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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Ice Cream Rollups, New York City Wine & Food Festival Guide and Best NYC Desserts Under $3


  • Why Is It So Hard to Get a Great Bagel in California?  San Francisco bakeries have tried and tried again to replicate the chewy, crusty perfection of New York’s specialty. They are still trying.
  • Salt Shakers Could Be Coming to NYC Menus as Soon as December:  New York diners might see little salt shakers on menus at chain restaurants as soon as December. Earlier this summer, Mayor De Blasio proposed a measure, which would require chain restaurants to post a salt icon next to menu items that exceed the daily recommended limit of 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon worth) of salt.
  • Big Soda in a froth over proposed new sugar-labeling rules: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just revised the proposed nutrition label changes to emphasize just how much sugar we consume from packaged food and drinks. The new rules, if adopted, would require labels to not just state how much sugar is in a food, but how much added sugar it contains. 
  • The Price of Olive Oil Is About to Reach an All-Time High: Owing to conditions like scorching-hot weather, bacterial diseases, and fruit-fly infestations, there's been a 50 percent decline in the production of Spanish and Italian olive oils — which make up 70 percent of the world's supply.


  • First Look: by CHLOE Brings Fast-Casual Vegan to Greenwich Village.  Vegan cookbook author Chloe Coscarelli has opened her first restaurant on the iconic corner of Macdougal and Bleecker streets in Greenwich Village. Known for her veggie-focused cooking, the chef has partnered up with ESquared Hospitality (the group behind the BLT restaurants) to debut by CHLOE, a fast-casual concept specializing in 100% plant-based fare.
  • The 12 Best Tacos In NYC:  TOLOACHE: For a real fancy taco, try some of the unique options at this upscale chainlet, where you can feast on braised-brisket suadero tacos ($13), spicy lobster langosta tacos ($17) and chapulines, made with dried grasshopper ($15).

  • New Amsterdam Market Eyeing 2015 Return on NoHo's Bond Street: Last summer, after a long turf battle, the New Amsterdam Market was given the boot from the South Street Seaport, bringing the well-liked produce and provisions market to an end after nine years. Shortly after, organizer Robert LaValva announced that he was on the hunt for a new home and it looks like now he has found it on the cobble-stone covered Bond Street in Noho.

  • Ice Cream Roll-Ups, Made To Order In Chinatown For Those Willing To Wait: If it weren't for the line of giddy teenagers spilling through the door, up the steps, and out onto the sidewalk, you'd probably miss 10Below altogether. Situated subterraneously at the tail end of Mott Street, this Thai-style ice cream roll shop announces itself with barely-there signage and a blank plate-glass window

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Your NYC Restaurant Week Guide, Union Square Cafe Finds A Home and The 21 Best New Restaurants in America

  • Where to Dine During New York Restaurant Week, Summer 2015: New York Restaurant Week is running from July 20th-August 14th.  And far from being a showcase for exclusively budget establishments, the cut-priced promotion has attracted participation from some of the best chefs in New York.
  • New York Wage Board Approves $15 Minimum for Fast Food Workers: New York-based cooks and cashiers at McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, and elsewhere will soon be on track to earn more than cooks and servers at full-service restaurants. Here's why: a labor panel created at the behest of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo voted this afternoon to raise the minimum pay for fast food workers to $15/hour, a massive 71 percent hike from the current rate of $8.75.
  • Union Square Cafe Will Move Just a Few Blocks Away: Union Square Cafe is one of the most prominent victims of rent increases in New York, with owner Danny Meyer announcing last summer that the restaurant would be forced to close when its lease on its current location runs out at the end of this year. 
  • A Day in the Life of Dominique Ansel: Beyond the Cronut.  Cronut king Dominique Ansel is a busy man these days, running two hugely successful bakeries here in NYC, a new outpost in Tokyo, Japan as well as recently introducing a dessert chef's tasting counter. Here is a day in Ansel's life in 33 photos.

  • The 21 Best New Restaurants in America: Scrolling through my list of the most promising new restaurants, patterns emerge: I see ever more chefs looking to their own background for inspiration in the kitchen, or to the culture of the city or region around them. I also see global takes on fried chicken, ethereal chiles rellenos (not an oxymoron), and a blast from the way past called pondemnast (read on!).
  • From the Competition to Your Kitchen: How to Make a Ramen Noodle Burger Bun: Keizo Shimamoto — a second-generation Japanese-American blogger turned ramen chef — who premiered his ramen burger at the outdoor Brooklyn-based food market Smorgasburg.
  • Tea Sommeliers Are The Hot New Thing In Food Pairing: Yet it turns out there is an art to unlocking new flavors in your food by pairing it with tea. Sipping oolong with a buttery, citrusy madeleine can highlight the flowery and milky notes of the tea, while a hot cup of green tea melts the texture of goat cheese and enhances its creamy notes.  Now a whole new breed of experts has risen up to spread this knowledge: tea sommeliers.
  • GET YOUR BUCATINI AND BOLT: SPAGHETTI INCIDENT SERVES PASTA IN A GO-CONE.  Back in the 1950s, that custom included pasta in a cone. Inspired by the street food festivals of the mid-century, Emanuele Attala, chef-owner of the West Village Malatesta and Malaparte, has opened Spaghetti Incident with partners Ettore Pardossi and Giovanni Gentile. The Lower East Side restaurant serves only long pasta, served in a cone when ordered to go.


  • The New J.G. Melon Stays True to the Iconic Original: It took 43 years, but J.G. Melon's iconic burgers will be available downtown today with the opening of a new location at the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal. Spearheaded by veteran Melon manager Shaun Young along with restaurateurs and brothers Danny and Steve Abrams, the new location looks like a faithful reproduction of the original. This location, though, will just be the first of many if all goes according to plan, and will test the city's appetite for the old-school pub.

  • Meatpacking Super Dive Hogs & Heifers Will Toss Its Last Bra Next Month: The bar is the latest victim of Thor [Equities]'s hammer, which bought the building housing the bar in 2013 then jacked up the rent from $14,000 per month to $60,000 per month.
  • BUBBY’S HIGH LINE: Now that The Whitney’s gorgeous building and American art has taken over the Meatpacking District, you might finally notice that this popular Southern Tribeca staple has moved north. It feels like a much bigger space and like it might be easier to get a seat since there are so many other brunch spots to flock to in the air in comparison with the downtown location. 

  • Restaurant Review: Rebelle in NoLIta.  The night was humid, and I was drinking cold rosé at the black-veined marble counter that faces the kitchen of Rebelle. The couple on my left had rosé in their glasses, too. I did what one member of the pink wine fellowship does when encountering other members, and offered them a taste.

  • Kiki’s Greek Tavern Needs No Translation: It’s Chinatown. But when you arrive on its easternmost block, there are suddenly olive-green French doors flung open on the sidewalk and small lemon and orange trees reaching up from Grecian-style urns. The words on the awning — written in Chinese characters, with no English translation — say Kiki’s Greek Tavern.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Shake Shack's New Chicken Sandwich, NYC's Most Delicious Ice Cream and A Cookie Recipe From Eleni's

  • Shake Shack Debuts Their First Fried Chicken Sandwich: With new locations opening literally everywhere, it's hard to get excited about a new Shake Shack announcement...UNTIL TODAY. The homegrown chain finally introduced a fried chicken fast food sandwich, the ChickenShack, the first radical departure from burgers in their new food items since those breakfast sandwiches. But here's the catch: you gotta go to Brooklyn.
  • The Problem With Restaurant Seating In NYC:  New York is a city of small spaces. If you are not prepared to live in a tiny apartment, squeeze into a crowded train car, and brush up against a sweaty stranger on the sidewalk, then you are in the wrong town. But as New Yorkers, we also reserve the right to rant passionately about things that annoy us, and this is where we're drawing the line at small spaces.
  • José Andrés Will Open the Bazaar in New York Next Year: Yesterday, José Andrés backed out of his deal to open a flagship restaurant in Donald Trump's D.C. hotel — a very wise move. Now news hits that he's bringing the Bazaar (his restaurant with locations in Beverly Hills, South Beach, and Las Vegas) to another hotel, the forthcoming SLS New York at 444 Park Avenue South.
  • How NYC’s Leading Chefs Plan to Turn Overlooked Local Fish Into Seafood Delicacies: "I can't think of a chef who would say, 'I want to rape and pillage the ocean'," says Blue Hill's Dan Barber. "And, along the same lines, I can't think of a chef who isn’t actively thinking about fish in different ways." Barber has a point: A number of big-name New York chefs are breaking down the complicated issue and trying to serve seafood with a big focus on responsibility. 

  • Condiments Galore at New York’s Fancy Food Show: Condiments, notably those that are Asian and fueled with searing heat, continue to ride high in the specialty food business, as showcased at last week’s Fancy Food Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.
  • Why The World Might Be Running Out Of Cocoa Farmers: Chocolate might be headed toward a crisis, depending on whom you ask.  That's at least what the 2015 Cocoa Barometer has to say. It's an overview of sustainability issues in the cocoa sector, written by various European and U.S. NGOs, and was released in the U.S. this week. And what they're really worried about is the people who grow the beans that are ground up to make our beloved treat.
  • This Man Created the Ice Cube’s Multimillion-Dollar Industry: Lucrative profits from shipping ice to India solidified Tudor’s ice export company’s success. The Indian Gazette even took out an official announcement, thanking Tudor for making “This luxury accessible, by its abundance and cheapness.”
  • California’s Drought Changes Habits in the Kitchen: Across California, home cooks and restaurant chefs are adjusting to a new reality in kitchens where water once flowed freely over sinks full of vegetables, and no one thought twice about firing up a big pot of water for pasta.  The state is in the fourth year of a severe drought, but the reality of living with less water began hitting hard in the spring. For the first time, state officials ordered residents of every city and town to conserve water or face consequences.


  • Bob Dylan’s Quiet Debut in New York City: “On his first night in Greenwich Village, on or around Jan. 24, 1961, Bob went into the Cafe Wha? on Macdougal Street,” Mr. Sounes writes. “It was ‘hootenanny’ night, open-mike night when almost anybody could get up and perform. ‘I been travelin’ around the country,’ he told the crowd. ‘Followin’ in Woody Guthrie’s footsteps.’ ”

  • Chefs Club Draws Out-of-Town Crowd Downtown: Take the restaurant Chefs Club by Food & Wine, TripAdvisor’s top-rated restaurant in New York this week out of more than 11,000. Chefs Club serves recipes from what Food & Wine magazine considers the best new chefs. 
  • Catch A Fantastic Fish Feast At The Summery Seamore’s: Seamore's is a pretty, comfortable space—Chernow helped design the interior—with lots of light wood, splashes of bold color, and those huge (open, when appropriate) windows all along both Mulberry and Broome. When it gets loud and busy inside, and it already has been both, the festivities tend to spill out into the street.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Commerce Restaurant Closes, Famous Nathan's Facts and A Few Fourth Of July Sides

  • How New York's Peter Luger Chooses Its Steak: Watch as professional carnivore Nick Solares rides along with Jody Storch of New York's classic steakhouse Peter Luger and learns how she hand selects the best cuts for her family's legendary restaurant.
  • Introducing the J-Cone, New York’s Kookiest New Novelty Ice Cream: There are plenty of great, distinctive ways to eat ice cream in New York, of course, but there's now yet another new treat that makes everyone's favorite summer sweet seem fresh again: the J-shaped cone sold at J-Play Ice Cream, a new food truck roaming around Soho.
  • City Landmarks Commission Maps 150 Years of LGBTQ History In The Village: New York City is "taking pride" in its storied LGBTQ history, with an interactive online map showing the historic gay landmarks around the Village over the past 150 years.  Produced by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, which just declared the Stonewall Inn the city's first official cultural landmark, the map is a geographic history of places where gay New Yorkers lived their lives.
  • Thomas Keller’s Per Se Agrees to Pay $500,000 After Withholding Servers’ Tips: According to this legal agreement with the New York State Attorney General, brought to light by Times labor reporter Noam Scheiber, the restaurant will pony up half a million dollars after an investigation uncovered practices that, the AG's office says, withheld tips from service employees.
  • 15 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT NATHAN’S: Ah, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. That place where they... make famous hot dogs? On Coney Island, I think? Isn’t that where they do the hot dog eating contest? Weirdly enough, despite the fact that it’s a nearly-100-year-old NYC institution that hosts the world’s most famous nationally televised competitive eating contest every single year, you still know basically nothing about Nathan’s.

  • A Visit to the Le Creuset Factory: Today, Le Creuset remains a popular brand, not just in France, but around the world, including across Europe, in the United States, and in Japan. (The last two are the largest buyers of their cookware in the world.) The original foundry was started in 1925 in the North of France, in Fresnoy-le-Grand, and is still making cookware today the same way they’ve been doing it for nearly a hundred years. The factory isn’t open to the public, because it’s an actual working foundry and isn’t set up for visitors.
  • Whole Foods Executives Admit to Overcharging Customers: In a two-minute-long video posted to YouTube, Whole Foods co-CEOs Walter Robb and John Mackey have 'fessed up in the wake of charges by New York City officials that the company "routinely" overcharges customers. The statement is a complete 180 from the company's initial stance.
  • Ben & Jerry's Renames Beloved Flavor To 'I Dough, I Dough' To Celebrate Gay Marriage Legalization: Equality has never tasted so sweet. On Friday, Ben & Jerry's renamed its iconic "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough" ice cream flavor to "I Dough, I Dough," in celebration of the historic Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide.
  • 18 Sides and Salads for Your July 4th Festivities: Meat tends to get all of the glory at summer grill-outs, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be accompanied by equally tantalizing side dishes. I'm talking flavorful grilled vegetables, cooling salads, and saucy baked beans. We've got 18 recipes to complete your Fourth of July feast that'll almost make your guests forget about those smoky, savory ribs.


  • NYU Is Finally Cleared to Expand Greenwich Village Campus: Today, New York State's highest court of appeals ruled in favor of NYU, granting the university the right to proceed with the long-planned expansion. The Court of Appeals found that the land NYU wants to build on is not, as opponents argued, parkland, and therefore, the university can move forward with development without needing special approvals from the state.

  • COCKTAIL CULTURE: Highball Season.  The Hudson Cooler, Courtesy of Brian Matthys, from Corkbuzz in New York City.  At the wine-centric Corkbuzz bar in Chelsea Market, the barman Brian Matthys designed a summery highball over a combination of whiskey and Wolffer verjus, rounding out the mixture with a homemade peach soda.
  • Master pastry chef Jacques Torres is a fan of the Bruffin: In 2011, Bagley began working with Algerian-born chef Medy Youcef and the idea for the Bruffin was born. Bagley says it took about six months to perfect the recipe, particularly the dough, so that it would be hearty enough to stand up to sauces and stuffing but light enough to eat without a knife and fork.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Where in NYC to spend the Fourth of July?

Your NYC Fourth of July Guide:

As the days consistently creep into the 80's, and then the dreaded 90's, we know that the even hotter Fourth of July is near.  It doesn't matter if you are a local who missed out on that beach house share this year, or a visitor looking for an alternative to the backyard BBQ and sparklers, we all need some help in navigating the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks.  Unless you plan on watching them on TV from the comfort of your home and cool A/C.

We've decided to help you, since we wont have tours that day and it's the 'merican way!  Below are a few helpful links on restaurants to eat with a view, and where to stand so your view is not blocked by that high-rise that wasn't there last year.

Where to Celebrate the Fourth of July 2015

Where to Watch the 4th of July Fireworks in NYC, 2015

Where to Eat, Drink, and Celebrate Fourth of July in New York City This Year

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Foods of NY Tours In The News, The Stonewall Inn Gets Landmarked And Your NYC Hot Dog Guide

  • Food Tour of New York: New York is huge and it sure has a lot to offer for a hungry traveller. To maximize my time here, and to ensure I didn’t miss anything, I wanted to explore the famous Greenwich Village with locals.  Someone that knows the area and most importantly, where to find the most delicious food . West Greenwich is an old Italian village and many charming restaurants, family owned specialty shops and delicatessens are very good at what they do.  I searched online for the best food tour in New York City, and all signs pointed to these guys, Foods of NY Tours.

  • Does Di Fara Pizza In Brooklyn Make The Best Pizza In The Country? When DeMarco is in the kitchen, it’s like watching a strange sort of ballet. He moves lightly, shaping dough, spreading sauce, and ever so slightly shifting each pizza’s position in the oven. For a finishing touch, he cuts basil, grates Parmesan, and drizzles olive oil over each pie.
  • Where to Eat Hot Dogs in New York: Frankfurters, wieners, red hots, floaters, hot dogs, or tube steaks — call them what you will, weenies are enjoying a vogue right now, perhaps because they often contain offal, or perhaps because they’re so cheap, even the gourmet ones. Here are 18 awesome hot dog restaurants.
  • Time's wd~50 Mini-Doc Offers One More Memorial of the Late and Great Icon: For those still in mourning over the loss of wd~50, Time just dropped its 15 minute documentary about Wylie Dufresne's trailblazing molecular Mecca. The mini-doc, which features a scruffy bespectacled Wylie riding his bike around NYC, is a pretty good (if not a little strange) primer for the ups and downs of the restaurant. 



  • J.G. Melon's Younger Brother Is Almost Ready to Mingle With Greenwich Village Burger Nerds:  Soon, the southwest corner of Bleecker and MacDougal will be home to the second Manhattan location of storied East Side tavern J.G. Melon. This is an area that already has plenty of old, clubby burger taverns, but if the owners nail the decor, the burger, and the cottage fries, this could be a very big hit indeed.  
  • Beignets and Chicory Coffee Bring Taste of New Orleans to MacDougal Street: Cafemarie, the latest newcomer to the block, opened just last week, and is doling out New Orleans-style beignets and chicory coffee from the storefront at 120 MacDougal St.  The space was formerly (and briefly) occupied by a bubble tea shop. Cafemarie is an offshoot of the TriBeCa eatery, Delimarie, at 106 Duane St.
  • BEST PAV BHAJI IN NYC AT MASALA TIMES: We often hear the california verus New York convcersation. If you come from one of the cities, you will always favor and argue in it’s defense. In India, we have the exact debate between Delhi and Mumbai. To every Delhite, Delhi would be better and vice a versa for Mumbaiya’s. The cities differ at the same points as a California and New York. 

  • Lower Manhattan's 10 Best Specialty Food Stores: It wouldn’t be specialty foods without mentioning Chelsea Market, home to many unique food stores. Dickson’s Farmstand, located inside the market, sells hand-selected artisanal meat and meat products. Their natural, ethical and organic products are what makes them distinct, and all meats are sourced from local farms. They can tell you the farm and farmer that each slice of meat came from to ensure the highest quality products.

  • NoHo East Historic District Turned 10 Yesterday! Yesterday, the NoHo East Historic District turned ten years old! Yes, on June 24, 2003, the area that encompasses parts of Bleecker, Mott, and Elizabeth Streets and the Bowery was officially given local landmark protections 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Father's Day Food Gifts, NYC Icon Ouest Closes, But Legendary (Caffe) Dante Is Reborn


  • F.D.A. Gives Food Industry 3 Years to Eliminate Trans Fats: The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday gave the food industry three years to eliminate artery-clogging, artificial trans fats from the food supply, a long-awaited step that capped years of effort by consumer advocates and is expected to save thousands of lives a year.
  • A Study Says Eating Pickles Could Help You Feel Less Anxious: Researchers at William & Mary and the University of Maryland say that they found a connection between eating pickled foods and feeling less anxious. The findings, which are being published in the August issue of Psychiatry Research, came after studying the dietary habits of 700 college students — an anxiety-provoking task unto itself — and learning that people partial to things like kimchi and sauerkraut suffered less social anxiety. 
  • Nocturnal Nosh: Americans Get A Taste Of Night Markets: Many American towns put the "Closed" sign up by 6 p.m. But night markets are drawing people out in Minnesota, Oklahoma and Virginia, with food, art and music from the local community.  The model for the nocturnal markets is the Asian night market, where people eat, shop and socialize and tourists discover delicacies like live scorpions and roasted sea horse until the wee hours of the morning.
  • Father's Day Gift Ideas From Mouth, Because Dad's Gotta Eat: Finding a Father's Day gift that will knock dad's socks off is tough, especially when he insists that being close to you is all he really wants. But love and affection alone isn't going to make you his favorite. The folks at indie food site Mouth know that to really bowl dad over, you've got to speak to his stomach first.


  • Belgian fries stayin’ alive with MacDougal St. move: It still feels weird for Omer Shorshi. For 18 years, he and business partner Suzanne Levinson ran a petite East Village eatery specializing in Belgian-style fries paired with dozens of original sauces. Then, suddenly, it was all gone.
  • The Caffe Dante Reboot Looks Like a Charming Aperitivo Bar: Revamping a historic restaurant is quite a tricky business, but it appears that owner Linden Pride has succeeded in his effort to "retain and reinvigorate the concept and the brand" of 100-year-old Caffe Dante. 

  • Hulu To Unveil Sponge-Worthy Seinfeld Apartment In Manhattan Next Week: “Seinfeld: The Apartment” will be a full replica of the iconic apartment set up at 451 West 14th Street, near the Chelsea Market and the High Line. It will open on June 24th, the same day that Seinfeld will start streaming on Hulu.
  • New York’s Best Barbecue: The Pig Guy; Any guesses as to what this caterer-turned-sit down BBQ spot serves?  Although if you don’t have the crowd to go in for a whole pig, you’ll be equally satisfied with one of the overstuffed sandwiches like the Pulled Pork; served on Texas toast with Thai chili barbecue sauce and house-made Red Hook slaw.

  • The best barber shops in New York: Your cramped bathroom may not quite be the gentlemen’s refuge found at the New York Shaving Company’s two Manhattan locations, with their mahogany paneling, crystal chandeliers and 1940s big-band soundtracks. 

  • RUN TO WO HOP FOR 'THE BEST LATE-NIGHT FOOD' IN NYC: Wo Hop is the best late-night food you’re going to find in the city. I go with friends after work — the classic chef-eating-at-three-in-the-morning. It’s the kind of restaurant that’s disappearing from the city. 

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