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Gourmet Gossip: November 2013

604143_408894405849969_663029033_nIn 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 a new, all-biscuit eatery in the East Village to Questlove’s fried chicken joint, Hybird’s surprise shutter in the Meatpacking District, and Alice Waters’ upcoming appearance in Park Slope.

Breaking Biscuits: From meatballs to macaroni and cheese, the one item eatery has evolved into a quickly growing trend in New York.  And the just-opened Empire Biscuit hopes to win over diners exclusively on the merits of their buttery baked goods.  Actually, it already seems to be working… the 24-hour shop was so overwhelmed by demand in their first couple of days that they had to close early.  They’ve since taken time to bulk up on staff and product, so they can fulfill a round-the-clock need for biscuit sandwiches (like Fried Eggplant, Muffaletta, and Scotch Egg), biscuits and gravy (Sausage, Redeye and Vegetarian), and custom biscuits topped with a variety of unique spreads, such as Bacon & Cracklin’ Butter, Creole Cream Cheese, Oxtail and Brown Sugar Jelly, and Preserved Lemon and Cabbage Jam.

l_6514_Thanksgiving-CroissantTurkey Time: You know what we’re really thankful for this November?  The heralded return of Momofuku Milk Bar’s infamous Thanksgiving Croissant.  A delectable play on holiday leftovers, Christina Tosi’s holiday-inspired creation involves celery salt-flecked dough wrapped around moist, dark meat turkey smeared with gravy and cranberry sauce.  Unfortunately, it’s only around for one month… which is why we’re still waiting on Tosi to come up with a dedicated Christmas (or maybe even Hannukah!) pastry as well.

Flown the Coop: Co-owned by The Roots drummer, Questlove, and restaurateur Stephen Starr, the fried chicken and dumplings-focused Hybird seemed a lock for the growing dining concourse in the Chelsea Market.  Apparently not.  Hybird surprisingly shuttered due to poor sales after less than six months in business, and the market is looking for pop-up chefs to fill the space (in case you’re interested!).  In the meantime, we guess we’ll have to turn to Empire Biscuit for our Southern-inspired treats.

alice_watersAlice does the East Coast: It ain’t often that Alice Waters lets people grill her, so you might want to get in on this Q&A with the farm-to-table queen at Park Slope’s PS 107, on November 21st.  The Chez Panisse proprietor and author of the new cookbook, “The Art of Simple Food II,” will discuss a flurry of issues, including how to launch gardens at urban schools (Waters also pioneered the Edible Schoolyard Project), and how to get children to eat healthier.  Though if there’s one junior demographic that already heartily embraces kale, it’s the youngsters of Park Slope.  Tickets are just $65 and proceeds go to benefit PS 107.

Superior Stadium Snacks: New York airports have come a long way in terms of dining options recently (there’s an Andrew Carmellini eatery at JFK), and so have  the city’s finest stadiums.  The newly minted Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn has become a veritable food hub with stands from Fatty ‘Cue, Calexico, and L&B Spumoni Gardens. So it only makes sense that our seminal stadium, Madison Square Garden, is getting one of the most destination-worthy spots of all.  Soon, you’ll be able to cheer on the Knicks (or root against them) while nibbling on tacos from none other than Jean-Georges Vongerichten at a mini outpost of his Flatiron hotspot, ABC Cocina.  It’s almost worth purchasing season tickets for chef Dan Kluger’s Sweet Pea Empanadas.

Dressler Redux:  We couldn’t help but wonder what would become Williamsburg stunner, Dressler, after owner Colin Devlin tragically died last July and the restaurant subsequently closed.  Well, it looks like Dressler’s former chef Polo Dobkin, who helped earn the restaurant a Michelin star for four consecutive years, is taking over the lease with his wife, Stephanie Lempert.  The pair plans to open a new eatery in the space by early next spring, and you can bet that we’ll be tracking their every move!


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