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Friday, February 21, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: James Beard, Healthy Food Porn, The Bitter End



+NYC NEWS+
  • Indoor Food Market Planned for Midtown: Don’t drag out the shopping cart just yet, but a spacious new food market is planned for Midtown Manhattan. Urban Space, the company that runs the pop-up markets at Union Square Park, Madison Square Park, Columbus Circle and elsewhere, has rented 12,000 square feet in the Helmsley Building, the grand Beaux-Arts tower that straddles Park Avenue at 46th Street.
  • Data Proves De Blasio Right: It Takes A Lot Of Snow To Close NYC Schools: A detailed analysis of data from the Department of Education and National Weather Service shows that despite dozens of storms since 1978, there have only been 11 snow days in NYC since the department started In fact, we're just a storm or two away from the worst winter on record since 1869.
  • New plan for Tavern on the Green: Better food, hold the glitz: Imagine that, New York: a Tavern on the Green where food comes first and the setting is tasteful, not gaudy. Two Philadelphia restaurateurs — with the help of the “It” girl of New York cuisine from the 1990s — say that’s the goal when they bring back one of the city’s most storied (and sullied) restaurants this spring.
  • Controversial Restaurant In Union Square Is Good To Go, Appeals Court Rules: The seemingly never-ending saga over plans to open a restaurant in the Union Square Pavilion may finally be over. (But let's face it, probably not.) The New York State Court of Appeals ruled today that the Parks Department is within its legal bounds to allow a seasonal restaurant to operate in the 85-year-old pavilion, Capital New York reports.
  • Dining Outside in Little Italy: ‘I’m Starting to Miss My Mouth’: Even in the dead of winter, Mulberry Street in Little Italy does its best to look festive. The lights glow. Open-armed hosts in restaurant doorways greet prospective diners. And all up and down the street, tables and chairs, set up outside the restaurant just like on a warm, sausage-scented evening in June, beckon invitingly. It is a gimmick, right, intended to draw diners inside? But what if someone called the restaurants’ bluff and chose — indeed, demanded — to be served outside, on the sidewalk, without a heat lamp in sight, on a bitter cold night in February?
  • Denny's Approved to Serve Liquor, Just Not at 8 a.m.: New York's first-ever Denny's got its liquor license approved at the Community Board 1 meeting last night, although not quite the one it was hoping for. The Denny's team had proposed to start serving alcohol at 10 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on Saturdays, but residents were concerned about attracting "the kind of person who wants to have a drink before noon." So CB1 pushed the hours of alcohol service back to 11 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends, and voted unanimously to approve the license.
  • Photos: The Terrifying Footpaths Of The Early 1900s Manhattan Bridge: Construction for the Manhattan Bridge started in 1901, and the structure officially opened to traffic on December 31st, 1909... but between the beginning and the end it was necessary for workers to reach certain areas and heights. Enter: these terrifying footpaths. 

+INDUSTRY NEWS+
  • James Beard Awards 2014 Restaurant & Chef Semifinalists: The James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists in the 2014 Restaurant and Chef Awards via livestream. Do note that this is the "long list" of semifinalists before it gets winnowed down. The finalists will be announced on Tuesday, March 18, 2014; the winners will then be announced at the James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday, May 5, 2014 at Lincoln Center in New York City.
  • By the Numbers: The James Beard Awards Semifinalists and Women: Did the James Beard Awards include more women chefs in the 2014 semifinalists list than in previous years? Eh, yes and no. There have been some improvements but also some setbacks, and in sum it seems that the JBFAs have pretty much stayed the same.
  • Promoting Health With Enticing Photos of Fruits and Vegetables: Pity the poor beet. While pizza, ice cream and that flavor of the moment, bacon, soar on the Internet via hashtags, Instagram photos or other social media mentions, the richly red, healthy tuber just doesn’t get much love on the web. Bolthouse Farms, which produces juices, smoothies and other items, has developed an exceptionally playful website, FoodPornIndex.com, that calls attention to such food inequities. 
  • Chicago-style pizza ‘shouldn’t be called pizza,’ Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s ruling is in: Chicago-style pizza isn’t real pizza. “It’s very tasty, but it’s not pizza,” Scalia, who was raised in Queens, said of the type of pie commonly known as “deep-dish” pizza. “(It) shouldn’t be called pizza,” he added, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Scalia, who grew up in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, made the comments during a Friday night speech at the Union League Club of Chicago’s 126th annual celebration of George Washington’s birthday.
  • Back of the House: What Does a Food Stylist Do?: Lisa Homa, a New York-based food stylist whose work can be seen everywhere from Bon Appetit to Cracker Jack packaging, says her career wouldn't have been possible without a full culinary education. "It's really the only way of learning this trade," she told me over burgers recently.
  • Behind Bars: The Secret Vocabulary of New York's Finest Drinking Establishments 

+NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS+
  • Anita Lo on Annisa's Third Star and Cherry Bombe Jubilee: Earlier this month, New York Times critic Pete Wells bestowed a third star upon Anita Lo's 14-year-old restaurant Annisa. In the following interview, Lo discusses the importance of earning that third star, even after having given up on getting it after Sifton's review. She also talks about why she's participating in Cherry Bombe magazine's inaugural Jubilee conference on women in food.
  • Jiro sushi student helping to run NYC’s hottest eatery: At first glance, Alessandro Borgognone and Daisuke Nakazawa would seem to have nothing in common, save for their bald heads.
  • Borgognone, 33, is a fast-talking Italian guy from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, who has spent the past two decades manning his family’s red-sauce restaurant in The Bronx. Nakazawa, 35, is a soft-spoken, kindeyed chef from the suburbs of Tokyo who spent more than a decade diligently apprenticing under one of Japan’s most tyrannical sushi masters, regularly breaking into tears when his work didn’t meet his boss’ expectations.
  • Happy 160th anniversary McSorley's: Hey, the bar on East Seventh Street is celebrating its 160th (or 152st!) anniversary… (There are some doubters about when McSorley's actually opened. Per New York: "Though McSorley’s claims it opened its doors in 1854, NYC historian Richard McDermott used public records to prove it really opened in 1862." Which means Lincoln never set foot in the place.)

  • Paul Colby, Whose Club Helped Fuel Greenwich Village’s Rise, Dies at 96: Paul Colby, the owner since 1974 of the Bitter End, a celebrated coffeehouse-cum-nightclub that helped make Greenwich Village a legendary place by showcasing young performers like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Billy Crystal and countless others, died on Feb. 13 at his home in Montclair, N.J. He was 96.
  • A Timelessness for Seven Blocks: The seven-block stretch of Fifth Avenue between 14th Street and Washington Square Park in downtown Manhattan: This well-kept neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood, whose residents tend to cite the avenue as their address rather than the encompassing Greenwich Village, looks very similar to the way it did in the early-20th century — if one squints away modern cars and traffic lights.

  • Chelsea Complex Divided Over Rare Indoor Amenity: It is an indoor swimming pool, something of a rarity in Manhattan: The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says there are only 150 in the borough. And now it has become the object of a dispute that threatens to divide the city within a city that is the venerable London Terrace apartment complex in western Chelsea — the four taller buildings on the corners, known as London Terrace Towers, and the 10 smaller buildings in between, known as London Terrace Gardens.
  • Pastis Is Going on Hiatus at the End of the Month: Although Pastis has waited longer than originally planned to go on hiatus, the reprieve turns out to be shorter than first reported. A call to the restaurant today confirms that the last day of service will in fact be Friday, February 28. After that, the restaurant will be closed for at least a year while the landlord renovates the whole building. But once that's done, a manager tells Eater that McNally still "definitely" plans to reopen. 

  • Carbone and Dover Land on Alan Richman's 'Best of' List: In the March issue of GQ, Alan Richman lists his "12 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2014," including a handful of celebrated New York restaurants. Austin's Qui gets the top honor, but Carbone is not too far behind in the number four slot. Richman writes that the new one from Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi "might be the best Italian-American restaurant of all time."

  • Noodle Watch: Xi'an Famous Foods Has D.C. Plans: Look out — cult New York noodle favorite Xi'an Famous Foods has (eventual) D.C. plans. An article on DNAinfo New York says CEO Jason Wang, who has opened several locations of the restaurant in New York, wants to hit up Boston and D.C. next.

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