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Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Your NYC Restaurant Week Guide, Union Square Cafe Finds A Home and The 21 Best New Restaurants in America

  • Where to Dine During New York Restaurant Week, Summer 2015: New York Restaurant Week is running from July 20th-August 14th.  And far from being a showcase for exclusively budget establishments, the cut-priced promotion has attracted participation from some of the best chefs in New York.
  • New York Wage Board Approves $15 Minimum for Fast Food Workers: New York-based cooks and cashiers at McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, and elsewhere will soon be on track to earn more than cooks and servers at full-service restaurants. Here's why: a labor panel created at the behest of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo voted this afternoon to raise the minimum pay for fast food workers to $15/hour, a massive 71 percent hike from the current rate of $8.75.
  • Union Square Cafe Will Move Just a Few Blocks Away: Union Square Cafe is one of the most prominent victims of rent increases in New York, with owner Danny Meyer announcing last summer that the restaurant would be forced to close when its lease on its current location runs out at the end of this year. 
  • A Day in the Life of Dominique Ansel: Beyond the Cronut.  Cronut king Dominique Ansel is a busy man these days, running two hugely successful bakeries here in NYC, a new outpost in Tokyo, Japan as well as recently introducing a dessert chef's tasting counter. Here is a day in Ansel's life in 33 photos.

  • The 21 Best New Restaurants in America: Scrolling through my list of the most promising new restaurants, patterns emerge: I see ever more chefs looking to their own background for inspiration in the kitchen, or to the culture of the city or region around them. I also see global takes on fried chicken, ethereal chiles rellenos (not an oxymoron), and a blast from the way past called pondemnast (read on!).
  • From the Competition to Your Kitchen: How to Make a Ramen Noodle Burger Bun: Keizo Shimamoto — a second-generation Japanese-American blogger turned ramen chef — who premiered his ramen burger at the outdoor Brooklyn-based food market Smorgasburg.
  • Tea Sommeliers Are The Hot New Thing In Food Pairing: Yet it turns out there is an art to unlocking new flavors in your food by pairing it with tea. Sipping oolong with a buttery, citrusy madeleine can highlight the flowery and milky notes of the tea, while a hot cup of green tea melts the texture of goat cheese and enhances its creamy notes.  Now a whole new breed of experts has risen up to spread this knowledge: tea sommeliers.
  • GET YOUR BUCATINI AND BOLT: SPAGHETTI INCIDENT SERVES PASTA IN A GO-CONE.  Back in the 1950s, that custom included pasta in a cone. Inspired by the street food festivals of the mid-century, Emanuele Attala, chef-owner of the West Village Malatesta and Malaparte, has opened Spaghetti Incident with partners Ettore Pardossi and Giovanni Gentile. The Lower East Side restaurant serves only long pasta, served in a cone when ordered to go.


  • The New J.G. Melon Stays True to the Iconic Original: It took 43 years, but J.G. Melon's iconic burgers will be available downtown today with the opening of a new location at the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal. Spearheaded by veteran Melon manager Shaun Young along with restaurateurs and brothers Danny and Steve Abrams, the new location looks like a faithful reproduction of the original. This location, though, will just be the first of many if all goes according to plan, and will test the city's appetite for the old-school pub.

  • Meatpacking Super Dive Hogs & Heifers Will Toss Its Last Bra Next Month: The bar is the latest victim of Thor [Equities]'s hammer, which bought the building housing the bar in 2013 then jacked up the rent from $14,000 per month to $60,000 per month.
  • BUBBY’S HIGH LINE: Now that The Whitney’s gorgeous building and American art has taken over the Meatpacking District, you might finally notice that this popular Southern Tribeca staple has moved north. It feels like a much bigger space and like it might be easier to get a seat since there are so many other brunch spots to flock to in the air in comparison with the downtown location. 

  • Restaurant Review: Rebelle in NoLIta.  The night was humid, and I was drinking cold rosé at the black-veined marble counter that faces the kitchen of Rebelle. The couple on my left had rosé in their glasses, too. I did what one member of the pink wine fellowship does when encountering other members, and offered them a taste.

  • Kiki’s Greek Tavern Needs No Translation: It’s Chinatown. But when you arrive on its easternmost block, there are suddenly olive-green French doors flung open on the sidewalk and small lemon and orange trees reaching up from Grecian-style urns. The words on the awning — written in Chinese characters, with no English translation — say Kiki’s Greek Tavern.

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