Citywide Truffle Shortage; A New Eastside Fro-Yo FoeA citywide truffle shortage can explain why “the Waverly Inn jacked up the price of its infamous truffle-topped mac & cheese from $55 to $85. The dish was an amusing punch line at $55; at $85, it’s just obscene.” [NYP]
Related: Le Cirque Bids High for Monster Truffle
Bruni eschews all the courtesies one suffers at the dinner table, which he refers to as restaurantspeak: “Would I ‘enjoy coffee with dessert?’ I don’t know; it depends how good the coffee is. I’ll have some, yes, then we’ll see.” [NYT]
FR.OG has now lost Jean Georges alum chef Didier Virot to the Plaza’s new restaurant-to-be, the Palm Court, set to open later this year. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Madman Runs Amok With BBQ Knives; Traci Des Jardins Overboard on ‘NextA madman grabbed knives from the Texas Smokehouse Barbecue and started slashing people in Murray Hill until he was gunned down. [NYP]
Traci Des Jardins is the first one overboard at The Next Iron Chef. [Serious Eats]
A lot of good restaurants have failed health inspections, leading to: “You’ll pay $90 for a prix-fixe meal complete with foie gras and lobster at celebrity chef David Bouley’s namesake restaurant — just watch out for eight-legged appetizers.” [NYP]
Ex-Ramsay Chef Taking Over Allen and Delancey; High-End Chinese Fading FastNeil Ferguson, the former chef at Gordon Ramsay, will be in charge of the kitchen at Allen and Delancey when the place finally opens in September. [NYT]
Related: Allen and Delancey Tripped at the Finish Line, Won’t Open
The city’s Chinese fine-dining restaurants are on the run, the victims of changing tastes, high costs, and slim margins. The East Side’s Sichuan Pavilion just went under, and even the genre’s grande dame, Shun Lee Palace, is now peopled mostly by seniors. [NYS]
Organic chef Matthew Kenney, best known for his acrimonious exit from Pure Food and Wine, is back in town and preparing to open a retail prepared-organic-foods business. [NYS]
Related: Raw Foodist Sarma Melngailis Drinks Grapefruit Sake Mojitos Before Noon
‘Top Chef’ Talbot Out at Spitzer’s Corner; FDA Too Weak EvenTop Chef runner-up Sam Talbot is out at what was to be his debut restaurant, Spitzer’s Corner. [Eater]
The FDA is facing increasing ire about its having largely abdicated its regulatory role. Even the produce industry wants the agency to do its job; suppliers are “virtually begging for stronger intervention.” [NYT]
Salsa mogul gives the Culinary Institute of America $35 million to advance the careers of Latin cooks and kitchen workers and to “deepen the United States’ relationship with food from Latin America.” [NYT]
Paul Liebrandt Back in Play; Rat Chief Vows to Exterminate the BrutesThe city’s rat-patrol chief vows that “the rats will not win.” [NYT]
In Vogue, Jeffrey Steingarten reveals that New York’s top unemployed chef, Paul Liebrandt, is doing a restaurant with Drew Nieporent. Snack asserts it’s Montrachet. [Snack]
Amusing slam of Bruni’s Robert’s Steakhouse review from conservative mainstay National Review. Need we say more? [National Review Online]
Dishwashers, Culinary Elite Being Allowed Into Peter Luger’s KitchenUsually, an outfit with a name like Culinary Insiders is bound to be just the opposite. And yet a group calling itself exactly that has some of the city’s most promising restaurant events scheduled, starting with a behind-the-scenes tour of Peter Luger on Sunday the 21st. Also upcoming*: a truffle party at Alain Ducasse, a trip to Stone Barns with Dan Barber, and in February, a Chinese New Year extravaganza at 66. And though membership may have its privileges, accredited Insiders get only $25 off the $150 Luger tour ticket. And, yes, that does come with a steak meal.
Behind-the-Scenes at Peter Luger [Culinary Insiders]
* Correction, Jan. 5: The Stone Barns and Alain Ducasse events have already taken place.
What to Eat Tonight
Eat Truffles, Ease Your Shut-In Grammy’s Misery
If news that P. Diddy can’t get enough white truffles at Daniel hasn’t got you hankering after them — and if his habit of demanding that his server “shave this bitch,” as Eater noted, doesn’t inspire you — maybe altruism will. Daniel Boulud bought two baseball-size mushrooms at a Citymeals charity auction this past weekend for $6,000 and is donating the proceeds from the dishes he serves them with to the same charity. And what are those dishes? Simple, neutral landing pads for the magic mushroom: creamy risotto with Parmesan emulsion; spaghetti alla chitarra with fontina cream; and gnochetti with porcini confit and arugula. They go for a whopping $250 each, but since it costs Citymeals just $5 to feed one homebound, elderly New Yorker, you know the money will go a long way. And you won’t have to feel quite so bad about not visiting Grammy in the Bronx.