Union Square’s the food Mecca of New York City! Okay, that’s not news. You know that already. But do you know how it went from drug market to greenmarket? Will the $400-a-square-foot rents turn it into a mall? Find out, on the front page of today’s Sun.
No, not Puck or Mozart; this is about Wolfgang VonWieser, of the Bellagio in Vegas. I ran a story on his homemade flavored salts in last Wednesday’s Sun, but only had room for one recipe. Now that there’s snackmade, the brand new all recipe category on Snack, his second recipe for smoked salt has found a home.
If my musings on Gourmet’s August supplement left you hungry for more…well now there is more. No it’s not a download of the pages, I already asked and that was nixed by the legal department. It’s podcasts with Ruth Reichl and the authors, online now and forever at Epicurious.
Quite some time ago, I promised a new snack category for recipes, snackmade. Enfin! Le début.
I recently went to an urban barbecue and brought my summer-time pot-luck standard, ambrosia. It’s not fancy and it’s not gourmet, but people love it, even if they are fancy and gourmet. Ambrosia’s one of those fluid recipes, with a million variations. It’s more of a concept, combining canned fruit and marshmallows and letting it meld together in puffy sweetness. Below is my crowd-pleasing recipe. Some would argue that ambrosia requires fruit cocktail or nuts or whipped cream. Some say that it’s technically a "salad", while some call it dessert. Indeed, there are no wrong answers. I like to try to keep a one-to-one ratio of fruit to marshmallow, and use equal volumes of each fruit.
Given all the recent meta-coverage of Jack Lamb and his East Village conglomerate of restaurants, anchored by Jewel Bako, I thought it an apt moment to check in with Greg “sushi spreadsheet” Lippmann. I first met him back in September 04. He’s a securities trader with a penchant for sushi, which he tracks in an excel document.The toro-tome ranks 106 Gotham sushi spots, with Jewel Bako still his number one. Says Lippman, “I still love Jack and the food, [and] had great meals recently at Degustation and [Jack’s Luxury] Oyster Bar.” Number two is Masa – which is my number one, albeit a pricey-special occasion number one, not a spontaneous Saturday night, "Hey, let’s grab a California roll before Talladega Nights" number one.
Is Bill Buford going to be the next reality-TV star on Bravo? According to un-confirmed but fairly reliable snack-intell, Buford was filming this past Friday afternoon at Casa Mono and Bar Jamon. A chat with chef Andy Nusser and a taste of some plates all were captured by a camera wielding the Bravo logo.
Is it a pilot? A new show? One time docu-drama made-for-tv version of his NY Times bestseller Heat? To my snackers in TV-land (and you know who you are), send in the 411.
And a tvsnack programming ps: Tony Bourdain's Beirut episode of No Reservations airs tonight at 10pm on the Travel Channel.
I had dinner again this week at Atelier. This time, I brought you something - les menus. As the restaurant will not officially open in full force until September 5th, consider these working drafts. Today they are current, tomorrow they may change.
Winemaker Eric Miller puts his grapes on the vine to promote the 2005 Naked Chardonnay from his Chaddsford Winery (in Pennsylvania). I don’t know how it tastes (or if I want to know, even at $14.99) but I give him 90 out of 100 points (isn't that how they score wine?) for the publicity effort.
For fans of Atlanta’s resident star toque Guenter Seeger, you have exactly five days left to eat at his eponymous restaurant. After nine years, he’s sold it and will close it on Saturday the 19th. Pourquoi? According to the press release, it’s because he has “nearly every top accolade in the culinary industry” except the Michelin star he has yearned for since the age of 12. After 22 years in Atlanta, he’s moving to an unspecified city, one where Le Guide is in full effect.
At first glace, I assumed he’d be returning to Europe, perhaps his native Germany. Ironic in that many chefs across the pond have been trying to give back those stars. Upon further reflection, I realized perhaps he’s just moving up north. It’s about 880 miles to Gracie Mansion.
How soon is too soon to post up on a new restaurant? Say if you had dinner on the second night? And the restaurant is not even really open to the public, but is in soft-opening? It’s probably too soon to make any critical judgments one way or the other, but perhaps a few general observations are acceptable.
I will not bore you with my usual diatribe on why I don’t review restaurants. You can refresh your memory here and here. I do not take pictures of my plates as I find it distracting (though I did record my single meal at elBulli in 04 and will be happy to post those if anyone has interest). The restaurant is in soft-opening so I will not post the menu as it is still a work-in-progress.
I had dinner at Atelier last Thursday. Eight courses, three desserts. I’ll limit my remarks here to some dishes that seem to appear on all the Atelier menus world-wide.