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Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Weekly Roundup: A Dining Guide To City Island, Zagat Changes It's Ratings and NYC's Best Summer Dishes

  • NYC’s Best Summer Dishes – 2016: Here’s a list of eateries that are putting that cornucopia of goodies to especially good use.  From Nix and its Toybox Melon, topped with housemade cottage cheese, to Blue Hill and their Zucchini Carbonara, sauced with pullet egg yolk and pancetta!
  • A Dining Guide To The Seafood Utopia Of City Island: A summer in New York City is incomplete without a visit to City Island, the closest thing you'll get to a New England seaside town without actually leaving the city. Never been? Grab an UberPool or borrow your cool friend's car and drive out to the former fishing village connected by bridge to the mainland of the Bronx. Parking isn't a problem—almost every restaurant has complimentary parking lots and ample street parking is easily available.
  • Me and Magnolia: Life Before and After the Cupcake Bomb Went Off.  I live a block away from the original Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street in the West Village, so I definitely noticed when it opened 20 years ago. But nobody paid much attention until it was popularized by an episode of Sex and the City in 2000.
  • Where To Find The Best Classic NYC Dishes: New York, a town bought by the Dutch for a handful of Ess-A-Bagel dough, has long since been a City Of Food, boasting the universe's finest pizza, hot dogs, steaks, bagels, and more. We've rounded up some of the city's best classic dishes, and note that while a number of the standbys stand strong, the twenty-first century has introduced quite a few new takes on old favorites, along with some original foods that have already made it into the canon. 

  • Scientists Engineered a Tomato That Doesn’t Get Mushy: Welcome Frankentomatoes to the class of perishable foods tweaked to become indestructible: un-bruisable potatoes, apples that can’t oxidize, and salmon that grow twice as fast on 75 percent as much food.
  • Zagat Is Changing the Way It Rates Restaurants: For as long as Zagat has been publishing restaurant guides, readers have had to ask themselves whether there’s really a difference between food with a 21 and 22 rating. No longer. Google has expressed hostility toward Zagat’s traditional rating system since acquiring the company in 2011, and now the longtime restaurant guide has done away with it.
  • Why Do People Want Veggie Burgers That Bleed?  Meat alternatives aren’t new — after all, vegetarianism has its roots in ancient Greece — but the newest crop of products meant to replace animal protein is more high-tech than hippie. The modern meat-free burger or steak gets its flavor from scientists in lab coats, rather than Birkenstock-wearing cooks thoughtfully forming patties from beans, quinoa, and carrots.
  • How to Make Fried Chicken: People argue over what starch is used to coat the chicken, about the fat used to fry it, about the temperature at which it cooks. But really all you want is what the great Southern chef Bill Neal called “chicken that tastes like chicken, with a crust that snaps and breaks with fragility.” 


  • Happy Trails to You, Fatty Crab, it Was Fun While it Lasted: Fatty Crab, the Hudson Street cafe that spawned a mini-empire of casual Southeast Asian-inspired restaurants, is now closed for good. Chef Zak Pelaccio opened the restaurant back in 2005, but he left the Fatty Group a few years ago to focus on Fish & Game, his restaurant in Hudson, NY. On Friday, the management posted an announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page about the closure. 
  • Glazed and Amused: Savory doughnuts are dominating bakeries, and they're delicious
  • Slain pizzeria owner isn’t the first pizza-related feud: Today, Vitale’s Web site bears the disclaimer, “Joe’s Pizza on Hollywood and Joe’s Pizza on sunset are not affiliated with Famous Joe’s Pizza, Inc. DBA Joe’s Pizza at 7 Carmine Street, NY.”
  • Storied Restaurant Space Reopens As Fifty In The West Village: Perhaps more than many restaurants, Fifty has a lot to live up to. The restaurant, which opened mid-July, occupies the site of several well-regarded restaurants, most recently Chef Harold Moore's Commerce, which shuttered a year ago following a dispute with the landlord. 

  • Another Stylish Vegetarian Restaurant Has Opened in New York: At Ladybird — located on a bustling block of Macdougal Street and open until 2 a.m. — chef Daphne Cheng (who also oversees the menu at Mother of Pearl and Cienfuegos) is making vaguely virtuous dishes like coconut quiche with “beet chorizo,” charred eggplant with crispy rice and feta, sweet-potato fries with miso butter, and a burrata dessert.

  • Growing Pains: Banker Relationship Helps Cookie Empire Expand From Upper East Side Apartment. This cookie empire began with her mother’s oatmeal raisin cookie recipe and the oven in her Upper East Side apartment kitchen. By building a close relationship with a local banker, she was able to secure the necessary financing to move the business out of her home and achieve the prominence she now holds in the industry.
  • Chelsea Market’s Buon’Italia Sets Sights on Jersey City: One such company is Buon’Italia, an Italian food importer and distributor with a shop in Chelsea Market, who is moving their warehousing operations into a 27,500 square foot warehouse at 109 Port Jersey Blvd Jersey City. There’s also talk of opening a Buon’Italia location in downtown.
  • Museum of Ice Cream Pop-Up Opens With Sprinkles Galore: The museum featuring all things ice cream will open its doors to the public tomorrow (FRIDAY) with a life size pool of sprinkles, an ice cream playground, and art inspired by summer’s coldest, creamiest sweet treat. The Museum of Ice Cream will only be around for a month at 100 Gansevoort St., and tickets have already sold out. But people can try their luck on Friday, when the space will be open to the public between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for free on a first come, first served basis. 


  • The Best Places to Eat in NYC on a Budget: Spicy Village; This bare-bones Chinatown Henanese joint is a chef favorite for its Spicy Big Tray Chicken and hand-pulled noodles in lamb broth. It’s BYOB, so bring your own wine opener.

  • Is This The Most Instagrammed Spot In Brooklyn?  If you stand on Washington Street in DUMBO, you will never be alone. The stretch between Plymouth and Front streets is often filled with people—standing on cobblestone and surrounded by old brick buildings—pointing their phones at the Manhattan Bridge. 

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