On the EDP Radar: What We’re Watching Right Now
The restaurant world moves in fits and starts. One week, we scratch for news, and th e next, we’re swimming in it. Right now we’re in a deluge—so here are the beeps crowding our radar:
· Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Inn at Pound Ridge Yup, we’re still waiting and watching. Waiting and watching.
· Little Kabab Station opened Little Spice Bazaar (and the crowd went wild as we knew it would). We love Little Kabab Station, as evidenced by my latest Bargain Review, but what’s got us hooked right now is LKS’s grocery/savory snack outpost, Little Spice Bazaar. This joint debuted two doors down from LKS with a menu that features delicious and nutritious lassi. Lassi, for the uninitiated, are the South Asian answer to Pinkberry shakes: tangy, fruit-laden yogurt drinks that are just right to pair with LSB’s papri chaat. (Which, in case you don’t know about that, is a crisp and satisfying, build-your-own version of Indian street food.) At LSB, look for teas and spices, too. But don’t take our word for it: here’s Martha Stewart showing her love on The Martha Blog.
· Food & Wine magazine nominated Restaurant North’s Chef Eric Gabrynowicz for it’s The People’s Choice Best New Chef award (Here’s a link with the nomination.) Gabrynowicz, the only non-New York City chef in the competition’s New York Area category, went up against some serious, boldface names (including Maialino’s Nick Anderer). Sadly, our deadline hit before the award winner’s name was given, so when you read this, the award will have been announced on the site.
· Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is happening from March 18 to March 31 Love it, hate it, or don’t care either way– this sucker’ll be unavoidable in the next couple of weeks. Here’s a list of the more than 200 participating restaurants http://www.hudsonvalleyrestaurantweek.com/home.php—and remember, they’re giving you a break with $20.95 lunches/$29.95 dinners, so do your part (and tip well).
· Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend is heating up with big, big names. We’re talking a total mid-May White Plains takeover (see below) with all your favorite boldface names in attendance. Look for Restaurant North, Crabtree’s Kittle House, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Little Kabab Station, Birdsall House, The Farmhouse at Bedford Post, Tarry Lodge, Captain Lawrence, and scores and scores more. I’m on the advisory board, and let me tell you: this will be one kick-butt party.
· As reported by eater.com, Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali recently agreed to a $5 million settlement in the class action suit filed against them by scores of employees (including those of Tarry Lodge). The suit claimed that the pair illegally skimmed a percentage from service tips. The Eater piece further suggests that the legal team for the aggrieved servers were hardly acting in altruism: According to the item, attorney “D. Maimon Kirschenbaum and his fellow lawyers are requesting to keep one third of the settlement as payment.”
· Chef Peter Kelly has the creepy talent of seeming to be everywhere at the same time. Not only is Chef Kelly Co-Chair of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week AND on the Advisory Board of Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend, but he also manages to be omnipresent in every single one of his restaurants. Chef Kelly’s newest project (taken on with Xaviars Restaurant Group’s wine director, Billy Rattner) is Slovenia Vodka. This spirit, as its name suggests, is distilled in Slovenia from winter wheat and buckwheat—it’s slated for a summer launch.
HotFlash: Westchester Magazine‘s Wine & Food Weekend News
our festival’s Facebook page for a chance at March’s killer prizes, which include a double magnum of 2001 Celler de Capçanes Cabrida, valued at $250 (courtesy of our retail partners, Grapes The Wine Co.). Robert Parker loves this wine, and so will you if you take it home on March 31. Just ask James Marcella, our February Facebook winner who lugged home a magnum of 2001 Bertani Amarone (also valued at $250). What? You say you can’t wait that long? Well, you happen to be in luck. At noon on Monday, March 12, we’re giving you the chance to win a pair of tickets to our Grand Tasting—but only if you’re over the age of 21 and able to answer an easy foodie question posed on the festival’s fan page.
So, we were talking to Glenn Vogt at Crabtree’s Kittle House recently (who was so lovingly mentioned by Lettie Teague in this Wall Street Journal rave) and he had this to say about Numanthia, one of the vineyards pouring at our Grand Tastings: “I love the wines from Numanthia. They are the leading winery in the Toro region of Spain—a place that is steeped in winemaking history and culture. They use very old vines Tinto de Toro, better known in other regions of Spain as Tempranillo, and produce wines that are rich and bold but with striking balance, complexity, and nuance. They make several different cuvees at Numanthia and Termes is their entry level and least expensive wine—but by no means less delicious or interesting than the others. It is a beautiful expression of wine from a very special place and the vines and grapes that grow there. Though powerful, structured and capable of developing in the bottle for many years to come, the signature ripe, juicy fruit and smooth, velvety texture of Termes allows it to be drunk and enjoyed upon its release from the winery.” Look for Numanthia and more during Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend, May 17-20.
HotDates: The Westchester Culinary Experience
March 28, 6 pm – 9 pm
$75 per person, the White Plains Crowne Plaza
From the announcement: “The list of participating restaurants and specialty dishes includes X2O, Moderne Barn, Crabtree’s Kittle House, Mulino’s of Westchester, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Cookery, Harvest on Hudson, Milonga Wine & Tapas, Sofrito, Royal Palace fine Indian, GEM Cuisines of China, Meritage, Turkish Meze, The 808 Bistro, Graziella’s, Johnny Gelato, Casaletto, the Crowne Plaza, The Melting Pot and more. The White Plains Fire Station No. 6 chili crew will also be back this year providing us with their cauldrons of fiery and mild chili. Great raffle packages featuring food, wine and other gifts will also be available…The funds raised at this event support the White Plains YMCA Strong Kid Campaign. By attending, you support the Y’s commitment that no-one is ever turned away from camp, programs, or membership due to a lack of financial resources.”
Tickets are $75 per person and may be bought online at www.ymca-cnw.org or by contacting Doris Fraser Greenfield at (914) 287-2021 ext. 202 or email@example.com
Hump Thursdays at The Cookery
Thursdays, 10:30 pm – 1 am
No cover, $6 beers and $5 cocktails
In one of the sweetest restaurant-world gestures that I’ve seen lately (and folks, I’ve seen a lot of them–restaurant people are nice), The Cookery has started a bi-weekly after-hours “gay hangout” that welcomes Westchester’s LGBT community. As noted in this Westchester Magazine feature, some of our LGBT neighbors don’t feel welcome at Westchester bars. Some residents feel compelled to trek into New York City “gayborhoods” in order to enjoy a simple, end-of-night drink that isn’t served along with the risk of getting punched. I asked The Cookery’s Chef/Owner David DiBari why he instituted the party. He said, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world, “This is just what The Cookery is about.” DiBari admitted that that he spotted an opportunity in an underserved community, but also that, “We all love Bjorn [The Cookery’s out head server and event planner]. And we wanted people to feel open and welcome—you know, the rest of us take these basic freedoms for granted.” The next Hump Thursday will occur starting at 10:30 pm on March 15.
RUBRIC: Seared Foie Gras and Apple Over Crispy Noodles at Mint Premium Foods
This pretty little café and gourmet shop packs a nightly surprise. Recently, Chef/Owner Hassan Jarane moved from his from original Main Street digs to a larger new space across the street. Now, Jarane’s opened a full-service restaurant in Mint’s cozy, brick-walled back room. We dropped in last week and caught this textural wonder: the dish generous contrasts lobes of bursting, seared foie gras with soft, lightly acidic apples slices and seriously crispy fried noodles, making it poppingly juicy, soft, and crackling crisp all at once.
19 Main St, Tarrytown (914) 703-6511