Category Archives: Food News

Black Seed Good but Not Worth The Hype (or the price)

Lately, I have been overwhelmed with posts from one of my favorite food blogs, Eater, regarding the opening of Black Seed. Owned by the proprietors of NoHo eatery, Mile End Delicatessan, Black Seed has emerged as perhaps the only bagel place in downtown’s NoLita neighborhood. As a resident of the area myself, I was initially excited to hear about the opening since there are literally no decent options in the hood’ for a good bagel. While Tompkins Square Bagels is great, it is a good ten to fifteen minute walk from where I am. In addition to addressing a need in an underserved area, I was also intrigued because Black Seed not only offers Montreal style bagels, but they also serve a menu comprised of many exotic signature sandwiches, such as Beet Cured Salmon among others. Continue reading Black Seed Good but Not Worth The Hype (or the price)

Lafayette Everything Balthazar Isn’t

Among the most highly anticipated openings this Spring, Lafayette is arguably the most talked about restaurant to open in some time.  Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom, responsible for the immensely popular The Dutch and  Locanda Verde are behind the new 150 seat French Bistro that is in the former Chinatown Brasserie (and club Rehab/Fez).  In addition, Tom Colicchio’s longtime partner at Craft, Damon Wise, is responsible for curating what is a very attractive and excellent menu. While many french bistro’s abound in New York, seldom do restaurants have the range, depth and innovative creativity that Lafayette‘s possesses. While Lafayette’s menu is comprised of a French-Gallic influence, it is best described as being very South of France, thus incorporating traces of Italian and French. As a result, the menu offers a unique combination of french bistro classics including: Beef Tartare, Grilled Mediterranean Octopus, Oysters Sargent and Steak Frites. In addition, the menu is also comprised of exceptional Italian pasta’s including: Linguine Noir with Seafood and Chorizo, Macaroni with Veal Ragout and Brebis, and Spaghetti Nicoise with Tuna, which is a unique French-Italian hybrid.  While there is no one stand out “signature dish” the two big winners are the Duck Au Poivre and Rotisserie Chicken. The Duck Au Poivre is served with organic grains, radish and smoked bacon. In addition to Au Poivre being highly unique way of preparation for french bistro’s, the Duck was exceptionally tender, flavorful and exquisite.


What stands out at Lafayette, in addition to the outstanding food and impressive menu, is the scene. Located on the corner of Great Jones and Lafayette, in the heart of NoHo, Lafayette is currently one of the most talked about “it spots” in town. On a Tuesday evening at 930P.M, the restaurant is completely full, with what would appear to be a unique blend of  discerning foodies, socialities and tastemakers. Usually, restaurants that are “scenes” are not known for their food (I.E: Waverly Inn). However, Carmellini’s Lafayette defies conventional thinking. Rather than be known as a scene for the scene, why not be a scene because of the delectable cuisine? Despite close proximity to perennial favorites Bond St., Indochine and Acme, Lafayette is immediately  not only among the best French bistro’s in town, but also, is a legitimate scene comprised of some of Manhattan’s finest (that is not a tourist trap) that in many ways represents everything Balthazar was but no longer is.

Preview: Andrew Carmellini’s Lafayette in NoHo


Next week, Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom, responsible for the immensely popular The Dutch and  Locanda Verde will follow up with a new, 150 seat French Bistro, Lafayette in NoHo. Slated to open on Wednesday April 17th, Lafayette has Tom Colicchio’s long time partner from Craft, Damon Wise, as the executive chef. Wise is responsible for curating a very exciting menu comprised of a French-Gallic influence that focuses on France’s rustic south. Dishes including Foie Gras Terrine, Frisee Salade, Beef Tartare Cressonniere, Tripe Bourgoignon, Duck a Poivre and Lamb Chops Marocaine, among others,  highlight the auspicious menu.  Lafayette, which takes over the former Chinatown Brasserie and Rehab club from the early 2000s, is expected to be a huge success, most likely disrupting a neighborhood that is already inundated with exceptional restaurants including Acme, Indochine and Bohemian.  In addition to serving dinner nightly, Lafayette will be open for lunch and will also have a bakery open daily.  Courtesy of New York Magazine Click HERE for Lafayette’s full menu.



380 Lafayette Street

New York, NY 10003

P: + 1 212

La Goulue to Reopen, Cafeteria to Expand to TriBeCa

La Goulue

Longtime French favorite, La Goulue, which closed in 2009 after 36 successful years on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side has plans to make a return to the UES after years of speculation regarding its plans to reopen. According to Grubstreet, La Goulue plans to reopen on East 61st street in the near future, finally confronting years of uncertainty created by Jean Denoyer who proclaimed he was “aggressively looking for a new spot” following the closing in 2009. La Goulue’s plans for returning to the east 60’s will certainly spark controversy as longtime French favorite, Le Bilboquet, also plans to reopen on east 60th this Spring. For now, foodies who can not wait til La Goulue’s return can still enjoy delectable french cuisine at its sister restaurant, Orsay on 75th and Lex.


As if one was not enough, long time Chelsea hot spot, Cafeteria, will be expanding to TriBeCa in the newly designed Cosmopolitan Hotel, which is currently under renovations, according to DNAInfo. While the TriBeCa outpost will not be open 24 Hours like the original in Chelsea, it will serve iconic American dishes like the Mac and Cheese and Meatloaf til 2A.M. Considering Cafeteria’s failed expansion to Miami a decade ago and the fact it has a sister restaurant, Delicatessen in SoHo, it will be impressive to see the second outpost succeed.

Momofuku Ko To Celebrate 5 Year Anniversary with 2 Night Special

In celebration of Momofuku Ko’s five year anniversary, David Chang will host two nights of specials that will bring it back to 2008, when the restaurant opened, by featuring some of the original chefs and dishes from five years ago. In addition, Momofuku Ko will serve its prix fixe for the original price of $85 per person, a $40 reduction from the current $125 a head. According to Chang, the restaurant will begin to take reservations online starting tomorrow (Friday March 15th) at 10A.M. Please refer to Momofuku Ko’s website to secure a ressie.
Momofuku Ko

Momofuku Ko
163 First Avenue,
New York, NY, 10003

Torrisi Team Unveils Carbone in SoHo


The boys behind NoLita Italian favorite Torrisi (and Parm), Jeff Zalaznick and Rich Torissi have collaborated with Mario Carbone to open a new Italian gem, Carbone tonight (Friday March 8th). Located on 181 Thompson Street, Carbone boasts art curated by Julian Schnabel’s son and uniforms for the waiters designed by Zac Posen. According to Carbone, the restaurant will play on the theme of fine dining from “Midcentury Italian American.” Carbone will feature a plethora of pasta’s, beef carpacio, caesar salad and lobster fra diavola among other delectable dishes. Based on the success of both Torissi and Parm expect Carbone to be a hit.

181 Thompson Street,
New York, NY, 10012
P: + 212 254-3000

Plaza’s Food Hall Expands; Adds Sushi of Gari and Luke’s Lobster

This afternoon, the Plaza’s Food Hall will expand, adding ubiquitous brands Lady M, Luke’s Lobster, Sushi of Gari, William Greenberg Desserts, Tartinery and Pain D’avignon among others. Overall, the move not only verifies the success and relevance each brand possesses but more importantly demonstrates an aggressive move for the Plaza to re-brand its Food Hall. While the Food Hall has enjoyed some success since it opened in 2010, it was always confronted with the challenge of overcoming prohibitive prices for mediocre food.

In addition, the food sold previously at the Food Hall failed to associate with noteworthy brands, such as William Greenberg, Lady M or Sushi of Gari. Nevertheless, the decision to add these omnipresent merchants to what is clearly a touristic dominated venue is genius. Now, tourists do not have to travel around New York, going from Upper East to SoHo to Midtown to try their favorite brands. While the Food Hall was not too busy despite its opening this afternoon, it is only a matter of time before lines emerge.


Food Hall @ Plaza Hotel

1 West 59th Street,

New York, NY, 10019

P: + 1 (212) 986-9260

Millesime Turns Back the Clock to 1904 and Serves 4 Course Tasting for $1.25!

French brasserie, Millesime, located in the Carlton Hotel, turned back the clock on Thursday, serving a four course tasting for $1.25. To commemorate the year the venue’s building was built, Millesime served a four sumptuous courses for a price that could only be attained if one lived in the year 1904. Serving both lunch and dinner, Millesime sparked tremendous interest as lines formed around the block that exceeded 45 minutes of waiting. The tasting was comprised of Tomato Bisque, Oyster Rockafeller, choice of Chicken Marengo or Lamb Stew and New York Sundae to conclude the well crafted menu.

First/Second Course: Tomato Bisque, Oyster Rockafeller

While the portion was small, the Tomato Bisque was highly delectable. Combining a succulent tomato puree with cream, the soup was very palatable. In addition to the Tomato Bisque, the Oyster Rockafeller was equivocally delicious, which resulted in a profound craving and lust for more.

Third Course: Chicken Marengo

While the Tomato Bisque and Oyster Rockafeller deserve praise, the Chicken Marengo was the preeminent dish. Served with tomatoes, mushrooms and potatoes, the Chicken Marengo was an excellent entree that underscores the tremendous range, culinary artistry that Millesime embodies. The dish further justifies the contention that Millesime deserves to be considered amongst the best brasseries in a city inundated with exceptional cuisine.

Fourth Course: New York Sundae

While suffice to say, I typically overlook Sundae’s while ordering dessert, the New York Sundae was a fantastic choice for this unique four course tasting. In many ways, it exemplified New York of yesteryear, representing the taste and popular consumption trend of the early twentieth century. Overall, the dessert was the consummate final dish to one of the most unique and awe-inspiring tasting’s I have experienced in quite some time.


92 Madison Avenue (@ Carlton Hotel),

New York, NY, 10016

P: + 1 (212) 889-7100

Centolire Set to Auction Everything from Its China to Its Elevator

Upper East Side Italian staple, Centolire, recently made news suggesting that the restaurant will auction off its assets in order to pay back the mortgagee who is seeking unpaid debt , according to Grub Street. This auction, which features nearly every asset Centolire possesses, including its china, refrigerator and even elevator, valued at over $300,000,  augments a troublesome past few months for Pino Luongo’s delectable Italian eatery known for its sumptuous pasta’s and famous Caesar Salad.

(Photo Courtesy: ASM Auctioneers)

Dubious financial times emerged at the beginning of January when a federal Marshall seized the restaurants doors for failure to pay its taxes. Although the restaurant appeared to temporarily address the problem, an unappealing, and “for rent” sign was placed under the name. While employees at the restaurant recently contended that despite the sign, the “restaurant was engaged in a dispute with the landlord, which would be resolved soon” the fact that Luongo’s space is up for auction suggests that it is only a matter of time before one of the Upper East Side’s jewel’s will be closed for good. For more information on the auction, please refer to ASM Auctioneers’ listing.

Centolire Restaurant

1167 Madison Avenue,

New York, NY, 10028

P: (212) 734-7711

James Beard Award Winners for 2012

On the evening of Monday May 7th, 2012, winners of the James Beard Awards, the country’s most prestigious award ceremony,  were announced.  The event recognizes and honors the greatest chef’s, restaurants and bars each year in New York City. The ceremony is comprised of awards that acknowledge: Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Pastry Chef, Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Restaurateur, Best New Restaurant and Rising Star Chef of the Year. In addition, the awards honors chef’s and restaurant’s regionally (Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New York City, Northeast, Northwest, Pacific, South, Southeast, Southwest)  Notable winners for 2012 are: Momofuku Milk Bar’s Cristina Tossi (Rising Star Chef of the Year, Next Restaurant in Chicago (Best New Restaurant), Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park (Outstanding Chef) and Wolfgang Puck (Lifetime Achievement). Please refer below to see a full list of the 2012 James Beard Award Winners.

Best New Restaurant:
Next Restaurant (Chicago)

Outstanding Chef:
Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park (New York City)

Outstanding Pastry Chef:
Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate (Chicago)

Outstanding Restaurant
Boulevard (San Francisco)

Outstanding Restaurateur
Tom Douglas, Tom Douglas Restaurants (Seattle)

Outstanding Service
La Grenouille (New York)

Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional
Paul Grieco, Terroir (New York)

Outstanding Wine Program
No. 9 Park (Boston)

Outstanding Bar Program
PDT (New York)

Rising Star Chef Of The Year
Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar (New York)


Great Lakes:
Bruce Sherman, North Pond (Chicago)

Maricel Presilla, Cucharamama (Hoboken, N.J.)

Tory Miller, L’Etoile (Madison, Wisc.)

New York City:
Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern (New York)

Tim Cushman, O Ya (Boston)

Matt Dillon, Sitka & Spruce (Seattle)

Matt Molina, Osteria Mozza (Los Angeles)

Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club (Birmingham, Ala.)

Southeast (tie):
Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten (Athens, Ga.)  and  Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene (Atlanta)

Paul Qui, Uchiko (Austin, Texas)

James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award:
Wolfgang Puck

James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year:
Charlie Trotter