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The Summerhouse

[Translate] 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...

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Mino Kitchen

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 29-10-2010

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Moving from town to big city is crucial if you ever want to make it on a grander stage, unless the town is Brighton, and Hove handily does all the work for you. making the move to a bigger city, Mino Kitchen.

Still in “trial opening”, the Brighton-based Japanese eatery’s Holborn second coming is a double-decker space arboreally appointed with wood walls & floors, a huge knotted-oak countertop fronting an open-flame charcoal grill, and even an actual tree. The chef personally heads to Smithfield/Billingsgate daily to procure foodstuffs for sushi/sashimi (yellowtail, scallop, sea urchin, sweet prawn…), plus bamboo-skewered robata like bacon-wrapped Ekoni ‘shrooms, minced beef w/ veggies, and chicken skin, a move Colonel Sanders would call “cutting out the middleman”. Lunch bentos — size-upgraded for dinner plates — are all grilled before your eyes, and pull in the likes of Scottish sirloin, teriyaki salmon fillets, sea bass grilled with olive oil, and garlic-chilli-soy “super tender” pork belly — if you’re going to share a prison cell with a pork belly, you definitely want it to be this one.

The bar’s got a wide variety of eastern liver-punishment: cocktails are coming, but for now there’s beer, wine, sake, chilled Shoshu (“Japanese vodka” distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, or yuzu) and “Umeshi” plum wine — which whether you live in a town, a city, or a…townty, should be just the thing to Brighton your day.

266-267 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EE +44 207 242 4350

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Samarqand

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 28-10-2010

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An elegant Central Asian bar & resto whose cushioned boozing area boasts finely crafted chess sets and whose five private rooms all rock plasmas, Samarqand’s Genghis-pleasing fare is all made using “ancient recipes and techniques” (bread from a traditional clay oven, etc). Feast on the likes of Besh Barmak (handmade pasta sheets boiled in meat broth, with salt beef & black peppered shallots), then wash it down with cocktails like the vodka/ ginger/ orange/ lemon/ rosemary/ sea-buckthorn Trans Siberian Express — which may think it’s the world’s longest train journey, but only because it hasn’t made the acquaintance of “planned engineering works”.

18 Thayer Street, London W1U 3JY +44 207 935 9393 samarqand-restaurant.com

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RiverPark

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 27-10-2010

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Venture to the far end of East 29th Street, and there you’ll find the latest from Tom Colicchio: an upscale seafood spot called Riverpark, serving up whole striped bass, octopus rolls with garlic mayo and views of the mighty East River through floor-to-ceiling windows. Views enhanced by a little garlic mayo.

450 E 29th Street (at 1st Ave), New York, NY +1 (212) 729-9790 riverparknyc.com

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Osteria Morini

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 26-10-2010

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A first date is never a sure thing.

But there are safeguards. Ways to mitigate risk. Precautions.

Like rustic atmosphere, free-flowing wine and an easy escape plan.

Which brings us to Osteria Morini, a brand-new, laid-back Italian eatery from the folks behind Marea and Alto, opening early next week in the heart of Nolita, and certified first-date ready. We’re about to give you the only three things you need to be aware of as you light the eternal spark of love…

218 Lafayette Street (between Spring and Kenmare), New York, NY 10012 +1 (212) 965-8777 osteriamorini.com

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Kitchen & Draught

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City, Queens | Posted on 25-10-2010

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Founded on the co-owners mutual love of beer, BBQ, and Mex grub, this brick-walled urban cantina (wood plank booths/bar, a large picnic table reminiscent of those found in “Mexican churchyards”) has 48 taps and a temp controlled tequila dispenser to help wash down guac studded w/ lime poached shrimp, ancho-chili-dusted fried chicken, and jalapeno & goat cheese cornbread-sided, banana leaf-braised ribs marinated in dark beer, so…Peter Murphy’s Stout?

37-11 30th Avenue (between 37th and 38th St.), LIC, NY +1 (718) 626-0333

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Donatella

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 22-10-2010

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Ms. Arpaia’s ode to everything Neapolitan’s managed to achieve glam-rustic status in its brick walled space thanks to a curving bar, a jelly jar chandelier, and a five-ton, gold tiled pizza oven built by hand completely out of materials imported from Italy, and gets so hot it can pump out the pies in 60-90 seconds, including the smoked mozzarella/ pecorino/ sausauge/ rapini topped Enzo, and the Donatella w/ Stracciatella, rocket, basil and vesuvio tomatoes, hopefully something you don’t have to pom-pay extra for.

184 8th Avenue (between 19th and 20th St.), New York, NY +1 (212) 493-5150 donatellastyle.com

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Bill’s Bar & Burger

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 21-10-2010

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We’ve long believed there is only one simple, undeniable truth in this world:

Bigger is always better.

Just ask Shaq, Dolly Parton or a certain legend by the name of Mr. Smalls.

And if history has taught us anything, it’s that nowhere is this axiom more true than in the realm of hamburgers.

And here, on this dreary, rainy day, we’re pleased to bring you word that history has once again demonstrated that what’s true for Dolly Parton is true for everyone.

Today, we bring you burgers, and today, we bring you… huge.

It comes in the form of a Bill’s Bar & Burger.

You know this name, precisely because it’s the same Bill’s that’s been steadying you to greet the sunrise on many a SNL out for lunch in the neighborhood. Or maybe you just need a spot to bring 400 of your most valued employees out for a night of trust building. (The burgers help.)

The standout menu items: the English-muffined Fat Cat (caramelized onions and cheese), the Bobcat (guac and green chili) and new bar snacks like the oyster-laden Rockefeller Salad. Also, two gigantic bars housing 80 varieties of draft and bottle, including the Triple B, made for this new Bill’s by the brewers at Sixpoint.

Tina Fey is going to be all over this one.

45 Rockefeller Plaza (51st St between 5th and 6th Ave), New York, NY 10111 +1 (212) 705-8510 brguestrestaurants.com

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Herman ze German

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 20-10-2010

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The pope has left. Fashion Week is over. And summer came and went in a single day (better late than never). Now that the traffic jams and models are gone, you’ve got time to hoof it to Herman ze German in Charing Cross.

Opening Monday, the German sausage joint from Florian Frey and partner Azadeh Falakshahi has upgraded from a popular stall on the festival circuit to a small takeout space with a counter to stand at. On the menu: leberkase, a flat meatloaf-looking breakfast sausage, as well as German breads, buns and pastries. For lunch, dinner and after-hours (till 1 a.m.) sink your teeth into beef chilli and pork sausages in fresh crusty buns with fat-free (really) French fries. Move over fry-up, currywurst — chopped sausage in a curry and tomato gravy — is our new hangover food.

The meat comes from small farms in the Black Forest, and unlike their fried English cousins, the 27-centimetre wieners are boiled and then grilled. There’s even a basin by the door to wash your hands before you start. Healthy, organized fast food: did you really expect anything less?

19 Villier Street, London WC2N 6NE herman-ze-german.co.uk

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Eight Over Eight

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 19-10-2010

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There’s nothing more glorious than a phoenix rising from the ashes, triumphantly proclaiming “After my time in the void, I’m back, and totally ready to work with Russell Crowe again!”. For a resto literally rising from those ashes, make your way to Eight Over Eight.

Resurrected a year after burning to a crisp, this beloved pan-Asian resto has reemerged with fashionably dark decor dominated by a wall-spanning painting of imperfect red & black circles, a newly expanded private diner, and a reinvigorated menu so addictive it should eventually turn you into the same. The feasting kicks off with generously portioned dim sum like lobster & lemongrass dumplings, Cantonese fried beef & fois gow gee, and five spice “baby chicken” — as opposed to “spring chicken”, because once you leave China you’re pretty much done with doublespeak. Gluttonous geography then moves on to Japanese asparagus & enoki (long stemmed mushrooms) dragon rolls, Thai-style duck & aubergine red curry, and, heading farther afield, a tomahawk steak in Peruvian antichuchos — a garlic, cumin, and aji chilli marinade that feels the pro-chuchos are ruining the country with their borderline socialist economic policies. And chuchos.

A few old faves have stayed on the menu, including the celebrated chilli salt squid (wrapped in Chinese newspaper), crispy pork belly w/ black vinegar, and the black pepper rib rack — so despite being a little long in the beard, all of them can happily say “I’m Still Here”.

392 Kings Road, London SW3 5UZ +44 207 349 9934 RickerRestaurants.com

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Brats

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 18-10-2010

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Oktoberfest.

Rarely does a single word conjure so many pleasing images. Braided beer maidens. Giant boot-shaped steins of craft beer. Sausage-induced meat comas.

And while we don’t want to alarm you, Oktoberfest started this past weekend. Okay, you should be alarmed…

Just in time: Brats, a tiny launching pad for Oktoberfest, and new go-to sausage bar, just opened in Chelsea.

Quick warning: Brats looks more like a 1950s soda fountain than a sprawling beer hall—it’s a sliver of a space with bright red stools, a wood bar and some standing room against the wall. Don’t be fooled. This place is all about sausage and booze on tap (but we’ll get to that in a moment).

Let’s talk meats: chef/owner Daniel Angerer (Klee Brasserie) is Austrian and has a potentially dangerous fascination with encased meats (the pizza of Austria, as he calls it). Which means that every wiener, brat and dog is a house recipe, made without preservatives, using exotic meats (Mangalitsa pig, duck, shrimp), left-of-center toppings (the Dragon Wiener is a pork sausage draped in spicy kimchi and sriracha mustard) and a smattering of Austrian sternness.

And sure, you could wash your tube steak down with a tobacco-infused milkshake, but Brats also has wine, sake, grappa and port on tap.

Prepare yourself for the three-port lunch.

362 W 23rd Street (at 9th Ave.), New York, NY 10011 +1 (646) 350-2557

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