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Friday, August 23, 2013

The Weekly Roundup: Rude People, Good Food, and the Airing of NYC Restaurant Grievances


  • Christine Quinn and the Health Department reach deal to lower fines for restaurants: Restaurants will get a $10 million break on costly city inspection fines under a deal struck by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the Health Department. Under the deal, fines — which currently can reach $2,000 — will fall to the $200 minimum for 60% of violations.
  • Bill would make grocers charge for bags: A bill was unveiled Tuesday to require city grocers to charge 10 cents for each paper or plastic bag they give customers, drawing immediate opposition from some in the business community. The bill expected to be introduced in the City Council this week is supported by environmental groups that want to reduce the 100,000 tons of plastic bags that the city sends to landfills each year.
  • NY has rudest people but best food: A survey of 1,600 Americans found that New York state had the rudest and most arrogant people in the country but the best food. Respondents also lauded California and Louisiana for their cuisine, while rating the people of Georgia and Minnesota the nicest. Massachusetts was considered to have the weirdest accent.

  • Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill to Close at the End of the Month: Bobby Flay will shutter his flagship restaurant Mesa Grill at the end of the month. Mesa Grill has been open for 22 years, which is an impressive run for any restaurant. Right now, Flay is hard at work on his new Noho project, Gato, which will serve a mix of Mediterranean and Spanish dishes
  • Decibel Levels in New York's Hottest Restaurants: Critics, bloggers, and Eater readers frequently complain about noise levels in New York restaurants these days. Adam Platt wrote about the "Great Noise Boom" last month, and before that Robert Sietsema offered his own take on the noise problem. With this issue in mind, Eater set out to collect hard data on some of the worst offenders. Here, now, are peak decibel levels recorded at 19 of the city's hottest restaurants in order of loud to loudest.
  • The Airing of Grievances: Eater asked some of New York's best food writers to anonymously share their gripes and frustrations about the restaurant scene these days. What follows is a list of complaints, with no names or affiliations attached.



  • Cronut Creator Dominique Ansel Lands a Cookbook Deal: New York City pastry chef Dominique Ansel has landed a cookbook deal with Simon & Schuster. Ansel is widely known as the inventor of the Cronut, the mania-inducing croissant-doughnut hybrid that has inspired countless imitators (including the grocery chain Food Emporium). 
  • Folk concert to be held for Coens' 'Llewyn Davis': The Coen brothers and T Bone Burnett will celebrate the folk music of their 1960s Greenwich Village comic drama "Inside Llewyn Davis" with a concert in New York. The filmmakers announced Monday that they will host a concert Sept. 29 at New York's Town Hall. Performing will be Joan Baez, Marcus Mumford, Patti Smith, Jack White, Colin Meloy and others.

  • Malt n Mash Opens in Meatpacking: Malt n Mash, a pop-up restaurant that will be open through the rest of the year, opened this week on Gansevoort St. The chef, Nahid Ahmed, has worked under Gray Kunz, as well as at The French Laundry, The Fat Duck and El Bulli. His second in command, Arjuna Bull, comes to Malt n Mash from Pearl & Ash. The menu is split into four categories: raw, shared, sea and land. With Pearl & Ash’s Arjuna Bull as his sous, Ahmed dishes out whimsical creations like oysters with kalamansi orange and mango “snow”; sweetbreads with popcorn and ramps; peanut-butter-chipotle foie gras; and short ribs with tamarind soy and scallion ash. Cocktails include the West Side Special (vodka, St. Germain, mint, cucumber and lime) and the Casino Royale (gin, maraschino, orange and lemon juices, and a prosecco float). The red-accented restaurant are trimmed with mosaic floors and exposed brick walls.
  • Chelsea Market owner bids for stake in B'klyn site: Jamestown Properties, which has turned around a number of industrial properties across the country, teams up with two partners to bid for the 16-building, 6 million-square-foot Industry City complex on the Sunset Park waterfront.
  • Masaharu Morimoto’s Tribeca Canvas Is Closing: Masaharu Morimoto is closing his restaurant Tribeca Canvas less than a year after it opened to tepid reviews, and he will reopen it next month with new partners and a revamped menu. 



  • Ramen To The Rescue: How Instant Noodles Fight Global Hunger: the most successful industrial food ever produced flies far under the radar. And it has finally been outed by three anthropologists in a fascinating new book The Noodle Narratives, which analyzes the precipitous rise — or "brilliant career," as the authors say — of instant ramen, from its birth in postwar Japan to its sales of just over 100 billion servings worldwide in 2012.
  • Seized Guns Offer Look at Pipeline From South: The guns often arrived by Chinatown bus, packed into patterned bags and destined for sale in a Brooklyn rap studio or in the backs of cars on the Lower East Side. Many had been stolen by criminals in the South, and would probably have been bought by other criminals, but instead they ended up stretched across a pair of long blue banquet tables in Police Headquarters on Monday, evidence of what officials said was the largest gun seizure in New York City history.


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