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Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: Be a Grilled Cheese Expert, An Apple Guide For The Season and a Taco Tour at Cafe El Presidente

  • New Zagat Guide Has a Few Surprises: Two restaurants whose owners once worked at Peter Luger Steak House give perennial award winners like Per Se and Marea a run for their money in the 2015 Zagat Guide to New York City restaurants, released on Wednesday.
  • Café El Presidente Offering Up New Taco A Day For Two Weeks: Taqueria Café El Presidente has made a splash since opening in Flatiron earlier this year. And for the next two weeks they'll be taking diners on a regional taco tour of Mexico, offering up a new taco special hailing from a different Mexican state each day.
  • Meet the Venezuelan Arepa King of NYC: The affable owner of Arepas Café (and its newer sister, Arepas Grill, which opened last year) in Astoria, Queens, Romero is betting that these cornmeal cakes from his native Venezuela—seared on a griddle and packed with an array of savory fillings—may one day be as widely eaten as, say, Mexican tacos.

  • A Guide To Choosing The Best Apple For Pies, Cider And More: This little chart should help you pick the perfect apple for whatever you have in mind -- whether you intend to whip up a pie, cider, butter or sauce... or you just want a crunchy, crisp addition to your office lunch.
  • The Science of Baking Bread (And How to Do it Right): Today we're going to discuss what equipment we need, how to score bread, talk all about what really goes on inside our ovens during baking, and how those processes transform dough into bread.
  • In Umbria, an Italian Olive Oil Worth the Accolades: Ms. Antonelli Franceschini and her husband, Augusto, make an extra-virgin olive oil called Cuore Verde, using only young moraiolo olives that they grow on small plots of land on the gentle hills around Spello. The enoteca sells and serves it.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: Po is Back Open, A Little Pappy Van Winkle History and 10 Awesome NYC Lunches

  • What Happens When Second Graders Are Treated to a Seven-Course, $220 Tasting Meal: One Saturday afternoon last month, six second graders from P.S. 295 in Brooklyn got a head start on the fine-dining life when they visited the acclaimed French restaurant Daniel. There, five waiters presented them with a seven-course tasting menu 
  • Restaurant Review: Élan in the Flatiron District: If you remember David Waltuck’s cooking at Chanterelle, eating at his new restaurant, Élan, can be a little unnerving. Chanterelle, a downtown pioneer when it opened in 1979, was an institution by the time it went out of business, just a few months short of its 30th anniversary.



  • Is Minetta Tavern's $61 Strip Steak Worth It? Welcome to Suttonomics, where Eater Data Lead Ryan Sutton looks at facts, figures, and interesting data across the restaurant industry. This week, Ryan takes a look at why Minetta Tavern's strip steak costs almost $80 after tax and tip.
  • NYU May Renege on Promise to Build Public School: One of the promises that NYU made to the Greenwich Village community in order to soften the blow of its massive expansion was a new seven-story public school on Bleecker Street. But now the University may be getting the opportunity to go back on that promise as the Department of Education has until the end of this year to commit funding for the school and they're not so sure they want to. 
  • Bleecker Street Music , New York City: Bob Dylan definitely wouldn't recognize the Bleecker Street of today, but back in the '60s, the strip in New York's West Village (often dubbed "the Left Bank of America") served as the birthplace of the folk scene. Smoke-filled dive bars and coffee shops offered intimate spaces for Dylan and Joan Baez to find their voices — not to mention jazz legends like Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
  • Once Upon A Tart Is Re-Opening – Welcome back, Jerome!  A true marketer, word has already spread around SoHo that the beloved store at 135 Sullivan Street will re-open officially November 7th, this time with longer hours.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: "Homemade Cronuts", The History of Cel-Ray and Another Market in the Meatpacking District

  • Alyssa takes on New York in 36 hours! After brunch, we went to Greenwich Village for a food walking tour! A coworker of mine recommended Foods of NY tours, and I’m so glad I took her recommendation. For just over $50, we got to walk and talk with our awesome tour guide Bari.

  • City Restaurants Multiply, Despite High-Profile Closures: The industry, despite higher rents, a more demanding clientele and additional layers of red tape, including a letter-grade health-rating system from the city. The number of permits for restaurants, bars and cafes rose more than 27% to 23,705 at the start of fiscal year 2015 this July from 18,606 in fiscal year 2006, according to the city Department of Health.
  • Restaurant Cocktails That Aim Too High: New York City’s restaurants are in the midst of an epidemic of not-goodness. Sit down in any new dining room, and you are handed a cocktail list. Each drink on this document will have one ingredient you have heard of and seven that were apparently named after distant planets.
  • Where to Splurge on White Truffles in New York: In addition to humble, hearty produce like apples, pumpkin and squash, autumn is known for a decidedly more luxurious ingredient — White Truffles.  And the supremely delicate, highly prized, and intoxicatingly aromatic fungi have arrived in New York early this year (warm and rainy weather conditions in Northern Italy produced a bumper crop), with prices down to a mere $1,000 a pound. 



  • Famed Graffiti Artist 'Cost' Arrested in Greenwich Village: A graffiti artist who was a major player in the city's street art world in the 1990s was arrested in Greenwich Village last week and is now facing a felony charge, police said.  Adam Cole, 45, was nabbed by an officer who had been tracking him for months, after noticing his wheat paste posters popping up in the neighborhood earlier this year, police said.

  • Bubble Tea, No bursting the drink’s popularity: Call it tapioca milk tea, bubble milk tea, boba  (pronounced “ball [without the L sound] bah”) or zhenzhu naicha (“jen jew nigh cha”) . Within the last 30 years, the drink has spread from its native Taiwan to Chinese communities throughout the world.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: Michelin 2015 Winners and Losers, Morimoto gets Magical and Great $1 Pizza for Charity

  • Mama Mia! An Italian Filled Day at the Greenwich Village Foods Of NY Tour: Since 1999, Foods Of NY Tours has been giving food tasting and cultural walking tours through New York City's most delicious and historic neighborhood (it's a hard job... but somebody's got to do it!). The company offers a variety of neighborhood tours, but I decided to go with the tour that started it all – the Original Greenwich Village Food Tour.
  • It takes a village: Last Wednesday my sister and I, together with a handful of Australians, Brits, Canadians, and a pair from Sacramento, ate up most of New York City’s West Village. Sorry about that. My sister Amanda is the PR rep for Foods of New York Tours. She totally twisted my arm to bring me along on this odyssey, which started with pizza.

  • Michelin Unveils Its 2015 Winners (Blanca, Aquavit) and Losers (Daniel, Nakazawa) for New York: Michelin, the European tire maker that publishes what could be the world's most recognized guide for dining out, unveiled its 2015 list of New York's best restaurants today, and the famously anonymous inspectors made some big changes to their list of favorites. 
    • Handicapping Michelin: Will Nakazawa Get Three Stars? Michelin, the European tiremaker that also publishes what's arguably the world's most famous restaurant guide, will unveil its annual list of the best places to eat out in New York next week, and the big question is whether the guide will award its highest rating -- three stars -- to any of the city's most ambitious culinary institutions.
  • Bavarian Brats, Burgers & Beers For Shake Shack's Shacktoberfest Celebration: We're smack dab in the middle of Oktoberfest, with the beer-centric celebrations set to conclude in Germany this coming weekend. There are still plenty of parties to attend and now some more ways to get your fill of brats and wursts and other Deutschland fare at Shake Shack's annual Shacktoberfest celebration, which kicks off on Friday, October 3rd and continues through October 12th.
  • IS IT SOMETHING IN THE WATER?: Countless New Yorkers insist the secret to perfect pizza and beautiful bagels lies in our H20. Others say it’s simply technique. One ex-Brooklynite seeks a definitive answer.

  • A New York Classic Returns: The Rainbow Room was born with good bones, but that was 80 years ago. So when Tishman Speyer, the company that owns and manages Rockefeller Center, decided to reopen it after five years, the goal was to restore the glitter to one of New York’s most romantic settings.
  • Chefs Club Is Shaping Up to Be One of the Strangest Dining Rooms in New York City: Yesterday the paper came down from the windows of Chefs Club, the restaurant where Food & Wine will soon host a rotating roster of some of its favorite chefs from across the country for guest stints. An inquisitive tipster took the opportunity to peer inside the Puck Building, and came back with a thorough look inside the David Rockwell-designed space.
  • Brewing Beer Has Always Been a Woman’s Game:The brewing industry might still be seen by many as a bearded boy’s club, but “brewsters”—the medieval term for a female brewer—have been killing it forever.


  • Where to Dine During the Jewish High Holidays: You don’t often associate Mexican flavors with Jewish cuisine.  But chef Julian Medina, who grew up Catholic in Mexico City, converted to Judaism when he married his wife of 10-years, a good Jewish girl from the Upper East Side.  That means, Mexican-inflected Rosh Hashanah meals are commonplace at his restaurant, Toloache, and this year is no exception. 
  • How To Eat Di Fara & More Top Pizza For Just $1: The annual fundraising frenzy known as Slice Out Hunger returns next Wednesday to feed frugal pizza lovers with slices from some of the city's top pie joints. Now in its 6th year, the event not only offers up bargain basement slices to the hordes who descend on St. Anthony's Church, but also raises big bucks for Food Bank For New York City. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: It's White Truffle Time, Momofuku's Pork Bun Deconstructed and Your NYC Octoberfest Guide

  • 9 Best Walking Tours in New York City: Learn about Greenwich Village's rich history while you taste your way around the neighborhood's many delicious stores and restaurants. The tour covers many of Greenwich Village's popular attractions and includes enough food samplings for most people not need lunch afterward.


  • 2014 Is on Track to Be the Best Year Yet for White Truffles: For a certain breed of high-caliber restaurant, fall means white truffles, and white truffles, of course, mean money. So even though it's still technically summer for another few days, the first few shipments of this year's truffle crop have boarded jets and cleared customs all over the world, and Grub's sources in Northern Italy say Umbrian authorities are already busting truffle thieves ahead of the season's official start, which won't start for at least a few more days.
  • Bluefin Tuna Could Be NYC's Next Banned Seafood: Just as the inhumane "delicacy" of shark fins was banned in New York City, soon too could bluefin tuna be ousted from city menus. A new measure being introduced today by City Council member Alan Maisel would ban selling anything "advertised or labeled" as bluefin in an effort to conserve the depleted populations of the prized fish.
  • A Day in the Life of April Bloomfield in 33 Photos: Chef April Bloomfield let Eater follow her around for a day with a camera. This is what she got up to.


  • Pho Vietnam 87, A Cut Above Chinatown's Vietnamese Restaurants: Pho Vietnam 87, a new café that recently erected a bright sign among the cut-rate interstate bus depots of Chrystie Street, just below Grand. It occupies the same space that once held Ninh Kieu, which I'd declared my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in town this past January. It promptly closed, after being in business only a few months. But the wacky décor remains: a train track runs around the ceiling of the stylish, bare-brick interior, which is also niched with miniature delivery bicycles and laughing Buddhas, holding their bellies as if having overeaten.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: History Of The NYC Meatball, Il Buco Celebrates and a "Local's" Craft Beer Fest

  • How the New York City Meatball Helped Build Italian-American Cuisine:They're all meatballs. But nine times out of ten, when we talk about meatballs in New York, we're only referring to one. It's coated in red sauce and sits over bread or pasta. It's often flecked with dried oregano and hails, clearly, from Italy.
  • Cinnamon Snail and Calexico Triumph at Vendy Awards: The annual Emmys of the street food world, the Vendy Awards celebrated its 10th anniversary this weekend with a big gathering of food trucks on Governor's Island. Despite a bit of rain, guests seemed to have a good time sampling food from the nominees and previous favorites and winners like Solber Pupusas, King of Falafel, and NY Dosa.
  • The 18 Best Pizza Places In NYC: We've taken the painstaking effort to compile all the best pizza places in the city, be they fancy artisanal pies, casual slice joints, old school pizzerias or (gasp!) non-New York style (though we still firmly believe that there is no such thing as "New York style," there is merely Pizza and there is Not Pizza)
  • A Closer Look At The Nuts 4 Nuts Carts, A NYC Staple: The Nuts 4 Nuts carts around the city may seem like a forever-staple of our streets, but the first cart didn't get out there until 1993. At that time, it was called Nuts About Nuts, which was changed to Nuts 4 Nuts in 1998.
  • Discover Your New Favorite Brew At The Brooklyn Local Craft Beer Festival: Arch Rowan, one member of the Five Borough Beer Corp, who are producing the event, tells us the team made sure to look for as many breweries as they could, and the tinier the better. "The main thing was we really wanted to target guys who were lesser known, who are new, who are trying to focus on small-batch, artisanal ales," Rowan said.
  • A Sobering Future for New York’s Dive Bars: It has become a familiar sight in New York: legendary bars shut down or forced to move, often replaced with new construction or trendy shops. Even if a dive is able to relocate, it’s hard to recreate decades-old atmosphere. 


  • Restaurant Review, Claudette in Greenwich Village: Claudette’s charms are many and begin with those doors, which replace the woebegone sidewalk enclosure that used to make it look as if nobody were home. Losing a few seats has made reservations harder to land, but the reward is that the doors have let in the atypically cool breezes all summer, along with a view of lower Fifth Avenue’s wide, leisurely sidewalks, where somebody is always walking a bichon frisé.

  • How a Butcher Captured the Meatpacking District's Gritty Past:  A butcher in the Meatpacking District in the late 1970s, Richard Ovaduke once borrowed his roommate's 35-millimeter camera and shot the meat market and the surrounding cobblestoned neighborhood. At the time, it was chock-full of other workers whose day-to-day existence involved being elbow-deep in animal parts as well as topless dancers and crossdressers.
  • Greenpoint's Champion Coffee Heads West to Meatpacking: This fall, owner Talitha Whidbee finally decided to expand in a big way with a second coffee shop. Champion is heading west to the Meatpacking District, where it's slated to open on September 23 with 20 other food vendors in the 7,500-square-foot open-air Gansevoort Marketplace

  • Bond Vivant: Donna Lennard Reflects on Il Buco's Two Decades: Twenty years ago, when Donna Lennard opened Il Buco on Bond Street, she wasn't planning to become a restaurateur. Il Buco wasn't even a restaurant then.
    • How a Beloved Restaurant Moves Forward With a New Chef: At Il Buco Alimentari, which lost chef Justin Smillie earlier this year, owner Donna Lennard decided to take a risk: She recently named Roger Martinez — a Barcelona native who's worked for Ferran Adrià, opened his own restaurant in Spain, and most recently, cooked at Bouley — as her executive chef. Martinez started three weeks ago, and while the changes that he's making to the restaurant seem subtle, they're significant. We sat down with him and Lennard to talk about how things are going.
  • Landmarked Bowery Mansion To Become... Condos?: Last month word got out that 190 Bowery, that massive building on the corner of Bowery and Spring, was on the market. The owner, Jay Maisel, purchased the building for $102,000 in the 1960s, and has pretty much kept all 72 rooms for himself and family ever since (though at one point Roy Lichtenstein rented out a studio space there).
  • The Making of Cherche Midi's Funky Slab of Prime Rib: "We wanted to do a very luxurious steak," says Cherche Midi co-executive chef Daniel Parilla. "We do the cote de boeuf at Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, so we thought it would be nice to do something different." Rather than serving the rib as steaks, the decision was made to serve prime rib. Co-executive chef Shane McBride continues "the original idea of the restaurant was that it was the feminine Minetta, but we still wanted something for the boys to eat, so we went big."
  • Parm's Game Day Package: Starting this weekend, Parm will offer a game day package, which includes two dozen buffalo wings, baked ziti for six and a giant sub sandwich of your choice.

  • A Mystery of Chinatown: It’s easier to stumble on Taste of Northern China than to find it. The address is 88 East Broadway, but the storefront is around the corner, on Forsyth Street, with a mysterious 106 above the door (a suite number, it turns out).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: Praise of the Patty Melt, Tomato Debate and Il Buco's New Chef(s)

  • Because of popular demand, starting September 29th, Foods of NY Tours will be offering our Nolita/Noho food tour on Mondays at 11:45.  Chase away those Monday blues with a Brooklyn Blackout Cupcake from Little Cupcake Bakeshop and Salted Caramel Gelato from Il Buco Alimentari, while being serenaded by our lovely tour guide Anny on a quaint cobblestone street.  Tickets are now available!

  • Booze Production Booming In New York: Bottoms up, New Yorkers, because we're in the midst of a significant surge in alcohol produced within the city and the state. Wine, beer and now cider-making facilities within the city have tripled in the past three years, according to data found by the Post, with farm distilleries state-wide increasing 450% in the same time period.
  • Drinking for the Season: A Few Locally Made Beers to Seek Out This Fall: As temperatures begin to drop, and qualities like “refreshing” and “sessionable” become less important, a whole new world of flavor opens up to us: Beers become richer, heartier, more complex; they’re warming and comforting, the kind you want to enjoy alone in the calm of your living room late at night, or with friends and family over big holiday meals. Fortunately, many of our finest local breweries are churning out beers that will be a perfect match for the season.
  • In Praise of the Patty Melt: A patty melt is not quite a burger, which is why burger nerds stomp their feet and refuse to categorize it as such, denouncing it as an impostor, a sort of aspirational grilled cheese.  The good news is that in New York, a patty-melt trendlet is afoot. Here, a few variations, from humble to haute, listed in order of preference and rated on a scale from one to five.



  • Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick Re-List $22M House: Celebrity super-couple and serial real estate shoppers Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are on the house hunt once again—the actors just re-listed their Greenwich Village townhouse at 20 East 10th Street for $22 million. 

  • Upstairs, a Walk on the Wild Side: When the High Line at the Rail Yards, the final section of the elevated park, opens on Sept. 21, we will no longer have to stop at 30th Street and stare longingly through the construction gate at the Queen Anne’s Lace blooming in wild profusion along the old tracks.  We can walk out on a wide plaza made of the familiar concrete planks, tapered so that plants appear to be pushing up out of the crevices.

  • Steven Spielberg Is Transforming DUMBO Into Cold War-Era New York: The Steven Spielberg-directed Cold War era movie is currently taking over the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. Signs for the previously untitled project, now going by St. James Place, began popping up around the area surrounding the Manhattan Bridge this week, and this morning about two blocks have been taken over by the production.

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