Thursday, February 19, 2015
The Weekly Roundup: Chinese New Year Celebrations, Caffe Dante Rumors and Look Back At The High Line Graffitied Days
- 14 Excellent Chinese New Year Specials in New York: The Chinese New Year is nearly upon us, and come February 19 restaurants all over New York will celebrate. But instead of going to one of your usual haunts, capitalize on an interesting restaurant special.
- These Are New York City's James Beard Award Semifinalists: The James Beard Foundation has just released its list of semifinalists for the 2015 Restaurant & Chef James Beard Awards. This list will be narrowed down to the finalists, which will be announced on March 24, and from that the winners will be chosen.
- One of NYC’s Most Beloved Food-Truck Owners on Why It’s Time to Call It Quits: Since the Cinnamon Snail launched five years ago, New Yorkers have lined up for the truck's vegan offerings. Its crème-brûlée doughnuts and maple-mustard-tempeh sandwiches appealed to even the most die-hard carnivores, but what made the operation most special was the man at the heart of it: founder and chef Adam Sobel.
- A Sea Urchin Primer, Plus Where to Eat It in New York City: Sea urchin is the ingredient of the moment. While it was once confined to being a bit player in a sushi or sashimi assortment — a sort of odd man out among firmer and less colorful seafood — for the last five years or so it’s been popping up everywhere.
- What’s the Difference Between Goyza and Potstickers? Are all these Asian dumplings essentially the same, especially since I've seen them labeled as "Gyoza Potstickers" at stores like Trader Joe's? We asked cookbook author Andrea Nguyen, who wrote a whole cookbook on Asian dumplings, about two of the most popular ones: gyoza and potstickers!
- Restaurant Critic Pete Wells on How He Does His Job: Pete Wells has been restaurant critic for The New York Times since January 2012. As restaurant critic, he says that he has probably eaten close to 800 meals. (And he says, miraculously, he hasn’t gained weight.) Here he gives Insiders a sense of how he does the job.
- WHERE TO GET THE 10 BEST NEW STEAKS IN NEW YORK CITY: Cafe Clover; One of the owners of this newcomer is Joe Dowdell, a personal trainer and owner of Peak Performance, plus there’s also a nutritionist who vets all the dishes with the chef, David Standridge.
- West Village Old-Timer Caffe Dante Could Close Within Two Weeks: Rumor has it that Caffe Dante, the century-old Italian pastry shop on MacDougal Street, is closing imminently. A tipster tells Jeremiah Moss that the West Village classic has been bought "some Australians," and could close in as little as 10 days.
- Caffe Dante Owner Denies 100-Year-Old Restaurant Is Closing: Caffe Dante owner Mario Flotta denied staff claims and reports that the century-old family business had been sold, dismissing the information as a "false alarm."
- Blue Hill to Transform Into Food Waste Pop-Up: Starting in mid-March, Blue Hill restaurant in the Village is going on hiatus for a month, and in its place chef/owner Dan Barber and his brother David and sister-in-law Laureen will open a food waste-centric pop-up called wasteED. The menu will get a complete overhaul, with a steady selection of small plates by the Blue Hill crew and daily specials from a rotating cast of major chefs including Mario Batali, Dominique Crenn, Daniel Humm, and Alain Ducasse.
- Explore the Gritty, Graffitied High Line of 2003: Twelve years ago, before anyone sold $5 ice cream cones or Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses and before pricey condos came to dominate West Chelsea, Highline Studios' Damon Hoydysh clambered up to the totally rundown, completely abandoned elevated rail line near his office and shot some video footage.
- Celebrate Chinese New Year at Buddakan In NYC's Chelsea Market: Buddakan in New York City’s hip foodie epicenter Chelsea Market is celebrating the Year of The Sheep with Chinese New Year events this week. The restaurant is offering a special menu of dishes symbolizing new year hopes for wealth and longevity.
- Sandwiches and the Supermodel: If you’re a restaurant owner, one of the advantages of having a supermodel as your co-owner is that you don’t have to hire another supermodel—at great expense—to appear in your promotional material.
- Chinese New Year Firecracker Ceremony Eliminates Evil Spirits: While not quite as awe-inspiring as Tuesday night's fireworks over the Hudson, today's Chinatown Firecracker Ceremony kept the Lunar New Year festivities popping. Around noon, a big, exuberant crowd gathered in Sara D. Roosevelt park on the Lower East Side to ring in year 4713 with firecrackers, drumming, and plenty of lettuce.
- A Lunar New Year With a Name That’s a Matter of Opinion: China said goodbye to the Year of the Horse on Wednesday, and on the first day of the new lunar year revelers welcomed the Year of the Sheep. Or maybe the goat. Or perhaps the ram. For English speakers, it is a can of worms.
- What Exactly Is Matcha and Why Is Everyone Talking About It? Meet matcha, the current darling of the tea world. This finely milled green tea powder — the staple ingredient upon which traditional Japanese tea ceremonies were built in the 12th century — has seen a surge in popularity recently thanks to its visual appeal, purported health benefits, and beautiful, distinct flavor.