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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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The Lincoln

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 15-10-2010

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The much-anticipated solo venture from Per Se’s former chef du cuisine, Lincoln’s cavernous space feels like a relaxed museum thanks to undulating ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and the centerpiece exhibit of an open kitchen. While the market-based menus change daily, the general vibe’s pan-italian, from foie/rabbit/sweetbread terrine, to bigoli pasta studded with Dungeness crab/sea urchin, to Brodetto di Pesce, where red snapper and shrimp float in a shellfish broth that, being only out for itself, will be reluctant to give up said bounty.

142 W 65th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.), New York, NY +1 (212) 359-6500 LincolnRistorante.com

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The Hurricane Club

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, New York City | Posted on 14-10-2010

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Tropical vacations seem like a great idea, but half way through them your wife always ends up banging a scuba instructor and, worse, turns out you’re Ben Stiller. For a Polynesian getaway safely in the city, there’s Hurricane Club, opening early next week.

This massive (13,000 sqft) newcomer went all out to create a vibe of genteel Colonial tiki-ism (more club than beach), with uniquely-decor’d elevated spaces like the Lagoon Lounge (oversized coral & shell fireplace, 10ft three-tiered barnacle chandelier) and the Cave Rooms (mosquito net curtains & red-glowing fishbowl fixtures) surrounding the architectural main course: the Hurricane Room, resplendent in butternut caning panels and with a golden-bead chandelier looming over the central bar like a shimmering boat, though everyone down below will be hunting for booty. The menu offers smaller pupu tastes before getting impressive with Societe Island Grills proffering simply grilled proteins (tri tip, octopus, etc) w/ 6 house sauces; platters of crispy Peking pig w/ steamed pork buns; and 72-hr-notice whole table Luaus, which run from crispy big island fish to dungeness messy crab, though it’s hard to stay sanitary when you’re stuck in ye olde prison. The cocktails aren’t to be outdone, and come broken into categories from “To Share” punch combos (the #480 w/ Pitu, spiced passion fruit & muddled ginger), to port-of-call-inspired “Voyages” (the Knob Creek/mandarin/bay leaf Tahiti gets toasted rice for a “flavor popular in Bora Bora”), to “In The Shell” options served in melons, red peppers, and coconuts that’re “hand drilled” at the bar, appropriate as that’s the only kind of drilling you’ll be up to afterwards.

And while there’re Pacific Rim wines and suds, the rum list dwarfs them all, with over 150 options including plenty of overproofs and spiced jobs, more than 30 each of dark and gold, and 40+ aged affairs, exactly what you’ll be stuck with when your wife’s off cave diving.

360 Park Ave South (off 26th Street), New York, NY +1 (212) 951-7111 TheHurricaneClub.com

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The Portman

Posted by Burak Ipekci | Posted in Food, London | Posted on 13-10-2010

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A business doesn’t need to alienate patrons to evolve — after all, that Kentucky creationist museum brought in modern interactive displays without driving away their lifeblood, the stupid. Taking the pub in an inclusive new direction, The Portman, just opened in Marlyebone.

Portman’s the latest in owner Barnaby Meredith’s “new pub” troika, which all seek to elevate the traditional boozer while not being as unapproachable as many gastros; downstairs sees a well-lit, distinctly old-fashioned blue-carpeted wooden bar, while the upstairs serves upgraded but still familiar fare surrounded by pictures of Paddington from back when it was just a vast empty space, or possibly last week. Eschewing bottled micro-brews, alcohol sees 10 pub-friendly draughts (Pride, Old Peculiar, Aspells cider…), while the gastro-style vinos (including a half dozen chilled reds) are offset by TBC cocktails, likely martinis, whiskey sours, and Long Islands, the result of a bartender taking the nickname “Strong Island” too literally. The seasonally-changing Brit menu (much of it coming from their own game farm in Northamptonshire) moves from starters like slow roast pork belly (w/ fois, caramelized apples & mustard jus) to bigger stuff like blackberry jus’d partridge and linguini with roast cod, cockles, crab & caviar, for when a “c food” joke is more appropriate than the “see” version.

For less formal face-stuffing, there’s also a downstairs casual bites menu, e.g., a rib-eye & horseradish sandwich, venison carpaccio, braised oxtail parpadelle, and beer-battered pollack & chips, an evolution of the traditional dish that won’t alienate you, because it’s drowned in that which makes you stupid.

51 Upper Berkeley Street, London W1H 7PP ThePortmanMarylebone.com

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