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 the shocking shuttering of all of Harold Dieterle’s eateries, to a massive shakeup in the food media world.
Dieterle Downer: It’s a tough time to be a chef in NYC, especially if you’re not part of a big name hospitality group (and in the recent case of Gabe and Katherine Thompson, sometimes not even then). But even though The Marrow was short-lived, the future still seemed bright for Harold Dieterle. Top Chef’s very first winner went on to open well-liked West Village neighborhood spots, like Kin Shop and Perilla. Sadly, by early December, both eateries will be closed, with no plans of opening anything else in their staid. Due to the rising costs of doing business in the city, Dieterle intends to take an extended break, telling Eater, “I’m not saying I never want to return to the restaurant business, but right now, I’m feeling a little beat up and a little tired. I’d like to maybe do some consulting work and perhaps eventually get into a fast casual concept. But I don’t really know. I’m kind of figuring it all out.”
More Masa: It’s hard to imagine the inimitable Masa Takayama — he of the $240 toro and caviar hand rolls and $98 truffle-topped tataki — deigning to serve anything quite so pedestrian as burgers and wings (provided they’re not made with pristine wagyu and foie gras-slicked poultry, that is). But that’s precisely what the plans are for his upcoming Tribeca spot, Tetsu; a casual bar focusing on finger foods, udon and hamburgers. Okay, yes, there will also be a 15-20 course tasting menu in the evenings, but the rest of us plebes can just stick with his chicken wings.
Sushi Sayonara: Sushi Dojo is again operational, after the DOH brought down the hammer regarding certain violations — namely, preparing raw fish with bare hands — but the restaurant is moving forward without chef David Bouhadana, who’s been very vocal about his opposition to the rules. So it’s a double whammy when it comes to the sanctity of sushi in NYC — the senseless firing of one of our top, talented masters, and a blatant, ludicrous disregard to the tenets of this centuries-old craft.
Sweet & Low: The East Village may have seen the lion’s share of hip openings lately, but its nearby neighbor, the Lower East Side, has bragging rights to this sure-to-be-hotspot. A collaboration between Alex Leonard, former chef de cuisine of Brooklyn’s two Michelin starred Blanca, and Hugh Crickmore of Mas (Farmhouse), Lowlife is hardly a temple of trash cuisine. Instead, the 70-seat restaurant is serving intricately plated dishes with envelope-pushing, globetrotting flavor profiles — think a ruby quenelle of jelled “Borscht” paired with trout roe and raw cream, Scallops daubed with romanesco and lemongrass, and even Chicken Yakitori with scallion and smoked cabbage, but instead of being bites of grilled meat on individual skewers, it’s sold by the half or whole bird.
Top Quality: The Stillman’s have continued to expand on their line of “Quality” restaurants (Quality Meats, Quality Italian), with Quality Eats in Greenwich Village; an affordable steakhouse focusing on lesser-known cuts. Options include Bavette, Coulotte and Long-bone Short Rib, ranging from $19-29, and prepared by former Frankie’s 570 chef, Ryan Bartlow. He’s also fleshed out the menu with some fun plays on steakhouse fare, such as Grilled Nueske’s Bacon with peanut butter and jalapeno jelly, Butternut Brioche Bread Pudding, Scalloped Sunchokes, & Hush Puppies made with creamed spinach.
Media Blitz: Major goings on in the food media world… after twenty years as editor-in-chief of Food & Wine (one of the few print publications to sustain an active readership), industry tastemaker, Dana Cowin, is abandoning her enviable position in publishing to serve as chief creative officer for Chefs Club; the Food & Wine affiliated restaurants that host a rotating roster of admired, visiting toques. She’ll remain at her post until January, but we imagine top tier food editors out there are simply salivating at the thought of this lusted-after job opening.