Thursday, July 24, 2014
- New York City Restaurant Week Recommendations: So many restaurants to choose from? Relax, we’re on it.
- Chicago Vs. New York: Which City Eats Better?: The James Beard Foundation on Tuesday announced that its awards ceremony honoring the best chefs and restaurants is moving to Chicago after 24 years in New York City.
- A Google Team, on a Jaunt Around Liberty Island, Records Every Step: “For the first time, Liberty Island will be available for people to explore through Street View in Google Maps,”.
- Brooklyn Brewery at forefront of overseas' interest in American craft beer: Helping to quench a growing thirst for American craft beer overseas, some of the United States' largest craft breweries are setting up shop in Europe, challenging the very beers that inspired them on their home turfs.
- 21 Crumbs stores have no chance of reopening: Crumbs Bake Shop has identified 21 stores that will not be coming back — regardless of who assumes ownership of the bankrupt cupcake chain.
- Now You Taste It, Now You Don’t: There are many good reasons why restaurants cast off their classics: Chefs tire of making the same things over and over. Costs rise. Banh mi (or crudo or kale) go in, then out of fashion. But diners like me, left with nothing but memories and longing, often have a hard time letting go.
- From Vinyl to Starbucks: The Starbucks that took the place of Bleecker Street Records has got its signage up, sans Mermaid.
- Where to Find New York's Best Cheesecake: Can a cheesecake make it into the top seven with no crust? Well, the sainted D'Aiuto's achieved just that distinction with its "Baby Watson" cheesecakes in its heyday, and so does Rocco's.
- Greenwich Village’s gentrification would flatten any city’s charms: In Greenwich Village, famous for its charmingly crooked streets and Bohemian history, the artists and writers who gave the Village its character are long gone, driven out by relentless rent increases that are the consequence of what is sometimes euphemistically called “gentrification”.
- Don't Tell Owners Their Buildings Are Set for Landmarking: Preservationists are pushing the city to do a better job of protecting historic buildings that are on the verge of being landmarked. More than 20 buildings across the city have been demolished or substantially changed over the past 12 years after city officials tipped off the owners that the city was considering landmarking them
- See How NYC Parks Changed (or Didn't) Since the Olden Days: Here is an interesting look at historic before and present day side by side pictures.
- Miss Lily's Jerk Ramen: Miss Lily's 7A is making its Five Days of Meat special jerk ramen a Monday night mainstay.
- Author writes about Bob Dylan’s most die-hard fans: Long time Dylan fans reminisce over Dylan stories, good and bad.
- Meatpacking District thrives as chic hot spot: Former industrial area has been transformed into neighborhood of hotels, fashion and art.
- Catch NY Is a Must-Go: Catch NY, a 3 story restaurant, located in the heart of NYC's Meatpacking District, has something for everyone. With a nice, modern, wooden, comfortable ambience, it's great for a date, drinks with a friend, and dinner with a party.
- The best ice cream in NYC: You might visit Il Buco Alimentari and Vineria, this restaurant-market hybrid to pick up a loaf of crusty filone or house-cured salumi, but on a scorching day, you’ll be hard-pressed to make it past the front counter without ordering one of the ethereally light sorbetti.
- High Rents Push NYC's Chinatown Merchants to Think Creatively: Thanks to skyrocketing rents in recent years, this eerie contrast – shops crammed into tiny spaces next door to vacancies of spacious storefronts -- has become a fixed image in Chinatown. Small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, and residents are worried the neighborhood with more than a hundred years of history may be sunsetting.
- The 7 Best Food Trucks In Brooklyn: You’ve been there, done that in Manhanttan. Now head out to Brooklyn for greener pastures and better food trucks.
- Williamsburg's First Starbucks Is Off to a Bad Start: The gentrification of hipsterville is officially complete. Williamsburg's first Starbucks opened as promised this morning at 6 a.m. to a chilly welcome from the neighborhood.
- El Paso Restaurant: El Paso restaurant on West Houston Street has closed…no more dirt cheap Lobster!
Friday, July 18, 2014
- The Central Village Tour is now re-branded as “The Heart of the Village Tour”: New Tastings, New Stories…same ole' neighborhood.
- Restaurant Week: Enjoy New York's finest meals starting at $25.
- Restaurant Week Runs July 21 - Aug 15: Restaurant week starts his Monday, so cash in your coin jar, put on those comfy pants on and get eating! Here’s a listing of all the participating restaurants.
- Here Are This Weekend's Five Best Food Events in NYC: National Ice Cream Day, Il Laboratorio Del Gelato, 188 Ludlow Street, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.
- Why Is Iced Coffee Getting So Ridiculously Expensive?: Iced coffee costs come from all sides, with the most obvious also being the easiest to overlook: the ice.
- The Essential Dry Aged Burgers of New York City: New York, by virtue of its rich culture of steakhouses, is the dry aged capital of the world. More dry aged beef is sold and consumed here than just about anywhere else, and not surprisingly, it makes its way into plenty of hamburgers.
- Crumbs Shops Will Reopen, Maybe With Dippin' Dots: After the cupcake-saving investment of the Lemonis Fischer Acquisition Company, Crumbs promises it will really will reopen at least some of its shops soon. According to CNN, the company is "looking at Crumbs' business strategy" and considering "reopening some locations that were closed or opening new ones."
- Restaurant Blames Smartphones for Slow Service: An unnamed NYC restaurant that describes itself as popular with "both locals and tourists alike" noticed an increasing number of customers complaining about slow service in recent years, and decided to investigate.
- James Beard Foundation Names 2014 Leadership Award Recipients: For its fourth annual Leadership Awards, which is co-hosted by Good Housekeeping, the James Beard Foundation chose five food writers and food activists.
- One of the oldest homes in Greenwich Village could be razed to make way for condos: One of the most beloved — and quirkiest — homes in storied Greenwich Village could be torn down if its longtime owner has her way.
- Bucolic Dreamhouse In Greenwich Village Will Probably Be Torn Down For Condos: That quaint little farmhouse on Charles Street in Greenwich Village doesn't have its roots in the neighborhood, it was moved there from the Upper East Side in 1967... and now it may be evicted. The home is currently on the market and being listed as a development site
- John's Pizzeria on the Upper East Side Has Closed: John's Pizzeria on the Upper East Side seems to have "vanished without warning sometime in June," according to Jeremiah's Vanishing New York.
- The Best Ice Cream, Gelato, and Soft Serve in NYC: What makes great ice cream? Clarity and intensity of flavor, sure. And a smooth creamy texture. Points for originality or nostalgia and add-ons like hot fudge.
- Crif Dogs, the Newest Frank Shop in the West Village: Brian Shebairo and Isaac Joseph opened the third location of their frankfurter-centric Crif Dogs Sunday in the West Village. The shop is carrying on the hot dog tradition for 120 Mcdougal St., which most recently housed the short-lived Dogmatic.
- No, New York City restaurants aren’t becoming extinct: Restaurants open and close in New York every week, and routine shutdowns when leases are up hardly portend the imminent extinction of every taco dive and four-star dining palace. And, hard as it may be for simpletons to grasp, the pricing-out of restaurants from some neighborhoods is often a boon to the city as a whole. Without Chelsea Market’s redevelopment, there’d be no Buddakan.
- 12 Best Vegetarian Restaurants In New York City: Beyond Sushi - You won’t even realize there is no fish in here because the mango and sweet potato components are so flavorful that you forget.
- Nolita's Hidden Secret: Babel Fair Boutique: Don't have the time to travel the world? Well, stop by Babel Fair in New York City and you can get pretty close. Babel Fair is the center of world fashion. They carry international labels and styles--there is truly a global assortment: from Japanese denim to Argentinean leather, they have it all!
- Planned for Madison Street: A Microbrewery: Paolo Rico Sarthou Tagatac, a college administrator from the Bronx, has been brewing beer for himself and his friends and family for a while. Now, he wants to brew it for the residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown in a new brewpub planned for 116 Madison St., just west of the Manhattan Bridge.
- Ample Hills Gowanus, Brooklyn's 'Ice Cream Paradise’: Hit Prospect Heights ice cream shop Ample Hills Creamery opens its massive new outpost in Gowanus at noon today. This is quite possibly the biggest ice cream shop in the city, with three floors dedicated to the making and consuming of frozen treats.
- Ample Hills’ Brian Smith Explains Their ‘It Came From Gowanus’ Ice Cream
- Beer Sellers Speak: Covenhoven’s James Case on the Most Requested Bottles, the Continued Importance of “Local” and More.
- New Amsterdam Market Has Come to an End: New Amsterdam Market, the long-running outdoor food market at South Street Seaport, has come to an end after nine years. In a note to supporters, founder Robert LaValva writes: "I was never able to raise the funding or attract the influential backers needed for our organization to thrive.
- Rodeo Bar Will Sing Its Final Song This Month: Rodeo Bar, aka "NYC's longest running honky-tonk," will say its cowboy's farewell on July 27th.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
- Crumbs Bake Shop Tanks, Signaling End of Cupcake Era: Last night all 48 locations of the NYC-based jumbo cupcake chain Crumbs Bake Shop closed their doors for good. The company was forced to abruptly shutter its shops after its stock plummeted and was pulled from the Nasdaq last week, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Crumbs locations seen as unappetizing: The shuttered baker's nearly 20 outposts around the city are too small for many food sellers, too pricey for many small ones and lack enough ventilation for those with ambitions to cook.
- Giant Cupcakes Are Not Dead After All: Less than 72 hours after Crumbs Bake Shop abruptly shuttered all of its locations, the chain is getting close to signing a deal that will bring it back from the dead.
- You Can Now Get Food & Beer Delivered To You In Central Park: Delivery.com is launching its first "personal picnic delivery service," which will deliver meals, special picnic packages and beer to Central Park-goers.
- 9/11 Museum Café Drops Plans to Serve Alcohol and a Full Food Menu: Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group has switched its plans for the 80-seat café that it will operate in the Pavilion at the 9/11 Museum & Museum. Back in May, Meyer suggested that customers would be able to order from a "subdued, seasonal, mostly vegetarian menu," but museum officials now say the café will serve only pastries, tea, and coffee when it debuts later this month.
- A Warming Trend in Restaurant Service: A turn toward friendlier, perk-filled service is winning customer loyalty and even a few hugs at some of the country's top restaurants. Industry leaders like Will Guidara of Manhattan's Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad are helping to shift some of the spotlight from the kitchen to the front of the house
- Booze industry is overflowing: Producers attribute the spike in beverage licenses for wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries approved by New York state so far this year to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's efforts to boost the industry.
- $120 Truffle Beer Headed to NYC Restaurants: Black truffles, which go for $3,000 per pound, have been deployed in a new brew that comes in a $120, 22-ounce serving size ideal for the one-percenter in your life. The Perigord-truffle-infused pilsner is the brainchild of Jared Rouben, late of Goose Island and now at the helm of Chicago's "culinary brewing" concept Moody Tongue.
- Eight Old-Fashioned NYC Butcher Shops Worth Visiting: Like the Germans, Italians from Southern Italy prefer pork over beef and lamb, and they fashion it into all sorts of dried and fresh sausages. The original Faicco's was founded in 1900 in Greenwich Village (the second iteration still exists on Bleecker Street) by Edward Faicco, who emigrated from Sorrento, Italy.
- The Soppressata at Faicco's Pork Store in Dyker Heights: In this edition of Sietsema's Secrets, Robert and the Eater video crew head to the Faicco's Pork Store mothership in Dyker Heights to see how this century-old company makes its soppressata.
- A Happy Hunter for a Must-Have Taste: Mr. Rosati is on a constant search for inspiration, hunting for local artisans with whom to collaborate. In New York, for instance, Milk & Cookies Bakery makes red velvet cake for the Red Velvet custard and concrete.
- Tio Pepe - A Greenwich Village Favorite Celebrates 45 Years: Tio Pepe has prospered since 1970, and considering this Greenwich Village hot spot is right in the middle of one of the most competitive restaurant neighborhoods in the world, it must be doing something right. It is, in fact, doing many things right.
- Interview With A Locksmith: In not quite a nukkad of a foreign land—Greenwich Village, New York to be precise—an Indian film-maker, writer and traveller is sucked into a tiny shop
- Pilot In Fatal LI Sound Plane Crash ID'd As NYC Resident: The pilot killed in the fatal small plane crash just north of Mattituck Inlet yesterday has been identified. Zubair Khan, a 41-year-old Manhattan resident who lived in Greenwich Village, was the only person in the aircraft.
- Bowlmor Lanes, city's oldest bowling alley, closes after 76-year run in Union Square: The beloved bowling center, opened during bowling's golden age, closed Monday night. Now it will reportedly become luxury condos.
- Bar owner Googles 'perfect market’: Eager to tap into young techies' taste for craft beers, owners of Cooper's Craft and Kitchen inked a lease on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, near several Silicon Alley heavyweights, including the search-engine star.
- Whisker and reward: Bensonhurst shaving company on the grow: The New York Shaving Company makes hand-blended shaving soaps and colognes, classic safety razors, and high-end lather brushes from a storefront on 20th Avenue in Bensonhurst and operates two shave parlors in Manhattan. Despite the parlors’ location across the river, the service is totally Old Brooklyn, according to one of the company’s founders.
- Nolita Standby Ruby's Cafe Is Closed for Expansion: Ruby's Cafe, the well-liked, Aussie-inspired Nolita standby is currently closed for an expansion.
- As New York Landlords Push Buyouts, Renters Resist: Buyouts have long been part of the city’s real estate lore, complete with only-in-New York stories of tenants who made millions relinquishing apartments they did not own. But as offers have become more common at the lower end of the ravenous housing market, buyouts have become instruments of illegal harassment and a growing threat to the stock of affordable housing, tenant groups and housing officials said.
- Smorg Jr. Debuts This Weekend With Fried Hamburgers and Indian-Mexican Tacos: Brooklyn Flea co-founder Eric Demby says that the company's long-awaited beer hall spinoff Berg'n Beer Hall will open within the next month, and in the meantime, this weekend marks the arrival of Smorg Jr., a nine-stall miniature food-vendor market within the Park Slope Flea.
- Farewell to Tad's, Manhattan's Last Meat Honkytonk: Twenty-five years ago the Tad's Steaks chain was a primary proponent of this sort of rough-and-tumble steak consumption, and bestrode the city's dining scene like a colossus.
- Upper East Side Old-Timer Soup Burg Has Shuttered: After 56 years in business, beloved diner Soup Burg closed its last location on the Upper East Side late last month.
- Nancy's Pig Heaven to Shutter, Is Seeking a New Home: Nancy's Pig Heaven (formerly just Pig Heaven) announced that it will close at the end of the month after losing its lease. The restaurant is known as a celebrity hangout (Tom Hanks is a fan), and for its kitschy pig figurines, great take-out, and its peking duck.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
- Where To Watch Fireworks In NYC This 4th Of July: The FDNY has issued permits for fireworks shows in the East River, Coney Island Beach, and beyond—with only a handful of legal firework shows in the city, make sure you stake out your seat well before nightfall. Here are you options…
- Lick It Up: A Guide to Local 4th of July Competitive Eating Events: Independence Day in these fair states of ours, like all major holidays, has a hearty eating component. Most of use will enjoy some sort of grilled fare, perhaps a slice of watermelon or an ice cream cone, knock back some frosty brews and terrifyingly saccharine popsicles while we watch the fireworks. But a select few will gather at Coney Island to watch a pantheon of highly skilled, highly stomached competitors scarf down as many hot dogs as they possibly can in Nathan’s annual hot dog eating contest.
- 10 American Facts You Can Use To Ruin Any July 4 Party: It's that time of year again, when fireworks light up the sky and we all think about the wonder that is America. Friends remark to friends, "Isn't America beautiful?" and answer, "Indeed, from sea to shining sea." Well, maybe this is the year to celebrate with some truth fireworks. While fireworks may improve any party, truth fireworks burn them to the ground. Have a fun barbecue!
- The most Patriotic, I love ‘merica, Red, White and gosh darn Blue cake you’ll ever make recipe right here!
- Historic Districts May Stunt Affordable Housing Growth: A new study has revealed that landmarking historic districts may hinder the creation of affordable housing through "unnecessary barriers and delays."
- New York’s Best Cheap Eats: From #1 to #101. And introducing our second hairsplitting, new five-star ranking system. Some standouts include Tuck Shop, Lupa and Katz’s.
- There Goes the Neighborhood Cafe: Danny Meyer talks about why the Union Square Cafe is a casualty of rising rents.
- 19-Year-Old Houston Street Kebab House Bereket Has Closed: The bustling Turkish kebab house Bereket, which served sobering doses of harsh fluorescent lighting and hot kofte kebabs to thousands and thousands of late-night diners, closed over the weekend sometime after the falafel ran out, around 1 a.m. on Sunday morning.
- California Backs Off Glove Requirement for Restaurant Workers: Everyone from high-end sushi chefs to dive-bar cocktail specialists will be able to handle food without gloves in California once Governor Jerry Brown signs a bill reversing an ill-fated ban that proved to be exceedingly unpopular among high-end and independent restaurant workers.
- Red, white and blue booze: Get ready for a libation celebration across the nation! These bars are featuring a star-spangled selection of deliciously patriotic beverages and inviting guests to sip some colorfully creative cocktails while raising a glass to the USA on its birthday... and game day. Freedom never tasted so good featuring the Cocci Fourth at Baker & Co.
- A 99-Year-Old Greenwich Village Eatery Steps Into A New Century: In a time when many of the city's older stalwarts are disappearing, there's a least one Greenwich Village holdout that has no intention of fading away. In fact, Caffe Dante, which turns a ripe old 100 next year, is actually thriving and expanding, adding a new menu of hot food items to supplement the gelato and coffee program that's been going strong since the cafe's inception.
- What to Eat at the Newly Reopened, 99-Year-Old Caffe Dante: Over on MacDougal Street, the exterior of Caffe Dante hasn't changed, and not much of the 99-year-old shop's interior has, really, either.
- Joaquin Phoenix lunching at Caffe Dante in Greenwich Village
- Music Historian Finds 149 Bob Dylan Acetate Records in New York City: Between 1969 and 1972, Bob Dylan used the ground floor of a building in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a rehearsal space. A few months ago, two boxes labeled “Old Records” were discovered inside that building.
- As Real Estate Developers Swoop In, NYC Says Farewell to the Antiques Garage Flea Market: A vintage flag flew at half-mast in Chelsea this past Sunday, as The Antiques Garage Flea Market closed its doors permanently. The gritty, eccentric, treasure trove was a popular haunt for die-hard collectors, designers, tourists and celebrities. Known to most as simply The Garage, it was an actual parking garage Monday through Friday, and a flea market on the weekends.
- Metamorphosis; Photos of Gansevoort Market / Meatpacking District by Brian Rose. Wednesday, July 9, 6:30 – 8:00 P.M., Free; reservations required.
- The 10 Best Hot Dogs In NYC: Asia Dog started out as a little portable stand (not even a food truck, just a folding table!), but now they've got their own Kenmare Street storefront. While their dog offerings are of the pretty standard beef, chicken and veggie variety, they excel when it comes to dressing the links.
- The Classic Bagel and Salmon Sandwich at Russ & Daughters in New York City: One of the most popular orders is also one of the dishes New York City is famous for: A bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Known on the Russ & Daughters menu as "The Classic," this humble sandwich tells the story of one family's commitment to doing things the old fashioned way.
- 9 Factoids About NYC's 'Shadow' Transit Network, Dollar Vans: It is not uncommon for residents of New York's Chinese communities to speak little or no English, even if they have lived in the city for decades. For many of these immigrants, taking the subway or bus can be an uncomfortable experience ... A ride on a Chinatown van, on the other hand, is a relatively familiar experience for a Chinese immigrant.
- ReBar Fraudster Jason Stevens Banned From NY Restaurant Industry For Life: Stevens pled guilty to grand larceny and four counts of criminal tax fraud in the second degree after he allegedly didn't pay millions of dollars in taxes over the last couple years. And now, Stevens has been formally banned for life from the NY restaurant and catering industry.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
- Union Square Cafe Forced to Move Due to Rent Hike: Danny Meyer's trailblazing Manhattan restaurant, Union Square Cafe, will close in its current location by the end of 2015. The space that holds the near 30 year-old restaurant, which was the very first in Meyer's now massive empire, goes on the market next week, the Times reports, because even the king of hospitality himself can't keep up with the soaring rent.
- Union Square Cafe Joins Other Victims of New York City’s Rising Rents: It is one of the hard truths of New York real estate: Restaurants help revitalize neighborhoods, then are forced to close when their rents skyrocket. The latest casualty is Union Square Cafe, a pioneering restaurant that became the mother ship of the fleet run by the entrepreneur Danny Meyer. It will forfeit its lease at the end of next year, close its doors and move to a location to be determined.
- Why It’s Become More Tempting Than Ever for Chefs to Leave New York: Any chef who dreamed of seeing their name emblazoned on a cookbook cover knew that doing so meant first making that name in New York. Chefs who dreamed of making it big — really big — had to build a reputation for him or herself in NYC. But things are changing: Thanks to a number of factors, chefs increasingly feel like they can avoid or leave New York without sacrificing the potential for fame.
- New York City's Soda Ban Fizzles Out For Good: The state's Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the city's ban on Thursday morning, ruling that the city's health department had "exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority" when it prohibited the sale of sugary drinks sold in containers larger than 16 ounces.
- Deconstructing the Perfect Burger: How to make a great hamburger is a question that has bedeviled the nation for generations, for as long as Americans have had griddles and broilers, for as long as summertime shorts-wearing cooks have gone into the yard to grill. But the answer is simple, according to many of those who make and sell the nation’s best hamburgers: Cook on heavy, cast-iron pans and griddles.
- The Death of Auto Grat; How the IRS is Turning Servers Into Slaves: Apparently, the IRS is treating auto grats as wages. Which means a lot of new rules regarding payroll and whatnot. Long story short, the days of feeling confident that even if that party of 12 that has made you run your ass off seems like the type of people who have never tipped, even in the collection plate, you'll still get paid are over.
- Serious Trappist-Monk Shortage May Threaten Future of Some Really Awesome Beers: A dwindling interest among Europeans in becoming part of the brotherhood, it seems, is causing collateral damage to some of the world's most sought-after Trappist beers.
THIS WEEK IN GREENWICH VILLAGE
- Pastry Cases Sample the French Treats at Bosie Tea Parlor: In each installment of Pastry Cases, sweets fanatics and lovers of (most) things baked Charlotte Druckman and Gabriella Gershenson (of Every Day with Rachael Ray) share a favorite confection, slice of cake, ice cream scoop, or other delectable delight worth the sugar high—and the trek. In this week's edition, the coquettes nibble authentic French pastry with piping hot tea at the venerable Bosie Tea Parlor in the West Village.
- Chumley's Looks Likely To Vanquish NIMBY Lawsuit: It's been seven years since the historic building that housed Chumley's collapsed, and the bar's seemingly never-ending quest to reopen crossed another important hurdle this week, when a judge told the NIMBYs who sued to stop the re-opening that their case was a real long shot and they should consider settling out of court.
THIS WEEK IN CENTRAL VILLAGE
- New American: Dan Barber Explores a Brave New Cuisine: Barber just released The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, a book he says started as an exploration of how unique individual ingredients are grown, and morphed into a blueprint for a new American cuisine. He goes beyond our current farm-to-table paradigm, under which we still cherry pick produce and other ingredients for our restaurants and plates, to champion a diet that considers the health of the land and a system of farming that will preserve our ecosystem for generations to come.
THIS WEEK IN CHELSEA MARKET/ MEATPACKING
- The High Line Hit List: Yes, the High Line can be unpleasant, especially when you find yourself elbow fighting with tourists for a spot in line at one of the few food vendors that are up on the park itself. The good news is that the High Line can also be an excellent place to spend a lazy summer afternoon – as long as you know how to do it right. Instead of dealing with the options available above the street, bring some food of your own and settle into a chair near the 14th Street entrance.
- Restoration Hardware May Take Over Pastis Building: Restoration Hardware recently filed a document with the city that indicates it will take over the lease of the entire building that until recently held Pastis. Although the owner of the building still tells DNAinfo that "we don't know yet" who the tenant will be, the home goods company did file a memorandum of lease—a document outlining the terms of a lease agreement—with the city last week.
THIS WEEK IN NOLITA
- Trend Spotting: New York’s Renewed Bagel Obsession: Seeing as they’re one of New York’s signature foodstuffs, we tend to take great bagels for granted, from the oversized, sesame seed-flecked frisbees at Ess-A-Bagel outposts throughout Manhattan to the compact, highly burnished orbs at Bagel Hole in Brooklyn. But lately, a growing crew of young, hip chefs and shop owners have revived interest in the iconic breakfast item, elevating bagels to so much more than doughy calorie bombs, topped with basic, cream cheese schmears.
- Cherche Midi – Reviewed: It’s amazing how a few tweaks can transform a space into a whole new restaurant. What was once a chichi pizza joint named Pulino’s has been triumphantly reinvented as a French bistro called Cherche Midi.
THIS WEEK IN CHINATOWN
- The 10 Best Men's Shave Spots In NY: Frank's Chop Shop is of the nouveau barbershop persuasion, offering up a veritable hip, contemporary vibe complete with hip-hop music and $40 snapbacks, all the while doling out classic cuts and shaves for the "modern gentleman of leisure."
- Don’t Turn Up Your Nose at the City in Summer: NEW YORK CITY has always had a challenging relationship with odor, which given its density, could hardly be otherwise. And as summer gets going, so does the season of smell.
Monday, June 23, 2014
In New York City, there are a few ways you can go as far as celebrating Independence Day. Of course, there are the spectacular fireworks over the Hudson River (put on by Macy's for the second time this year), for which many people buy expensive tickets to beautiful boat cruises or clamor for space on the west coast of Manhattan. There are street fairs and walking tours and all kinds of celebrations of food and independence and alcohol. And many New Yorkers choose to flee the city entirely, opting for barbecues and beach time with friends and family in the Hamptons, Fire Island, and at the Jersey Shore.
If you're in the City for the Fourth, you are welcome to fight the crowds at the hot-spots. Or you can create your own version of the holiday celebrating the independence of our country.
So avoid the crowds! Here are 3 alternatives to some of the more popular ways to spend the holiday.
1. Eat Your Face Off
The Tradition: Miami Zombies aren't the only ones who can have all the fun. (No? Too soon?) Traditionally, people flock to Coney Island for the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest to watch contestants down dozens of hot dogs in ten minutes for a grand prize of $20,000. And while watching people gorge themselves on stages is amusing, you can indulge in the excellent American tradition of hot dog eating on July 4th without elbowing your way through these throngs of 40,000+ people.
The Alternative: Instead, stop by Crif Dogs (whose website, by the way, features an amusing dancing hot dog) in the East Village or at their location in Brooklyn. People won't be swallowing them whole (which is probably a good thing?), but any hot dog fan will be thoroughly satisfied. I recommend the "spicy red neck" (a house dog, wrapped in bacon, with chili, cole slaw, and jalapenos) and then a saunter over to Tompkins Square Park for some good, old fashioned people watching.
2. Spend Your Day
The Tradition: Everyone loves a good street fair. I guess. Street fairs are plentiful in New York in the summer, and all of them end up looking the same to me: sausage vendor, grilled corn, witty t-shirts... rinse, repeat. Sure there are exceptions, and seeing some of the different vendors can be exciting. If you are so inclined, the Great July 4th Festival is happening from 11am to 6pm this year, on Water Street from Fulton to Broad Street. I'm sure you could easily spend a nice day wandering around there and relaxing in Battery Park.
The Alternative: But if you really want to have some fun, I'm betting that the Iron Horse's Annual Pig Roast BBQ Block Party will be pretty awesome. I'll be honest: I've never attended this party myself, but I've heard good things and always had a great time at the Iron Horse. They're closing down Cliff Street (also way downtown in the Financial District), setting up picnic tables and dancing, and raising money for The Wounded Warrior Project. Sounds like an honorable way to celebrating your independence from the Mother Country.
3. Spend Your Evening
The Tradition: The Fourth of July fireworks in New York can be kind of epic. This year, Macy's returns to the East River (much to the delight of the millions of Brooklyn and Queens residents) for more incendiary fun. I always imagine the island of Manhattan kind of tipping to one side as its occupants crowd to one side for a glimpse of the fireworks.
The Alternative: You can fulfill your firework desires elsewhere! Astoria Park's Independence Day celebration is happening very early this year (June 30th), and Coney Island has fireworks every Friday evening. And if you need to see explosions on the actual day of July 4th, you can check out the Brooklyn Cyclones Stadium at Coney Island, where they'll be putting on a fireworks show after their home game that evening.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
The Weekly Roundup: Pepperoni over Sausage, Street Food goes truckin' and The High Line grabs #5 in the World
- Summer Streets Are BACK, Baby: The rock-climbing, zip-lining, architectural-touring, meditative-perambulating, solace-steeping ritual that is Summer Streets will return for three consecutive Saturdays. On August 2nd, 9th, and 16th, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., the DOT is declaring a holiday from the noisy, noxious, death machines on seven miles of road; Park Avenue and Lafayette Street from East 72nd down to Chambers Street. But wait, there's more.
- Ben & Jerry’s Debuts Lazy Sunday and Other SNL-Inspired Ice Cream Flavors: If its limited-edition "Schweddy Balls" flavor was any indication, ice cream company Ben & Jerry's is sort of adept at making flavors tied in to Saturday Night Live, so in honor of the show's 40th anniversary, they've concocted four Scoop Shop flavors (so no pint do-ups, sadly) based on sketches and shorts.
- The Beer Trail: 8 New Microbreweries to Visit: Brooklyn Brewery was just the beginning. Thanks to the rise of local microbreweries with on-site taprooms, it’s possible to embark on the hops-and-malt-driven equivalent of a wine-tasting weekend in Napa without ever leaving town.
- Wage hike eyed for tipped food-service workers: Low-wage workers who believe they were left behind in the 2013 deal to raise the state's minimum wage might finally be getting some relief from the Cuomo administration.
- Papaya King's First Food Truck Hits the Streets Next Week: Classic New York hot dog joint Papaya King is launching its first food truck later this month. The bright yellow vehicle will start roaming the streets on June 23, selling those cheap all-beef hot dogs and tropical juices, as well as onion rings, fried pickles, and fried Oreos.
- The Halal Guys, Cashing In on Street Cred: More than a decade after three Egyptian men switched from selling hot dogs from their Midtown cart to serving halal food to Muslim cabdrivers, the Halal Guys are about to become a fast-food chain.
- Nobody’s buying sausage pizza anymore in NYC: To the list of bygone New York City pleasures, add one more slice of life — the sausage pizza. While pepperoni and cheese remain the most popular, the sausage slice has been replaced by buffalo chicken and pineapples, artichokes and ziti.
- Quirky Lots Shape Building Projects: In the 1920s, when New York City extended Sixth Avenue south to lower Manhattan, it obliterated entire streets and the homes of thousands of people, leaving a patchwork of demolition scars. But adversity sometimes begets opportunity. Developers, filling in some of last remaining scars, have turned some of the Greenwich Village and SoHo lots into buildings with prominent designs and necessarily unusual shapes.
- The 10 Best Ice Creams in NYC, 2014 Edition: Whether you're looking for wacky combinations, baller banana splits and sundaes, or just a scoop of plain vanilla, it's a great time to not be lactose intolerant in New York. The city that never sleeps has quickly become the city that can't stop, won't stop shoveling icy desserts into its mouth.
- Three Great Cheap Places You Should Know About: Ramen Thukpa is one of the few eateries left in the West Village where you can score a bargain-priced meal at any hour.
- Flavors of Georgia Coming to Bleecker Street: Bleecker Street will soon be getting a taste of Georgia. But don’t expect barbecue sauce — these are the dumplings, grilled meats and cheesy breads of the small Eurasian country.
- TripAdvisor Announces World's Top Landmarks And Parks In Travelers' Choice Attractions Awards: The High Line takes #5 in top 10 world parks.
- Breakfast Hours Debut at Chelsea Market: Chelsea Market, a long-running lunch mainstay for tourists and nearby office workers, is rolling out breakfast hours. The Doughnuttery will also be baking up sweet treats like a maple, bacon, and purple potato donut known as The Purple Pig.
- Green Space So Exclusive It’s Off Limits Even to Residents: The Schumacher, a historic printing plant on Bleecker Street in NoLIta that is being converted, had an original light well from 1883, which helped illuminate the interior of the building. With 21 condos for $4 million to $25 million, buyers could hardly be expected to look out onto an empty concrete shaft, like the denizens of some nearby tenement. Worse yet would be if it became a party venue.
- 8 Chinese Dishes You Need to Know: Asian fusion is over, and one thing is clear: across the country, the best chefs are diving deeper into their obsession with hyper-regional fare. They’re going beyond the chow fun and pad Thai that have become as American as apple pie to approximate new delicacies like xiao long bao and larb moo.
- 'Elixir of Long Life' recreated using 19th century recipe: Medicinal brew of alcohol and herbs was once used as a 'miracle cure’: The secret to everlasting life may have been found, if this 19th century ‘miracle cure’ proves to be the real deal. In May, archaeologists found bottles beneath a hotel construction site in Chinatown that once contained medicinal remedies.
- The Dumbo Shake Shack Opens: The long-awaited Dumbo Shake Shack opened this past Tuesday. The menu is the same as all the other locations, plus, as always, a couple location-specific concretes. One of those, named for the nearby Jane's Carousel, includes crushed sugar cones, sea salt, caramel sauce, and banana. The other one blends vanilla custard with a slice of pie from the beloved Four & Twenty Blackbirds (the pie flavor changes seasonally). No word yet on whether this spot will also get those new handcut fries, but it does have wine on tap.
- Brooklyn Now Has Its Very Own Artisanal Scotch: Out of all the handcrafted whiskey getting made in Brooklyn, the borough has until now not had a Scotch whisky to call its own. Probably because Scotch has to be made, you know, in Scotland. But now that gap in the market has been filled by Jura Brooklyn, a single-malt Scotch that master distiller Willie Tate says was inspired by the people of Kings County.