Gourmet Gossip: February 2016
In this great dining city of ours, barely a day passes without news of an exciting restaurant opening, a devastating closing, a shocking chef shuffle, or a groundbreaking, must-try dish. That’s why we’re keeping you apprised of the industry’s most noteworthy bits and bites — from a summertime shakeup at Eleven Madison Park to the debut (we mean it this time!) of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s abcV.
EMP Overhaul: Get your carrot marshmallows, foie gras torchon and lavender-stuffed duck while you can, as NYC’s premiere top-of-the-line tasting restaurant is closing for renovations this summer. Making changes for the first time since 2010 (when they reduced the number of seats, and did away with a la carte options), both the dining room and kitchen will undergo a facelift, though it’s not currently known how the revamp will effect food and service. Either way, it means you’ll want to put EMP on your to-do list this fall.
abcV is Ready For Prime Time: After making most “Restaurants to Watch” lists this past winter, spring, summer, and then fall, and then winter again, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s third project inside ABC Carpet and Home is finally pulling into, well, the home stretch. Now helmed by Neal Harden of Pure Food & Wine (after longtime chef, Dan Kluger, departed to open Loring Place), the menu at abcV will be entirely vegetarian, featuring fresh-squeezed juices, tomato braised avocado with romanesco, beet carpaccio, and baby black rice and millet congee.
USC To-Go: While Danny Meyer’s relocated Union Square Café has remained true to the original, they’re taking advantage of their sizable new space with an adjunct takeaway eatery. Called Daily Provisions, the fast casual counter will eventually remain open from breakfast through dinner, serving Joe coffee, egg sandwiches with frying peppers and mozzarella, rotisserie chickens, and a series of breads made from house-milled, Maine-grown grains in their sprawling basement bakery; look for everything from focaccia to caraway rye to miche.
Mr. Bing is Big: A number of spots have opened serving jianbing — a popular, savory Chinese street food crepe — in the last few years. But none have achieved the notoriety of the Vendy Award-winning Mr. Bing, which made its name with multiple pop-up appearances and food market residencies around the city. The attention has seriously accelerated their business growth, allowing them to peddle scrambled egg, drunken chicken, peking duck and bbq pork-padded rice crepes year round, at a new outpost in UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, an upcoming cart parked outside of Eataly, and its first brick-and-mortar in Chelsea, which will also house a commissary kitchen, used to supply its ever-growing fleet of kiosks.
Move over, Beijing: Because Rome’s making a play for New York with its own trendy street food. Next month, an Lower East Side eatery, dubbed Trapizzino, will proffer a beloved Italian grab-and-go snack, the Trapizzino; triangles of pizza bianca pocketing everything from eggplant parmigiana and chicken cacciatore, to braised oxtail and tongue in salsa verde.
An (Alternate) Buzz: New York has its first Amsterdam-inspired café — but before you get too excited, know that none of the city’s marijuana laws have changed. Instead, the spot focuses on non ganja-related culture, namely, the hybrid coffee shop/wine bar. Dubbed River Coyote, the Lower East Side bistro sells seed-to-cup Nobletree Coffee (brewed using a high-tech modbar system built into the counter), alongside 16 curated wines on tap, and a series of above-average bar bites from a former Tocqueville chef, such as homemade gnocchi, tempura broccolini and branzino ceviche.