Kellog’s Diner at Risk; the Definitive Banana BookCobble Hill: Trader Joe’s seems to think it’s opening a store on Court Street, even if a bunch of local bloggers don’t. [McBrooklyn]
Dumbo: Finally, the map to area eateries we’ve all been waiting for. [Gridskipper]
East Village: Want to read a book about bananas? Dan Keoppel reads tonight at KGB from Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World.
Fort Greene: Neighbors are looking for a friendly bar to watch Super Tuesday results. [General Greene]
Gowanus: Vandals have opened up the Whole Foods site on 3rd Street again. [Gowanus Lounge]
Jackson Heights: Sweet tooths rejoice over Cannelle Pâtisserie on 31st Avenue. [Chow]
Park Slope: Komboocha, a fermented tea, hits the co-op, but not everyone is psyched about it: “It’s expensive, tastes like crap, and claims to cure everything. Thus, it appeals to the rich and those addicted to Park Slopish consumer culture.” [Daily Slope]
Williamsburg: According to renderings, Kellog’s Diner will be wrapped up by a heinous new condo at Metropolitan and Union. [Curbed]
Back of the House
Holy Grail of Japanese Knives Can Be Found Downtown
The conjunction in the last few days of a Salon article and a Discovery documentary about the greatest living Japanese knife-maker, Keijiro Doi, and his fiery arts has had chefs buzzing around town. Most all of them fetishize Japanese knives: The Salon article name-checks Thomas Keller, Jean Georges, Eric Ripert, and David Bouley. But the commanding figure in the article is Doi, and it so happens that the only place in America where you can actually buy the 80-year-old blacksmith’s legendary creations is here, at Korin Trading Company downtown. Korin sells a $4,720 yanagi, or sashimi knife, although it is so rare it isn’t even on the company’s Website, as well as a lesser yanagi, a bargain at $720. Korin founder Saori Kawano tells us that Doi inspired her to found the company, the premier Japanese-knife story in America, as a way to honor Japanese knife-smithing.
In the Magazine
Resto: Belgium Beyond Beer and WafflesNot shown: 56 other beers.Photo: Bumblebee Studios for New York Magazine
In this week’s Openings, Rob and Robin announce the birth of Resto, a new Belgian gastropub on Park Avenue South. The menu, newly added to our vast database, is ambitious: Aside from 60 Belgian beers, there are spiced lamb ribs and beef-cheek carbonnade along with other promising signs such as a frisée salad made with guanciale (the Roman jowl bacon more commonly seen in carbonara) and a fluke with sunchokes, caper berry, and beurre noisette. Add to that the dessert tasting menu of up to sixteen different kinds of Belgian chocolate and we’re sold. The place is pretty cool-looking, too.
Restaurant Openings: Provence, Resto, Gold St., Zipper Tavern [NYM]
Restaurant High Trains Chefs of the Future; Les Halles Takes a BeatingWelcome to Food and Finance High, which trains New York’s future chefs and restaurateurs. They diligently study the work of Dave Thomas, the origins of pizza, and read Fast Food Nation in preparation for the job market. [NYT]
Les Halles is taking a beating: They’ve got a Department of Health closure uptown and construction troubles downtown . [NYP]
The Red Hook ball fields, home to one of the city’s greatest gatherings of Central and South American food vendors, may finally see the trucks roll in this Sunday. [Eat for Victory/VV]
NYC ICY Set to Reconquer New York
It was a sad day for snow cones when artisanal water ice joint NYC ICY went under a couple of years ago. But now owner Jonathan Leeds tells us that not one but two NYC ICY locations will be opening in late May or early June— one in Brooklyn and a smaller one in Hell’s Kitchen. “It won’t be too different from the old place,” Leeds promises. “But we may let people in this time. We might even have a counter.” Counters? The places haven’t even opened up, and they’re already showing signs of decadence.
NYC ICY, 628 Tenth Ave., nr. 45th St.; no phone yet.
NYC ICY, 905 Church Ave., nr. Coney Island Ave.; no phone yet.
Ask a Waiter
Dagny Mendelsohn of Employees Only Defends Her Customers From Flying Fruit
Dagny Mendelsohn has been a manager and maître d’ at Employees Only since the restaurant and cocktail spot’s buzzy opening two years ago. Before that she worked at Pastis and Schiller’s. Though she says her old boss, Keith McNally, has never come in, she has had the pleasure of hosting Daniel Boulud (“He went down to use the bathroom in the kitchen and ended up talking to the chef for an hour”) as well as connecting lotharios who were stood up by dates — one such couple came back to the restaurant to celebrate their first anniversary. We asked Dagny how she controls traffic at the hidden hot spot.
Neroni Is Indeed Free — for a Few Days, AnywayJason Neroni says he’s innocent of the charges leveled at him by the owner of Porchetta, Marco Rivero — he accused the Desperate Chef of misappropriation of funds and said there was a warrant out for his arrest — and earlier today Gawker confirmed that no such warrant exists. Here’s the latest: “I just came back from the police,” Rivero tells us, “and they said it takes a few days before the warrant can go into effect. The detectives want to check into something with both banks … but I don’t want to say too much.” We’ll see if the police report actually surfaces. We hope Neroni is planning his defense and not any more press releases. Rivero sounds like he means business.
Jason Neroni Considering Action Against Former Employer [Gawker]