Archives for July 2010 | NYC 2 LONDON

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Oficina Latina

[Translate] Inspired by fare from all over the Latin world, OL’s tucked into a sultrily-lit industrial-vintage sleeve (lots of wood, hanging rubber-caged construction lights) adorned with loads of cultural ephemera and rocking a corner nook for live bossa nova bands, plus a beam-covered back patio/garden....

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Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 30-07-2010


The new tTraditional Bombay (Irani) cafe serving Thumbs Up cola, chai and Indian snacks such as chili cheese toast, roti wraps and grilled kebabs all day.

After all, a chai mojito will liven things up if the Bollywood music doesn’t.

12 Upper Saint Martins Ln., London WC2H 9FB +44-20-7420-9320

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Koffmann’s (in The Berkeley)

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 29-07-2010


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 inside The Berkeley hotel (in the former Boxwood Cafe), bringing his Gallic flair and unrivaled cuisine back to London.

This time his approach to the food is more laid-back. Koffmann will serve hearty French flavours like a cassoulet of snails with mash potatoe or potted foie gras with toasted baguette, followed by grilled lobster with béarnaise sauce, roasted rabbit with Dijon mustard, or braised beef cheeks.

Enjoy the view of the open kitchen, tableside meat carving and presentation finesse when the restaurant opens on Thursday (booking from today). But don’t fill up before the piece de resistance: Koffmann’s pistachio souffle.

Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL +44 20 7235 1010

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M. Wells

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, Queens | Posted on 28-07-2010


Some combinations (sea salt and caramel, bread and cheese), just make sense. But foie gras and frozen custard?

Those two equally delicious delicacies are sharing menu space at M. Wells, a restored 1954 diner in Long Island City opened (although right now, it’s breakfast and custard only) by Canada-meets-Queens couple Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis.

Sit on a reclaimed church pew and break your fast with homemade biscuits, and sausage and egg sandwiches on griddle-baked English muffins. The freshly fried donuts are perfect for dunking in a $1.50 cuppa locally roasted Oslo coffee.

Canadian fusion dominates lunch and dinner (in about three weeks); think meatballs cooked in a can, loaves of foie gras, and tourtières (smoked meat pies). Ghosts of the diner’s Chinese-takeout-joint past will be waked with dishes like a daily fried rice and hamburgers on steamed buns.

But go now to grab a Timmy O’s frozen custard on your way to P.S. 1 (around the corner) or Montauk (the LIRR’s Hunts Point station is literally outside the door). And to cozy up to the owners so you’ll know when the bento box lunches with boxed wine are available.
21-17 49th Avenue (at 21st Street) Long Island City, NY +1 (718) 425-6917

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Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 27-07-2010


When it comes to food, Boston and New York have certain differences, from the style of their chowders, to just how much inhabitants like “them apples”. Betting he can bridge the 220 mile gap, the guy behind Tiella.

From a chef who spent years in five-star restos across Europe before raking in awards slinging artisanal ‘za in Cambridge, Tiella’s named for “a cast iron pan that acts as a cornerstone of Neapolitan cuisine”, exactly what’ll be served in the 38-seat exposed brick sliver; minimalist decor deets include Italian oak floors, cozily-spaced dark wooden tables/chairs, and a small back bar for meantime tippling, perfect for those Waiting for Bordeaux. Small plates include four specialty tiellas — essentially pan-baked pizzas made w/ different dough — with toppings like mixed seafood & buffala mozz, prosciutto/foie, and soft goat cheese w/ bottarga, plus more traditional joints including oven-roasted scallops w/ pecorino, and a meat & cheese platter served w/ fruit mustard, the very aspersion that led to the Colonel gettin’ all murdery. Signature pastas run from papardelle w/ lobster-tomato sauce, to black ink fettucinne with scallops/chanterelles, to shrimp/butternut squash/mint risotto, while more meat-driven fare’s repped by balsamic vinegar’d branzino w/ grilled eggplant, and veal scaloppini w/ radicchio and melted smoked mozz, a cheese that’s totally content to sit there eating itself.

A full cocktail list’s on the way, and the wine list’s stocked with 60 vinos heavy on Italian reds, though whether they’re being poured here or in Boston, they’re sure to be enjoyed by many rich, full-bodied whites.

1109 1st Avenue (and 61st Street), New York, NY 10065 +1 (212) 588-0100

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Xiao Ye

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 26-07-2010


Working on a smaller scale can help prepare you for the real thing, which explains why builders create 3D models before starting construction, and also why women are banging everyone but you. Right? Right??? For a full-fledged resto built off a more diminutive hit, check out Xiao Ye.

From a hip-hop t-shirtist who first dabbled in feeding the masses with the bustling, 5-item, Taiwanese bun shack Baohaus, XY’s a full-on, booze-abetted Tai street-foodery expanding on it’s sibling in an open-kitchened, concrete-floored jet-black sleeve decked with crazy psychedelic stools, party photos, and a graffiti-style marker so customers can “draw hot neon colored t*tties on the wall”, much to the dismay of aspiring Pic-ass-os. The irreverently-named fare starts with apps like custom-blended pork, beef, & pork-n-shrimp Dumpling Face Killahs and Poont@ng Pot Stickers; Kim Jong’s Ill Noodles, served cold w/ kim chi dressing, cucumbers, and hand-pulled free range chicken; and chili’d & lardo’d wok sauteed Buddah Sex Cabbage, which drives women crazy with its Brassica balls. Mid-size noshes include deep-fried helpings of all-natural cured pork belly, 24-hour marinated gator tail, and basil “She Bang” cod, while mains run from country-fried steak w/ kwi chang gravy, to Hainan “Robster Craws”, to the signature pork belly/ox tail/pork rib/beef-or-short rib Everything But The Dog Meat Platter (you’ll further defy Snoop when you prove it is fun when your homies can’t have some).

House-infused liquor’ll include flavors like pineapple, mango, lychee, and ginger, and’ll be dropped into frozen drinks like the Sofa King Good (watermelon puree/rum/lime juice/bubbly), and a mix of Hawaiian Punch, brandy, dark rum, and “that good stuff” that’s served in a bowl, an opportunity for people to step up to the big. Hear that ladies? Ladies???

198 Orchard Street (between Houston and Stanton St.), New York, NY 10002

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Galvin Cafe a Vin (and it comes with a Cigar Terrace)

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 23-07-2010


 With high-backed red & blue cushioned chairs surrounded by olive trees, this alfresco addition to recently Michelin’d Spitalfied’s offers an idyllic setting for burning down stogies like the Romeo y Julieta “Petit Julieta” and Bolivar Royal Corona Tubos while sampling from an exclusive biodynamic wine list boasting such labels as Sicillian Pithos Rosso and Cuvée des Conti Bergerac, a delicate, somewhat musky reminder that if you were a detective on an island where nothing happens, you’d turn to booze too.

35 Spital Square, London E1 6DY; +44 207 299 0404

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Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 22-07-2010


Modeled after Venetian cicchetti (aka small plates) bars, just-opened Aria’s filled its wood & brick nook with a white tile drink station and prominent black boards boasting both vino (made exclusively by female winemakers) and pre-prohibition-style cocktails to wash down small plates of beef meatballs w/ oven roasted tomatoes, grilled eggplant stuffed w/ goat cheese, and individual cheeses like River’s Edge “Up In Smoke”, which critics must have been themselves to think Keanu had a future in acting.

117 Perry Street, (between Greenwich and Hudson St.), New York, NY 10014 +1 (212) 242-4233

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Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 21-07-2010



Between the World Cup and that whole Fourth of July thing, she’s been on our minds a lot lately.

But today we’d like to talk about America in a slightly broader, perhaps more deliciously Latin context that involves a huge Mayan temple of a room, the cha-cha and a whole pig covered in guava…

Welcome to Nuela, a boisterous, bright Central and South American scene of a restaurant, just opened in the Flatiron with a soft spot for big groups looking for big nights out.

You’ll begin this journey from the Mexican border to Cape Horn among blood-orange walls, countless red leather banquettes and broad communal tables. Which is to say, you’ll want to bring friends—the high-ceilinged space is built for large groups and long nights of chili-infused pisco cocktails, small bites of ceviche (sea urchin, lobster, toro) and giant tableside feasts with whole animals (chicken marinated for four days, the aforementioned guava-soaked suckling pig).

But if you happen to descend on Nuela without the protection of a large group of Latin-loving revelers, make for one of the two-tops in the back, away from the large picture windows facing 24th Street. Here, you can snack on brisket arepas (like Katz’s by way of Caracas) and while away the night in private.

Because nothing says amor like brisket.

43 W 24th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Ave), New York, NY 10010 +1 (212) 929-1200

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Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 20-07-2010


When it comes to food, Italians always get it right. They eat pasta as a starter, put cheese on everything and schedule a snooze for when they’re done. And Tempo — the recently opened Mayfair restaurant — has us singing benissimo.

Japanese chef Yoshi Yamada trained at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Sorrento as well as others in Sardinia and Florence, and presents a seasonal menu of contemporary Italian dishes in an elegant Regency townhouse.

Start with cicchetti (small plates) such as seared octopus and pomegranate, followed by carpaccio (venison, swordfish or beef), antipasti, pasta (crab taglioloni or rabbit and pistachio tortelli) and meat or fish like tuna loin and baby chicken barley.

The upstairs bar serves light dishes all day from 10 a.m. It is bright and airy with floor-to-ceiling windows and a cheerful colour scheme. And there are sofas — perfect for a quick nap.

54 Curzon Street, London W1J 8PG +44-20-7629-2742

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The Eastside Inn Bar

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 19-07-2010


Augmenting an already successful enterprise can surely only make it better, like when Time Warner added AOL and finally secured all the free CDs. Now an already successful food-spot’s adding a boozer: The Eastside Inn Bar.

Still in soft launch before an official Thursday kickoff, Eastside’s a sudsy addition to the vaunted Farringdon eatery, serving up seasonal cocktails (plus bar food from Michelin-starred head chef Bjorn van der Horst) in a comfortably modern, wood-floored space with red leather seats, a huge black & gold hemispheric hanging lamp, and a fireplace flickering below an ornately framed mirror, who tearfully swears it was a cartoon rabbit that did it. Alongside the classics, the summer drink menu ranges from the Absolut-fueled chili/passion fruit/ginger/cucumber Goa, to the Bells/port/mint/lemon Highland Fling, to the Hendricks, Chambord, cucumber & raspberry Jimi Hendricks, guaranteed to make all the ladies foxy. There’s also a selection of punchy after dinner drinks including the Makers/Remi/Martin & Ricard “Man after Midnight”, the “Night of St. John” (eases together rum, homemade saffron bitters & Creme de Mure), and the Tanqueray/Jaeger/Dubonnet “Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels” — which you might place in your mouth after allowing a woman named Madonna to lure you into a faux-Jewish religious cult.

Top-flight bar snackery comprises hot bites like the secret-recipe Eastside burger, roasted bone marrow w/duxelle ‘shrooms, and shredded & breaded crispy pork belly, plus cold stuff like house-made gravlax and the ginger-dressed, cereal-coated raw yellowtail “Snap, Crackle and Pop” — also what happened to the life savings of people who found out free CDs can be very costly.

40 St John Street, London EC1M 4AY +44-207-490-9230

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