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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.

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