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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Weekly Roundup: Hot Doughnut Grilled Cheese, Xi'an Famous Foods Debuts Dumpling Restaurant and How Pizza Really Came To America

  • Major NYC Dining Influencer Steve Hanson Is Making a Comeback:Steve Cuozzo at the Post reports that Stephen Hanson — the restaurateur who founded monster hospitality group BR Guest — will be opening a new restaurant at the old Life magazine building. Hanson hasn’t opened an NYC restaurant since he sold his final stake in BR Guest in more than three years ago.
  • Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras 2017: Whether you actually intend to give something up for the season (or are merely seeking respite from your daily woes), here’s where to laissez les bons temps rouler New Orleans style, with sazeracs, po-boys and more.
  • CAN THE NYC STEAKHOUSE SURVIVE: The New York City steakhouse faces a prickly paradox. It is too old, respected, and august to die. But is it too esoteric, off-trend, and regressive to live?

  • America’s Independent Restaurants Are Closing at an Alarming Rate: This past year saw plenty of hand-wringing by restaurateurs — the industry is in recession thanks to an uptick in labor costs, consumers opting for delivery, and fears in general about the future of U.S. democracy. But a new data set from an industry tracker adds some depressing additional context, if you consider America to be maxed out on burger-flipping chains.
  • U.K. Farmers Warn Brexit Could Make Their Crops ‘Rot in the Fields’: Here’s a familiar-sounding argument: British farmers say the impending Brexit, which will reduce immigration significantly, could send their industry into a free fall, since about 20 percent of the workers in their fields are foreign. As a result, England’s largest farmer union is pleading for a trade deal that allows not just access to the rest of Europe’s market, but also the ability to employ Europe’s workers.
  • This Is the Correct Way to Make a Perfect Manhattan: Look, not everyone has to have their home bar fully stocked at all times with all sorts of obscure mezcals and expensive bottles of Scotch and specialty bitters. But if you’re going to be an adult, and you’re going to drink alcohol, there are a few cocktails that you really must know how to make.


  • Brace Yourself For The Brand New Doughnut Grilled Cheese: This combination of melted cheese and sweet doughy deliciousness will soon be available at Clinton Hall, a craft beer hall in Manhattan's Financial District. The special sandwich was created in partnership with The Doughnut Project, a small-batch doughnut shop in the West Village. The product of this dream collab is what Clinton Hall is calling "The Flamin Hot Doughnut Grilled Cheese."

  • Le Pain Quotidien Unveils its Second Bleecker Street Outpost: Le Pain Quotidien just planted another flag downtown. The Belgian-style bakery is poised to open its umpteenth city location in the kink of Bleecker Street, where American Apparel previously outfitted NYU students. Now it’ll fatten them up.
  • Australians Open New Cafe In Greenwich Village: Banter, at 169 Sullivan St. just north of West Houston Street, is owned by Sydney native Nick Duckworth and Melbourne native Josh Evans, who moved to New York 18 months ago and met working at the Australian cafe Two Hands in Nolita.

  • THE ABSOLUTE BEST DUMPLINGS IN NYC: Italian-born pasta and sauce company, Giovanni Rana, is like the Willy Wonka of pasta, churning out unexpected flavors like red lentil spaghetti and chili and garlic infused pappardelle daily in its part-factory part-restaurant inside Chelsea Market. The place’s signature dessert -- ravioli made with dark chocolate -- is a childhood fantasy come true.

  • The Untold Story of How My Grandfather Brought Pizza to America: We examined the relationship between Lombardi’s—believed to be the first U.S. pizzeria to open, in 1905—and Totonno’s, which was opened in 1924 by the man credited as Lombardi’s first pizza chef. Antoinette Balzano, the granddaughter of Totonno, who now runs Totonno’s along with her siblings, felt there was some information she wanted to add about her grandfather’s legacy.

  • Xi’an Famous Foods Team Debuts a New Dumpling Restaurant: The masterminds behind popular local noodle chain Xi’an Famous Foods just opened a completely new restaurant in their old Chinatown space: Dumpling Spot, a fast-casual restaurant focusing on, as the name suggests, dumplings. The new restaurant is in soft opening at 67 Bayard St. The outpost of Xi’an Famous Foods formerly in that storefront moved to a bigger space at 45 Bayard St. last week.

  • Hot Neighborhood: 8 New Places to Eat Near Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  The area around the Barclays Center is abuzz with new and exciting places to eat. There’s already a food hall (with another, Dekalb Market, planning to open soon), a dine-in theater, plenty of spots to enjoy handmade pasta and even more in the works — including an outpost of the fast-casual Korean spot, Korilla BBQ, and an all-day cafe named Hudson Jane. Here are the latest spots in and around Fort Greene that you should be checking out now. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Weekly Roundup: Foods Of NY Tours On The Travel Channel, Best NYC Restaurants For Every Budget and Danny Meyer Opens Daily Provisions

  • Travel Channels Cool Jobs Series:Check out tour guide Raheem and our Chinatown tour featured on Travel Channels “Cool Job Series”!
  • GETAWAY: GOURMET FOOD TOURS.  Nothing gives you a greater understanding of a city or country than by indulging in its food. Foods of New York Tours document the influence of generations of immigrants; walk through the various neighborhoods of New York City and try hand-made Italian pasta and cannoli, Polish kielbasa sausage or experience the hustle of Chinatown as you snack on a traditional Chinese pastry. 

  • These Are New York City’s James Beard Semifinalists: The James Beard Foundation has released the semifinalists for the 2017 Restaurant & Chef James Beard Awards. On March 15th, the list will be narrowed down to the finalists for all award categories during a press conference at Suzanne Goin’s A.O.C. in LA. 
  • Guide to New York Beer Week 2017: Whether you’re a fanatical homebrewer or just a sometime imbiber, who wouldn’t want to lose themselves in the bottom of a pint glass for nine straight days?  Thanks to New York Beer Week — an annual, out-out celebration of suds — there’s an opportunity to do just that, through tap takeovers, festivals, pairing dinners and more!
  • THE ABSOLUTE BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN NYC: These restaurants, many of which are helmed by women with extensive experience in Italy, look across the Atlantic for inspiration to deliver seasonal, ingredient-driven, conservatively portioned (and ideally digestible; in Italy, this is a prerequisite for a successful meal) dishes to the city's tables.
  • Danny Meyer Serving Up Sandwiches & Doughnuts In New Spot Next To Union Square Cafe: The re-opening of Danny Meyer's beloved Union Square Cafe, just a few blocks up and over from its location of 30 years, has definitely been a glittering highlight of this winter restaurant season. If, that is, you feel comfortable dropping $27 for a plate of pappardelle. But now there's good news in Meyerland for those of us of more modest means: the recent unveiling of Daily Provisions, a coffee- doughnut- sandwich-shop located right next door to (and sharing the kitchen with) the new mothership.



  • A Dumpling Master is Now Cooking at a New Soho Restaurant: Talk to any self-respecting dumpling snob about xiao long bao, and you’ll inevitably land on the subject of Din Tai Fung. The Taiwan-founded chain has maintained a sterling reputation while spreading the soup-dumpling gospel from Indonesia to Los Angeles, even earning a Michelin star at two Hong Kong locations along the way. You can’t blame first-time restaurateur Sean Tang, then, for taking advantage of family connections to poach a veteran chef from the chain to run Pinch Chinese, a new restaurant opening in Soho tonight.

  • The Best Restaurants for Every Budget in New York City: Inexpensive: Los Mariscos; This Chelsea Market sibling to Los Tacos No. 1 (actually voted Zagat's no. 1 taco in NYC this past year) focuses on Mexican seafood unlike its meaty counterpart, including fish and shrimp tacos ($3–$3.50), ceviche ($4–$6), aguachiles and a raw bar, supplemented by libations like palomas, margaritas ($12 each), aguas frescas and more. 

  • In Chinatown, a Go-To Thai Grocery: Mr. Pongsopon is accustomed to specific, and sometimes desperate, customer requests. His bright and tiny store, next to a dumpling stand on blocklong Mosco Street in Chinatown, is a standby for people passionate about Thai food, including some of the city’s top chefs.
  • Chinatown’s Lalo Keeps Its Sense of Humor: In 2016 the bearded and mustachioed chef from San Diego left El Rey, vowing to start his own restaurant. He traveled to Europe and Mexico first, then opened Lalo in Chinatown, supplanting what had been a battered but much-loved karaoke tavern. 

  • Why Brooklyn’s Take Root Will Close at the Peak of Success: Take Root — a tiny, one-of-a-kind restaurant in Carroll Gardens that has 12 seats, one Michelin star, and only two staffers: chef Elise Kornack and her wife, Anna Hieronimus. On March 17, they will permanently close their four-year-old restaurant, but it’s a decision that they’ve made from a position of strength — business is better than ever. 
  • Where To Eat In Crown Heights & Prospect Heights: Crown and Prospect Heights make up the area south of Bed-Stuy and north of Flatbush. Look at a map. It’s a big area - and there’s a lot to eat. Soul food, Caribbean, Korean, and more. Much more, actually. But if we listed every type of food you could find out there, it would be a long, boring list, and you’d resent us for making you read it. Read this guide instead. It has 22 places where you'll like what you eat and have a good time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Travel Channels Cool Jobs Series

When being asked to be apart of Travel Channels Cool Job Series, we were on board right away!

Check out this episode of Cool Jobs as the Travel Channel follows tour guide Raheem through the ever evolving Chinatown during his tour!

 Raheem has been a tour guide with Foods of New York Tours for over 10 years and continues turn people onto Chinatowns most amazing eats on a weekly basis.

Food lover, people lover and history buff, Raheem truly loves his job and does consider it one of the "Coolest Jobs" around.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Foods of New York Tours on Cake Boss

Foods of New York Tours on Cake Boss 

This past year Cake Boss teamed up with us at Foods of New York Tours to create a Dumpling Cake for tour guide Raheem's Birthday! 

Raheem has been a tour guide with Foods of New York Tours for 10 years now! He has been leading our Chinatown Tour for years.  Because this tour is so special to him and because Cake Boss was interested in creating an all Dumpling Cake, we decided to share the event to create a special Birthday celebration for Raheem! 

Check out the Episode of Cake Boss here! Cake Boss & Foods of New York Tours

More information regarding our Chinatown tour here: Chinatown Food Tour

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Weekly Roundup: Murray's Cheese Sold To Kroger, 60 NYC Cheep Eats and The History Of Marshmallow Fluff

  • 12 Restaurants Where Your Valentine’s Day Dinner Will Actually Be Good: New Yorkers are resolved to head out into this annual minefield of heart-shaped pizzas, prix-fixe meals, and cheesy chocolate sweets. Some restaurants, however, resist the temptation to go Hallmark, and keep their normal menus — all the better, because that’s what customers really want. Here, 12 places sticking to their usual routine for Valentine’s Day.
  • Bourdain Doesn’t Want His Big NYC Market to Be Just For ‘Gringos’: For one, he doesn’t want it to be a place only for food world obsessives (including the “Eater-reading cognoscenti”), American-born Asians, and “gringos.” He wants street food that will also draw Asian-born locals who want to eat like they do at home.
  • 60 Cheap Eats Destinations You Should Know About in NYC: As restaurant prices continue to soar, finding a cheap restaurant meal becomes more of a priority. And if the inexpensive feed is not only delicious but also interesting, and maybe even outside your previous dining experience, all the better. From time to time, I post about cheap restaurants I’ve stumbled on in the five boroughs and adjacent metropolitan areas, devoting a paragraph or two to each and making a few menu recommendations. Here is a collection of those restaurants, listed alphabetically.
  • Artisanal Twinkies and Fish-Shaped Ice Cream Cones Battle for Your Instagram Post at This Dessert Festival: Prepare for a festival highlighting dollhouse desserts and Instagrammable treats as Dessert Goals returns to New York for a second run. The dessert-themed gathering, which will take place on March 25th and 26th, comes from founders Miraya Berke and Liang Shi, who reportedly sold-out last year’s event in 10 minutes.

  • Dominique Ansel Will Expand His Empire to Los Angeles: Since riding Cronuts to international pastry fame, Dominique Ansel has opened Dominique Ansel Kitchen in New York, complete with a dessert-tasting menu upstairs, and taken his company across waters to London and Tokyo. But he’s so far limited his fondant influence in the United States to New York. That will change later this year, when Ansel expands to Los Angeles with a branch of Dominique Ansel Bakery and his first full-service restaurant.
  • How Does a Neighborhood Restaurant Keep Locals Happy After Receiving National Acclaim?  Olmsted, a 50-seat spot in Prospect Heights that Baxtrom conceived as a neighborhood restaurant, is actually on a similar trajectory to Rose’s — topping countless lists of openings in 2016. While this is, of course, exciting for both of these chef-owners, it also poses a challenge: How do you stay true to your local, regular customers — operating the restaurant in a way that’s accessible and relaxed — while still catering to diners who may have flown in for dinner? If a sense of warmth and intimacy is critical to your success, how do you expand? Here, they explain.
  • 11-Hour Lines for a New Ale? Fans Wait, Breweries Worry: The fan base for these special-edition ales has been growing since the early 2010s, creating excitement and a new revenue stream for the craft-beer business. But the waiting lines for each new release have become so unwieldy that many brewers are taking steps to contain or manage them.
  • The Sweet, Gooey History of Marshmallow Fluff: Peer into a kid’s lunchbox anywhere in America and you’re likely to find one of a few classic sandwiches: As food trends come and go, ham and cheese and peanut butter and jelly remain enduringly popular year after year. In New England, though, such a search is just as likely to turn up a fluffernutter, the sweet pairing of peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff slathered on white bread that’s long been a favorite in the region’s lunchrooms.


  • Murray’s Cheese bought by grocery giant Kroger Company: The bespoke Bleecker St. cheese shop that's catered to locals for more than 75 years was sold to grocery chain giant Kroger Company, the Daily News has learned.
  • Julieta Ballesteros Adds Spice to the West Village with Tavo: Julieta Ballesteros is one of the most accomplished Mexican chefs in NYC, having helped open Mexicana Mama back in 1998, and gone on to launch Crema, Los Feliz and La Loteria besides.  But while she’s considered a master of flavors from her hometown of Monterrey, she’s also known for infusing globally-inspired influences throughout her cooking, as with her 2012 project, China Latina.
  • The Cornelia Street Cafe: Nearing 40, And In Need of Help: The Cornelia Street Cafe which opened its doors in July 1977 needs your help.  In 1998, the Cafe was one of the restaurants recognized by GVSHP with one of our annual Village Awards presented to “Cornelia Street Restaurants”.  

  • America's Best Vegan Restaurants: By CHLOE, New York, This counter service Greenwich Village gem has become one of the most popular restaurants in New York since it opened less than a year ago. Co-founders Chloe Coscarelli and Samantha Wasser are serving some truly inspired creations there
  • First Look: DŌ, a Dessert Shop Where Cookie Dough Dreams Come True.  After two years of ecommerce sales, Kristen Tomlan, founder and CEO of DŌ, has brought her cookie dough confections to a brick-and-mortar shop in Greenwich Village. Serving scoops of handcrafted, safe-to-eat raw cookie dough (featuring a pasteurized egg product and heat-treated flour) and other cookie-themed treats, the opening has been well-received by dessert lovers in NYC, with lines of customers down the block despite freezing temperatures.

  • A Hip Cafe by Women, for Everybody: As the saying goes, Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth. But not at De Maria, a stylish new restaurant on the edge of NoLIta. “Even though we are all very new friends, it was very clear from the start that we all shared a common aesthetic and vision, both in design and a way of providing thoughtful dining experiences,” offers De Maria’s culinary director and executive chef Camille Becerra. Her collaborators comprise a mostly female group of creatives and trailblazers from various industries.

  • Cajun, Far From Home, at the Gumbo Bros: Adam Lathan, the chef of the Gumbo Bros, lays no claim to the one true gumbo. “I can’t make it like your grandmother did,” he said apologetically. “I’ll try my best.”  The restaurant is in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, but its red sign was painted by hand on Magazine Street in New Orleans. Inside, a golden football helmet with a fleur-de-lis overlooks portraits of Napoleon, hand thrust inside waistcoat, and the blues pianist James Booker, called the Bayou Maharajah, in eye patch and halo.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Weekly Roundup: 10 Must Try NYC Chicken Wings for Superbowl, Naples's Best Pizza Maker Lands On The Bowery and 12 Restaurants to Ring In The Chinese New Year

  • Union Square Cafe’s Next-Door Takeaway Shop Opens This Friday: When Danny Meyer found a new home for Union Square Cafe, the lease included the space next door. And so what had been Duke’s Original Roadhouse is now Daily Provisions, a takeout shop and café serving breakfast and lunch, with plans for dinner come spring. 
  • New City Council Bill Would Require Letter Grades on New York’s Food Carts: Lamb over rice is one step closer to being certified as sanitary as well as halal. The Daily News says Queens councilwoman Karen Koslowitz will formally introduce a bill today requiring New York City food trucks and carts to display letter grades. 
  • Madison Square Garden Buys Massive Stake in Clubstaurant Juggernaut Tao Group: It’s a good time to be in the business of building five story-tall buddha statues, or making sparklers that you can stick in the tops of Champagne bottles. The company that owns Madison Square Garden, the Knicks, and Radio City Music Hall in NYC is joining forces with the operators of some of America’s most profitable nightclubs and clubstaurants.
  • The Absolute Best Poke Bowl in New York: Poke, a dish traditionally made with fresh raw fish and toppings like onions and seaweed, has been popular in Hawaii for decades. But in the past year or so, the poke bowl’s fandom in New York has exploded, and poke has moved from something you’d see once in a blue moon to the most popular “food concept” in the city. 

  • Late to the Game, Football Stadiums Aim for Better Food: As another Super Bowl nears, the Vikings, with a few other teams in the National Football League, are leading a charge to upgrade food in the tradition-bound world of football stadium concessions, one of last big captive markets to address the broadening culinary sensibilities of fans.
  • Can Mom-and-Pop Pizzerias Be Modernized? How one entrepreneur is bringing new customers to old-fashioned restaurants.
  • Rao’s Owner Frank Pellegrino Sr. Has Died: Charles Rao opened Rao’s in 1896 — the historic Harlem restaurant that’s arguably the most exclusive place in New York — but it was Frank Pellegrino Sr. (his nephew) who transformed it into what it is today.
  • How Restaurants Literally Stay Warm in Winter: Some cities prefer one style over others. Those acrylic and vinyl vestibules have often been a fascination in New York City, where they’re ubiquitous, but you’re not likely to see many in, say, Toronto or DC. But why? How do restaurants strategize against the cold weather?


  • After 17 Years, This 3-Star Chef’s Closing Her Restaurant Because It’s ‘Grow or Die’: As she told the Times, her real-estate taxes, coupled with the new minimum-wage law, creates too large of a burden to bear, so she’ll close her beloved West Village restaurant in May. But it’s more than just a financial decision — Lo has literally worked herself to the bone. Here, she explains.
  • The New Chumley’s Raises the Culinary Bar: If you heard that Chumley’s is open again, you were misinformed. The dim, spare, beer-scented hideaway in the West Village is gone, torn down, not coming back. At its old address is a restaurant that has nothing in common with the original except a name, a door, an archway and framed photographs of, and jackets of books by, writers who used to drink there. Most of them wouldn’t be able to afford a cocktail there now, let alone dinner.

  • NYC Just Opened A Cookie Dough Cafe And It’s Exactly What We Need Right Now: The shop serves up raw, ready-to-eat dough that’s safe to eat on its own — because the dough is made with pasteurized eggs (i.e., no salmonella here!) and served slightly chilled.
  • Inside Cafe Wha?, The Legendary Club Where Hendrix & Springsteen Performed: Some of the most important music in American history has been played in a dark, narrow basement club off MacDougal Street known the world over as Cafe Wha. Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen have performed on its stage, and Beat poet legends like Kerouac and Ginsberg have burned the midnight oil sitting in its snug booths. Nowadays, the place still swings, thanks in large part to a cover band of ace musicians that sets the room ablaze five night a week. 
  • 10 Must-Try Chicken Wings Around NYC: For those seeking out serious barbecue check out this newly minted Greenwich Village offshoot of Brooklyn’s Pig Beach. The barbecue chicken wing "lollipops" are fried to crispy perfection and slathered in zesty Hatch pepper vinegar and kicky housemade Alabama white barbecue sauce.  

  • Five Outrageous Feasts to Order for Your Super Bowl LI Party: Michael Solomonov’s famed Philly import is offering a lamb shoulder spread that feeds up to eight people. The roasted lamb shoulder comes with Moroccan carrots, twice-cooked eggplant, freshly baked pita, hummus, and Persian rice with barberries and pistachios. The feast costs $260 and is available for pickup from 10:00 a.m. until noon and 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
  • Creamline’s Second Store is a Sweet Addition to Seventh: “Our guests at Chelsea Market are typically very international. We’re very proud of that. Sure, locals go there; but we wanted to see how the locals jump on the train with us, and so far its just been fantastic,” Mayer-Selinger said, adding that most of the customers on Seventh Ave. have been locals.

  • Saxon + Parole And Public Will Soon Serve The Bleeding Veggie Burger: Two more New York restaurants are hopping on the bleeding veggie burger train. Chef Brad Farmerie will be adding burgers made out of the plant-based product from Impossible Foods to the menus of his downtown hit Saxon + Parole and Michelin-starred Public this week.
  • Naples’ Most Famous Pizzaiolo Will Open a Pizzeria on Bowery and More Intel: Neapolitan pizzaiolo, Gino Sorbillo is opening a pizzeria at 334 Bowery, reports Bowery Boogie. “News of his arrival on the Lower East Side came through Community Board 2, as Sorbillo seeks full liquor privileges for the establishment.” One of Italy’s most public food figures, Sorbillo became famous for his oversized, soft-crust, incredibly light Neapolitan pizza topped with high-quality ingredients that’s so otherworldly good, it draws hours-long crowds in his hometown. 
    • Naples’s Best Pizza Maker Is Loved and Hated for Good Reason: Number 32 on this street is home to La Pizzeria Sorbillo, Naples’s best and most famous pizza hub. Pizza-master Gino Sorbillo has garnered a long list of awards (his most recent accolade comes from the championship of Neapolitan Pizza). When he’s not flipping pies, Sorbillo is traveling around the world making appearances on cooking shows, explaining his ethos on perfecting Neapolitan pizza. 
  • At America’s Oldest Cheese Shop, Tony Danza Commands Your Attention: So it is not surprising that I never noticed the Alleva Dairy cheese shop snuggled at the intersection of Mulberry and Grand Streets; according to friends of mine who have been visiting the shop since the ‘80s, I’d been missing out.

  • NYC's 5 Best Buffets: If you’re with a group of 10 or more people, you can help yourself to a dim sum all-you-can-eat dining experience at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. There’s no limit to how many refills you can get on ten of Nom Wah’s most beloved dim sum dishes, and to top it all off, the beer and wine are also bottomless.
  • With Lalo, Gerardo Gonzalez Brings a Taste of San Diego to Chinatown: Few chefs have embraced the challenges of a tiny kitchen the way Gerardo Gonzalez did at Nick Morgenstern's El Rey Coffee Bar and Luncheonette, the cozy Lower East Side café he turned into a destination for designer avocado toast. 
  • 12 Restaurants Where You Can Ring In the Chinese New Year Deliciously: The Chinese New Year is this Saturday, when the Year of the Rooster will be ushered in. Along with the festivities in neighborhoods like Chinatown and Flushing, where the crowds will be humongous, you’ll find plenty of restaurants celebrating the holiday. Some are opting to go all-in with banquet-style menus, while others are serving special dim sum, noodles, and, of course, chicken dishes. Here, 12 places to ring in the Rooster.

Monday, January 30, 2017

New Food Network Show Bakers vs. Fakers with Foods of New York Tour guide Paulette Goto

Food Network and the Producers of Cake Boss launch Season 1 of Bakers vs. Fakers!
An exciting new baking competition show!

See the spectacular and hilarious Paulette Goto as she judges on this promo clip for the new show!


Fans of Paulette?  Be sure to take her Nolita / NoHo Food Tour and 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Weekly Roundup: Foods Of NY In The News, USA Wins Gold At Bocuse d'Or and The Best Chicken Wings In NYC

  • The Absolute Best Chicken Wings in New York: You may, as many people do, associate wings with football, and fair enough — they’re one of the all-time most satisfying finger foods, easy to snack on while keeping your eyes glued to a screen. ’Tis the season, so we’ve rounded up the very best wings New York has to offer, but make no mistake: You don’t need an excuse to eat them, and in fact, these are so good they may distract you from the game.
  • ALL THE BEST DEALS DURING NYC WINTER RESTAURANT WEEK: It’s back again! The biannual celebration of New York City’s food scene known as Restaurant Week returns January 23rd through February 10th. (Just like last time, the “week” actually lasts for two weeks -- though some restaurants are known to extend their specials even longer.) During that time, participating restaurants offer three-course lunches for $29 and three-course dinners for $42, which can be a great deal if you plan your reservations right.
  • 50 of the Best Places to Eat Brunch in NYC: Brunch is a big deal in New York City. On the weekends, restaurants in the five boroughs contain an endless sea of midday dining options, so it's not easy to tell which restaurants actually care about the food and the experience, or which ones are just serving some eggs and other brunch-y stuff to appease the masses.  With that in mind, here is a guide to 50 excellent brunch options across New York City. Whether you're looking for something ritzy or affordable, creative or straightforward, this map has got you covered.
    • Rise and Dine: From Seattle to Boston, these are the nation's top diners.
  • Trending: Real-Deal Vietnamese Restaurants Boom in NYC.  Vietnamese food, laden with its herbaceous soups and fresh ingredients, has long been lacking from NYC's culinary landscape. But not anymore. In the past month alone, countless new spots have opened up, introducing city-goers to more highly regional dishes with roots in home-style cooking. Take a look at some of the latest and greatest Vietnamese restaurants to hit New York. 

  • How Punishing Sanctuary Cities Will Destroy the Restaurant Industry: Without employing undocumented immigrants, who are generally paid significantly less than on-the-books restaurant labor, restaurants would see their overhead costs increase, leading to raised menu prices — which, given the already tight margins of most restaurants’ business models and customers’ well-established aversion to paying more, could translate into widespread closures. 
  • How Restaurants Prepare for VIPs: Though restaurants aim to give everyone good service, regulars, big spenders, and friends of the staff often get special treatment in the form of a better table, free cocktails at the bar, or maybe even a few surprise courses courtesy of the chef.
  • Now Climate Change Is Destroying California’s Pistachio and Almond Trees: Watch out, pistachio and almond lovers — climate change is coming for your nuts. Literally almost all of both in America (99 percent for pistachios, 100 percent for almonds) are grown in California because of the state’s near-perfect weather for the trees. Now, though, warming temperatures are starting to “dramatically reduce the yield” for them in particular, NPR says.
  • The Little Kitchens That Could: Nothing says American ingenuity like the eager food entrepreneurs who think their scrumptious concoctions can make it in a culinary landscape that favors big corporations. Earlier this week, 1,400 exhibitors set up shop at the Winter Fancy Food Show in the cavernous Moscone Center here, including some mom-and-pop operations determined to defy the odds.
  • USA Wins Gold Medal at 2017 Bocuse d'Or: It's the first time in the competition's 30 year history Americans have won.


  • This Is the Difference Between Extra-Virgin and Regular Olive Oil: It seems we're always grabbing for a bottle of "good" olive oil. For the most part, cookbook authors are referring to extra-virgin olive oil, the almighty elixir that sits a bit higher on the supermarket shelf than the regular version. But what exactly makes a bottle of EVOO so much more prized—and expensive—than its paler, more affordable brother?
  • Hold Onto Your Deep Dishes; Emmy Squared is Opening in Manhattan: Owners Emily and Matt Hyland of hit Brooklyn pizzerias, Emily and Emmy Squared, are opening a Manhattan location of their Detroit-style pizza restaurant, Emmy Squared. The couple is taking over the 35 Downing St. space that is currently home to Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen, set to close at the end of January. 

  • Eat This Now: 25 Essential Dishes to Try in NYC.  The geniuses behind a highly rated taqueria, the aptly named Los Tacos No. 1, debuted this seafood-laden spin-off just behind the original in Chelsea Market in late 2016. The crispy fried fish tacos are topped with a tangy slaw, spicy aïoli and fresh tomatoes. The shrimp ceviche tostada is also one of our favorites.

  • 5 different things to do in New York City: The food tour we’ve done with Foods Of NY was such a pleasant surprise and a great way to get to know and taste what the NoLita (stands for North of Little Italy) neighbourhood is all about.

  • It Looks Like Chinatown Karaoke Dive Winnie’s Will Return From the Dead: Attention, karaoke-loving New Yorkers: You can stop mourning the shuttering of Winnie’s now. Not because it’s been almost two years since the business closed, but because it looks like it may return. The shuttered bar’s owners have applied for a liquor license for a Chinatown space at 58 East Broadway, in what will reportedly be a brand-new space without many elements from the original bar.
  • 8 Must-Try Dumplings in NYC: Nom Wah Tea Parlor has long been one of the most famous dim sum spots in New York; just a little while ago, the restaurant opened a brand-new outpost with a fast-casual focus in NoLita. The new place has a slew of different offerings, like rice bowls and salads; but the most-loved selections are the dumplings, specifically the shrimp and pork sui mai: small, umami-packed pouches that come stuffed to the brim with filling.  
  • Chinatown 2.0: The Next Generation of Restaurants Redefining the Historic Nabe.  Chinatown has long been a destination food neighborhood — but up until a little while ago, the must-hit spots were mostly the historic, classically Chinese joints. Now, with its prime location downtown, Chinatown is home to some of New York’s hottest dining real estate. Intermixed among mini-malls and specialty grocery stores, you’ll find a wide range of new restaurants — from poke spots to vegan cafes — many of which pay homage to the neighborhood’s storied history of Chinese immigration. Next time you’re winding through Canal Street, add one of these new places to your Chinatown rotation.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Weekly Roundup: FNYT In The News, 11 New NYC Lunch Menus and The Doughnut Project Introduces The Sweet "Restaurant Series"

  • Escape to New York City: Journal entries from a constant wanderer.  I took to Trip Advisor in search of some ideas in our budget and it wasn’t hard to stumble on the Foods of New York Tours. It was rated one of the top things to do in NYC with more than 2,622 reviews. If you know Trip Advisor, that is an accomplishment in itself.

  • Why Chefs Can’t Resist Reviving the French Dip: The French dip isn’t just a recipe; it’s a national treasure. Said to have been invented in L.A. circa World War I by either Philippe the Original or Cole’s P.E. Buffet, depending on which old-fashioned dive’s colorful origin story you believe, it’s a simple dish that transcends its simplicity — just meat and bread and heady pan juices.
  • Cuomo Says New York Movie Theaters Should Sell Beer and Wine: In the 2017 budget he proposed yesterday, Cuomo calls on the State Liquor Authority to issue beer and wine licenses to all theaters statewide, and then “incentivize” the libations in particular from New York breweries and wineries, which thankfully are growing in number every day. 
  • State Senate Takes Aim at Plastic Bag Fee in New York City: Republican-controlled State Senate approved a bill that would kill the fee, amplifying a criticism that has dogged the plan and delayed its implementation by months: that it is not only financially burdensome for some, but also a broad government overreach meant to annoy shoppers into changing their ways.
  • 11 New Lunch Menus to Check Out in New York: While the on-the-go lunch might be the New York norm, some kitchens are taking things up a notch during the noon hour with creative menus and lunch-only dishes. Ranging from the prix fixe power meal to a cozy spot for a midday stop, here are the latest spots offering a midday fuel-up. 

  • Half of the Fish in L.A.’s Sushi Restaurants Aren’t What You Ordered: Anyone dying to see how out of control fish fraud’s gotten these days can apparently just visit their favorite L.A. sushi house for a 50-50 shot of experiencing it firsthand. A new, four-year-long study from researchers at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University found that just shy of half — 47 percent — of 364 fish samples at the city’s sushi restaurants were mislabeled. 
  • The 16 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2017: It's all happening. It's a new year, a new president, and, lo, a new crop of restaurants to obsess over. Winter's not known for being the busiest season when it comes to openings, but this year, there's a slew of chefs who set their eyes on making the first months of 2017 way more delicious. Among the many restaurants coming down the pike, a few really stand out.
  • Our 9,000-Year Love Affair With Booze: Alcohol isn’t just a mind-altering drink: It has been a prime mover of human culture from the beginning, fueling the development of arts, language, and religion.
  • MAKE A BETTER MEATBALL WITH THIS SECRET INGREDIENT: Most people have a meatball recipe in their repertoire, and for good reason: the versatility of this culinary staple grants home cooks a blank canvas on which try out a multitude of flavor combinations. Nebraska chef Joel Marr’s technique yields an elevated take on the humble dish, letting pork cheeks shine as the star ingredient.


  • Anita Lo's 17-Year-Old West Village Restaurant Annisa To Close In May: Annisa, Anita Lo's 17-year-old West Village staple, will close in May. In a dispiriting report from the Times, Lo reveals that a substantial increase in real estate taxes, coupled with the new minimum wage increase, made business untenable and she feels it's "impossible for her to keep up with costs."
  • Restaurant Dishes Turned Into Doughnuts Are Doughnut Project's Latest Experiment: The Doughnut Project's continuing mission to expand the parameters of the doughnut universe continues with their latest batch of speciality yeast treats, which are inspired by founders Troy Neal and Leslie Polizzotto's favorite restaurant dishes. The "Restaurant Series" doughnuts will be weekend specials at their small West Village shop, with a different doughnut available each week for six weeks.
    • Making Doughnuts at The Doughnut Project: In this episode of “Food Skills,” we head to The Doughnut Project in the West Village where owners Troy Neal and Leslie Polizzotto are frying up some outrageous, sweet-and-savory creations. 

  • Pig Bleecker Wants to Marry Barbecue and Fine Dining in a ‘Big Old Hug’: The newest restaurant from the team behind seasonal Brooklyn barbecue restaurant, Pig Beach, is technically not a barbecue spot, though smoked brisket, beef rib, and corn bread are on the menu in composed dishes. Chef Matt Abdoo who’s opening Pig Bleecker on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 155 Bleecker St. is calling it “refined, smoke-centric comfort food,” with dishes like brisket ravioli, beef rib with a Tomahawk steak, and cheddar cornbread in madeline form.
    • Barbecue Meets Fine Dining at Pig Bleecker, Opening Tomorrow: That’s how Pig Beach landed on the banks of the Gowanus Canal two summers ago: Shawger, along with Ed McFarland (Ed’s Lobster Bar), Shane McBride (Balthazar), and Matt Abdoo (Del Posto) parlayed experience gained on the BBQ circuit into a seasonal smoke-shack sideline. 
  • A Shop Devoted to Raw Cookie Dough Is Opening in New York Next Week: DO (pronounced dough) is terrible news for anyone whose only obstacle to gorging on raw cookie dough is the FDA’s warning against eating uncooked eggs and flour. Founder Kristen Tomlan found a way to render the stuff harmless, with a pasteurized-egg product and heat-treated flour, and launched an online company that celebrates proto-cookie goop in every imaginable form.

  • Lauded French Chef To Take Helm at New Chelsea Market Restaurant Grand Crew: A new restaurant with an acclaimed French chef will replace the short-lived Bar Truman inside the Chelsea Market.  Chef Laurent Gras, known for his now-shuttered, Michelin-starred restaurant L20 in Chicago, will take the helm at Grand Crew, documents filed with Community Board 4 show.
  • The Sound and Fury of Handmade Dough at Very Fresh Noodles: The chef stands alone behind a pane of glass in a cramped corner stall in Chelsea Market. It is not yet noon, the hour of madness. With the back of one hand, he swiftly pats down a small loaf’s worth of dough. When it’s flat, he snaps it on the counter, each snap stretching it, making it looser and sheerer, until it shimmies like a Chinese dancer’s never-ending sleeve.
  • Shakes and Breakfast All Day at New Creamline: The new Creamline shop, a branch of the company’s flagship in Chelsea Market, serves comfort food like fried chicken sandwiches, all-day breakfast, fried Oreos, and soft-serve and milkshakes from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy.

  • Can this restaurant reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s?  Bring an appetite, but leave your mind behind, when you drop into Honeybrains.  The new Noho restaurant is co-owned by a neurologist, and it claims to be more that just a mere grab-and-go spot for grains bowls and avocado toasts. Rather, it bills itself as a “public health care initiative set in a cafe.”
  • Passed Dim Sum With Dumplings In Duck Pho Broth Begins This Weekend: Fish Cheeks in NoHo is doing a Thai lunch of dishes like Senn Lek Tom Yum with Prince Edward Island mussels, shrimp, squid, thin rice noodles, soft boiled egg, cilantro, galangal, shallot and lemongrass broth and Pla Muk Kai Kem with stir fried squid, salted duck egg, scallion, celery leaves, onion and long red chili over rice. 

  • Chinatown’s Fong Inn Too Closes Today: The family-run shop has been making tofu, rice cakes, and rice noodles since the 1930s.
  • Where to Dine During Chinese New Year 2017: According to the Chinese Lunar calendar, the New Year (i.e., the Year of the Rooster) doesn’t really begin until January 28th.  And there are a whole host of other — frequently edible — traditions that surround the multi-day celebration, so if you want to hedge your bets for longevity, prosperity, family togetherness and happiness in the coming months (and goodness knows, we all need it), consider feasting on spring rolls, dumplings and noodles at the following observant spots.

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