New York restaurants – Cucumber Chef http://cucumber-chef.org/ Thu, 19 May 2022 14:30:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://cucumber-chef.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png New York restaurants – Cucumber Chef http://cucumber-chef.org/ 32 32 The first East River International Food Festival celebrates the return of Queens restaurants to LIC – QNS.com https://cucumber-chef.org/the-first-east-river-international-food-festival-celebrates-the-return-of-queens-restaurants-to-lic-qns-com/ Thu, 19 May 2022 14:30:37 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/the-first-east-river-international-food-festival-celebrates-the-return-of-queens-restaurants-to-lic-qns-com/

The first-ever East River International Food Festival will be held Sunday from noon on the Long Island City waterfront, bringing together some 20 restaurants that have survived the crippling that has gripped the hospitality industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The curated tasting event with chef stations, a cash bar, and beautiful views of the East River and Manhattan skyline is meant to be a celebration of Queens’ multicultural culinary scene coming back stronger than ever.

The East River International Food Festival, at the Anable Basin Sailing Bar and Grill, is supporting participating restaurants, food pantries with Zone126.org and Queens Together food relief efforts, according to its founder and Astoria resident Jonathan Forgash .

Queens Together founder Jonathan Forgash (L) organized the festival to celebrate restaurants that have survived the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Queens Together)

“We want everyone in New York to be at Anable Basin at LIC on May 22 to experience more than 20 restaurants serving tastings from around the world,” Forgash said. “It’s something you can only find in Queens.”

As the borough became the “epicenter of the epicenter” of the pandemic more than two years ago, community organizations moved mountains in the mad rush to come to the aid of their neighbors. Queens Together was able to organize faster than most to feed frontline workers and families in need while helping local restaurants stay in business while re-employing restaurant workers to pack produce and make deliveries .

Forgash, a chef for over 25 years, formed the coalition of restaurateurs and volunteers. Queens Together has provided prepared meals, groceries and fresh produce to over a quarter of a million people. Additionally, the organization has funded more than 60 restaurants and businesses to prepare food for neighbors, pay bills, and keep employees working. Queens Together established a pantry at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Astoria with satellite pantry locations throughout the borough.

East River International Food Festival
Photo courtesy of Queens Together

“We’ve created an organization to empower, represent and support our restaurant community and a ‘Plate it forward’ program to feed frontline workers and those facing food and economic insecurity,” he said. . “Now is an opportunity to finally do something fun to celebrate our incredibly diverse restaurant community in Queens. This is not a fundraiser for Queens Together, but participating restaurants and programs food aid are funded by ticket sales and our sponsors.

Quontic Bank, Champlain Hudson Power Express and Stop and Shop are the sponsors along with VP Records, a Jamaica-based reggae label that will provide DJ Shortman’s music. Iconic Queens restaurants such as Mr. Wells, Zaab Zaab, Queens Lanka, Lhasa Liang Fen, Taste of Surabaya, La Adelita and Sultan Dine participate along with Nourish Spot, Parva Coffee, Island Breezes and others.

Tickets to attend the event are $50 and can be purchased here. Children under 12 can attend the festival for free if accompanied by an adult.

“Discounted group ticket sales are available for high school students,” Forgash said. “It’s a fun way to experience the diverse multicultural community of Queens, New York.”

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Body of 9-year-old found above New York restaurant after staff complained of strange smell https://cucumber-chef.org/body-of-9-year-old-found-above-new-york-restaurant-after-staff-complained-of-strange-smell/ Tue, 17 May 2022 10:21:50 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/body-of-9-year-old-found-above-new-york-restaurant-after-staff-complained-of-strange-smell/

The mother of a nine-year-old girl, found dead in her home above a New York restaurant with suspected bite marks on her back and cuts and bruises to her head, has been arrested, the police said. police.

The girl, identified by police as Shalom Guifarro, was found dead in her Lincoln Place apartment in the Crown Heights neighborhood on Sunday afternoon after neighbors noticed a stench coming from the apartment.

The girl’s grisly murder shocked the neighborhood and officers responding to the crime scenes appeared to be in tears, according to reports.

Shemene Cato, 48, was arrested on Monday afternoon after being questioned following the discovery of the body.

The mother faces charges of murder, manslaughter, assault, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of a weapon in her daughter’s death.

The New York Police Department said the girl suffered multiple blunt force trauma and ruled the death on Monday a homicide.

Police responded to the scene after Ms Cato called 911 to report her daughter was in distress, but upon arriving home they pronounced Shalom dead.

Bart Hubbuch, owner of the Memphis Seoul restaurant on the ground floor of the building in which Ms Cato lives, said staff had complained of a foul smell when they arrived in the morning, but assumed it was from toilets upstairs.

He said hours after a number of emergency personnel arrived and said some were ashen-faced and appeared to be wiping tears as they exited the building, according to New York Times.

“They said it was a horrible crime scene,” Mr Hubbuch said, describing Mrs Cato’s two daughters as very polite and well-behaved.

Other neighbors and Mr Hubbuch described the mother as overprotective who seemed troubled and was often seen yelling at her daughters.

“She was always screaming at her kids so loudly it would startle you,” Mr Hubbuch said. He added that he had never seen her physically abusing her daughters but, “It was like, why are you yelling at your kids like that?”

Police have yet to release a statement in the case. It is unclear how the bite marks or alleged injuries occurred to the girl.

The Child Protective Services Administration said it is also investigating the matter with the NYPD and has taken steps to ensure the safety of the other child in that home.

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The Day – Owners of Milagro in Stonington open new restaurant in East Lyme https://cucumber-chef.org/the-day-owners-of-milagro-in-stonington-open-new-restaurant-in-east-lyme/ Sun, 15 May 2022 04:16:11 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/the-day-owners-of-milagro-in-stonington-open-new-restaurant-in-east-lyme/

Martin Zavala, who has run Milagro Café in Stonington Borough for 14 years, has become a renowned restaurateur in the area.

In late April, he expanded his reach and opened a new restaurant: Zavala Mexican Bistro in East Lyme.

Zavala had almost opened a restaurant on the same site after Frank’s Gourmet Grille closed in 2011.

Zavala even had a lease for the Boston Post Road spot, but his wife, Genine, was hospitalized and he had to give up the lease. (Genine had a heart defect and died in 2016.)

Since then, Flanders Diner has had a short stint in the area, followed by Rebeka Fresh Pasta restaurant, which closed earlier this year.

When Zavala found out the site was now available, he said, “I had to take it.”

“Having been across the (Gold Star) bridge for so long, something like 14 years, I still hear people say, ‘You should open one on our side,'” he says. “I wanted to try it. I have this vision in my head of what I want this restaurant to be.”

People who saw the sign out front have already called the restaurant to ask if the owner was connected to the people who ran Zavala in New London (at the foot of State Street, next to the station) for more than eight years , until 2010.

Zavala is, in fact, this Zavala. He and his mother-in-law, Jan Loomis, are business partners in this new venture and they are co-owners of Milagro. (They also co-own Manana in Groton with Loomis’ son, Justin Primeaux; Zavala doesn’t run that venue.)

Zavala has nothing but praise for Loomis and says, “Basically, I got it all because of her. … I’m so grateful.”

The dishes they serve

So what’s on the menu? Here’s a sampling of some of the Zavala Mexican Bistro dishes: Citrus Roast Pork, $22, pork simmered in its own juices, until tender, in lime and lemon, served with mashed black beans and salsa borracha; and Mole Con Pollo, $20, seared chicken breasts, in a savory sauce containing plantains, nuts, a variety of different chilies and spices, and dark chocolate.

A good portion of the menu features dishes like tacos and burritos that Americans tend to expect in Mexican restaurants, but aren’t served much in Mexico.

Zavala learned with his first restaurant that customers here tend to order these offerings, and he could then slowly add more authentic Mexican food specialties.

At Milagro now, the vast majority of customers order the specials. Daily specials change at least three times a week, accompanied by a set menu.

While that hasn’t been the case so far at Zavala Mexican Bistro, Zavala hopes customers will eventually turn to the specials. He says he has to find what works in East Lyme. He knows Stonington is a fish town, and his promotions at Milagro reflect that. He thought it might be the same in East Lyme, but so far he hasn’t sold a lot of fish.

This is the second Mexican restaurant to debut in East Lyme in just over a year, the other being La Llorona at Niantic. Zavala said he was not concerned about this when establishing Zavala Mexican Bistro and compared it to when he was learning to cook in New York; there were so many restaurants, one after another, all doing business. And, he says, there are a multitude of pizzerias in our region. In other words: there’s an audience for it.

Likewise, he says, “I remember when I came to Connecticut, there were no Mexican restaurants. Now there’s one in every town.”

Also, he notes, “If I give the same ingredients to 10 different people, each (result) will taste different.”

And Zavala doesn’t follow recipes. Thus, a special today could be different from the same next week. He says that’s why he doesn’t like baking, which is more of a science.

Help with hiring

As with most businesses, it hasn’t been easy for Zavala to find help, but he says he feels very lucky and grateful to the people who work at Zavala Mexico Bistro.

He notes that most high school students work at Zavala, which is different from his employees at Milagro.

“In one restaurant (Milagro), I have everyone over 50. In my other restaurant, I have everyone under 20,” he laughs. “My employees at Milagro, I have always had them.”

Everyone there knows how much he loves things and knows him as a person – his sense of humor, for example.

He brought in one of those longtime employees, the manager of Milagro, to work at the Mexican restaurant Zavala instead.

A difficult Cinco de Mayo

Zavala Mexican Bistro happened to open just a few weeks before Cinco de Mayo, which tends to be an extremely busy day for most Mexican restaurants. Zavala says Cinco de Mayo has been rough at the East Lyme venue. Many customers were upset that orders took so long, and some left without their food.

“For that, I’ll apologize to everyone. … That’s no excuse, but we’ve only been open for two weeks. And everyone’s new and we’re trying our best,” he said. .

Do things by hand

Zavala grew up in Mexico City and made furniture there with her family.

“I like doing things with my hands,” he says.

When he arrived in the United States, his first job was in construction before starting as a dishwasher in a restaurant. it was there that he met Genine, who was a waitress at the same place.

He became interested in cooking and worked in various restaurants in New York for 12 years.

“I worked for free in fancy restaurants because I wanted to learn,” he says. “I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. And I never really cooked Mexican food until I opened my own business.”

In those early years, he took jobs based on what he could learn there.

“I wanted to learn how to make eggs, so I worked in a restaurant for six months. I wanted to learn how to make soup, I worked in a place that only makes soups,” he says.

Zavala had considered going to culinary school, but his old boss told him he didn’t need to go to school to be a great chef.

Getting positive customer feedback is something Zavala appreciates.

When it comes to cooking, he says, “I like it when people say, ‘Wow, that’s really good…How do you do that?'”

]]> How Restaurants Get Michelin Stars https://cucumber-chef.org/how-restaurants-get-michelin-stars/ Fri, 13 May 2022 09:15:00 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/how-restaurants-get-michelin-stars/ Earning a star is all about consistency, flavor and care.

WASHINGTON — Washington, DC is now home to four more Michelin-starred restaurants: Imperfecto, Reverie, Albi and Oyster Oyster are now honored with what is considered one of the world’s greatest culinary accolades.

That’s 23 Michelin-starred restaurants in the district — plus one in Washington, Virginia.

It turns out winning the coveted prize is a game of consistency, flavor, and care.

RELATED: 4 DC Restaurants Awarded Michelin Stars

THE QUESTION:

What does it take to earn a Michelin star?

OUR SOURCES:

WHAT WE FOUND:

It was in 1889 in central France. The Michelin brothers wanted to promote the sales of their tire company by getting people to hit the road. The Little Red Book, according to The Michelin Guide, started as a way to encourage drivers to hit the road, helping them navigate car maintenance and hotels and yes, restaurants.

In the 1920s the guide began awarding stars and established criteria for one, two, and three stars over the next decade.

A century after the awarding of the first star, this is a great culinary distinction.

“He’s a career builder. It’s a game-changer for us,” said Carey Tang, co-owner of Rooster & Owl, one of Washington, DC’s Michelin-starred restaurants. It obtained its star in 2021 and was retained in 2022.

“And it’s this ultimate recognition of the hard work our team puts in every day. And what an incredible honor.”

Michelin inspectors visit restaurants in California (San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles), Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

“We received the first star last year after closing for the pandemic, and with it all out of our control, we focused on the one thing we could control, which was cooking. So we focused on the kitchen and stayed there,” Carey said. “And getting that star again this year was the icing on the cake.”

RELATED: 5 DC Restaurants Awarded Michelin Stars For The First Time During Pandemic

Michelin inspectors are anonymous and independent.

“We know they come. We don’t know who they are. We don’t know when they come, but we know they come often,” Carey said. “And so you just provide the same experience as best you can for every guest, every guest could be that inspector. And hopefully we can do the right thing and stay true to what we want to do.”

RELATED: James Beard Awards Return in June, Multiple DC Area Semi-Finalists

The Michelin Guide outlines 5 criteria that inspectors are trained to look for:

1. Product quality
2. Mastery of flavors and cooking techniques
3. The personality of the chef represented in the dining experience
4. Harmony of flavors
5. Consistency between inspector visits

A panel of Michelin inspectors revealed that many of them have to visit a restaurant two or three times before determining if the restaurant is worthy of the honour.

“We taste every plate every night to make sure everything has that wow factor that inspectors and guests are looking for, and we try to maintain that as part of our operation,” said Carey’s husband, Yuan Tang, chef. Rooster & Owl and co “We’ve tried to use local produce and seasonal ingredients so we can showcase what’s here, as well as showcasing the best seasonal produce.”

Michelin usually means stars, but that doesn’t have to cost you the moon. The “Bib Gourmand” list is Michelin’s selection of the best restaurants with a lower price – around $40 for dinner in the United States. DC has 36 such restaurants, serving everything from Turkish cuisine and fried chicken to Creole and ramen.

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In defense of NYC’s Open Restaurants program https://cucumber-chef.org/in-defense-of-nycs-open-restaurants-program/ Wed, 11 May 2022 18:47:12 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/in-defense-of-nycs-open-restaurants-program/

Ryder Kessler is running in the Democratic primary to represent New York State’s 66th Assembly District, which includes the Manhattan neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, Soho, Noho, Hudson Square, Tribeca and part of East Town. Kessler is an enthusiastic supporter of New York’s recently made permanent Open Restaurants program, which oversees the many sidewalk cafes and structures built for outdoor dining during the pandemic. Kessler’s opponent, incumbent Deborah Glick, has publicly opposed the continuation of open restaurants. Glick’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. The election is currently scheduled for June 28, 2022.

Open Restaurants has been hugely popular and successful. During the pandemic, it was a lifeline for businesses, for the 100,000 hardworking New Yorkers they employ, and for the residents of those communities who are thrilled to be able to continue socializing and enjoying a meal and a drink with their friends and family. Besides being a key economic driver for these small businesses that form the foundation of our neighborhoods, it’s also something that New Yorkers have really appreciated in the evolution of the urban landscape. When there are polls on this, Manhattanites, in particular, have an 84% approval rating for this program.

I think the question now is how to improve, strengthen and streamline the program going forward to ensure it serves all of the ridings that share the streetscape. This is going to include systematic changes to things that have been relatively free. But you have to start by wanting to preserve and develop the best parts of this program.

There are people who are very interested in having these conversations—a lot of restaurant owners, a lot of neighbors, a lot of elected officials—but unfortunately there’s also a small group of people who don’t want to have this conversation, who want to end to the wholesale program and who want to return to a previous status quo where the streetscape was primarily dedicated to parking. I don’t think anyone should just assume that just because Open Restaurants has been successful and popular, we can be sure it will continue. We have seen that recent litigation has succeeded in preventing some progress in creating a longer-term program.

Uniforming structures so that water can flow freely through and around them — and so they don’t get in the way of garbage collection and things like that — is important. Restaurant owners and operators, community members, and many elected officials are very happy to have conversations about what aesthetic and structural standards should be.

That said, it’s premature to say that there is a specific set of guidelines that I subscribe to. We are at the beginning of the process of determining the ideal long-term structure. I think it’s more of a willingness to come to the table with owners and operators who invest large sums of money in the structures they put in place for the benefit of their employees and members of the community. They do this with a lot of uncertainty and potential whiplash as to what they are allowed to do. We just need clarity.

I can’t imagine the benefit of closing open restaurants and starting over when we can see today the vibrancy of the streetscape facilitated by this, and the benefits it brings to the people who work and live in these communities . The question is, what is the alternative? If we stop it and start again, we’re back to an old status quo where the streets are mostly owned by that small minority of car owners who take advantage of the free parking that New York provides – a parking space equivalent to 12 Central Parks. What Open Restaurants has done is provide a very concrete vision of what an alternative use of the streetscape looks like.

We also know that all parking spaces induce more driving, and we live in a time where we have an unrelenting climate emergency and also record road deaths. Thinking about uses of the streetscape that do not favor drivers is really unavoidable and urgent. What Open Restaurant gave us a window into an alternative future. The clear choice for me is to enhance and build on that, and expand it to other uses of the streetscape, like more protected bike lanes and bus lanes, and containerized waste, rather than returning to a status quo that worked for a small minority of New Yorkers.

I think there are two sides to those who oppose Open Restaurants. The first is to address legitimate concerns head-on, because I believe they are fair. When I talk to voters, everyone is frustrated with the mountains of trash and the record number of rats. But then we have a conversation about the data that showed rat sightings were increasing even before the pandemic started. Then the increase in household waste has skyrocketed during COVID, combined with sanitation cuts and New Yorkers, unique among cities like us, piling our trash bags openly on the street. These are the things that contribute to the litter problem and the rat problem. There is no clear data to suggest this is due specifically or primarily to outdoor dining. So I think I have factual conversations to say, “What can we do to solve this problem? How can we containerize garbage and increase the frequency of sanitation services? »

The second component here is that too often a small minority of voices that have particular political power are overrepresented in these deliberative processes. I am a member of Manhattan Community Board 2, although they would insist on a caveat that I do not speak for the board, I can only speak for myself. Whether it’s Community District 2, the 66th Assembly District or downtown Manhattan, the city belongs to everyone. He belongs to the 84% of people who like the program and to the 100,000 people who work in these restaurants, people who do not all have the opportunity to participate in the forums and town hall meetings. We must remember which voices are not heard. A holistic view to ensure that we allocate streetscape fairly and sustainably and to include all voices, even those not typically heard as often, is central to my thinking.

And for people who aren’t happy with Open Restaurants, I want to have honest, genuine conversations about our shared frustrations, shared values, and evidence-based solutions to address them. I’ve certainly had many conversations about rats and litter because everyone is frustrated with it. But people are very receptive to having a conversation about what the data says is the problem and what the data suggests as solutions. People are so excited about the idea of ​​containerizing waste. They’re shocked we didn’t do it sooner and they’re excited about having dedicated container parking spaces. We’ll see what the new waste containerization pilot program does – if it’s broad and if it goes as far and as fast as needed.

But the vast majority of people I talk to on the street like to eat outdoors. They are frankly shocked that their assemblyman is using his time and political capital to demonstrate in rallies in Washington Square demanding that the program be basically ended. So the people I talk to on the street are a very different mosaic of New Yorkers than my colleagues on the community council, who I really enjoy working with. The majority opinion in this group of 50 is frustration and antagonism towards the program. But when we’re on the street talking to people having brunch and walking their dogs and enjoying a nice day outside, it’s very hard to find people who have anything but positive feelings about it. ‘Open Restaurants.

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Brooklyn restaurant set to ‘bring good times’ to Montauk https://cucumber-chef.org/brooklyn-restaurant-set-to-bring-good-times-to-montauk/ Tue, 10 May 2022 00:42:00 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/brooklyn-restaurant-set-to-bring-good-times-to-montauk/

MONTAUK, NY — Roberta’s, a Brooklyn restaurant that is a real institution, is coming to Montauk.

With locations in Los Angeles, Singapore, Nashville, Bushwick and Williamsburg, the new Montauk location — located within walking distance of the last stop of the Long Island Railroad’s Montauk Line — is expected to open in time for Memorial Day, officials said. owners.

Co-founded by Brandon Hoy and Carlo Mirarchi, Roberta’s will take over the 5,400 square foot space formerly occupied by the old Arbour, seating up to 165 people, including an outdoor patio and two bars. The restaurant will be open almost all year round.

On the menu are pizzas, including the signature “Ursula’s Parade” with clams, mozzarella and Calabrian chili. Bread baked to order in the wood-fired oven will accompany the homemade Straciatella. Pasta will feature local fish and shellfish. Natural wines, fresh cocktails and draft beers will be available, as will “inventive desserts” such as bay leaf panna cotta and root beer soft serve ice cream, according to a statement.

The original Roberta’s opened in Bushwick in 2007 in an industrial warehouse on Moore Street.

“Brandon and I are thrilled to bring good times to Montauk,” Mirarchi said.

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NoMad London: ‘What price, beautiful kitchen?’ : restaurant review | Food https://cucumber-chef.org/nomad-london-what-price-beautiful-kitchen-restaurant-review-food/ Sun, 08 May 2022 05:00:00 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/nomad-london-what-price-beautiful-kitchen-restaurant-review-food/

NoMad London, 28 Bow Street, London WC2E 7AW (020 3906 1600). Snacks and starters £9-£30, mains £27-£49, desserts £14, wines from £38

Welcome to wonderland. Or maybe, to be more precise, AdLand. Because here at NoMad London, it’s all about art within an inch of its life. The common rooms are beautiful. The food is beautiful. Therefore, I too must be beautiful. There’s hand-painted wallpaper and dark wood and plush velvet and oxblood leather and acres of marble. The shelves in the upstairs library are filled with real books, the kind you might want to read. They are an expression of literary taste, rather than something bought by the yard. The conversion of what was, until 2006, the Bow Street Magistrates Court where Oscar Wilde once stood, is magnificent.

Not that they would be awkward enough to show it. Just like in the original NoMad hotel in New York, the lighting here is moody, bordering on black, bordering on: “Oh my God, do I have macular degeneration? No, you’ve simply chosen to go out to dinner in central London in 2022. Given skyrocketing energy prices, this could be seen as an economically savvy move, disguised as a style statement. Except the economy isn’t exactly part of the mission statement. I have to say, while I’m obviously going to point fingers and laugh at various things along the way, I had a great time at NoMad. But damn it, it’s expensive. As in: who are all these other people paying their own tea and what offshore tax haven are they using? When I pick up the bill at the end of a night out and cringe at the thought of even submitting the claim, I know something is up.

‘A study in green, orange and purple’: scallops. Photography: Sophia Evans/The Observer

I love spending time with the leather-apronized, masterfully hair-dressed bartender, who serves us a perfectly prepared frozen daiquiri for £16 and a single glass of pinot noir rosé for £15. I appreciate that he fetched us a bowl of olives from the upstairs bar as the only snacks available here are smoked trout rillettes for £16 or fried chicken for £19 and so on. I love being transported from this bar to the expansive three-story atrium that houses the restaurant. It has a touch of the French Quarter of New Orleans about it. It is bordered by a stack of colonnaded balconies from which foliage drips. Lighting comes from hanging lanterns and carefully positioned gutter candles and spotlights. There are plush velor banquettes in shades of olive and chartreuse. They are so squishy that we have to build a bedding out of the scatter cushions to raise our height to something manageable from that of the table. Oh that’s better.

I won’t go into prices except to say that starters top out at £30, mains include a roast chicken for two at £98 and there’s nothing on the wine list below £38 a bottle. It’s like that. But I detect a mismatch here. Do the people who flock to these tables really care about this serious wine list, clearly built by a total nerd, with their pronounced interest in wines in contact with the skin? And do bettors care about the serious and precise effort that has gone into the food?

“Looks like an explosion at a seamstress”: dried mackerel.
“Looks like an explosion at a seamstress”: dried mackerel. Photography: Sophia Evans/The Observer

Among the starters, pan-fried artichokes à la romaine, accompanied by a carefully tangy mint and pistachio sauce, turned into a velvety smoothness. Taut slivers of salted mackerel sit beneath candy-colored ribbons of pickled vegetables, so the plate looks like a seamstress blast. Crispy seaweed curls add a layer of texture, alongside toasted buckwheat pearls. It’s a real thunderbolt. Like, in its own way, are soft ricotta gnudi, runny in the middle, with freshly shelled fava beans, a purée of shiny green fava beans, all seasoned with graters of the highly prized bottarga, the salted and dried eggs of gray mule bottarga. Greedily, we disassemble the domed loaf of bouncy focaccia and use it as a vehicle for the bowl of whipped goat curd.

A rectangle of pork confit, with toffee-like crackers, and a roast chop, is advertised as coming with strawberries, the kind of innovation people shake their heads at. Except that it’s masterful, the acidity and the playing sweetness catch up. A plate of fatty grilled scallops with mashed peas, mint pea puree and carrots under mandoline slices of multicolored carrots is a study in green, orange and purple.

“Spectacularly well done”: rosti.
“Spectacularly well done”: rosti. Photography: Sophia Evans/The Observer

I look around the room, the shine of the jewelry and the shine of the leather pants. How many of these guests are here for the details on these plates and how many for the scene? The dance music echoes, gently vibrating our lower colon as if we’re trying to make room for our dinner. Most of my guests are, like me, through the first wave of youth. They have to be or they couldn’t afford it. I doubt many choose to listen to this music at home. But here they are, among all the shiny surfaces and sagging cushions, wearing the clothes of young people with wide-eyed despair.

We sighed at our side dish, a spectacularly well-made semi-circle of potato rösti, the crispy and robust exterior giving way to sweet onion innards. We frown on our desserts because the grace and technique deployed with all other dishes suddenly disappears. Part of the problem is that while they read well, they’re mostly assemblages of breaded things and glazed things. The other problem is, oddly, a heavy hand with the salt. A blood orange sorbet with slivers of meringue has a salty flavor, as does the crumbled banana and pecan cake with a milk chocolate cream. It’s just weird.

“A salty flavor… it's just weird”: blood orange sorbet.
“A salty flavor… it’s just weird”: blood orange sorbet. Photography: Sophia Evans/The Observer

At the bottom of the dessert menu is a box that reads: “Night at NoMad. Price on request. I ask our perfectly balanced server what that means. She makes a delicate speech about the pleasure coming at the end of the meal. If the date goes really well, some of those pleasures may need to be taken off the table. She opens her eyes wide as if inviting me to finish the sentence, mentally. Ah. If you want to fuck your table companion, you can get a room, price on request. I ask: she’s going to check. It’s £495. But the bill is already £309 and our own bed is only a few miles south. It’s a menu item too far. We pay, dance up the moodily lit stairs, through the front doors once used by Oscar Wilde, and back to the real world.

News

The always wonderful Sonny Stores in Bristol are hosting a series of guest chef revivals. On May 17, Danny Bohan, head chef at the famed River Café in London’s Hammersmith, where Sonny Stores’ Pegs Quinn also cooked for many years. On July 12, it’s Anna Tobias, another River Café veteran, and now head of Café Deco. Finally on August 9, it was Ixta Belfrage who worked a lot with Yotam Ottolenghi. She will celebrate the launch of her new book Excite. For more information on tickets and prices, sign up for the restaurant’s mailing list at sonnystores.com.

Brighton-based restaurateur Razak Helalat, which already owns the Coal Shed, Salt Room and Burnt Orange in the city, is expanding again. In June, he will open Tutto, an Italian restaurant run by Sardinian-born chef Mirella Pau who has previously cooked at Padella and Café Murano in London.

Michael Caines is launching a second, more casual restaurant at his gleaming Devon country hotel Lympstone Manor this month. The Pool House restaurant and bar will accommodate 40 people inside and 60 outside near – as its name suggests – the swimming pool. It will offer a menu of salads, pastas, seafood and pieces of meat grilled over embers, courtesy of an outdoor kitchen. To Lympstonemanor.co.uk.

Email Jay at jay.rayner@observer.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @jayrayner1

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The best restaurants in Harvard Square right now https://cucumber-chef.org/the-best-restaurants-in-harvard-square-right-now/ Fri, 06 May 2022 08:47:26 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/the-best-restaurants-in-harvard-square-right-now/

Go from ho-hum meals to A-plus soufflé pancakes and masterful bowls of ramen.


Harvard Square offers a crash course in cooking that you won’t find in a classroom. Check the books (well, the menus) at these ten restaurants for cutting-edge farm-to-table dishes, pizzas with heritage sourdough starters, and sushi that’s a study in simplicity. Topped off with homemade pasta swimming in sauce and more, the dishes on the program here pass the taste test.

Secret Burger at Alden & Harlow. /Photo by Jennifer Che

Alden and Harlow

Michael Scelfo’s new American gem may be located in the basement of Brattle Hall, but the flavors soar skyward. Here, and in the upstairs Longfellow Bar, familiar favorites enjoy a luxury lift. Take the New York strip served with red wine butter and the roasted parsnip ravioli drizzled with umami-heavy smoked chicken sauce. And don’t miss the not-so-secret secret burger, either — it features a house grind of Creekstone Farms meats topped with a special sauce and loads of goodies like salted onions and fried cheese crisps. But in the spirit of secrecy, you’ll have to take our word for it: the menu simply suggests that “your faith” is what’s on the burger.

40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, 617-864-2100, aldenharlow.com.

Bosso Ramen Tavern

Since opening in March, this Japanese izakaya has been making waves. Start with a handful of small entrees, namely the smoked salmon potato salad (trust us) and the scallop carpaccio, before becoming addicted to the sushi, especially the scallop roll tangy with yuzu. Those who roll vegan can savor the quick umekyu sushi (a combo of pickled plum and cucumber) and dive into the ramen too, especially the house specialty (and aptly named) umami ramen. With a pork bone base backed by chicken broth, it’s a flavorful wave, with wooden ear mushrooms and pork strips for the ride.

24 Holyoke Street, Cambridge.

Sushi Cafe

Sticklers might protest that this gem of Boston’s best is technically between Harvard and Central Squares (though closer to Harvard). But no one is complaining about the bold flavors of this bright and stylish place. From platters and specialty samplers, Chef Seizi Imura plays it both deceptively simple (the pristine nigiri, for starters) and downright stylish with ready-made ingredients. Japanese herring with glazed onion, anyone? They’re still only open for takeout and delivery at the moment, so you’ll have to wait a bit longer if you missed out on seeing their big 2018 renovation.

1105 Massachusetts Ave., 617-492-0434, cafesushicambridge.com.

Nachos at Felipe. / Photo by Gabriella R. via Yelp

Felipe Taqueria

Pardon the grilling, but what’s the surefire way to enhance the flavor of your meal? Find the answer with a bite of the wood-grilled steak, chicken, and pickled vegetables offered at this lively, laid-back haunt. The magical char is due to the grill’s blend of hickory, maple and oak, and you can savor the smoke in everything from tomatoes in fresh salsa to a fried burrito stuffed with citrus-marinated steak and drizzled with queso. Pair it with a frozen strawberry margarita on the ever-moving rooftop terrace, and lo and behold you’re cooking.

21 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-354-9944, felipesboston.com.

Harvest Cambridge

Photo courtesy of Harvest

Harvest

With a large patio featuring a pergola, Harvest is about as perfect as it gets. Factor in the plates of homemade pappardelle with stuffed mushrooms and miso butter? Near perfection. It’s no surprise that this local legend with its focus on New England farmers and producers has been delighting diners since 1975. Pan-seared Atlantic salmon with dill crème fraiche resists the test of time, but that doesn’t mean executive chef Nick Deutmeyer can’t be downright forward-thinking. guard in the garden. Check out the creative take on a traditional side of roasted carrots, served here with a coffee glaze, accompanied by vanilla parsnip puree and toasted hazelnuts. Pair it with pan-roasted chicken breast and spend hours by indoor or outdoor fireplaces.

44 Brattle Street, Cambridge, 617-868-2255, harvestcambridge.com.

Henriette’s table

Before everything was dubbed “farm-to-table”—accurately or with a bit of trickery—there was Henrietta’s Table, which has been sourcing organic produce from local suppliers for over 20 years. And speaking of fudge, check out the pain au chocolat pudding with vanilla bean ice cream and caramelized rum bananas. From his skylight-flooded American restaurant within the Charles Hotel, chef Peter Davis dazzles daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Savor a leisurely breakfast of poached eggs served over baked Harrington ham and anadama bread, or stop for lunch and sample the roast panini. Come for dinner, savor Pineland Farms of Maine Pan-Seared Sirloin served with creamy blue cheese mashed potatoes. And the weekend brunch? Stacks of buttermilk pancakes promise a sweet escape from the stress of your busy week.

1 Bennett Street, Cambridge, 617-661-5005, henriettastable.com.

The Maharaja’s photo by Ellie B.

The Maharaja

Crowning a windowed building that overlooks the bustling square, Maharaja offers Indian dishes in portions fit for royalty. The novel-length menu has something for everyone. Those looking for convenience should look no further than the creamy, crowd-pleasing chicken korma. Want tandoori? Savor the grilled jumbo prawns marinated in cream and served with paneer. The biryanis provide warmth, and vegetarians delight in the faux savera, spinach and cheese balls cooked in a butter and tomato sauce. Drizzle the last bit of sauce with lamb naan, but save room for dessert, as the traditional gajar halwa carrot cake, served warm and with a touch of warming spices, is the perfect crowning glory to the meal.

57 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, 617-547-2757, maharajaboston.com.

Orinoco

Far from the crowded streets of students, Orinoco takes diners to Venezuela, with a menu inspired by the roadside eateries of the Andean nation. Antojitos might mean “little cravings”, but this little section of the menu packs a mighty punch, with the savory bombshell of almond-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, plus chunks of curd cheese served in plantain strips. Elevate empanadas (the shredded beef-stuffed pocket comes close to perfection) from a snack to a full-course meal with a side of crispy yucca fries or starchy tostones balanced by bright mojo. However, please note: the restaurant does not offer reservations. So come early to avoid the dinner rush. If your travels take you elsewhere, head to the South End and Brookline Village outposts as well.

56 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, 617-354-6900, orinocokitchen.com.

Tuscan photo by Rachel Y.

Tuscany

It’s hard to say which is more welcoming in this intimate place: the brick walls and warm wood, or the soul-boosting bowls of minestrone soup? Answer these and other existential questions with an avalanche of antipasti, especially the beef carpaccio sprinkled with capers and slices of Parmesan cheese, and the charred calamari served with a mustard sauce. The rest of the menu roams Tuscany, featuring pizza, homemade pasta (with the rigatoni topped with twice-smoked bacon) and cheese flights accented with truffle honey. Plus, with four different riffs on the risotto, you’ll definitely be booking a return trip.

52 Brattle Street, Cambridge, 617-354-5250, toscanoboston.com.

Photo by Source via Yelp

Source

The true source of Source’s delicious wood-fired pizza, besides the decades of expertise contributed by owner Daniel Paul Roughan and executive chef/partner Brian Kevorkian, is all thanks to an original batch of sourdough starter. This sourdough starter, named “Mother”, is so pampered that she is currently enjoying some rest and relaxation at an off-site facility, while her offspring, nicknamed “Sister”, serves as a new starter for the dough. prepared daily. This family lineage results in a lighter-than-air crust that’s a soft, chewy landing for a multitude of toppings, from crisp-edged pepperoni to a load of veggies. Then there’s the Eddie Special, an assortment of smoked ricotta, bacon, Buffalo chicken, red onion and ranch. Pie perfection, accompanied by a handful of pasta and small plates, is served in the trendy industrial space, which opened in November 2020. As tempting as it might be to start your day with leftovers from cold pizza, head to weekend brunch for pizza dough beignets mixed with cinnamon sugar, and “wait, this is a pizzeria?” – levels of delight elicited by stacks of puffed pancakes.

27 Church St., Cambridge, 857-856-6800, sourcerestaurants.com.


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Wan Wan is a new restaurant in Nolita from New York’s top restaurateurs https://cucumber-chef.org/wan-wan-is-a-new-restaurant-in-nolita-from-new-yorks-top-restaurateurs/ Tue, 03 May 2022 20:41:59 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/wan-wan-is-a-new-restaurant-in-nolita-from-new-yorks-top-restaurateurs/

Rivers and Hills Hospitality Group, the team behind New York’s successful restaurants Wayla (which is also present at Time Out Market in New York in Brooklyn) and Kimika (a die best new openings of 2020) will open its final destination in Manhattan tonight, Tuesday, May 3.

Photography: Courtesy of Andrew Bui

Wayla’s talented executive chef, Tom Naumsuwan, is also at the helm here at wan wan, inspired by the old restaurants of Phuket. Naumsuwan, born in Bangkok, will prepare regional Thai dishes that are less commercially available in New York. The opening menu includes taw hu tod, which combines crispy soft tofu with peanut sauce, moo hong, which flavors marinated and braised ribs with ginger and garlic, hor mok crab cakes and a long list of noodle dishes. A liquor license is pending.

wan wan
Photography: Courtesy of Andrew Bui

Wan Wan’s sleek and somewhat homey space has exposed brick walls, sepia checkerboard floors, lots of natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows, and colorful textiles like deep millennial pink that cover the banquettes and plush cushions and a green curtain behind a row of seats.

Wan Wan is located at 209 Mulberry Street. It is open Sunday to Monday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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A family-run pizzeria, Edith’s Pizza, recently opened in Bethesda https://cucumber-chef.org/a-family-run-pizzeria-ediths-pizza-recently-opened-in-bethesda/ Mon, 02 May 2022 03:43:53 +0000 https://cucumber-chef.org/a-family-run-pizzeria-ediths-pizza-recently-opened-in-bethesda/
The menu includes a garden pizza and a version for meat lovers. Photo by Lindsey Max

Stopped in an afternoon to check out Edith’s pizza recently opened in Bethesda, I ordered a meat lovers pizza (cheese, pepperoni, sausage, bacon, meatballs, chicken) to take home for dinner. To help me out during the preparation, I indulged in a slice of pizza from the garden (cheese, artichoke hearts, black olives, peppers, onions, spinach and arugula) which had just been cooked on a stone in one of the restaurant’s three electric ovens. deck ovens. The crust was thin and crispy on the bottom and pleasantly chewy around the circumference, the cheese plentiful and gooey. “We use four types of cheese – whole, skim and buffalo mozzarella and provolone – which we shred ourselves because the packaged shredded cheese is coated in cellulose to prevent it from clumping together,” says Jose Molina, a resident of Kensington, which opened Edith’s in March just a few doors down. downstairs from Breads Unlimited, her Bradley Mall bakery.

The pizzeria, named after Molina’s wife, Edith, seats 20 people inside and six outside. Unable to meet customer requests for cakes, especially birthday cakes, due to space constraints in his bakery, Molina had approached mall representatives to rent a closed Pilates studio to open a pastry shop. But, he says, the owner didn’t want two bakeries in the same center, so he offered a pizzeria with a cake shop in the back, and they agreed. “The idea for pizza came about because for years with my wife and two boys [now 26 and 20]we were renting a movie on Saturday nights and I was making pizza for the family,” Molina says.

Jose Molina and his wife, Edith, at Edith’s Pizza, the new spot Jose opened in Bethesda. Photo by Lindsey Max

Molina immigrated to the United States from El Salvador in 1990 and began working at Negril, a Jamaican restaurant in Silver Spring. In 1994, a friend told him about a job opening at Breads Unlimited, a fixture at Bethesda since 1981. Wanting to learn more about baking, he applied for the job and got it. His first task was to make bagels. “I didn’t even know what a bagel was. I started going to different places to see how they made bagels and started practicing. Within two months, we were named one of DC’s Top 10 Bagels by the Washington Post. We went from 10 dozen to 300 dozen a week,” he says.

Molina learned the baking trade like the back of her hand, becoming owner Steve Raab’s right-hand man at Breads Unlimited and its now-closed sister location, New Yorker Bakery, in Silver Spring. Along the way, he learned to repair equipment himself and became a licensed electrician in 2008. Eleven years later, Raab approached Molina to purchase Breads Unlimited, which he did in 2020. “Mr. Raab is like a family. Sometimes he still comes to make challahs for us,” says Molina, whose eldest son, Roberto, runs Breads Unlimited. His youngest son, Ricardo, is a business student at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and plans to start the family business.

Edith’s menu, currently in development, includes a small selection of appetizers and salads ($7.95 to $11.95), but the emphasis is on pizza. They offer eight 16-inch pies ($17.95 to $25.99): Cheese, Pepperoni, Garden, Meat Lovers, Margherita, Edith’s Paradise (Cheese, Onions, Pineapple, Capicola, Spicy Honey), Supreme ( cheese, peppers, onion, sausage, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, and olives) and the works (supreme toppings plus bacon, spinach, and artichokes), or you can choose your own toppings. Individual slices of several pizzas are available, reheated on demand. There are also four calzones ($12.95 to $17.95): meat lovers, pepperoni, cheese and veggie. (The cakes, baked at Edith, are available for purchase at Breads Unlimited.)

Molina says the pizza isn’t New York style or any other style, it’s its own style. “It’s an ordinary dough, just flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water. We make it fresh every day,” he says. In the future, he plans to experiment with sourdough crust (using the 60-year-old sourdough he uses for bread in his bakery) and whole-wheat crust. He thinks changing a basic dough ingredient will be a game-changer: “I’ll get water from New York. Our water is filtered but still contains too much chlorine and fluoride. I found a company in New York that can mimic any water from any city in the United States by changing the pH level through filtration. It will be great for our product.

Edith’s Pizza, 6910 Arlington Road (Bradley Mall), Bethesda, 301-686-3224, edithspizzas.com

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