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Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Weekly Roundup: Mast Brothers Chocolate Fall Out, Last Minute Christmas Reservation Guide and Top 21 Dishes Of 2015

  • Mast Brothers Admits It Hasn't Always Made 'Bean-to-Bar' Chocolate:  Brooklyn chocolate company Mast Brothers is engulfed in a media firestorm. Following a recent exposé by a blogger intent on exposing the bearded chocolate makers as frauds, the brothers Mast have now been grilled by The New York Times — and have admitted to precisely some of the acts that they previously denied.
    • 11 Truly Acclaimed Chocolate Producers That Aren’t Mast Brothers: There is trouble in artisanal Brooklyn, what with the recent revelations that the Mast Brothers — the borough's Ur-craftsmen — are caught up in a big cocoa controversy. Maybe you're a fan who feels cheated, or one of the many people who just never liked the brothers' chocolate all that much to begin with. You are in luck: There's plenty of great craft chocolate out there, stuff that's truly delicious and covers a whole spectrum of flavors.
  • The Pennsy to Feature Food Stalls From Batali, Giuliani, Forgione, LaFrieda, and Becker:  The old Borders space at 2 Pennsylvania Plaza is getting a new food court with stalls from Marc Forgione, Mario Batali, Franklin Becker, Pat LaFrieda, and the Cinnamon Snail team. 
  • Legendary Rock Club CBGB Finally Reopening As a Restaurant in the Newark Airport: The iconic Bowery club CBGB, which closed in 2007, has lent its name to a soon-to-open restaurant in the Newark Airport. Word of this business first trickled out last fall, but as of today there are pictures to indicate it isn't a joke. 
  • The Procrastinator’s Guide to Last-Minute Christmas Reservations: Christmas is in two days. Christmas Eve is tomorrow. If you'll be in the city, and still haven't made plans for where or what you'll be eating, don't worry — Grub's done the legwork and assembled this list of top restaurants that are both open and still have room for diners tomorrow and on Christmas Day.
  • Ryan Sutton's Top 21 Dishes of 2015: Earlier this month, Eater critic Ryan Sutton argued why this was such a strong year for New York dining, and he also named his top new restaurants. Now, he reveals his list of 2015's best sweet and savory dishes. The top three creations are ambitious riffs on everyday American classics.

  • The Idiot's Guide To Pairing Wine With Cheese: Wine can be intimidating to a lot of people. Throw in the idea of pairing it with cheese and it quickly gets way too fancy. But truth be told, it's pretty simple stuff. And the best part is, many different types of wines can be paired with cheese -- there isn't just one wine for one cheese -- so it's hard to mess it up. 
  • Here’s How to Crack the Ultimate Holiday Nut: American chestnuts were all but wiped out last century, but that thankfully won’t stop you from enjoying their winter-friendly flavor.
  • The Year of Champagnes You’ve Never Heard Of: Shopping for wine often requires plunging into the unknown. That is especially true this year for Champagne, because a new wave of small grower-producers on the shelves can mystify even the seasoned wine lover: Éric Rodez, Guillaume Sergent, Suenen, Bourgeois-Diaz, for a start. Who are these guys?
  • Seafood Restaurants Cast a Wider Net for Sustainable Fish: Over the last decade or so, restaurant diners in this country have become more sophisticated about, and open to, ingredients that used to throw them for a loop: bone marrow, pork belly, sunchokes, orange wine, the ubiquitous kale.  But they’ve remained curiously conservative when it comes to seafood. Salmon, tuna, shrimp and cod, much of it endangered and the product of dubious (if not destructive) fishing practices, dominate one restaurant menu after another.


  • High Street on Hudson is Now Open with Bialys and Sandwiches: High Street on Hudson is finally selling its acclaimed baked goods and sandwiches in the West Village. The hot Philadelphia import launched on Monday at 637 Hudson St with breakfast, lunch, and a takeout counter packed with even more pastries and breads than in Philadelphia. 
    • Eli Kulp’s High Street on Hudson Opens in the West Village: High Street on Hudson The chef Eli Kulp and his partner, Ellen Yin, have created a version of one of their popular Philadelphia restaurants, High Street on Market, for New York. The outlines are the same: breakfast, lunch and dinner in a low-key, no-frills West Village setting with a retail nook for breads, pastries, sandwiches and other takeout. There are rye breads from an in-house bakery run by Alex Bois, as well as a malted sausage sandwich. 
  • The Ten Best Slices of Pizza in NYC: Joe’s Pizza serves up the quintessential New York slice. Where this eatery trumps all others is in its ability to make a classic, mozzarella cheese pie. Of course, you can always go for a multi-topping slice, but we recommend starting with the basics here. The turnover is phenomenal, meaning the 'za is always fresh here.

  • Acclaimed LA Omakase Restaurant Sushi Zo Soft Opens in New York: Sushi Zo, one of the top omakase restaurants in Los Angeles, has opened in New York with its acclaimed sushi tasting menu. The new restaurant, located in Greenwich Village at 88 West 3rd St., is listed as "soft open" on Sushi Zo's website and it's now accepting reservations.
  • Trendy Vegan Spot ‘by Chloe’ Expands with 2nd Location on Lafayette Street: Call it a case of clustering. One health food shop-slash-juicery opens at the corner of Spring and Lafayette Streets (namely, Tiny Empire and newcomer Joe & the Juice), and the bandwagoners follow suit. And with 16 Handles now out of the way, another can join the club. The latest entrant to this fray is “by Chloe,” a vegan restaurant that currently maintains a flagship at 185 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.

  • Creative Team Behind Gansevoort Market To Open MRKTPL Empire Outlets, Staten Island's First Artisanal Food Hall:  "As we continue to program Empire Outlets as not only a tourist destination from visitors arriving from around the world, we are thrilled to be able to bring such lifestyle expertise from Manny Del Castillo and Jamie Hinojos the Creative Director and Director of Operations from the Gansevoort Market team to our center with the addition of MRKTPL," said Joseph Ferrara, a partner with Don Capoccia and Brandon Baron at BFC Partners, Empire Outlet's developer.

  • Best Cupcakes in the U.S.:  Little Cupcake Bakeshop, NYC: This Brooklyn-born, family-owned shop honors classic NYC sweets. They make a stellar cupcake version of the Brooklyn Blackout cake (in fact, it’s tastier than 99 percent of the Blackout Cakes I’ve had). 

  • Inside the Process for Making Peking Duck: Peking or Beijing duck is one of the world’s most complex foods — both in terms of its preparation as well as its flavor. Chinese chefs have perfected a method for rendering duck skin shatteringly crisp and duck meat ethereally tender. And in addition to the thorough cooking process, the dish itself has a pretty extensive history.

  • Bushwick's Getting A Gigantic New Chain Bowling, Gaming & Dining Arena:  A shiny new 30,000-square-foot bowling and karaoke amusement complex will be opening at 199 Starr Street in Bushwick in the fall of 2017. Punch Bowl Social, a Denver-based company that runs adult funhouses in Portland, Austin, Cleveland and elsewhere, will be bringing bowling, dining and gaming to the warehouse space.

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