Bloomberg.com is reporting today that Masa, the illustrious sushi shrine at the Time Warner Center, is significantly lowering its prices. “The set menu at Masa Takayama’s three Michelin-star restaurant at Manhattan’s Time Warner Center fell to $400 from $450 two weeks ago, marking what could be the first time the sushi temple has ever cut its prices.” While still the most expensive sushi restaurant in the United States, this is a pretty good discount (almost 12%), so if you’ve ever had an urge to try it, now would be a good time.
I didn’t even care about the cooking, so I waited till the show was over before I watched and fast-forwarded to the end to see what happened. First of all, what the hell was with the old Top Chef contenders? The whole point is to determine the best stand-alone chef.
Of course, some would say that Carla would have won if it weren’t for her damn partner butting in and making a blue cheese tart. Poor Carla was so far ahead of her time, when humans would no longer rule the earth and Top Chef prize would always go to the extraterrestrial.
Hosea won Top Chef last night. And wtf, Stefan lost? He’s obviously been the best cook, but Tom Colicchio probably felt like he’d lose in a knife measuring contest, so he gave it to Hosea. Of course, with $100,000, Hosea can finally get the head reduction he’s been hoping for this whole time. And maybe, now that he’s wealthy, Leah Cohen will finally love him.
Epilogue: Hosea was overenthusiastic, Carla insisted that it was her time to return to her humble roots, while Stefan decided that he would elope with Eric Ripert. All is well in the world.
The vaguely phallic “White Slab Palace” has opened its doors, finally, after much excitement from the LES Scandinavian-loving foodie crowd. With lots of anticipation for its taxidermy (why?), and what eater.com calls “a pared-down industrial feel” (how does that work together?), White Slab seems to have everything you’d want in a post-apocalyptic hunting lodge. Although their food menu has not yet hit the spotlight, the restaurant premiered with its full drink menu last night, to the cheers of niche-seekers everywhere. Also, it’s a great spot for people watching, since it’s on the corner of a hot area.
The Upper West Side has had it too good for too long when it comes to eats. So Dock’s Oyster Bar, known for its tasty namesake, has finally packed up and moved to its new home on 40th and 3rd Avenue.
With a raw bar and other seafood delicacies, it looks like the Grand Central will now be able to choose between the famous Oyster Bar or this, slightly more distant, slightly less expensive one.
Sorry, West-Enders, but life isn’t always given to you on the half shell.
I love Two Boots pizza. There’s nothing like getting back to Grand Central from a visit home to the parents in Westchester, hunkering down for a slice of Cleopatra Jones before heading for the Subway downtown. Well, young Americans, there’s something even better coming your way: The Two Boots Tavern.
While its opening has long been awaited, the big news is that they’ve installed four taps, and plan to serve bottled beer and hard liquor as well. So now that need for a drink because you’ve realized that your childhood is forever over can finally be assuaged. So the décor’s a little goofy and it’s not much of an atmospheric kind of place where you’d propose or get to take someone home or anything. But trust me, there’s nothing better than a double vodka shot with a pizza chaser.
What? Eating a lot of fast food is bad for your health? Get outta town. Or at least move to a neighborhood with fewer Taco Bells.
The results of yet another study on the detrimental effects fast food can have on your health have been reported on in Monday’s LA Times. This time, the messenger of doom isn’t Morgan Spurlock (aka Captain Obvious), but a team of researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Looking at the data from (yes, you guessed it) the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi Project, they found that there were 1,247 ischemic strokes in Nueces County, TX (population: 313,645) between January of 2000 and June 2003. There are a reported 262 fast food restaurants in the county, which one particularly well-spoken scientist claimed was “a lot.”
Last week, I posted a blog suggesting a way to reduce one’s carbon footprint was to eat less beef. Perhaps because it made me feel like one of those Hybrid-driving Hollywood A-listers, I got a kick out of giving this eco-friendly advice. I’m thinking of making it a weekly thing. So this week’s advice, inspired by (i.e. stolen from) Harold McGee’s article in yesterday’s NY Times, is: use less water when making pasta.
Yes, I know, you never would have thought of that yourself. But then, you know, do it. Consider that the amount of water suggested by Italian cookbooks is 4 to 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta. After some experimentation, McGee claimed that perfectly tasty pasta could be produced using 2 or even 1 ½ quarts per pound. Furthermore, he claimed that one needn’t first boil the water, but that as a means of energy conservation, it could be brought to boil with the pasta already submerged because pasta only absorbs water very slowly at temperatures beneath the boil.
Gastronome fashionistas with money to spare will be happy to learn that Giorgio Armani has opened a restaurant on the top floor of his new flagship store, Armani/5th Avenue.
Having imported chef Lorenzo Viani from the Tuscan seaside town of Forte dei Marmi (where, incidentally, this boastful blogger once ate the best pizza of his life), Giorgio is going for authentic Italian cuisine at Armani prices. There’s the shrimp gazpacho, to be had for a modest $24 (seeing this, I consulted a dictionary to confirm that “gazpacho” is, indeed, a tomato based vegetable soup and not some esoteric reference to a filet mignon) compared to which the $30 two-cheese ravioli in a zucchini sauce seems a flat-out bargain. For those with a hankering for crustacean flesh, there’s the lobster caprese for $45. Additionally the chef will be offering vegetarian, fish and meat tasting menus for $60 and $70, respectively.
Ah, the internet. Excepting those poor souls who decide to hang themselves because someone left a nasty comment beneath one of their Facebook photos, the web has the solution to all of people’s problems. Whether it is a simple matter of procuring theater tickets or finding that special someone who also enjoys sunset strolls and sado-maso games involving thumbtacks, cyberspace will provide.
And now there is even an online solution for New Yorkers as well as pizza lovers across the U.S. who need more information about local pizzerias. This new website, www.pizzashare.com, allows one to enter a zip code and then lists all pizza joints in the vicinity. Visitors to the site can also add locales that are not yet listed, of which there are probably quite a few since the site is only two weeks old.
We’re baaaaaaaack. After a brief hiatus, the Wednesday Wine List has returned to show Joonbug readers the path to good wines at affordable prices.
1. KWV Sauvignon Blanc - While in my opinion New Zealand is the runaway leader when it comes to producing great sauvignon blancs right now, this cool, crisp choice from South Africa is certainly worthy of comparison to them. It has all the requisite citrus hints that one would expect, but they’re supplemented by a nice nose of vanilla, giving KWV a touch of unpredictability and flair. You can’t go wrong when buying something this good for a mere ten to twelve dollars a bottle.