We watched, literally on the edges of our seats as Yuji lit up his blowtorch and pointed the blue flame towards a tray full of mussel shells. The shells crackled and spit briefly, their edges glowing, remnants of their beards flying up in the air as red embers caught in the updraft of smoke. Yuji transferred the mussel shells to miniature French presses, added a handful of smoked shaved bonito flakes, then ladled in a clear broth and placed the pitchers in front of us on the table. This was the last course in one of the most remarkable ramen-based meals I've ever had. And I had it at a lunch counter. Inside a Whole Foods. Weird.
'pop-ups' on Serious Eats
In another case study of smart young chefs reclaiming Asian fusion cuisine for the better, Jonathan Wu is reworking brunch through a Chinese lens.
Urbanspace Meatpacking is the new food and retail pop-up under the South end of the High Line, put on by the same organization as Dekalb Market and Madison Square Eats. Take a look at some of the bites you can find there.
We've been watching Daniel Delaney's Brisketlab since he started his brisket-by-the-pound pop-up a few months ago and sold out in 48 hours. Last night, on the heels of announcing a larger-scale pop-up restaurant to come in the fall, we got to try some for ourselves. And we're happy to say that this stuff is pretty legit.
NYC's City Grit— a "culinary salon" in an old Nolita schoolhouse—hosts a new series of dinners every week. And increasingly, they've been bringing in guest chefs from around the country to cook. This week? Paul Qui, James Beard Best Chef Southeast winner, executive chef at Uchiko, founder of the East Side King trucks, and Top Chef Texas victor. Come take a look behind the scenes at what he's serving (and hear a bit about his new Austin restaurant).
These days, there are any number of venues to see New York's small artisan purveyors: Smorgasburg, Hester Street Fair, maybe DeKalb or New Amsterdam Market. (Not to mention small retail shops like Bklyn Larder or Nolita Mart.) But Super (Duper) Market, put together by Paper magazine, not only has an excellent selection of NYC vendors, but a handful of great West Coast folk, as well. Here's a look at the vendors, people, and products.
You might not know it, but there's something missing in your life, and it comes in a styrofoam cup with a spoon and straw. Snoballs are a Caribbean frozen dessert that will make you forget all about those sad, corn syrupy snow cones of years past, and Kafi Dublin's Noho pop-up stand, An Icy Introduction, does them very well.
If Le Cirque has always felt a little too frou-frou-fancy, but you still want an excuse to experience it, "The Feast: L.E.S. Cirque" pop-up kicked off last night and will spend the next three nights hosting dinners inside the Hotel on Rivington. Le Cirque's executive chef Craig Hopson is heading downtown and wants the menu to be a little more "downtown," too. What exactly does that mean? Cocktail pairings with three-course meals, where one ingredient is spotlighted each night. (It also means more Katy Perry playing in the rooftop penthouse-turned-event-space.) Check out our lobster dinner last night.
Leah Cohen is known to New Yorkers as the former executive chef at Centro Vinoteca, and to the rest of the nation as a runner-up on Season 5 of Top Chef. She spent the last year cooking, eating, and trekking around Southeast Asia (and keeping a travel blog) and now returns to New York to open a Gramercy restaurant that showcases "the bold flavors of Asian street food." But in the meantime, she's previewing the menu of that restaurant at LTO, the semi-permanent Chinatown establishment that opened earlier this year as a space for chefs to rotate through in a series of one-week pop-up stints.
JBF LTD's 27 days of programming at Chelsea Market wraps up this Saturday, May 14th, and those who were lucky enough to snag tickets to the last three evenings of special dinners at the James Beard Foundation's pop-up will be treated to French and Catalan-inspired four-course prix-fixe meals prepared by David Kinch and John Paul Carmona of Manresa in Los Gatos, CA. Yesterday we were fortunate to be invited to one of the first seatings, where we dined on an amazingly tender abalone salad, succulent crisp-skinned suckling porcelet with creamy goat whey polenta, and a fresh, garden green gazpacho.
Why did super-chef Bill Telepan open his Tribeca pop-up when his eponymous Upper West Side restaurant has already become the go-to spot for serious food at reasonable prices? His answer: "Because it's so much fun. We get to use stuff from farmers we don't normally get to use. And because the overhead is so low, we get to spend most of the money on the food we put on the plate."
If you can't score a seat at the James Beard House, here's your chance. Sorta. The Beard foundation just launched a pop-up restaurant/lounge deal yesterday in Chelsea Market at the Ninth Avenue entrance (in the old 202 space between 15th and 16th Streets). Until May 14, you can book reservations for special dinners with visiting chefs like Laurent Gras and the dudes from Animal in Los Angeles, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo.
What adds to the anticipation of getting pastry chef Zac Young's Flex Donuts is watching him hold a large pastry bag and inject small, round doughnuts with filling. Young, who is executive pastry chef at Flex Mussels and a former contestant of Top Chef Just Desserts, is selling his doughnuts ($1.50) for two weeks in the takeout section of Zocalo in the Lowel Level Dining Concourse at Grand Central Terminal. Young offers five flavors: salted cajeta (caramelized goat's milk), tequila-lime, raspberry, spiced chocolate, and cinnamon sugar.
[Photo: Visit London] Fancy a cuppa? Stop by the second floor of the Time Warner Center today, anytime from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, for a classic English tea party. As part of their "Only in London" campaign, official...
Dorie's chocolate-dipped Linzer hearts. Some great news for New Yorkers: Veteran cookbook author and former SE contributor Dorie Greenspan will be baking for you. She and her son Josh will open a pop-up bakery called Cookie Bar from February 8-13,...