lose Liquor License; Market Table Coming in SeptemberThe State Liquor Authority is set to yank the liquor licenses from the Ciprianis, thanks to their felony tax-evasion conviction. Is this the end of their N.Y. operations? [NYP]
Joey Campanero of little owl fame is planning on opening his new restaurant, Market Table, sometime in September. [Strong Buzz]
The Moondance Diner has left the building. [Newsday]
Related: Go West, Old Diner
Is Govind Armstrong Worried Enough About New York?When top out-of-town chefs move to New York, it’s always a crapshoot. Some, like Fort Worth’s Tim Love, come in conspicuously and wash out; others, like Atlanta’s Sotohiro Kosugi, now at Soto, come in under the radar but quickly grab our attention. L.A.’s Govind Armstrong doesn’t expect much of a problem: The ultra-laid-back chef made South Beach his own and expects New York to treat him equally well. “A lot of New Yorkers come down here to Miami, and I’ve been coming up there forever, so I have a lot of friends to support me,” he tells us. “I’m not trying to reinvent the way New Yorkers eat. But I can’t not grow, you know?”
Colors Workers Rebel; Whole Foods Getting Into Craft BeerThe workers of Colors, originally envisioned as a co-op for orphaned Windows on the World employees, have sued the restaurant and the advocacy group that runs it, claiming that in fact none of them actually own any part of it. [NYP]
Related: Marxist Meals Served at Co-op Eateries
Whole Foods will be opening up a craft-beer bar with tap brews sold in carryout growlers — in September. [NYS]
Animal activism has come of age, which is good news for calves, old hogs, and other unlucky beings that might otherwise be facing unspeakable fates. [NYT]
Batali Protégé Goes for Her Share of the LimelightIron Chef America fans know Anne Burrell as Mario Batali’s sous-chef on the show. (Spotted Pig customers know her as a regular.) The question now is whether she can actually cook when not doing Super Mario’s bidding. Her Centro Vinoteca is opening up this week with recognizably Batalian food: plenty of pork, robust flavors, and the kind of “why not” aesthetic that results in, say, deep-fried gnocchi in lamb ragù (“they’re like tater tots,” the chef says) or a poussin crusted with pancetta and rosemary paste.
In the Magazine
Lily Allen Eats Blue Ribbon Sushi Four Times a Week
Our interest was piqued when we read the last line of Jada Yuan’s piece about Lily Allen’s two weeks in New York. “‘Don’t worry,’ she says, cheerily chomping on chicken satay at Cafe Gitane, a few hours before double-fisting pizza slices at Joe’s. ‘I’m still eating like a fucking pig.’” Vulture, our entertainment blog, has some choice outtakes from the interview, but none of them clear up our curiosity about Lily’s New York diet — here, then, are some food-related kernels that didn’t make it into the magazine piece.
Twinkies Now Stuffed With Bananas; Lower Eastpacking District Now OnlineReporter files 500 words on the new banana Twinkie. [NYDN]
Talbot loses to Hall again in cooking contest. The real winners here: the women of New York. [NYDN]
The Spotted Pig’s DOH record is not exactly spotless — it’s accused of “vermin harborage,” and not just on weekend bridge-and-tunnel nights. [NYP]
De Niro may be choosing his L.A. partner Sciandri over his N.Y. partner Nieporent as partner in new hotel — turf war! [NYDN]
Vice creates a Virtual Lower Eastpacking District, uniting Internet dorks and party animals. [Gawker]
Spotted Pig and Freemans Owners Getting Cozy in the West VillageAstoria: Sparrow bar at 24-01 29th Street has outdoor seating. [Joey in Astoria] And Fresh Start health-food store finally opens its back patio — only to jack it up with distastefully painted bricks. [Joey in Astoria]
Dumbo: Paella’s the main event at Rice today from noon to 11 p.m. [Dumbo NYC]
Red Hook: A new blog, Save Soccer Tacos, tries to get the little guys as involved in saving Red Hook Park’s vendors as the food-world celebrities who’ve recently united. [The Gowanus Lounge]
Prospect Park: The park is one of the few in the city that actually encourage public barbecues, with seven designated areas and three permanent grills. [Gridskipper]
West Village: Freemans owners to pair with the Spotted Pig’s Ken Friedman to redo the former West space — that, or to open a chain restaurant banking on little people serving drinks in pig costumes. [Eater]
Marco Pierre White Sets Himself on Fire With Flaming CocktailJust another night at the Spotted Pig: Marco Pierre White, trying to demonstrate a flaming cocktail to Mario Batali, Tony Bourdain, and friends, sets himself on fire, gets doused with wine and Champagne, and stabbed in the hand. [NYP]
Related: Batali, Bourdain, and Ramsay Mentor to Finally Take on America? [Grub Street]
There are so many high-end restaurants looking for good ingredients that the world will literally run out of them, a world-famous Australian chef claims. [Australian News]
Utterly dependent as it is on illegal workers, the restaurant industry is lobbying hard against the new immigration bill in Congress. [Nation’s Restaurant News]
Spotted Pig Sister Restaurant Will Be Next to Del PostoKen Friedman’s new place will be adjacent to Del Posto at 85 Tenth Avenue. Friedman reiterates his intention not to call it the Spotted Pig though: “Maybe I’ll name it after another animal,” he says. [NYP]
Related: Spotted Pig Owner Sick of Pigs [Grub Street]
The presence of Edison lightbulbs, with their thick, visible incandescent filaments, has become a trope for progressive restaurants that want to show their rootedness in past values. [Gawker]
Gordon Ramsay is unfazed by the beating he’s taken in New York and intends to push ahead with his plans for expansion elsewhere in the U.S.[Bloomberg]