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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Weekly Roundup: History Of The NYC Meatball, Il Buco Celebrates and a "Local's" Craft Beer Fest

  • How the New York City Meatball Helped Build Italian-American Cuisine:They're all meatballs. But nine times out of ten, when we talk about meatballs in New York, we're only referring to one. It's coated in red sauce and sits over bread or pasta. It's often flecked with dried oregano and hails, clearly, from Italy.
  • Cinnamon Snail and Calexico Triumph at Vendy Awards: The annual Emmys of the street food world, the Vendy Awards celebrated its 10th anniversary this weekend with a big gathering of food trucks on Governor's Island. Despite a bit of rain, guests seemed to have a good time sampling food from the nominees and previous favorites and winners like Solber Pupusas, King of Falafel, and NY Dosa.
  • The 18 Best Pizza Places In NYC: We've taken the painstaking effort to compile all the best pizza places in the city, be they fancy artisanal pies, casual slice joints, old school pizzerias or (gasp!) non-New York style (though we still firmly believe that there is no such thing as "New York style," there is merely Pizza and there is Not Pizza)
  • A Closer Look At The Nuts 4 Nuts Carts, A NYC Staple: The Nuts 4 Nuts carts around the city may seem like a forever-staple of our streets, but the first cart didn't get out there until 1993. At that time, it was called Nuts About Nuts, which was changed to Nuts 4 Nuts in 1998.
  • Discover Your New Favorite Brew At The Brooklyn Local Craft Beer Festival: Arch Rowan, one member of the Five Borough Beer Corp, who are producing the event, tells us the team made sure to look for as many breweries as they could, and the tinier the better. "The main thing was we really wanted to target guys who were lesser known, who are new, who are trying to focus on small-batch, artisanal ales," Rowan said.
  • A Sobering Future for New York’s Dive Bars: It has become a familiar sight in New York: legendary bars shut down or forced to move, often replaced with new construction or trendy shops. Even if a dive is able to relocate, it’s hard to recreate decades-old atmosphere. 


  • Restaurant Review, Claudette in Greenwich Village: Claudette’s charms are many and begin with those doors, which replace the woebegone sidewalk enclosure that used to make it look as if nobody were home. Losing a few seats has made reservations harder to land, but the reward is that the doors have let in the atypically cool breezes all summer, along with a view of lower Fifth Avenue’s wide, leisurely sidewalks, where somebody is always walking a bichon frisé.

  • How a Butcher Captured the Meatpacking District's Gritty Past:  A butcher in the Meatpacking District in the late 1970s, Richard Ovaduke once borrowed his roommate's 35-millimeter camera and shot the meat market and the surrounding cobblestoned neighborhood. At the time, it was chock-full of other workers whose day-to-day existence involved being elbow-deep in animal parts as well as topless dancers and crossdressers.
  • Greenpoint's Champion Coffee Heads West to Meatpacking: This fall, owner Talitha Whidbee finally decided to expand in a big way with a second coffee shop. Champion is heading west to the Meatpacking District, where it's slated to open on September 23 with 20 other food vendors in the 7,500-square-foot open-air Gansevoort Marketplace

  • Bond Vivant: Donna Lennard Reflects on Il Buco's Two Decades: Twenty years ago, when Donna Lennard opened Il Buco on Bond Street, she wasn't planning to become a restaurateur. Il Buco wasn't even a restaurant then.
    • How a Beloved Restaurant Moves Forward With a New Chef: At Il Buco Alimentari, which lost chef Justin Smillie earlier this year, owner Donna Lennard decided to take a risk: She recently named Roger Martinez — a Barcelona native who's worked for Ferran Adrià, opened his own restaurant in Spain, and most recently, cooked at Bouley — as her executive chef. Martinez started three weeks ago, and while the changes that he's making to the restaurant seem subtle, they're significant. We sat down with him and Lennard to talk about how things are going.
  • Landmarked Bowery Mansion To Become... Condos?: Last month word got out that 190 Bowery, that massive building on the corner of Bowery and Spring, was on the market. The owner, Jay Maisel, purchased the building for $102,000 in the 1960s, and has pretty much kept all 72 rooms for himself and family ever since (though at one point Roy Lichtenstein rented out a studio space there).
  • The Making of Cherche Midi's Funky Slab of Prime Rib: "We wanted to do a very luxurious steak," says Cherche Midi co-executive chef Daniel Parilla. "We do the cote de boeuf at Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, so we thought it would be nice to do something different." Rather than serving the rib as steaks, the decision was made to serve prime rib. Co-executive chef Shane McBride continues "the original idea of the restaurant was that it was the feminine Minetta, but we still wanted something for the boys to eat, so we went big."
  • Parm's Game Day Package: Starting this weekend, Parm will offer a game day package, which includes two dozen buffalo wings, baked ziti for six and a giant sub sandwich of your choice.

  • A Mystery of Chinatown: It’s easier to stumble on Taste of Northern China than to find it. The address is 88 East Broadway, but the storefront is around the corner, on Forsyth Street, with a mysterious 106 above the door (a suite number, it turns out).

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