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Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Your NYC Memorial Day Food Guide, Olive Oil Problems and Ansel Kitchen's Tasting Menu

  • Where to Spend Memorial Day 2015: Spring may seem like it just started, but the unofficial start of summer is just around the corner.  That would be Memorial Day this Monday 25th, which — in addition to being a time to commemorate those who died in the armed forces — is equally known as a day for picnics, barbecues, and general out-of-doors merriment.  So here’s where to spend those precious extra hours off work, from a beachside jaunt to Coney Island Smorgasburg, to a crawfish boil at Narcissa, and a joyful Hawaiian luau at The Dutch
  • New York Senate Votes for Bill Allowing Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas: Until now, New York State health law has sought to spare restaurant-goers such minor indignities, which are regarded by many dog lovers as the pleasures of life among fellow devotees.  But as the weather turns warm and people begin choosing outdoor tables, the State Legislature is considering expanding the rights of dog owners, whom lawmakers describe as among their most vocal constituencies.
  • Thousands of DOH Letter Grades Improved Through Appeal System: For restaurant owners, a B or C letter grade can cost thousands of dollars in lost business and fines. But, more and more, owners are appealing those bad grades with good results. Between January 2013 and April 2014, more than 13,000 grade inspections were appealed and around 7,000 resulted in a better grade.
  • Shake Shack Makes Its Long-Awaited Return to Madison Square Park on Wednesday: Finally, after seven long, burger-less months, Madison Square Park gets its Shake Shack back. The original 10-year-old outpost of Danny Meyer's cult burger stand reopens this Wednesday, having been rebuilt from the ground up so that it can, as the Shack folks put it, "last for many years to come." 
    • Shake Shack Might Be Close to Releasing a Chicken Sandwich: While New Yorkers are off celebrating the original Shake Shack's grand reopening, there's actually another bit of fabulous news: Using a less-conspicuous subsidiary called SSE IP, Shake Shack applied to trademark the words "Chicken Shack" last month. The filing, CNBC explains, points to chicken sandwiches.

  • It’s time to panic. Olives are in big trouble: It’s a hard time to be an olive. After a rash of terrible weather in 2014 and an actual plague of fruit flies, the latest blight to hit the iconic, enigmatic fruit is an actual blight.
  • The Easiest Way to Tell When Your Steak is Done: There are more than a couple ways to check if your steak is done. Many people will tell you to stick an instant-read thermometer into your steak to see if it's done. But sometimes, you just can't find your thermometer—or you don't have one.
  • WHY BACON IS SUCH A BIG MONEYMAKER FOR RESTAURANTS: People are willing to pay a bacon premium, even when restaurants are getting it cheaper than ever.
  • Our perfected take on classic beer-can chicken: It's impossible for us not to smile when we see a beer-can chicken kicking it on the grill. Not only does it makes a pretty ridiculous tableau: a bird propped upright by a beer shoved where the sun don't shine, looking like it's just hanging out, watching the game—we're also certain it's going to taste pretty perfect.


  • Here's the Menu for Dominique Ansel's Tasting Menu at U.P.: Mark your calendars. Dominique Ansel's tasting table U.P. will begin taking reservations on Monday, May 25 at noon for its inaugural weekend (July 17-19). For his return to plated fine-dining service, the Daniel alum will fittingly run with the theme of "Firsts," working through an eight-course progression ($75) inspired by everything from a first kiss (raspberry, fresh mint, vanilla ice cream) to a first job (coffee, cardamom, nougat and malt).
  • Business of the Month: Greenwich Locksmiths.  Whether you know Philip Mortillaro because he’s been making your keys since Greenwich Locksmiths opened in 1980, or because of his metal artwork, or just because he’s a fixture in this neck of the West Village – you don’t have to worry about his distinctive home base disappearing any time soon.
  • Bantam Bagels Go ‘Beyond the Tank': In Season 6, Nick Oleksak and his wife, Elyse, entered the Shark Tank to pitch their mini bagel balls filled with cream cheese. The couple, who met as undergrads at Columbia University, got a deal with Lori for their New York-based creations.
  • Murray’s cheese bar, West Village: So, yes, this place knows its dairy. And while the actual cheese shop has a bake-it-yourself variety, I recommend moseying down a few storefronts to try the hot and bubbly mac and cheeses at Murray’s Cheese Bar, their full-service restaurant. 

  • Spreading The Joy Of Peanut Butter: He also began dreaming of owning a store that would sell those creations, and one day in 1998 in Greenwich Village came upon a boarded-up shop with a For Sale sign on it.  Next day, still in his mid-20s, he walked into the publishing house where he worked and resigned on the spot, went to the real estate office and put a deposit on the boarded-up shop in Greenwich Village, and then went to the bank and wrangled a $150,000 loan.

  • Rebelle Review:  Rebelle a sister restaurant of Pearl & Ash is a completely different experience and vibe but with of course the same great wine program by their very own Patrick Capiello. The charcoal and deep gray tones of the booths and floor make the space feel a little more serious and upscale than next door, but in reality it’s not. 

  • The Best Egg Roll in Chinatown: Opened in 1920, Nom Wah Tea Parlor is the oldest dim sum restaurant in New York City. What makes them unique is that they prepare their dim sum to order, instead of making the dishes in advance and serving them on rolling carts around the dining room. Their egg rolls are made the traditional way... actually using egg crepes.

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