There’s a joke in here somewhere about Dorothy Parker’s quip, “You can lead horticulture, but you can’t make her think (or maybe just a joke about “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”).
Via the fine, frugal fellows at My Open Bar.com, there’s ThirtyDaysNY, a celebration of arts and culture and, well, booze. Sponsored by Absolut vodka, the Tribeca fest will feature “weekly performances, symposiums, and showcases from contemporary artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers from all over the world.” A quick poke around the web site turns up pictures of SNL funnyman Fred Armisen, a short film by “Where the Wild Things Are” director Spike Jonze, and artist Meryl Smith who will be creating whimsical sculptures from genuine New York City trash.
Of course, in addition to all the music, film, and art, there’s a well concealed marketing campaign for Absolut vodka, preferred drink of the culture curators. Let’s hope their vodka will flow freely throughout the month.
The Tribeca loft will be open from noon to 9 p.m. (and until 10 p.m. on event nights) at 70 Franklin Street. Check out the calendar for upcoming events.
[Photo by pviojo]
While that might be a cheesy tagline (maybe the right to use “Where’s the beef?” was restricted), the menu is intriguing enough to warrant a visit. Seasonal namul (regular pickled vegetables), seasonal kimchi, and asatsuki salad (chives), represent small starting bites. The majority of the menu is divided into raw and grilled (yakiniku) offerings with some cow soup (Nikuniku soup-Shiro) and cold noodles made by Soba master Hideji Asanuma thrown in for good measure.
While the menu is predictably beef heavy, Takashi focuses on using different parts of the cow, so flavor and texture are never boring. In this bovine version of snout-to-tail cooking, livers, hearts, tongues, and various parts of the stomach are all served alongside various sauces, though there’s also ribeye and short rib for the less adventurous.
Additionally, according to their web site, the restaurant will feature beef from local New York state farms like Dickson’s Farmstand in Chelsea Market, from Kansas’ Creekstone Farm courtesy of Pat Lafrieda, and Oregon’s Washugyu cows courtesy of Japanese Premium Beef.
Takashi will have a soft-open tomorrow, April 13. It’s certainly worth a look for Chef Takashi’s take on “the bold, heartiness of Korean flavors combined with the finesse of Japanese cuisine.”
[Photo by avlxyz]
Beginning at 7:00 p.m. tonight, Midtown East’s At Vermilion will celebrate Chef Maneet Chauchan’s rumble in the kitchen against Iron Chef Morimoto on tonight’s episode of the Food Network’s winning Japanese-adapted show.
The watching party, in keeping with the theme of “Iron Chef,” will feature a secret cocktail and special menu mirroring Chauchan’s “Iron Chef” performance.
At Vermilion is recovering from something of a bad rap among the New York press circuit. Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post said in 2008, “The 200-seat, two-level eatery’s liabilities start with a stark, colorless design (without a trace of red) and a moronic name (why not just call it “Vermilion” like the celebrated Chicago original)?” But then acquiesces that “Tandoori-baked, churrasco-style skirt steak lit my fire on a bitter night.”
Chauchan’s fusion of Indian and Latin American flavors admittedly works better in some dishes than others. Lobster Portuguese stewed in goan (from Goa) gravy with coconut rice is a dud. Tamarind margaritas and tandoori skirt steak are keepers.
Of course, it’s probably not a secret that this Salman Rushdie-backed restaurant ends up winning Iron Chef, or At Vermilion’s PR blitz will end up with proverbial egg on its face. Diners also get the benefit of hearing Chauchan’s behind-the-scenes commentary on the filming.
Make your next stop restaurateur Steven Starr’s New York foray, Morimoto, and be your own judge.
[Photo by jenny downing]
At both locations, Pop Burger puts as much focus on design at it does French fries. A hip cafeteria-style counter in the front leads into a sleekly minimalist lounge and bar with a pool table. It’s business lunch in the front and happy hour in the back.
Both sections belie different menus. The counter menu has slider-style Pop burgers, hot dogs, thick shakes and jittery Red Bull, and Caesar, tuna, and Cobb salads for the diet-conscious. The lounge menu boats more grown up fare like shrimp with cocktail sauce, New England lobster rolls and chicken Waldorf salad on mini brioche. There’s also a fuller dinner menu featuring fried calamari, duck confit egg rolls, and steak.
Much of the menu is blissfully uncomplicated, while Pop Burger’s cocktail menu trends toward the unnecessarily intricate with concoctions like the “pink panty pull down” (Stoli vanilla, lime, pineapple, orange, grenadine) or the “pama perfect” (Patron silver, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, lime). At $15 and $20 respectively, they stray toward the ludicrous. Better to sneak some rum into your black & white shake if you need a fix.
The Meatpacking District location is especially prone to celebrity sighting—Sarah Jessica Parker, Matt Dillon, and Ed Burns were all spotted lately, according to Pop Burger’s Web site.
Better yet, Pop Burger is honoring the 8th of April by deeply discounting their beefy patties. This month (and on the 8th of every month), get 2 burgers for 88 cents, at a regular price of $6.75, this deal is perfect to tide you over until your paycheck arrives.
Pop Burger is located at 14 East 58th Street (between Madison and 5th) and at 59-60 9th Avenue (at 15th Street).
[Photo by seabaryo]
Pichet Ong, of the shuttered P’ong, recreated his madly modern art dessert creations at Tribeca’s Bubble Lounge (228 West Broadway) beginning this weekend. Get your chocolate chip cookies rare, medium, or well done and dip a frozen tiramisu cannoli in a chocolate fondue.
Take a “j-CATION” at the Japan Society (333 East 47th Street) and explore Japanese culture with “starters” like a seminar by Manga Artist, Hiroki Otsuka or a tea and sweet tour. Sink your teeth in with “main dishes” such as the live game show, “Clash of the Foodies!” and shoe-gazing pop band Asobi Seksu. Japanese treats will be available for the tasting from 1 p.m.-9 p.m. at the day’s events conclude with an after party by DJ AKI.
Enjoy New York’s spate of sunny weather with an afternoon tea and poetry reading in Tribeca’s Duane Park (55 Hudson Street). Sandwiches and scones will be served to Frost and Woolf fans alike for $35.
Travel through the Lower East Side’s culinary underbelly with Chef Jehangir Mehta, star of the Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef.” Tours leave between 10 a.m. and noon from the Bowery’s Whole Foods (95 East Houston St) and are specially geared toward kids. Adults can also explore new tastes and textures. $30 for 1 child and 1 adult.
There’s whiskey in the jar at the Astor Center (399 Lafayette St.) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with their “Whisky 101: Whisky from Around the Globe.” For $85, patrons will be guided by Robin Robinson, blogger at OneMalt.com and Brand Ambassador for Compass Box Scotch Whisky. The man knows his single malts from his blends, from Wales to Japan.
Jimmy’s No. 43 (43 East 7th Street) will be hosting a fundraiser for the nonprofit artisanal bakery Hot Bread Kitchen from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Chefs will face off for how creatively they can use Hot Bread products in recipes from granola to organic corn tortillas, as presented by Tastebuds NYC. All proceeds go to workforce development program for immigrant women. Jimmy’s also serves up an all-you-can-eat ribs and all-you-can-drink draft beers on Sundays and Mondays.
Hearth (403 East 12th Street) shares the warmth with their Red Sauce Sundays for a three-course family dinner of $39. These classics like spaghetti and meatballs, or eggplant parmesan will remind even non-Italians of home.
[Photo by jshj]
Graffiti, his East Village jewel box of a restaurant, focused on the details. In fact, with a space so small it’s almost a parody of a New York apartment, Mehta does more with less.
First, there’s the décor, which Chef Mehta designed himself. The restaurant is narrow, the tables communal, the vibe loud but intimate. An exposed brick wall features scrawls of what’s featured (including the fact that water comes in both sparkling and still). The opposing wall is decked out in prints, lush fabrics, statues, and mirrors, foreshadowing the eclectic and tenderly juxtaposed flavors to come.
All plates are meant to be shared—tapas style—but are helpfully grouped into categories by price. Scallops with candied red chilies seemed on the paltry side, but the slender discs melted to the tongue, punctuated by a spicy kick. Braised pork buns with apricot chutney cannot match David Chang’s and the apricot chutney frustratingly came with pits included, but the combination of juicy flavors still worked. A shredded duck topped Portobello mushroom with mustard onion confit combined too many textures—meaty mushrooms, fatty duck, crunchy confit. But the desserts, and rightly so, are the star of the show. A hazelnut chocolate “caviar” cupcake with chocolate chip ice cream was wonderfully decadent, a deconstructed cupcake of sorts with a crunchy pop of chocolate-dipped Rice Krispies on top.
Food Network fans will flock to Graffiti if only because Mehta is the star of “The Next Iron Chef,” and Martha Stewart viewers will recognize him from her show. The staff are hip to this brewing buzz, and are amazingly friendly and warm as a result. They’ll even put your oversized bags downtowns to be picked up post-meal. Perhaps the greatest show of hospitality at Graffiti are the line cooks you must push past on your way to the restroom. When you’re this close together, everyone’s family.
Graffiti, 224 E. 10th St., New York, NY 10003 (near First Ave)
[Photo by avlxyz]
In a mass mutiny last Saturday, Park Slope’s Gorilla Coffee staff walked out of the 100% independently owned and operated coffee shop and micro-roastery.
According to The New York Times, the shop has since closed with no plans to open anytime in the near future. Allegedly, the mass exodus stemmed from bad treatment by owner Carol McLaughlin.
The Times goes on to cite a staff e-mail calling Gorilla Coffee a “perpetually malicious, hostile, and demeaning work environment that was not only unhealthy, but also, as our actions have clearly shown, unworkable.” All seven baristas backed out of the job when their request for a change in leadership was denied.
While Gorilla Coffee will continue roasting, which takes place at a different location, Park Slope patrons will have to get their Guatemalan and Ethiopian blends elsewhere. It’s doubly a shame, considering the neighborhood has just been named “The Best Place to Live in New York” by FiveThirtyEight pollster Nate Silver for New York Magazine.
Instead, take your morning blend over to Dallis Coffee, which has been around since 1913. Dallis has been working with restaurants across the city to provide quality beans, and as of last weekend is now offering tours out of their Ozone Park plant for $10.
[Photo by Sugar Pond]
The nose has oaky overtones with a delicate freshness and a . . . feline aftertaste? Such is the case with Hello Kitty wines, a brand extension that begs the question: Who is Hello Kitty for anymore?
The pink-faced cat has been seen on everything from pencil cases to sausage cases to planes since it originated in 1974. Hello Kitty is pretty much the consummate metaphor for marketers, but this latest product offering may have gone too far.
First licensed in 2002, Hello Kitty wines can only now be found in the United States, because of a distribution agreement with Italian winery, Patrizia Torti. The offerings include a “sweet pink” sparkling wine, a “devil” pino nero red and “angel” pino nero white, and “brut rose” sparkling wine. The taste is apparently as lightly, sweet, and sickly as the packaging, emblazoned with its feline namesake in various cutesy costumes.
Astor Wines & Spirits, 399 Lafayette Street (212-674-7500)
Bowery & Vine Wine & Spirits, 269 Bowery (212-941-7943)
Columbus Avenue Wines & Spirits, 730 Columbus Avenue (212-865-7070)
Sea Grape Wine Shop, 512 Hudson Street (212-463-7688)
Vintage Grape Fine Wine & Spirits, 1479 Third Avenue (212-535-6800)
Wine Spectator says of these “so-called ‘critter wines‘” that “the highlight of the lineup is a spumante rosé complete with Hello Kitty charm bottle necklace” but they can “only assume they brought the guy who approved Joe Camel out of retirement for this one.”
Stephen Colbert gives it a tip of the hat.
Bo-de-ga. For New Yorkers, these convenience stores strewn across the city are the backbone of the neighborhood. At any hour of the day or night, pop are the corner for necessities from toilet paper to milk, laundry detergent, beer, deli sandwiches, and sometimes more illicit items.
It’s this kitchen sink approach that makes bodegas a mainstay of New York’s 24/7 culture, but have you ever asked where the food in your bodega comes from? That’s the subject of the documentary Bodega Down Bronx, produced by the Center for Urban Pedagogy, which makes educational projects about places and how they change. Created by a group of students from the Bronx, the film will examine the supply and distribution chains of bodegas in the South Bronx and how they impact the eating habits of the community.
The student filmmakers travel from the largest cash-and-carry wholesaler in the United States, Jetro, to the largest fruit and vegetable market in the world, Hunt’s Point Terminal Market, to the bodegas and their patrons themselves. The corner markets owe their success in part to the fact that one-third of New York’s supermarkets have closed over the last five years, making grocery shopping difficult to travel to by foot or public transportation. With food prices rising across the country, bodega owners are caught between keeping prices low and providing quality goods. The film also speaks with U.S. congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, who sponsored H.R. 5952, the Bodegas as Catalysts for Healthy Living Act (which would have provided grants to bodega owners to install refrigerated cases to stock more perishable produce).
$5 suggested donation
[Photo by cck]
Moby is probably better credited as the commercial might behind electronic club hits like “Porcelain” and “Bodyrock” than as a pioneering force behind where our meat comes from. That honor probably goes to Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation (or Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle for all the muckrakers out there).
However, tonight Moby adds an amicable addition to the genre with Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat). The book release party will take place from 7-9 p.m. atpowerHouse Arena, a lofty space in DUMBO that doubles as an independent bookstore and gallery. Moby and his co-editor, Minyun Park, will be discussing the book and signing copies amidst (locally sourced?) refreshments.
Gristle is not—thankfully—Moby’s one man diatribe on healthy eating, though he has been a vegan for 15 years and started the loose leaf tea café and subsequent iced tea line, Teany. Instead, he cedes the stage to “15 of the country’s leading food-minded folks who lay out a hard-hitting and eye-opening guide to the meat you eat.” This gang of 15 is comprised of “the country’s leading foodies, doctors, policy makers, business leaders, and activists” who tackled the issues surrounding industrial farming from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints. Moby’s co-editor Minyun Park also has eco-friendly chops to stand on as Executive Director of Global Animal Partnership, a “nonprofit organization dedicated to continuous improvement in farming for higher animal welfare.”
While Gristle bills itself as being about social justice and ethics for animals in the agricultural industry, Moby obviously takes strides to keep this book accessible to omnivores and vegetarians alike. Test this theory by grabbing a Big Mac at the nearest McDonald’s and coming on by tonight.
What: Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat) book signing with Moby and Minyun Park
Where: powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street (corner of Water & Main St.), DUMBO, Brooklyn
When: Tuesday, April 6 from 7-9 p.m.