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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: A Look Back On 2015 Foods, Where To Eat In 2016 and The 11 Best Hot Chocolates In NYC

+NYC NEWS+
  • Adam Platt’s Where to EAT 2016: Your game plan for dining (and drinking) exceptionally well, starting tonight.
  • The Best NYC Tasting Menus For $75 And Under:  Most tasting menus in this town cost as much as a down payment on a car, but a lot of fantastic restaurants offer them for $75 and well under. The next time you’re in the market for a killer meal, or just need to entertain someone for a few hours – these are the affordable tasting menus we fully endorse.
  • The Biggest Dining Surprises of 2015: This year, we asked the group eight questions running the gamut from meal of the year to top restaurant newcomers. Their answers will appear throughout the week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. We've heard about the top standbys, the hot newcomers, the words of the year, and the best neighborhoods. Now it's time for the surprises of the year.


+INDUSTRY NEWS+
  • New Year, New Rules: New Year's resolutions from some of our favorite chefs.  Most tasting menus in this town cost as much as a down payment on a car, but a lot of fantastic restaurants offer them for $75 and well under. The next time you’re in the market for a killer meal, or just need to entertain someone for a few hours – these are the affordable tasting menus we fully endorse.
  • Picking the Best in Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: Many shops and companies melt and mold bulk chocolate they buy from firms like Valrhona and Callebaut. The Masts began doing this in Brooklyn in 2007 while teaching themselves a far more challenging skill, one that few people in the United States had yet acquired: roasting and grinding raw cacao and turning it into silky, shiny bars of dark chocolate.
  • Pastry Chef Gina DePalma Has Died: Gina DePalma, the pastry chef who earned raves for her work at Babbo in Greenwich Village, died earlier this week. The chef had been dealing with ovarian cancer for many years. On October 24, Gina shared on Twitter: "I had a very complicated cancer surgery, was in the hospital for 2 weeks, and am still down for the count."  She had another major cancer surgery in 2007.
  • Food Trends That Shaped 2015: Batali and Ducasse also worked at New York’s wastED, a temporary restaurant at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill in Greenwich Village, which involved a cast of rotating chefs addressing food waste in their menus.
    • 11 Dining Trends We’re Tired Of: Adam Platt outlines your game plan for dining (and drinking) exceptionally well in the new year. Here, he looks back on all the annoying quirks, large and small, that drive your cranky critic to distraction.


+NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS+

  • OMG! meals of 2015: Best of Great American Bites: John’s of Bleecker Street Pizzeria, New York: The third oldest pizzeria in New York (and the country), John’s uses a coal-fired oven to produce a hybrid American-Neapolitan pie, crisped all the way across, but not crispy, with flecks of char giving it depth of flavor, while remaining surprisingly chewy, doughy and delicious.

  • The Malt House: An elevated tavern experience in Greenwich Village.  At The Malt House, there are no gimmicks. It is an American tavern, with many of the qualities of a gastropub, but far less of the pretension that has become associated with trendy bars for foodies. The menu is populated with elevated American comfort classics, cooked to perfection, made with choice ingredients and served in a warm and timely manner.
  • Photos, Videos: Christmas Eve Caroling In Washington Square Park: Last night, people gathered in Washington Square Park to sing Christmas carols by the Arch.  The history of carols dates back to the pagan singing during solstices, but the Greenwich Village tradition is about 100+ years old. It was probably one of the warmest, most balmy Christmas Eves in recent memory, as some carolers were just wearing t-shirts.
  • ‘A Strange Story': How 160 Bleecker Went From Slum House to Bohemian Bastion.  At the end of the 19th century, Ernest Flagg had a vision. Educated in the École des Beaux-Art in Paris, the young architect came back to New York in 1890 wanting to “reform the barbaric housing standards of the day.” Then he met banker and philanthropist Darius Odgen Mills, and before long Mills House No. 1, an inexpensive hotel for working men, opened in Greenwich Village in 1897.

  • Gansevoort Market Owner Plans to Open More Food Halls in New York City: Chris Reda, owner of Gansevoort Market in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, said he plans to open food halls in lower Manhattan and the Bronx’s Grand Concourse neighborhood.  In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Reda said his goal is to bring the gourmet-minded concept “to neighborhoods that are thriving and don’t have something like this.”

  • The 11 Best Places For Hot Chocolate In NYC: Try having your next date at the super cute, casual bar space at the front of Il Buco Alimentari. It’s the perfect spot to sip a mug of chocolatier Genevieve Meli’s (possibly spiked) hand-crafted hot chocolate made with Valrhona’s Guanaja chocolate (70 percent dark, 30 percent white, for extra creaminess). 

  • As a Christmas Surprise, Mission Chinese Food Launches Dim Sum Brunch: Danny Bowien and his crew kicked off dim sum brunch at Mission Chinese Food on Christmas Day.  Before the holiday,  Bowien told Metro: "We’re gonna have dim sum carts going around, but not with traditional dim sum....It’s gonna be Mission Chinese Food: little plates of mapo tofu, and scrambled egg and tapioca dumplings."  Bowien and MCF's executive chef Angela Dimayuga were in the restaurant, working with the carts on Christmas. 






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