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Koffmann’s (in The Berkeley)

[Translate] If, like us, you were beginning to find the London dining scene somewhat lacking in French fancy, we have news: the prodigal son has returned. Pierre Koffmann — of La Tante Claire fame, of last year’s Selfridges pop-up triumph, of the treble Michelin stars — has again set up shop...

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Annisa

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 30-04-2010

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Finally reopening after the fire that ravaged its interior last summer, the haute asian fusion fave’s take the opportunity to revamp their menu, adding highlights like veal tenderloin & sweetbreads w/ artichokes and oyster/black truffle sauce; roasted rack of lamb with South African spice; and butter poached lobster w/ ramps, sweet pea flan, and black trumpets (sorry, Chet Baker).

13 Barrow St. (at W 4th St.), New York, NY +12-212-741-6699

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The Summerhouse

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 29-04-2010

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We’re almost afraid to type it: summer has come early this year. But we’ll soak up every minute at The Summerhouse pop-up restaurant, which opened quietly over the weekend with alfresco dining on the banks of Little Venice’s canal.Reminiscent of a Hamptons beach house (whitewashed walls, blue-and-white-striped cushions), the idyllic space has its own mooring for those who travel by barge. Waterfront tables will get snapped up quickly, but the intimate restaurant is so bright and airy, all seats are created equal.
 
On the menu: fresh seafood, including everything from crispy calamari and moules marinieres to beer-breaded cod and mushy peas. There’s also a small lounge area where you can watch passing boats while sipping refreshing cocktails like a cucumber caipiroska or a jug of Pimms and snack on crudites and popcorn shrimp.
It closes in October, so book now — it’ll be gone quicker than a warm breeze.

The Summerhouse, opposite 60 Blomfield Road, London W9 2PD +44-20-7286-6752 or summerhousebythewaterway.co.uk

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Takashi (it’s Japanese for “Temple of Meat”)

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 28-04-2010

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What we’re about to say will shock you.

In fact, it might shock Peter Luger himself.

But, according to the Japanese, there is life beyond the porterhouse, the skirt steak and, yes, even the cheeseburger.

Life that starts with a singular, mind-bending focus on parts of the cow that you may not have known were edible.

We’re talking raw beef heart here, people…

And down the rabbit hole we go: Takashi, a new temple of unknown beef, is soft-open for dinner this week in the West Village.

The small spot seems like the eatery that Indiana Jones, Hannibal Lecter and Anthony Bourdain would open together after a night of hard drinking—all the meat comes raw, every one of the seven tables has its own grill, and the decor is comprised simply of a chalkboard explaining how meat is healthy for you (you’ve been saying this for years).

Clearly the main draw here is the selection of offbeat innards: flash-boiled Achilles tendon, grilled throat bone and the extremely hard to source Akase—the legendary fourth stomach.

We suggest you make good use of your personal grilling unit, wrap your charred meat in lettuce, down a good bottle of dry sake and make sure to turn on the retractable fan to siphon the smoke away from your date’s pretty eyes.

Then again, every good date needs a little smoke and mirrors.

456 Hudson St. (at Barrow St), New York, NY 10014 +1-212-414-2929 takashinyc.com

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St. Anselm

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Brooklyn, Food, New York City | Posted on 27-04-2010

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Even the simplest of plans can spiral into grandiosity — after all, Darryl Dawkins claims he was just letting players know he was somebody when he named his first dunk “Your Mama”, but eventually he had to inform them he was also a Chocolate Thunder flyin’, glass flyin’, Robizine cryin’, parents cryin’, babies cryin’, glass still flyin’, rump roasting, bun toasting, thank you wham ma’am I am’…man. Building a rump roaster of their own, St. Anselm.
Featuring an ultra-lacquered front bar, a curvy, jigsaw-esque slatted ceiling, fixtures made of table saw blades, and walls of exposed brick/barnyard wood covered with photos of the owners grandpa and more vintage saws, Anselms’ a wildly rustic hat trick from the owner of nearby Fette Sau and Spuyten Duyvil, originally conceived as a simple hot dog joint that quickly streamrolled into into a temple of meat excess rivaled only by Lex Steele’s pants. Things start weird with the “nasty bits” menu, which features beer battered brain, marrow poppers, fried gizzard confit, veal heart steak, and Skin 3 Way (cotina, cracklin’, & chicharron), while hot dogs are avail griddled & topped with gravy/kraut/peppers/onions/cheese sauce, or deep fried, wedged into split pizza bread, and topped with peppers, onions, and fried potatoes, a style as popular in Newark as not murdering people isn’t. The everyday menu’s rounded out by gravy burgers, egg plates, fried meatballs, and corned lamb hash w/ fried bread, but blue plates offer variety like Wednesday’s Neck Bones a la Venitian, Friday’s fish fry, and Sunday’s Chicken a la King, fitting, as eating it’s a total beatdown on your stomach.
In addition to a heavy selection of bottles both brew and vino, the 8 identical taps are each capable of spouting beer or wine, the latter of which’ll be covered by Red Hook Winery’s Chardonnay and Brooklyn brusco, which is a mean sparklin’, teen sparklin’, chest burnin’, woman yearnin’, copulatin’, fridge raidin’…wine.
355 Metropolitan Ave. (at Havemeyer St.), Brooklyn, NY, +1-718-384-5054
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Tri Tip Grill

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 26-04-2010

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When striking out into unknown territory, it’s wise to bring someone along who knows the lay of the land, and even wiser to kill them once you’re comfortable on your own, cause sharing hidden treasure is for suckers. Leveraging a veteran restaurateur’s knowledge and generously letting him live, the dude behind Tri Tip Grill.

Setting up in a rustic nook with exposed wooden beams, a stone tile counter, and an open kitchen complete with a real wood smoker, Tip’s a casual meat palace from a first-time resto owner who enlisted the help of a multi-location-owning Cali chef known for creating tri tip beef that’s smoked & then charred, creating flavor crystals they claim’re “pink and dirty”, which is a bit of a shocker. Said tip can be had sliced over a bed of roadhouse onions and smothered in jus, or piled between daily-made rolls in sammies (“bucks”) like the Philly (sauteed o’s/peppers/pepper jack), the chipotle-sauced Border, the Bacon Cheddar (take a guess), and the Red Ranch sauce/fried onions/bleu Roadhouse, which’ll rip out your throat if you tell it you used to eat sandwiches like him in prison. Not-just-the-tip items include sandos rocking marinated & grilled chicken, tarragon-aioli-abetted salmon filets, and Romesco-sauced portobellos; burgers like the avocado/swiss/bacon/special sauced The Rock; and an array of salads, including a your-choice-of-protein joint called the Caesar Pleaser, aka, Brute et Horn-ay.

They’ll even bag up an entire char-roasted tri-tip that’ll last for days in your fridge, or just feed 5 to 6 roommates immediately, since eating hidden leftovers is uncharted territory for no one.

Concourse Level at 30 Rockafeller Plaza, New York, NY +1-212-664-1124

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Tsuru (The Bishopsgate version)

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 23-04-2010

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Just opened north of the river, Tsuru’s second casual J-dining outlet will feature the same generations-old sushi/katsu/teriyaki recipes lifted from co-founder Kensuke Yamada’s family in the Japanese fishing village Shimoda. The menu’s as animal-friendly as you can be while still eating them (line-caught Yellowfin, free-range poultry), and soy, sushi vinegar, and “Six-Hour Curry” are all made from scratch daily; plus, the wine list rocks an impressively thrifty 30% markup, greatly facilitating you becoming “Six-Bottle Blurry”.

Unit 3; 201 Bishopsgate, London EC1 9AN tsuru-sushi.co.uk

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Taureau

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 22-04-2010

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Risk. Intrigue. Mystery.

These are elements you know well. Tools deployed in certain situations of next-level gamesmanship.

But rarely on a first date.

So today we bring news of a place that understands: a tiny little gem of a new restaurant with a small menu of shareable food, a charming French host and a scene best described as… comfortable.

It’s a place we’re dubbing a Certified First Date Safe ZoneTM. And it’s open now…

Introducing Taureau, a BYOB fondue spot in the East Village helmed by a charismatic Frenchie, awaiting your next first date.

Opened by a seasoned fondue pro (Didier, who perfected his trade at his own Parisian fondue spot for 13 years), the small, skinny space is decked in white and red, spotted with two-person tables and set up for serving one food and one food only: bubbling cauldrons of cheese, oil and chocolate.

This is pretty much all you need to know: arrive with a bottle of Veuve tucked gently under one arm and a backup bottle of pinot noir under the other. Start with cheese, move to meat, finish with chocolate.

And don’t worry about the stove-like contraption built into the surface of your table: it’s designed to heat up the cauldron of fondue, but remain completely cold to the touch.

See: Safe Zone.

127 E Seventh St. (between First Ave and Avenue A), New York, NY 10009, +1-212-228-2222

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Traif

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Brooklyn, Food, New York City | Posted on 21-04-2010

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Being Jewish sounds great — you get 8 nights of presents, you’re good with money — but you also have to deal with one of the most historically significant struggles in human history: keeping kosher. Taking that out of the equation, Traif, just opened.
Outfitting their narrow sleeve with an undulating, slate-topped wooden bar overlooking a homey, red-tiled open kitchen, tan wooden tables that dot the dining room’s dark plank floor, walls featuring vine/leaf murals by local artists, and a communal table with matching foliage and a hand-etched city skyline, the couple behind Traif (which means unkosher in Hebrew) wanted their first restaurant to celebrate the husband’s Jewish roots, and knew the most appropriate way to do that was with…irony! Those eating unholy and unhealthy can nosh on crispy pork belly w/ red papaya, kiwi, and chile vinaigrette; bacon-wrapped, blue cheese stuffed dates; braised pork cheeks w/ prunes & polenta; and even foie gras plated w/ ham, fried egg, yams, hot sauce, and maple gastrique, like what French soul food would look like if only the French had souls. Seafaring sin, meanwhile, includes baked Maine lobster gratin with creamed spinach; mussels w/ chorizo, white wine, aioli, and a Catalan specialty pasta called fideus; shrimp a la plancha with honeyed-carrots & parsnips; and seared scallops w/ caper-brown butter sauce and risotto made with snap peas, who will refuse to be eaten without a parting yo’ mama joke.
Warm weather can be appreciated from a stone-tiled back patio (abutting up against a motley garden of bushes and vines), where you can knock back local brews and vino, plus a full range of cocktails, helping you overcome the most historically significant struggle known to man: sobriety.
229 S 4th St. (between Roebling and Havemeyer St.), Brooklyn, NY; +1-347-844-9578 TraifNY.com
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Má Pêche

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 20-04-2010

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It’s called Má Pêche. It’s part of the Momofuku empire. It’s in Midtown. It opens for lunch and evening cocktails on Wednesday. Pork will be involved. These things you know. Below, a few more nuggets of wisdom about your new favorite lunch spot…

The Line Is a Red Herring: There will be a huge line. You will be dismayed. But remember, this is Midtown. Closer inspection will reveal the line is for the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship/discotheque next door. Proceed to Má Pêche. And please do not feed the tourists.

The Rebirth of the Long Island Iced Tea: The Long Island Iced Tea has a well-deserved reputation as a sort of Dumpster of a cocktail. Prepare to taste it again for the first time, this time as the Short Island: five liquors and some homemade cola syrup. We could almost see a three-Short-Island lunch.

X Marks the Spot: Sit at the large X-shaped communal table, as close to the crux as you can. Then pretend you are part of a UN-like organization that passes mandates supporting seven-spiced sake cocktails and overflowing raw bars.

Order the Secret Steak: It’s a well-known fact that the Momofuku empire was built solidly on pork. But at Má Pêche, you want the steak. The 12-ounce Juliet cut is so secret that they will only say, “It comes from the shoulder.” Imagine the tenderness of a filet and the flavor of a NY strip.

You Want Fries with That: The steak comes with fries. But the fries are made of rice. And they taste like popcorn.

The Royal Tenenbaums Are Involved: There’s only one piece of artwork, and it comes from Eli Cash’s apartment in The Royal Tenenbaums: five shirtless men in Mexican wrestling masks driving ATVs. It’s on loan from Wes Anderson. And if anyone asks, say it’s about man’s inhumanity to man…

You Can Be Pie Agnostic: The adjoining branch of the Milk Bar features the unholy FrankenPie, which has two slices of each of their regular pies (crack, candy bar, grasshopper and cinnamon bun) cobbled together as one. Just keep it away from fire.

Or Just Grab a Sandwich: Being able to quickly grab a $6 ham or turkey sandwich to go at Milk Bar seems unfair to the street carts and sandwich shops of Midtown. Shed not one tear for them…

15 W 56th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Ave), New York, NY 10019, +1-212-247-2011 momofuku.com
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Zengo

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 19-04-2010

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Richard Sandoval’s huge, trilevel Latin-Asian restaurant, AvroKo’s Mexico-inspired design touches (teal-dyed burlap sack panels), and a supersize menu executed by Akhtar Nawab (Elettaria).

There’s also late-night Tuesday tequila tastings downstairs at La Biblioteca.

622 Third Ave. (at 40th St.), New York, NY +1-212-808-8110

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