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Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Upcoming NYC Restaurant Openings, J.G. Melon Expands and Smorgasburg Opens Next Weekend

  • The Most Anticipated New York City Restaurant Openings of Spring/Summer 2015: Spring is always a big season for restaurant openings, and now that the air is finally getting warmer, it's time to start looking ahead to the major restaurant openings coming down the pipeline. Between now and the end of summer, New York will get all kinds of exciting new places. There will be solo projects from big-name chefs, new restaurants from Danny Meyer and Mario Batali, major transplants from other cities, and so much more. 
  • 7 Awesome NYC Seders That Should Get You Excited About Passover Dinner: The good news is that New York restaurants are hosting Seder dinners that seem interesting and fun, without totally losing sight of tradition. Passover's not until the first week of April, but it's going to take some time to convince your Jewish family to mix things up (and to secure a reservation). With that in mind, here are seven Seder alternatives.
  • Everything You Want to Know About the Upcoming Expansion of J.G. Melon: J.G. Melon is one of New York's O.G. burger destinations: Open on the corner of 74th Street and Third Avenue since 1972, the tiny pub is still consistently packed with neighbors and tourists alike, almost all of whom are ordering cups of chili, straightforward (excellent) cheeseburgers, and bowls of fried cottage potatoes on the side. But despite the place's ongoing success, it was still surprising last week to see news leak out that a second J.G. Melon will open downtown, at the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal.

  • Here Are 2015’s James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Finalists: At last, the James Beard Foundation has whittled down its extensive list of semifinalists, and advanced a select group of restaurants and chefs to the next round. This year, the talented contenders include Ignacio Mattos, Suzanne Goin, Ari Taymor, Cosme, Petit Trois, and Momofuku Noodle Bar. 
    • The James Beard Foundation Announces 2015’s Media Awards Finalists: This morning, the James Beard Foundation announced its nominees for the Books, Broadcast & Journalism Awards — a long, comprehensive list of writers, critics, videographers, editors, and chef-authors. The finalists include Food Curated's Liza de Guia, Julia Kramer of Bon Appétit, David Chang for GQ, Sean Brock, and Dorie Greenspan. 
  • Pastrami Piled as High as New York, With Prices to Match: Last year, the average price of brisket — an embryonic form of pastrami — increased 47 percent over 2013. This year it is up 14 percent, according to Gary Morrison, who follows beef prices for Urner Barry, a food trade publisher.
  • The Best Roast Lamb for Your Easter Feast: We start here and now because lamb has ancient connections to Easter, Passover and springtime in general. In preindustrial agriculture, most lambs were born in the spring, and the male ones — of whom few are needed on farms — were quickly butchered for spring feasts. Now is also the moment because lamb’s earthiness is ideally paired with sharp spring vegetables, like asparagus, dandelion greens and artichokes, and because lamb makes a welcome change from winter’s turkeys and roast beef at the new season’s holiday dinners.


  • Caffe Dante Will Become an Unbearably Trendy Small-Plates Restaurant: News broke on Monday that Macdougal Street's Caffe Dante closed after 100 years in business. At the time, it seemed that owner Mario Flotta had sold his business to an Australian restaurant group that planned on keeping things largely the same. Now, sadly enough, it looks like the new concept will be something much worse.
    • 100-Year-Old Greenwich Village Staple Caffe Dante Has Closed: Despite assurances to the contrary, MacDougal Street stalwart Caffe Dante has closed. Calls to the restaurant went unanswered this morning and construction workers wearing face masks were seen going in and out of the space today. The sad news was confirmed by a note apparently left by whoever will be taking over the space.
  • A Tour of New York's Classic Literary Haunts: In the days before coffee houses offered free WiFi and books existed only on Kindle, taverns used to be the places writers socialized, jotted down ideas on scraps of paper, and even penned entire works. Here’s a choice selection of the city’s most notorious dining and drinking establishments from a literary perspective.

  • Q & A with Louise Vongerichten of Chefs Club: Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the undisputed kings of the culinary world — so what was it like growing up a veritable princess?  “It was very interesting and rewarding,” remarks daughter Louise Vongerichten, who also just happens to be the Brand and Business Development Director for Food & Wine’s Chefs Club, in both Aspen and New York.  
  • Museum in Little Italy Seeks to Evict a Living Link to the Past: The number of people of Italian ancestry who live in Little Italy is shrinking by the year, and may soon drop by one more: Ms. Sarno, 85, is being evicted from her apartment after losing a fight to keep her $820-a-month rent from skyrocketing. But what has gotten tenant advocates’ attention is not just her age, but also the identity of the landlord: the Italian American Museum, which is in the building next door.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring is here...with Smorgasburg!

For us Foodies this is really how we know that spring is around the corner!  Smorgasburg opens next weekend with 21, yes over 20 new delicious food stands!  With everything from Mozzarella Bombs to French Fry burritos this outdoor market season is definitely one not to be missed!

Check out this great article from with a rundown of all the newbies and what is not to be missed.  If your not hungry now, you will be by the end of this article!

Mozzarella Bombs & Chef's Table Coming To Smorgasburg This Spring

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Macaron Day Has Arrived, Food Porn Secrets and A Peek Inside Dominique Ansel Kitchen

  • ALTERNATIVE THINGS TO DO AND WAYS TO SEE NEW YORK CITY: Our next idea comes from Canadian filmmaker and travel blogger Cailin O'Neil via Twitter (@CailinONeil). She suggested taking a 'Foods of New York Tour'. This a group that first started operating in 1999 with an ambition to draw in foodies from all across the world and let them experience the true culinary diversity of NYC's historic neighbourhoods. 

  • Celebrate Macaron Day NYC with 14 free samples: Love macarons? We do too. Chef François Payard—owner of FP Patisserie and Francois Payard Bakery—will host the 6th Annual Macaron Day NYC Crawl on Friday, March 20th to help usher in spring!
    • Here Are All the Places Giving Away Free Macarons Tomorrow: While Grub Street isn't in the habit of celebrating — or even acknowledging — made-up food holidays, free macarons are a different story altogether. Each year, on the first day of spring, François Payard mobilizes New York bakeries to give away French macarons in honor of City Harvest. All you have to do is announce at the shop that you're there for Macaron Day NYC. 
  • Why Are Cool American Food Brands Expanding to Japan?: New York City-based pastry wizard Dominique Ansel is bringing Cronuts to Tokyo, while San Francisco's bread whisperer Chad Robertson is making plans for his own Tokyo Tartine shop.
  • Eric Ripert on Cayman Cookouts, the Next Kale, and the One Food He Won’t Eat: Compared to his peers, chef Eric Ripert is a minimalist. He has four restaurants, four books, and hasn’t launched his own line of spices, pots, or knives. The bio on his website is called “A Short Biography.” And it is. It skims over his career, skirting past the myriad stars—both Michelin and The New York Times—bestowed upon his New York restaurant Le Bernardin, and the Emmy and James Beard awards given to his television show Avec Eric.

  • The Science of Pie: 7 Pie Crust Myths That Need to Go Away. The world of pie making abounds in myth, legend, tradition, tall tales, short tales, and other manner of never-been-blind-tested theory. And while learning at your grandmother's (or grandfather's) knee may lead you to excellent pie crust—I'm talking all-American, flaky-yet-tender, buttery, rustic pastry here—you're more than likely to pick up a couple of bad habits and un-truths along the way.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese: 10 Questions and Answers: True Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard, aged, grating cheese with a fine, grainy, crumbly texture. The longer it has been aged, the more complex its flavor. It's such a multifaceted taste that it's difficult to describe, but it's often characterized as "nutty," "fruity," "sweet," "tangy," "grassy," and "savory." It's packed with the amino acid glutamine, making it one of the most concentrated sources of natural umami -- that mysterious fifth taste, the essence of savoriness.  
  • Secrets of Food Porn Photos: Every recipe published in The New York Times comes with three components: an introduction to the food; the instructions on how to make it; and a photograph of the dish itself. I spend a great deal of time on the first two briefs. Andrew Scrivani is often responsible for the third.


  • Dominique Ansel Will Serve Totally Insane Toasts at His New Bakery: When pastry whiz Dominique Ansel opens Dominique Ansel Kitchen, his new West Village bakery, he won't just be serving made-to-order mousses and butter-laden sweets. He will also turn the imagination that brought us such things as the Cronut and the cookie shot to savory items, including but probably not limited to, toast.
  • 15 NYC women who are changing the food & beverage industry: Amy Stonionis is currently in charge of all food programs at Murray's Cheese, starting with a job to create prepared foods and eventually taking over the popular Bleecker Street restaurant. While she doesn't sleep much, the corporate and restaurant executive chef enjoys mentoring and training her staff and seeing them grow.
    • Famed Murray's Cheese counter brings taste of Greenwich Village to Memphis: Next week, the cheese counter at Kroger Poplar Plaza will transform into a slice of Greenwich Village as it is the first in town to become a Murray’s Cheese counter. Everything offered there, 175 cheeses and about 75 other cheese-compatible items such as charcuterie, jams, crackers and so on, will be Murray’s brand.
  • Duet Brasserie: A Platonic Ideal of Village Dining.  Greenwich Village has long been a destination for some of the most atmospheric, eclectic and downright delicious restaurants in the city. Each of those adjectives more than applies to Duet Brasserie, a new-ish bi-level modern European spot on a picturesque corner that goes long on charm and has the kind of four-star food to back it up.
  • NYC's Second J.G. Melon Won't Be Run By The Original Owner: The upcoming West Village branch of J.G. Melon will not be run by the Jack O'Neill, the owner of the original Upper East Side location. Instead, restaurateurs Danny Abrams (of The Mermaid Inn), Steve Abrams (of Magnolia Bakery) and Shaun Young, who helmed the original outpost for over 30 years, have acquired the rights to expand the 1972 classic, and will be doing so on their own. 

  • Welcome To WastED, The Trash-To-Table Restaurant Of Your Dreams:  The first first sign that wastED would be something special came when I pulled my folded-brochure of a menu from its paper bag (pencil provided, in case you want to make notes) and read the amusingly frank descriptions of dishes using "second-class grains and seeds" "old dairy cow bresaola" and "mystery vegetables and peels." Dan Barber's two-week pop-up is dedicated to upcycling and repurposing the "trash" created at every stage of food production.

  • 10 Secret Weapons Behind NYC's Top Restaurants: After moving to NYC to pursue a career in music, Long Island native Lars Viola fell into oyster shucking as a good way to "keep the lights on." He got his first gig at 14 working in a clam bar in Long Island. Now, as one of the top shuckers at Chelsea Market's seafood shop The Lobster Place and its adjacent eatery Cull & Pistol, Lars is putting his skills to the test. 

  • Is Italian-American Classic Parisi Bakery on the Market? Little Italy's legendary Parisi Bakery, which has been baking bread since 1903, may be on the brink of closing its Elizabeth Street bakery, where it has produced all of its bread (including loaves for numerous restaurants around town) since 1974. A reliable Eater tipster sends along a real estate listing for a space at 290 Elizabeth Street.
  • PUBLIC and Saxon + Parole A Winning Combination: PUBLIC and Saxon + Parole restaurants fall under the award winning AvroKO Hospitality Group. PUBLIC, a Michelin-starred restaurant located in NoLiTa, is a swanky establishment where New Zealand Venison and other exotic wild game are meant to inspire and expand its patrons culinary prowess, while Saxon + Parole, located in the East Village, explores traditional grilled domestic meats while infusing a global twist on their dishes. Both restaurants have received accolades for their service and cuisine and it’s easy to see why these NYC restaurants are here to stay.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Free Macaron Day, Best NYC Breakfast Sandwiches and Your Al Fresco Dining Guide

  • Foods of NYC Tour: After looking at the different tours offered by Foods of New York Tours (they have a bunch), we decided to go with their Original Greenwich Village Tour, which took us to popular mom-and-pop food shops through the tree-lined and charming streets of one of NYC's oldest Italian neighborhoods, the historic west village.

  • Where To Get Free Macarons Next Week For Macaron Day: Next Friday, March 20th, a bunch of area patisseries will be offering free macarons at their stores for customers who come and mention the holiday. Brought to the USA by French pastry master Francois Payard in 2010, the festival has grown to include over a dozen local shops and has raised lots of money for City Harvest.
  • 12 NYC Restaurant Deals That Are Actually Pretty Great: In New York, discounted food and drinks rarely align with anything that's high quality. But as it turns out, many excellent, elegant restaurants actually offer sweet specials: prix fixe Sunday suppers, $1 oysters, and, of course, happy-hour deals. You just have to know when exactly to show up to places like Porchlight, Maison Premiere, and Birds & Bubbles. 
  • Andy Ricker on New York’s Tipped Minimum-Wage Increase: ‘A No-Win Situation’:This change comes at a time when there are a couple of other new government-mandated, owner-financed burdens on small business (sick leave, health care) that are already having an impact on the bottom line. [The increase in minimum wage] is definitely rough on an industry where a shrinking 7 to 15 percent profit margin is the norm for a well-run operation, and in a city where doing business is already extremely tough. 
  • First Look Inside Lauren Bacall's Dakota Apartment of 53 Years: Star of the screen, stage, red carpet, and more, Lauren Bacall passed away last year. For the last 53 years of her life, she lived at the Dakota, and her three-bed, 3.5-bath in the iconic building is already on the market, asking $26 million. 
    • Browse Lauren Bacall's Lovely Furniture & Art, Now At Auction: Lauren Bacall—beloved screen star, fashion icon, and arbiter of taste—passed away last year at the age of 89. As culture vultures everywhere continue to mourn, her Dakota apartment of more than five decades is already on the market, asking $26 million. Later this month, Bonham's is auctioning off her extensive collection of art, furniture, clothing, and more.

  • Not All Olive Oil Is Created Equal: A cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fatty acids — believed to protect against cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol  But not all olive oil is created equal. We spoke with olive oil expert Joanne Lacina of to get the lowdown on what makes a great olive oil, why extra virgin is so important, and the reason higher-quality oils are worth their weight.
  • This Biologist Just Harvested England’s First Farmed Truffle: A British biologist named Paul Thomas has harvested a truffle he planted six years ago in a Leicestershire field, and, as such, is declaring his success the "birth of the U.K. truffle industry." His find, a 39-gram Tuber uncinatum, an intense-tasting native species, is the first truffle to have been cultivated on British soil, and just one of the many he says he planted on 20 farms and estates.
  • Love Cast Iron Pans? Then You Should Know About Carbon Steel. Serious Eats has become an amazing resource for cast iron cookware. From recipes to seasoning instructions, myth busting to vintage restoration, we've got you covered. But there's another type of pan with similarities to cast iron that we haven't written much about, and it's made from carbon steel.
  • Why Bartenders Are Spiking Your Cocktail With Vinegar:Tart drinks are having a moment, from the profusion of new kombucha brands to cocktails built off shrubs or drinking vinegars: sweetened vinegar-based syrups infused with fruit and spices that date back centuries.


  • Caffé Dante not closing, longtime owner assures: Flotta has owned the 100-year-old cafe since 1970. Between fielding calls from press — responding to the rumors — he dismissed the buzz as having possibly been started by a waitress who picked up pieces of table talk.
  • Where to Eat Lunch Around NYU:  When you’re around the NYU/Washington Square Park area, your quality EEEEEATS options are pretty much endless, and yet it’s still possible to feel like you have no good ideas when it comes to where to get lunch. 

  • 15 Awesome Breakfast Sandwiches in New York City: The pasta-hungry hoards fill Il Buco Alimentari nightly, but breakfast is a bit tamer. Settle in to eat the breakfast sandwich, or take it to go. House-baked focaccia is stacked with eggs, thinly-sliced house-cured salame rosa, and a northern Italian cheese called salva cremasco, which has a bit of tang to cut the richness. The egg is left just a tiny bit runny, as it should be.
  • The Bowery FINALLY Stripped Of Dated 1980s Aesthetic: In the 1960s, photographer Jay Maisel scooped up this old circa-1800s building for just over $100,000, calling the 72 rooms at 190 Bowery home for around 50 years. Maisel didn't do much cleaning up—in fact, the place has looked downright abandoned—and allowed graffiti and street art to cover the exterior, making the massive building a testament to the older days of the Bowery, which has gone on to change significantly in recent years.

  • Navigating the Chinatown Menu of the Future at Flaming Kitchen: Instead of Shanghai, the menu concentrates on "Szechuan Cuisine and Hot Pots." Yet when you flip it open, much of the Shanghai food remains, along with Sichuan cold dishes and hot pots, all-day dim sum, and Cantonese and Chinese-American stir fries, plus a smattering of northern Chinese, Taiwanese, and plain American fare, like french fries and chicken wings, all washed down with fruit shakes and bubble tea.
  • 5 Easy Dipping Sauce Recipes for Your Dumplings: When it comes to dipping your dumplings, it can be tempting to reach for a bottle of soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, or store-bought teriyaki rather than whip something up from scratch. And if you're eating great quality fresh or homemade dumplings, those sauces will do just fine.  But what if you're digging into a plate of frozen dumplings, where the filling may be satisfying but isn't exactly top-notch? Enter the homemade dipping sauce: a world of complex, customizable flavor boosters at your fingertips. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

An Inside Look at Bleecker Street Records From

Inside Bleecker Street Records

For the first fourteen years Foods of NY Tours would stroll by Bleecker Street Records pointing out the wide range of records for sale, new and old.  It was one and still is, one of the premiere record stores in Greenwich Village.  But when they lost their lease and had to move away from their namesake street, everyone thought all would be lost.  But the music lives on!  Although the street name is now a number, West 4th st. is happy host to this legendary shop.  You may be entering one block away, but once inside you are instantly transported back to Bleecker st.  This article spins casual conversation and classic photos of the new shop, but reminiscent of the old a Starbucks.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: NYC Best Delis, Food Hall News and a Pizza Tossing Lesson

  • City Kitchen Is the Massive New Food Hall That Times Square Has Been Waiting For:  City Kitchen is a 4,000-square-foot food market at Eighth Avenue and 44th Street. It could be just what Times Square needs: Vendors include Luke's Lobster, Whitman's, Kuro Obi (a brand-new ramen offshoot from Ippudo, which will apparently offer brand-new noodles specifically made to stand up to takeout), Azuki Sushi, ilili Box, and Gabriela's Taqueria.
  • Check Out the Oldest Surviving Footage of NYC: Yestervid compiled the alleged “oldest surviving footage of recognizable parts of New York City,” and stitched together an easily-digestible clip. Each of the twenty-eight snippets is accompanied by graphics indicating map coordinates of the shooting locations.
  • What It Takes to Cut the Coveted Legendary Pastrami at Katz’s: Grub Street spoke with De La Cruz about how long it takes to learn to cut Katz's famous pastrami, the added value of hand-cut meat, the importance of both tips and pickles, and what, exactly, will happen to you if you lose your ticket.
    • New York City’s 8 Essential Delicatessens: In the world of delis perhaps more than anywhere else, nostalgia is all. But for those who equate the smoky, salty, overstuffed, full-sour, schmaltz-seasoned flavor of the Ashkenazi delicatessen with the identity not only of the New York Jew but of the New Yorker, period, the genre is consecrated ground, worthy of preservation. Here are our favorites.
  • The No-Reservations Generation Grows Up: How Bookings Came Back. For a while there, it seemed as though New York's restaurants might never take proper reservations again.  And so it's surprising that, in the last few months, restaurants that might have appealed to that generation — even ramen shops like Orkin's, or Long Island City's extremely popular Mu Ramen — have taken a step back and begun taking traditional reservations once more. 



  • Chef Lineup Announced for Dan Barber’s Food Waste Pop-Up, WastED:  A high-profile experiment in wasting nothing will start on March 13 at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill restaurant in Greenwich Village. That’s when the restaurant will turn into a pop-up called wastED, to run through the end of the month, with a menu of dishes devised from leftovers like stems, peelings, rinds and bones, by a roster of guest chefs who will change each evening.

  • The 10 Best Things to Eat at Chelsea Market: One of the original indoor food halls (before newcomers like Gotham West and Gansevoort), Chelsea Market's offerings get more extensive every year as new vendors settle in. Here are some of our favorite things to eat inside the massive avenue-wide destination.
  • NYC food halls: The eating and socializing scene is booming. The Gansevoort Market in the Meatpacking District opened this fall and has tables for eating under a skylight in the refurbished 8,000-square-foot space. Vendors include: David Bouhadana's Dojo Express, Tacombi, Feel Food, The Bruffin (dedicated to what becomes of a cross between and muffin and a brioche), Cappone's Salumeria and Luzzo's pizza
  • Meatpacking Mecca Packs in History: Why is it called the Meatpacking District when there are only six meat packers there, down from about 250? Inertia, most likely.  Located on the shore of the Hudson River, it’s a relatively small district in Manhattan stretching from Gansevoort Street at the foot of the High Line north to and including West 14th Street and from the river three blocks east to Hudson Street. Until its recent life as a go-to high fashion mecca, it was for almost 150 years a working market: dirty, gritty, and blood-stained.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

15 Wood-Fired Restaurants to Ward Off Winter, by


The forecast is in the 20's, but we all still need to eat.  We've always been a fan of the wood fired pizza oven at Ristorante Rafele imported from Naples, Italy, which you can visit on our Original Greenwich Village food tour.  But here is a list from of other "hot" spot around the city where you can have your wood fire and eat it too.

15 Wood-Fired Restaurants to Ward Off Winter, by

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