Archives for June 2010 | NYC 2 LONDON

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Satay Junction

[Translate] From the crew behind stalwart Brick Lane Curry House, Junction’s tiny, white brick & brightly colored art lined digs play backdrop to traditional Jakarta street fare like Indonesian fried rice, pan-seared flat noodles, and pork/chicken/lamb/fish satays, authentically served to go with...

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Brasserie Deville

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 30-06-2010


Claiming inspiration from a colonial missionary whose travels saw him famously spread both Jesus and rotisserie-style “good honest food”, this just-opened Canary Wharf brasserie serves up the likes of corn-fed chicken breast (w/ parmesan polenta crust, truffle mash, cep sauce) and grilled salmon (w/ saffron mash, asparagus, crab bisque), while traditional-leaning cocktails include the brandy/ vermouth/ lime/ simple syrup/champagne “Parisian Spring Punch”, which sadly for the state of French boxing still brings forth visions of Georges Carpentier, before he got fat.

Discovery Dock East; 3 South Quay, London E14 9RU +44-20-7538-9707

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Cafe Luc

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 29-06-2010


Though less celebrated than the father/son version, father/daughter teams can produce magic, whether it’s John Huston directing daughter Anjelica in the James Joyce adaptation The Dead, or Woody Allen directing Soon Yi in the Nabokov adaptation, My Bed. Far less tawdry and far more delicious, the pair behind Cafe Luc.

Just opened by Julie and Luc van Oostende, the esteemed Belgian resto runners behind Cafe Theatre, Luc’s a Continental brasserie installed in renovated Victorian Marylebone digs, now filled with dark hardwood floors, waxed green walls, leather banquettes, and replica chairs from the Lido in Paris (importing the real thing was just too big of a tassel). Opening-menu starters have a ballotine of foie gras cooked in red wine, an Orkney baked scallop with young leeks and Alsace bacon, and, accompanied by avocado and a quail egg, a Cornish crab tian — a complexly layered dish that shows Cornish crabs are capable of more than just drinking cider and farming. Bigger fare includes the Organic Chicken Supreme with champagne, black trompettes & papardelle, a braised lamb shoulder w/ borlotti beans, young fennel & rosemary jus, and, served alongside mayonnaise’d pomme frites, the Steak Tartare “a la minute”, though why does it take even that long to not cook something?

For quick-biters, the bar’s got snacks like mini cheeseburgers and fried courgette flowers, as well as a selection of draught wines, including Meursault “Les Tessons” and the Hawke’s Bay Merlot “Gravel Pit”, or, where Mia Farrow threatened to bury her husband if he didn’t direct his Wood elsewhere, Soon.

50 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 5HN +44-20-7258-9870

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Hudson Hall

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 28-06-2010



The best years of your life were fueled by the kind of food that may no longer actually qualify as food to you.

Yet imagine the possibility if—and we’re just spitballing here—instead of vaguely identifiable meatstuffs, your college dining hall served artisanal cheese plates, tuna tartar, Kobe meatballs and, yes, kamikazes by the pitcher…

Introducing Hudson Hall, a luxurious, boozy take on the college dining hall experience, open for fraternity-style dining and cocktailing, at this very moment.

You’ll find the Hall just off the lobby of the Hudson Hotel, and decked out pretty much how you might expect it would be: vast spaces, high ceilings, dark wood, brick walls, long wooden tables and the vague, preppy whiff of aristocracy floating about.

And this is the point at which you’ll grab a red plastic tray, make your way through the food stations (entrée, appetizer, dessert) and end up at the center of the action: a bank of communal tables where you’ll sit with your braised pork belly, miniature crab salad hoagies and SpaghettiOs, prepared to wash it all down with a lemon drop in either shot, cocktail or pitcher form (yes, the possibilities are endless).

And if you needed another reason to order that third woo woo pitcher, or fifth can of Bud, they’ll be screening World Cup games on a 360-degree, wraparound TV projection system.

Which may be slightly larger than the one that was in your dorm room.

Hudson Hotel, 356 W 58th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Ave), New York, NY 10019 +1 (212) 554-6502

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Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 25-06-2010


From chocolate to caviar, when it comes to pizza, we thought we’d seen (and tasted) it all. Until new Notting Hill resto Otto introduced us to the cornmeal crust.

Owners Rich Thomson and Tom Freeman discovered the pastry-like base, made from dried milled corn and organic wheat flour, in a Portland, Oregon, restaurant and were so impressed that they left their city jobs to open a similar spot in London. Their twelve-inch pies have crusts that are sturdy enough to hold more than a few measly slices of mozzarella.

Toppers include the usual four cheeses, as well as balsamic red onion and sweet corn (Freeman’s pick), pesto and ricotta (Thomson’s recommendation), and fennel sausage with green peppers. A spicy cashew cheese option ensures those on vegan diets won’t feel denied.

The simple space, with seating for 32, keeps the focus on the pizza — besides a few seasonal salads, there’s little else on the menu. But not to worry, tests (our own) have proven that the cornmeal crust is so filling you’ll be able to eat only half your usual amount. Another first.

6 Chepstow Road, London W2 5BH +44-20-7792-4088

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Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 24-06-2010


Former Tia Pol guest chef Jennifer Cole returns from Madrid to craft a refreshing cold tapas menu (think marinated quail salad with Pedro Ximénez sherry gel).

As soon as the fire marshal gives the go-ahead: slow-cooked veal cheeks with dark chocolate and traditional Catalonian stew plumped with chicken and shrimp.

429 Amsterdam Ave. (between 80th & 81st St.) New York, NY 10024 +1 (917) 388-3500

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Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 23-06-2010


Working for others is essential to learning any trade, but eventually you’ve got to go off on your own — Spencer Davis might have taught Steve Winwood to be a Man, but what good is that without Higher Love? Finally going it alone, the man behind Entree, just opened.

From an Aussie who spent the last 10 years opening over a dozen restos for others, Entree’s a white-tiled bistro decked out with dark furniture and black stained wooden floors, separated into a downstairs, piano-blessed bar, and an upstairs dining space marked by a wall of century-old newspaper clippings procured from a Parisian flea market — so presumably they all read “Germany: No Threat There”. Starters include a polenta- & rocket-sided mantecato of salted cod, scallop and crab lasagne w/ chive beurre blanc, and avocado/tomato/cress Pea Arancini, described as “Risotto Balls” — a condition which arises from constantly being stirred up. Mains have pan-fried sea bass w/ roasted fennel & trompette della morte, Denham Estate “Saddle Back” pork belly w/ chorizo Lyonnaise & apple sauce, and thrice-cooked chips with a 10oz Ribeye of 35 day Gallway beef, considerably less tough than the 35 year Belfast beef.

The lower floor’s floor-inducing cocktails include the “Sweet Sage & Pine” (tequila Reposado, blue agave syrup, sage, pineapple, lime), the “Brooklyn” (rye, Antica Formula, bitters, Amer Picon, maraschino), and the gin/sweet & dry vermouth/pom syrup/ orange bitters “R.A.C” — if you think you’re a Man after calling them, you’re just Dear Mr. Fantasy.

2 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1ED +44 (207) 223-5147

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Totto Ramen

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 22-06-2010


A recessed, narrow, counter lined noodlery with an exposed kitchen and iron overhead storage racks for customers’ belongings, TR’s relatively straightforward menu features pork buns and chicken wings to accompany the namesake chicken-or-pork ramen, which’s made with Japan-sourced ingredients including a secret “spicy oil” called Rayu, traditionally used to kick up cuts of M Bison.

366 W 52nd Street (between 8th and 9th Ave.), New York, NY 10019 +1 (212) 582-0052

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Casa Mezcal

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 21-06-2010


This three-floor ode to Oaxacan culture features a top level art gallery, subterranean cinema/music venue, and a street level festive mescaleria strewn with multicolored lights and a bar adorned with Mexican miscellany including…a stuffed turkey! Tipples are highlighted by a swath of mezcals (both plugged into cocktails and also served straight with traditional garnishes like mint, lime, or basil), while authentic dishes’ll include 20 different stews plus more esoteric offerings like cheese-and-spice-dusted fried grasshopper — order them for the table and don’t be surprised if you hear crickets.

86 Orchard Street (between Grand and Broome St.), New York, NY 10002 +1 (212) 777-2600

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Al fresco NYC

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Brooklyn, Events, Food, New York City | Posted on 19-06-2010


The ultimate list of outdoor dining in New York

Bar BouludWest 60s, French, charcuterie

Brooklyn Fish CampPark Slope, Seafood, lobster roll

Buenos AiresEast Village, Argentinean, grilled meats

Dinosaur BBQHarlem, Barbecue, fried green tomatoes, reserve

Locanda VerdeTribeca, Italian, chef Andrew Carmellini, sheep’s milk ricotta

Marlow and SonsWilliamsburg, American, Brick Chicken

Moim – Park Slope, Korean, bibimbap

PisticciW. 100s, Italian, wallet-friendly

SriPraPhai­­­­Woodside, Thai, cash only

SupperEast Village, Italian, Frank Prisinzano-run

Vinegar Hill HouseVinegar Hill, American, Red Wattle Country Chop

Agnanti Astoria, Greek, seafood

ApplewoodPark Slope, American, local farmers

AuroraWilliamsburg, Italian, mellow garden, cash only

Back Forty – East Village, Peter Hoffman (Savoy), burger/roast chicken

Bobo West Village, American, upmarket

Buttermilk Channel – Carroll Gardens, comfort food, separate vegetarian menu

Convivio – Tudor City, Italian, special occasion

Double Crown Noho, British/Asian, AvroKO (= gorgeous)

Dumont Williamsburg, burger, garden and treehouse (!)

Gnocco East Village, Italian, nice vibe

The Good Fork – Red Hook, American (w/ Asian touches), hidden find

Palo Santo – Park Slope, ‘Latin market’ food, South American wines (excellent values), rooftop herbs/veggies

The West Branch – UWS, Tom Valenti, meat

The Plaza Food Hall (a la Todd English)

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 18-06-2010


With any endeavor, cultural diversity can help ensure success — for instance, the Ocean’s 11 crew looked to Asia for its contortionist, England for its explosives expert, and Hollywood’s dumpsters for its Affleck and Caan. Combing the globe to fill its roster of cuisines: Todd English, at The Plaza Food Hall.

Oozing old-school elegance (mosaic tile floors, circular iron light fixtures, scuffed-up mirrors…) meant to evoke the upscale Euro food courts found in places like Harrod’s, PFH offers a conglomeration of differently decor’d, counter-top seating outposts, each cooking up a different cuisine but serving the collective output from all the kitchens, a philosophy of sharing that won’t be mirrored by you. Stocked with seasonal/local ingredients, America’s repped by joints like the Ocean Grill & Oyster Bar, rocking everything from king crab legs, to a brioche lobster roll w/ mustard dressing, to Atlantic salmon w/ grilled leeks, and the more meat-centric Grill, where you’ll find mini lamb gyros w/ tahini, spit-roasted organic chicken, and a turkey “PLT” w/ grilled pancetta and whipped avocado (trying to hang out with him is just the pits). Beyond-the-border action: the intimately lit Wine & Tapas Bar (salt cod fritters, grilled chorizo, marinated shrimp spiedini…), the Dumpling Bar (also with varying noodle specialties), and the Sushi Bar, where the days catch is rolled up into jobs like the BBQ eel & tempura shrimp Sea Dragon, and the avocado/bluefin/spicy “Tuna Two Way”, who have trouble finding a third party due to their habit of always hitting it raw.

Those on the go can pick up finished dishes or individual ingredients from each stand, while others looking to stock their kitchen can hit the market for everything from decanters to kitchen tools, which unlike those of Hollywood can’t just rely on their family to get them jobs.

1 W 59th Street, New York, NY 10019  +1(212) 986-9260

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