...more recent posts
who says america is out of ideas?
Tried to get into Corton the 27th at 6pm (on the 17th) and it was booked, its hot in this down time, I used Open Table, I just tried again for 3/5 and no go, they gave an option check a month out and it came back, no table's anytime in the next 30 days......rumor is they are being sold out by some Tribeca hotel.....I have friends whom will help one day, I am in no rush as I feel spring/summer are the best time to eat anywhere in NYC due to veggie heaven....
This place I think is gonna rock in the tough time too...not open yet....
31 West 17th Street
George Mendes, whose resume includes Bouley and Wallse, will have a menu with a Portuguese accent, with dishes like sardines and Madeira raisins, and pork chop with clams and kale. He has enlisted Stephanie Goto, who worked on Morimoto and Corton, to design sleek, intimate spaces for the narrow room with a mezzanine. -- Florence Fabricant
-The New York Times
I think I previously posted his web site
Toasted sprouted bread w/ Tuscan olive oil nouvo (spicy) and Sicilian sea salt, w/ spread mix of peanut butter/honey/banana
YUM!! salty, spicy, sweet, and crunchy
Down and Dirty last nite at Dirt Candy with b./jim/linda
Delish overall and very healthy, some dish's better than others, we ate everything on menu (and 1/2 of the desserts), rich food (butter), lovely space, great $28 wine to gulp.....
While I rarely go back to any restaurant in a year I think I will be here in the summer for peak veggie season...
I wish her well and voted for her on TONY (and voted for you Linda)
Gotham Bar and Grill: $25 lunch menu will be the only menu for lunch from 3rd week in March till the end of the year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the restaurant. The a la carte menu is going away for lunch (!!!), and the $25 menu will be the only lunch menu.
IN a climate where almost every restaurant in town is offering deals and concessions once unimaginable - bring your own wine to Alto, leave the tie home for '21' - one place is offering the ultimate bargain this Friday night:
Eighty one, chef/owner Ed Brown's pricey modern-American place in the Excelsior Hotel on West 81st Street, is launching a two-course menu option six nights a week that's cheaper than some of the regular entrees alone.
And to get the ball rolling, it's giving 150 customers a chance - for one night only - to sample the new, "eco(nomy)-friendly" menu on the house. (See box.)
"We're changing with the times," Brown acknowledged. "We need to do much more business. I've got to have more people in the restaurant and make it more accessible."
The bargain deal goes into effect on Friday and will be available indefinitely after that every night but Saturday. It offers a choice of any two courses chosen from among appetizers, mains and dessert on a special menu for $30.81 per head, not including tax and tip. A third course can be had for just $8.10. This, in a place where entrees alone run from $28 to $38.
There are four choices in each category. Among them: pumpkin risotto with toasted pumpkin seeds to start; seared tuna with black beluga lentils for an entrée; and bourbon vanilla ice cream float with ginger snaps for dessert.
Friday happens to mark eighty one's first anniversary. It has not been an easy first year for the plush, red velvet-accented restaurant which, for my money, serves the Upper West Side's best food ever.
It opened with a menu even more expensive than it is now. Rave reviews - including my own - were mixed with write-ups that found it either pretentious or, contrarily, not sufficiently cutting-edge (for some, beautifully composed dishes made from marvelous raw materials and merely tasting wonderful will never be enough).
The blessing of a Michelin star last fall was blunted by the financial meltdown. And since day one, eighty one's entire façade has been buried under a low-slung sidewalk bridge that hides the entrance and negates a welcoming glow from behind mullioned windows.
If you think that's no big deal, recall that Simon Oren, owner of popular spots including Nice Matin nearby, sold his lease at Charolais in TriBeCa last year when a scaffold showed no sign of being taken down - "I think no one knew we even opened," Oren said. "If you open with a scaffold, it's a huge handicap, and the low-hung ones that kill visibility are the worst."
Like many newer restaurants, eighty one has been busy on Fridays and Saturdays, but slower on other nights. To remedy that, Brown recently augmented the dinner menu with a mid-priced entree category called "Simply," featuring such favorites as whole daurade ($26) and hanger steak ($27), each served with a choice of a side dish.
But how can a restaurant that spends as much on ingredients as eighty one does make money on a $30.81, two-course dinner menu?
"Two ways," Brown said. "We're not using filet mignon or foie gras.
"And we're hoping that if you come as a party of four, at least one or more of you will order off the regular menu."
So, does that mean the waiter won't mind if we split up our orders between the standard menu and the cheap one?
"Be clear," Brown chuckled. "If you come to eighty one, the answer to almost anything is 'yes.' This is a time for extreme hospitality."
How to eat for free
This Friday only, the first 150 customers whose seats are reserved by e-mail for eighty one's eco(nomy)-menu will be served the two-course, $30.81 option for free. (Diners must pay for all drinks, tax and tip.) The complimentary offer does not apply to the regular menu.
There are two seatings, at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and a four-person maximum per table.
Those vying for the complimentary menu must contact the restaurant by e-mail only at firstname.lastname@example.org.
45 W. 81st St.
i guess i am not a vegan, skinny.....(nytimes)
The Maggots in Your Mushrooms
By E. J. LEVY
Published: February 12, 2009
THE Georgia peanut company at the center of one of our nation’s worst food-contamination scares has officially reached a revolting new low: a recent inspection by the Food and Drug Administration discovered that the salmonella-tainted plant was also home to mold and roaches.
You may be grossed out, but insects and mold in our food are not new. The F.D.A. actually condones a certain percentage of “natural contaminants” in our food supply — meaning, among other things, bugs, mold, rodent hairs and maggots.
In its (falsely) reassuringly subtitled booklet “The Food Defect Action Levels: Levels of Natural or Unavoidable Defects in Foods That Present No Health Hazards for Humans,” the F.D.A.’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition establishes acceptable levels of such “defects” for a range of foods products, from allspice to peanut butter.
Among the booklet’s list of allowable defects are “insect filth,” “rodent filth” (both hair and excreta pellets), “mold,” “insects,” “mammalian excreta,” “rot,” “insects and larvae” (which is to say, maggots), “insects and mites,” “insects and insect eggs,” “drosophila fly,” “sand and grit,” “parasites,” “mildew” and “foreign matter” (which includes “objectionable” items like “sticks, stones, burlap bagging, cigarette butts, etc.”).
Tomato juice, for example, may average “10 or more fly eggs per 100 grams [the equivalent of a small juice glass] or five or more fly eggs and one or more maggots.” Tomato paste and other pizza sauces are allowed a denser infestation — 30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams or 15 or more fly eggs and one or more maggots per 100 grams.
Canned mushrooms may have “over 20 or more maggots of any size per 100 grams of drained mushrooms and proportionate liquid” or “five or more maggots two millimeters or longer per 100 grams of drained mushrooms and proportionate liquid” or an “average of 75 mites” before provoking action by the F.D.A.
The sauerkraut on your hot dog may average up to 50 thrips. And when washing down those tiny, slender, winged bugs with a sip of beer, you might consider that just 10 grams of hops could have as many as 2,500 plant lice. Yum.
Giving new meaning to the idea of spicing up one’s food, curry powder is allowed 100 or more bug bits per 25 grams; ground thyme up to 925 insect fragments per 10 grams; ground pepper up to 475 insect parts per 50 grams. One small shaker of cinnamon could have more than 20 rodent hairs before being considered defective.
Peanut butter — that culinary cause célèbre — may contain approximately 145 bug parts for an 18-ounce jar; or five or more rodent hairs for that same jar; or more than 125 milligrams of grit.
In case you’re curious: you’re probably ingesting one to two pounds of flies, maggots and mites each year without knowing it, a quantity of insects that clearly does not cut the mustard, even as insects may well be in the mustard.
The F.D.A. considers the significance of these defects to be “aesthetic” or “offensive to the senses,” which is to say, merely icky as opposed to the “mouth/tooth injury” one risks with, for example, insufficiently pitted prunes. This policy is justified on economic grounds, stating that it is “impractical to grow, harvest or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects.”
The most recent edition of the booklet (it has been revised and edited six times since first being issued in May 1995) states that “the defect levels do not represent an average of the defects that occur in any of the products — the averages are actually much lower.” Instead, it says, “The levels represent limits at which F.D.A. will regard the food product ‘adulterated’ and subject to enforcement action.”
Bugs in our food may not be so bad — many people in the world practice entomophagy — but these harmless hazards are a reminder of the less harmless risks we run with casual regulation of our food supply. For good reason, the F.D.A. is focused on peanut butter, which the agency is considering reclassifying as high risk, like seafood, and subjecting it to special safety regulations. But the unsettling reality is that despite food’s cheery packaging and nutritional labeling, we don’t really know what we’re putting into our mouths.
Soup merits little mention among the products listed in the F.D.A.’s booklet. But, given the acceptable levels for contaminants in other foods, one imagines that the disgruntled diner’s cri de coeur — “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!” — would be, to the F.D.A., no cause for complaint.
E. J. Levy is a professor of creative writing at the University of Missouri.
take a look at this cool wylie dish from opinionated about dining
Italy bans kebabs and foreign food from cities (uk times)
We ate at Babbo last night, warm lamb's tongue vinaigrette with hedgehog mushrooms and a 3 minute egg - delicious. pig foot milanese w/ rice beans and arugula, beef check ravioli - yum, and grilled quail with scorzerona and saba(grape must?), Barolo wine. very happy
Hey MB, jiml, and sarah: do you have any thoughts about your meal at Allen & Delancy? Worth it?
two places i want to eat most
Michel Bras http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/11/dining/11gard.html
What is Dirt Candy?
What is dirt candy? Vegetables, of course. When you eat a vegetable you’re eating little more than dirt that’s been transformed by plenty of sunshine and rain into something that’s full of flavor – candy from the dirt. Dirt Candy. It’s also the name of my restaurant, which opened about three months ago, after a long, long battle with the forces of evil.
I’ve worked in many of the vegetarian restaurants in New York City. I went to the Natural Gourmet Cooking School, was a chef’s teaching assistant at Angelica’s, managed the kitchen at the late Terra 47, was the first chef at Moby’s teahouse, Teany, went from being a line chef to chef de cuisine at Pure Food and Wine and was the Chef de Cuisine at Heirloom (R.I.P.). I also consulted at Blossom and Broadway East (a long time ago). With Dirt Candy I’m trying to do a vegetarian restaurant my way. Most vegetarian restaurants are lifestyle-driven, not chef-driven, and their aim is to present healthy food that conforms to vegetarian principles, often by serving basic meat recipes with soy products replacing the meat portion of the dish.
I don’t care about your health. And I don’t care about your politics either. But I do care about cooking vegetables. Most of the best vegetarian dishes I’ve eaten have been at non-vegetarian restaurants. The gnocchi at Il Bagatto, the vinegar potatoes at Grand Sichuan, the fried watercress salad at Sripraphai (they’ll lose the chicken and shrimp if you ask). I’ve always wanted to work at a place that put cooking vegetables and doing amazing things with them first, and put lifestyle, health and political choices second. It didn’t take me long to realize that if I wanted a place like that I’d have to build it myself, so I did. Just as BLT Fish is dedicated to seafood, and Peter Luger’s is dedicated to steak, Dirt Candy is dedicated to vegetables. It’s taken us almost a year to get here, but we’re finally open, so either sign up for our mailing list (here) or keep checking back to this blog for updates about menu changes and news.
Was lucky enough to be taken to Gotham Bar and Grill last night. I've actually never been before (also Union Sq. Cafe, but that's another post.) Food was great. The room is very nice if a little bit 80's. But what really got me was the crowd. Wednesday night at 8:00 and the place was rocking. Completely packed. And it ain't cheap. Good for them.
any one else doing the neti pot thing?
Where was that coffee making thread? I can't find it so I'll start a new one here. We decided to stick with our french press and forgo the technivorm mostly due to price. But does anyone know anything about the aerobie?
chip of the month