In this great dining city of ours, barely a day passes without news of an exciting new 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 Wylie Dufresne and the Momofuku crew’s game-changing sandwiches to Atera’s high-end, booze-free libations.
Cuckoo for Fuku: If there were a “sandwich of the summer,” this would definitely be it. The newest offshoot of the Momofuku empire, Fuku has the entire city worked up into a lather over its frisbee-sized thighs of boneless, buttermilk-fried chicken, layered along with pickles on buttery potato buns. Lines have generally snaked down 1st Avenue in the East Village from 11-4am, Wednesday through Sunday, ever since the fast food window opened its doors; with customers eager to add to their own shots of Ssam-sauce smothered sandwiches (along with the off-menu “Koreano” option, crowned with daikon radish slaw) to their respective Instagram accounts.
BYG News: In other serious sandwich news, Wylie Dufresne has announced that he’ll be helping his dad open his very own, fast-casual sammy spot on Clinton Street, also in the East Village. Dubbed BYGGYZ (a mouthful, we know), planned offerings include a Beef Short Rib sandwich with American cheese and pomegranate demi glace, and the Tuna Sof; featuring tunafish paired with black olive spread, marinated artichokes, tomatoes and a hard boiled egg, on Chinese sesame bread from Prosperity Dumpling. We’d expect no less from the master of molecular gastronomy, as well as his equally talented dad, who actually helped Wylie launch his career back in 1999, at 71 Clinton Fresh Food. We except nothing less than killer sandwiches.
ABC-Ya: After many years as Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s reliable lieutenant, the talented Dan Kluger is striking out on his own. Located in Greenwich Village, his still unnamed project is set to debut this fall, in partnership TOMS Hospitality (behind Eleven Madison Park, Shuko, and Charlie Bird). But it won’t be a departure in style for the farm-to-table-focused Kluger, who’ll draw on seasonal, locally-sourced products for his small and large shareable plates, prepared on a wood-burning grill and oven.
Tipples for Teetotalers: It can feel awfully awkward to order a tasting menu at a high-end New York restaurant, and not splurge for a wine pairing — or at least order a glass of vino or two to go with it. But Atera — now helmed by acclaimed Scandinavian chef, Ronny Emborg — has begun offering “Temperance Pairings” that are booze-free and highly innovative; no sparkling juices or virgin daiquiris here. Instead, bar manager Nick Duble has come up with concoctions like “Champine;” a carbonated pine infusion, a “Laurel Martini” made with cucumbers and bay leaf, and even a mock Negroni, which subs Peruvian quinine bark for Campari, juniper leaf tea for gin, and rehydrated raisin juice for vermouth.
Full of Grace: Gabriel Kreuther has been as instrumental an addition to Danny Meyer’s the Modern as Dan Kluger has been to the ABC brand, and thus, we’re equally excited for Kreuther’s soon to launch solo venture. Situated in Midtown’s super-chic Grace Building, Kreuther’s Alsatian-tinged French fare appears to be as breathtakingly elegant as ever — think Foie Gras and Rabbit Terrine with Muscat gelee, Nori-infused Pasta tossed with Alaskan king crab, and a suitably named “Ethereal” dessert; featuring glassine dehydrated pineapple and a quenelle of herb sorbet, accompanied by a glossy green apple sphere.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: Brisket king Daniel Delaney has finally confirmed that he’s opening a dedicated poultry spot — something he’s long hinted at, but never officially verified. In fact, Delaney Chicken will be one of the buzzworthy kiosks at UrbanSpace’s brand new Vanderbilt food hall, serving batter-dipped chicken baskets, biscuits, coleslaw and ooey gooey mac & cheese to lucky Grand Central commuters.