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Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Fresh Truffles Invade NYC, Your Visual Guide To Winter Squash and The Village Voice Best Of 2015

+NYC NEWS+
  • The Village Voice Best of Food & Drink 2015
  • Where to Find Fresh Truffles in New York: Forget apples, pumpkins and (as much as we love them) even concord grapes — because white truffle season has hit New York in full force!  Generally sourced from Alba, Italy, the gloriously perfumed, highly prized pale fungi are just waiting to be shaved over pastas, pizzas and more, at refined spots, like Midtown’s Gabriel Kreuther, Chevalier, and Tribeca steakhouse, American Cut…
  • Wolfgang Puck’s Cut Steakhouse Is Coming to New York: Cut For more than 30 years, Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant empire has acquired a global footprint without so much as a pause in Manhattan. That is about to change. Next summer, he will open one of his Cut steakhouses near the World Trade Center. 
  • Philadelphia Chefs Find Opportunity in NYC: Three of Philadelphia's most important chefs were opening outposts in the Big Apple: Jose Garces' Amada, Eli Kulp's High Street and Michael Solomonov's Dizengoff. Interesting timing, considering we're in the midst of an ever-worsening real estate crisis that has plenty of chefs thinking about packing up and leaving. So why are all these chefs expanding to NYC right now? 
  • NYC’s Best Traditional & Untraditional Tacos: It’s tough for New York to truly challenge L.A. on the classic Mexican taco front, but when it comes to inventive, multi-cultural tortilla sandwiches, our game is especially strong.  Which is why we’ve rounded up a handful of the city’s very best tacos, both utterly traditional and decidedly non — from the gold standard carnitas at Tacos El Bronco in Brooklyn to the lamb-filled parathas at Goa Taco & the pan-Asian creations at Korilla BBQ!
  • THE SEARCH FOR NEW YORK CITY’S LAST REMAINING AUTHENTIC PIZZERIAS: After five years of research, the authors of The New York Pizza Project celebrate the pizza makers, eaters, and neighborhoods that support these institutions.


+INDUSTRY NEWS+
  • Not Enough Cooks in the Restaurant Kitchen: At conferences, over beers and on social media, chefs and restaurateurs are openly worrying (not to say complaining) about a crisis-level shortage of cooks. In scores of interviews via phone and email, chefs and restaurateurs confirmed that the shortage has affected their hiring.
  • Inside The Life Of An Apple Picker: It's fall. Time to pick apples. For some of us, that's casual recreation, a leisurely stroll through picturesque orchards.  For tens of thousands of people, though, it's a paycheck. They drive hundreds of miles for the apple harvest in central Washington, western Michigan, the shores of Lake Ontario in upstate New York, and Adams County, Pa.
  • Where have all the diners gone?  Rising costs, changing tastes and a reluctant next generation of owners spell trouble for a classic corner of New York's food culture.
  • The End of Craft Beer: Once, the beer wars were about Bud versus Coors. But now both brands — or, rather, the giant companies that brew these kinds of mass-audience beers — are mostly battling for market share against craft brewers, the independent, fiercely committed group of people who preach a message of quality and care that comes from small-scale brewing.
  • A VISUAL GUIDE TO WINTER SQUASH: Get to know 12 delicious varieties, from pumpkin and butternut to acorn and spaghetti—recipes included.


+NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS+

  • Murray’s Cheese, Bi-Rite Share Success Stories at the 75-Year Mark: Europe has its fair share of generations-old food companies, but the U.S. seems to have a much thinner history of such enterprises. So, when two American food businesses—one East Coast cheese company and one West Coast gourmet food store—hit their 75-year anniversaries, it was a pretty big deal.  This summer, both Murray’s Cheese and Bi-Rite reached that milestone with a legacy of major successes worth bragging about. 
  • Fall Wine: 20 Under $20.  Shinn Estate North Fork of Long Island Mojo Cabernet Franc 2014 $17.99
  • "We're Dreading It": West Village Locals Futilely Fight Chumley's Reopening: At a full board meeting of Manhattan's CB2 last night, local residents locked horns over whether to approve famous dive bar Chumley's application for a liquor license. The debate came after the board's SLA Licensing Committee unanimously supported granting the license with stipulations at an October 15th meeting. But after considerable hand-wringing from some neighbors, the full board endorsed Chumley's liquor license application in a 23-8 vote.
  • Village Halloween Parade Now a Branding Opportunity for Dos Equis: A fake beer spokesperson known as “the Most Interesting Man in the World” was just named grand marshal for this year’s 42nd annual Greenwich Village Halloween parade.  That’s right, the spokesperson for Dos Equis Lager Especial will lead hundreds of puppets, dancers, musicians, and costumed New Yorkers along Sixth Avenue. Why? Because he’s the most interesting man in the world, of course!
  • Empire Szechuan Is Closing After 30 Years in the West Village: Neighborhood mainstay Empire Szechuan Village is closing its doors after 30 years in the West Village due to a 500 percent rent hike — but the closing is largely harmonious, owner Oscar King said. King, 63, opened the Chinese restaurant in the landmarked building at the corner of Perry Street and Seventh Avenue South in 1985 and signed a long-term lease, an agreement that meant he was paying just $5,000-per-month for the property.
  • Ranking the Tacos at the Village’s New Tacombi on Bleecker Street: Engagingly, the menu emphasizes food from the Yucatan, the region that spawned the Tacombi concept in the first place. Principally, this is done via taco fillings and with two types of panucho: a peninsular specialty of fried corn tortillas smeared with refried beans and topped with shredded cabbage before the main fillings are deposited.
  • No Topping Left Unturned At The Inventive New Doughnut Project: The newest of NYC's outside-the-box doughnut shops has been stealthily slinging their yeasty wares in the West Village's Morton Street for two weeks. But starting Thursday, Doughnut Project is blowing the lid on their as-til-yet under-the-radar operation, throwing an opening party on Thursday featuring free doughnuts.

  • The Best Veggie Burger In NYC Is At By Chloe On Bleecker: The Guac Burger might be the best thing here, and is definitely the best veggie/vegan burger I've ever had. The patty is made from black beans, quinoa, and sweet potato, and, in addition to tasting really good, has a real density and texture to it.
  • The New Caribbean Food Movement: And then there is the success of the two Miss Lily’s restaurants in Manhattan, the second of which opened last year on one of the busiest corners in the East Village. Co-founded by the nightclub guru Serge Becker, the diner-style restaurant has its own line of sauces and a late-night menu featuring $5 rice and peas, sweet plantains and the cornmeal fritters Jamaicans call festival.
  • What Happens When Australian Restaurateurs Take Over a New York Institution?  This summer, Caffe Dante the 100-year-old Italian institution situated on the quaint end of Greenwich Village’s MacDougal Street reopened as Dante under the direction of Linden Pride (an ex-AvroKo exec). To reopen Dante, Pride assembled his dream team consisting mainly of fellow Australians who had worked together in the last decade at some of Sydney’s finest dining establishments including Neil Perry’s Rockpool and Tetsuya Wakuda’s eponymous Tetsuya’s.
  • Perla: Since its opening in 2012, Perla has sat close to the top of pretty much every “Perfect For” category on The Infatuation. If that high rating is what led you to to read this review, we have some good news: you picked a winner.
  • FRANCOIS PAYARD SHARES HIS FAVORITE COOKIE RECIPES IN A NEW BOOK: Packed with Payard’s signature "Paris-meets–Upper East Side" recipes, the book includes some of the bakery’s most popular creations, including financiers, shortbreads, biscotti, and, of course, the much-lauded macarons, “all the things I most love to grab when I’m passing through the kitchen,” Payard confesses.

  • Num Pang Celebrates 7th Outpost With $5 Sandwiches: Ben Daitz and Ratha Chaupoly, owners of the delectable Num Pang sandwich empire, have managed an impressive feat: opening seven (and soon to be eight) locations since first debuting in 2009. The duo are expanding their downtown presence with two new Financial District locations, the first of which is opening at 75 Broad Street at South William. Perhaps this will help thin the herd at the nearby Chipotle.
  • Sushi Dojo and its Spinoff Closed by the Health Department: Earlier this year, the city introduced new regulations that require restaurants to freeze many types of fish for 15 hours before serving to kill off bacteria. When asked about how this would affect operations at Sushi Dojo, Bouhadana noted: "We already have freezers, but no one has that many freezers to all of a sudden start freezing their entire inventory.
    • City to Sushi Chefs: If Brain Surgeons Can Wear Gloves, So Can You: The DOH shut down Sushi Dojo and Sushi Dojo Express last week for repeated violations, and Bouhadana argues that the closures only happened because his chefs don't wear gloves — a method that violates the traditional sushi making process. But Bouhadana is not the only sushi chef who dislikes the rule. The city's top sushi restaurants have a history of bucking the rules in favor of craft.
    • Anthony Bourdain Slams the DOH Glove Rule: 'It's the Destruction of Sushi as We Know It’: You cannot make sushi through plastic surgical gloves. You can't. This is monstrous, monstrous, monstrous. It's the destruction of sushi as we know it. Body temperature fuels everything, the sensitivity to pick up the rice.
  • Village Residents Angered by 'Generic' Gansevoort St. Revamp: Last night, roughly 100 Greenwich Village and Meatpacking District residents with "Save Gansevoort Street!" stickers showed up to protest development plans for a stretch of Gansevoort Street between Ninth Avenue and Washington Street at the Community Board 2 landmarks committee hearing. Because the stretch is within the Gansevoort Market Historic District, the proposal—which includes high-end retail and commercial space—has to go through CB2 and then the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
  • SUGAR FACTORY: Whatever preconceived ideas you have about the Kardashian infused and Meatpacking hot spot, Sugar Factory, I command you to throw them out the window now. This sugar mecca might have candy cocktails, massive desserts, and a private room with your very own walls made out of candy bins, but the savory food is surprisingly delicious!
  • Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook Sign a Lease Inside Chelsea Market: Philadelphia superstars Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook have finally found a space for their first New York restaurant. An eagle-eyed tipster spotted a sign on the window of a Chelsea Market kiosk indicating a business license application for "DZGF2, D/B/A Dizengoff LLC." A rep for Solomonov and Cook confirms that they have signed the lease on a space inside the market. Steve Cook recently remarked that they were scoping out spaces and "trying to figure out how people pay rent here."

  • Where To Have A Thanksgiving Meal That Won’t Suck: Dreading an awkward meal trapped at a table with family members you haven’t seen in a while or your future in-laws that you just met? Your solution may be Il Buco Alimentari, where you’ll be seated at a communal table with lots of other strangers you can talk to instead. Besides the forced contact with strangers, you’ll also be treated to a family-style feast, which is a pretty fantastic way to experience the food (some of the best in the city).

  • The evolution of Little Italy: From thriving migrant community to tourist trap.  The area, which once stretched to about 50 square blocks, now only covers a six blocks-long expanse that runs along Mulberry Street from Canal to Spring Streets. Much of what was traditionally Little Italy has since been reclaimed by the city’s growing Chinese population, which also has outer borough outposts in Flushing, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.



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