Nordic cuisine does not normally make Top Ten lists in lifestyle magazines; however, 2017 seems to be a pleasant exception. Aska, a New York City restaurant that specialized in Scandinavian food, recently topped the list of GQ Magazine’s best American eateries.
Aska is adequately located in the trendy Williamsburg district of Brooklyn, a neighborhood often labeled as the “hipster capital of the world.” Nordic cuisine can certainly be considered exotic for most American restaurant goers, and thus it fits perfectly in Williamsburg since diners in this part of town are not afraid to try something different.
According to foodie website Eater NYC, Aska gets four stars overall, although it could easily merit five stars in terms of menu innovation. One of the most interesting delicacies is a ramekin of ashes burnt from the heart of a lamb. Traditional ramekin dishes are served in fireproof dishes and typically feature eggs and breadcrumbs; the ashes of a young sheep’s heart are certainly unusual, but the Eater NYC reviewer found the experience delicious.
Aside from being a place where diners can discover Scandinavian gastronomy, Aska also offers organic ingredients and naturalistic touches. As can be expected from a Nordic restaurant, the menu is heavy on seafood caught in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. Aside from shellfish, Aska also offers a few variations on congealed pig’s blood, which is served pâté style on crackers or as a truffle snack. This is not a budget bistro; a full dinner for two with the requisite wine pairings can run more than $700.
As of 2017, the NYC restaurant scene boasts five places where diners can enjoy Nordic cuisine; in 2017, however, Aska is taking the lead and will certainly appeal to those who are curious about traditional Icelandic, Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish meals.
Some of the top restaurants in New York offer ways to make spring weeknight dinners appealing, appetizing and healthy. A roasted chicken with fresh herbs and vegetables is a delicious way to celebrate the new bounties that spring has to offer. The best thing about this dish is that you only need one pan or dish to prepare the meal. You want to let the chicken roast for about 20 minutes before adding the vegetables to give the chicken time to cook.
Any kind of pasta can be made into a spring meal. All you have to do is add a light dressing of honey, vinegar or other ingredients that you enjoy. Slice a few cucumbers, small tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables to give color to the dish. Another way to make a pasta dish fresh and appealing is to add shrimp or small pieces of crab or lobster. Squeeze a fresh lemon over the pasta and meat for a delicious meal.
Tilapia and other types of fish that are a bit lighter in texture and seasoned with lemon pepper are ideal for a spring meal during the week. Add green beans, asparagus, squash or peppers to complete the meal. Spring is a time when you can begin grilling foods outside. Everything from pork chops to salmon can be grilled, giving more flavor to the dish. Pair your meats with side dishes that complement the smoky flavors from the grill, such as roasted potatoes, grilled corn or other vegetables that you put on the grill alongside your main dish.
Since Artie’s Delicatessen opened its doors on the Upper West Side, it’s been a place that established neighborhood camaraderie and represented the best in this facet of the food business that New York City has long been known for over the past century. However, despite that level of popularity for the retro-focused diner, it fell victim to poor management and closed abruptly on April 19.
The shutdown came so quickly that some of the employees were unaware of it until they arrived for work at 2290 Broadway and found a hastily-written sign taped to the glass door. In all, approximately 70 people worked there, with many concerned about receiving their final paycheck from the owner. That fear was based on the fact that Artie’s had filed for bankruptcy just last July, citing debts of over $500,000.
The origins of the delicatessen developed after the 1997 death of the deli’s namesake, Artie Cutler. Having run multiple West Side restaurants during his lifetime, his family opened up the deli two years later. Eventually, they sold Artie’s to the current owner, who also owns other restaurants in the area.
One of the characteristic New York touches that stamped Artie’s as a local institution was the demeanor of the waitresses, which offered the stereotypical no-nonsense approach to customers. While the deli was, not surprisingly, known for its Reuben sandwich and matzo-ball soup, it also offered a kid-friendly menu.
Those employees of Artie’s have a goal of reopening the deli within the same neighborhood, but their limited funds make such a scenario highly unlikely. At the time of the aforementioned bankruptcy filing, the deli’s manager compared the situation to that of General Motors (GM), which also made a similar filing. However, only GM is still around.
Evolution in the restaurant business occurs every year, with New York City ready to welcome the next example to the vast array of eateries. That event takes place on May 2, when The Grill opens its doors to serve the dinner crowd, with this being part of the Seagram Building project that’s located near Park Avenue and is replacing where the Four Seasons used to reside.
That $30 million effort remains in its earliest stages, with the location of The Grill at 99 E. 52nd Street. Once those diners sit down for their meal, they’ll have a menu that seeks to be more millennium-friendly than its earlier predecessor, The Grill Room. In addition, the location is one that’s burned into the memories of those who recall it more as a lunch spot for the business crowd.
While that facet of the overall business plan will be added over the course of this summer, the current focus is more on capturing the discriminating palates of those seeking new and exotic tastes. The man whose job it will be to make sure that happens is The Grill’s executive chef, Mario Carbone.
Some early diner favorites figure to be the honey-mustard duckling, curried lamb chops and vichyssoise with just a hint of caviar. Yet that only hints at what will undoubtedly grab even more attention and likely lead to positive word-of-mouth. Mouthwatering concoctions like Filet mignon Florentine, Venison Cumberland and Avocado crab Louis can lead into desserts like grasshopper charlotte.
Carbone is partnering with his fellow chef Rich Torrisi and investor Jeff Zalaznick to form both The Grill and its sister restaurant, The Pool. The latter, which will be run by Torrisi, will be seafood-based when it opens up this summer. Until then, The Grill will take center stage.
A new fast-casual concept has been added to the New York restaurant scene, though this idea has a bit more creativity attached to it than cranking out quality burritos or pizzas in furious fashion. At Made Nice, diners will have the opportunity to eat such things as half a roast chicken that’s filled with lemon-Parmesan stuffing and curried cauliflower with tofu and coconut.
The eatery is the brainchild of Will Guidara and Daniel Humm, who have an established track record in crafting a quality meal. Most recently, they were able to turn Eleven Madison Park into a restaurant that’s gained credibility on the international stage. Those ordering are able to get a glimpse of their food being made in exquisite fashion.
Located near Broadway at 8 West 28th Street, Made Nice is able to whip up those meals quickly, yet they only scratch the surface of the restaurant’s creativity. Salad and steak converge when khao salad with hanger steak is served. Within this mix are items like shalots, rice and roasted broccoli.
The aforementioned chicken is something that’s been compared to an upscale version of the many supermarkets that are able to cook up a bird, rotisserie style. Besides the stuffing that’s engorged inside the chicken, those choosing this as their meal will also be able to sample Made Nice’s French fries as well as the pickled-vegetable salad.
Despite the exotic menu, the look of the restaurant itself is decidedly much like any other other fast food outlet within Manhattan. Small tables are populated up front, with no more than four people squeezed into a single table. That sort of coziness is something that’s set up to encourage an eat-and-run philosophy, something that works in tandem with the fast work of the kitchen.
In the past 20 years, the food and restaurant scene has transformed in New York City. The younger generation is becoming more health conscience and selecting quality restaurants with top chefs. Young people are becoming restaurant business owners curing meats, rotting items in the cellar, and creating their sausages. Customers are more interested in the expertise of chefs without selecting a particular item from the menu. When Business Insider interviewed TV personality and executive chef of Brasserie Les Halles, Antony Bourdain, he explained the changes in the NYC food and restaurant scene he observed throughout the years.
Mr. Bourdain told Business Insider that he noticed a majority of customers were concerned about the chefs and cooks who were preparing their foods in the restaurant industry, today. As he reminisces the 1990’s, the culture of famous chefs was prevalent, but different from the present. One of the most significant changes was people the ages of 18 to 35 spending their money dining at quality restaurants rather than purchasing designer purses, based on a study by Eventbrite. With the scare of processed foods on the rise nationally, NYC restaurants are catering to these people to ensure their menu items contain fresh ingredients.
It has caused a negative impact on certain restaurants to the point of consumers questioning the quality of foods, including meats, grains and vegetables. They want to know the name of farmers and what they were feeding their livestock. Although some customers aren’t concerned with the information, Mr. Bourdain is grateful that people are becoming health conscience. Restaurants are educating their staff more than ever about the quality of ingredients in main course meals. If a customer questions the ingredients, the waiters are knowledgeable of the quality of every menu item.
The transformation of restaurants is not only in New York City, but in other parts of the country. Antony Bourdain is ecstatic about what the young people have created in Manhattan and surrounding areas. Restaurants may have had a small price to pay in the transformation process, but it has attracted more young people than ever before. It’s a magnificent thing for the customers, restaurant establishments, chefs, and the younger generation contributing to creating different tasteful foods.
A few years ago, many television fans were saddened by the end of Breaking Bad, which was one of the most popular television shows at the time. The show, which was on AMC, had several notable stages during its time. One of the most popular stages was a small fast-food chicken restaurant called Los Pollos Hermanos. While the restaurant was supposed to be a local chain based in the southwest United States, it appears that for a short period of time, fans of the show will be able to enjoy it in New York City.
A recent news story (http://pix11.com/2017/03/29/breaking-bad-pop-up-restaurant-los-pollos-hermanos-coming-to-nyc/) has pointed out that the fictional restaurant chain will be opening a pop-up restaurant in New York City in April. The restaurant will be open only for two days, which are expected to be on April 9 and April 10, and will be located at a small lot in Lower Manhattan.
The new pop-up restaurant is being used as a way to promote the upcoming season of Better Call Saul, which is a popular spin-off series and prequel to Breaking Bad. This season is expected to re-introduce Gus Fring, who was a very popular character on the show and the owner of the fictional restaurant, while also having a much darker side.
This is not the first time that a real-life version of the restaurant will be opening up. A few weeks ago, the city of Austin, Texas enjoyed their own version of the restaurant over a long weekend. The restaurant reportedly had a Mexican-themed menu including tacos, burritos, and French fries. This was surprising to some people though as it was believed that the restaurant on the show served fried chicken as well.
At this point it is not yet known what the full menu will be at the New York City location. However, it is believed that it will be similar to the Austin menu. Those that are fans of the show but located out of state could also consider checking out the pop-up location of the restaurant that will be opening in Los Angeles in the next few weeks.
Every baseball stadium’s food options tend to reflect the local identity. You’ll find loaded hot dogs in Chicago, killer barbecue in Kansas City, and even Waffle House in Atlanta. In New York, Citi Field taps into the diversity and quality of the city’s restaurant scene to provide a truly high-end food program.
While teams across baseball are beginning to cater more and more to foodies, Citi Field already has star chef partners in place. Home of the Mets baseball team since 2009, the stadium has upped its game year after year. In 2017 alone, new offerings include burger guru Josh Capon’s Bash Burger; upscale Italian comfort from Nicoletta; and the city’s newest craze: DO, a cookie dough shop that sells varieties of dough in cups or cones like ice cream.
For the Mets faithful, even the “old standby” options are delightfully New York. Iconic chef David Chang serves chicken sandwiches at Fuku; Pat LaFrieda’s filet mignon sandwich is a delicious splurge; and pizza from Two Boots is spectacular. If you feel like braving the line, Shake Shack is always a solid burger choice. Even the standard hot dog is local – find Nathan’s, recently selected as the official hot dog of Major League Baseball, around the stadium. For dessert, there are cookies from Christina Tosi of Milk Bar, one of NYC’s favorite bakeries.
Citi Field doesn’t only class up the food options. A wide-ranging alcoholic menu is also available throughout the park, including delicious signature cocktails served in Mets-themed mason jars. If you’re more of a craft beer person, the stadium has tons of options ranging from Goose Island to local breweries like Sixpoint. And the best part? They cost the same as a Bud Light.
While the baseball team may not always be up to par, the Mets’ venue is built to provide a true New York experience with a heavy emphasis on the world class food scene. If you’re a local who wants to try something new, or a tourist looking for an overview of the food scene, consider catching a game in Queens this summer.
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, which might be why one New York City restaurant appears intent on creating a fine dining experience with a number of exotic meals. At Alta, located at 372 Lafayette, the casual vibe that seems ever-present will have the kitchen staff more focused on upping its game in the healthy aspects of breakfast, with a heavy Mexican flavor.
Beginning at 9 a.m. every morning, diners will be able to see more creativity in the introduction of Mexican sweet bread options like orejas and conchas and an arctic-char tostada. In the latter case, those who sample this offering will be able to taste additions like scallions, farmer cheese and serrano chili.
Head chef Enrique Olvera will also offer flaxseed-based chilaquiles, which a slightly fried tortillas with some mouth-water toppings attached. Olvera and his business partner, Daniela Soto-Innes, had been offering a more standard version during weekend brunch at their other restaurant, Cosme.
Yet other options also include guacamole-goat-cheese molletes, which offer the diner a healthy supply of black beans in every bite, and split-pea tlacoyos. Those looking for a seeming hint of stateside-based offerings can try the coconut yogurt with berries and if they need to wash it down with something, they can try café de olla, a coffee with some cane sugar and Mexican cinnamon included.
Delving deeper into the exotic considerations, a diner may be inclined to try out the chia pudding. Of course, simply offering that wouldn’t garner much attention, which is why Olvera has added items like raisins, caramelized ginger, cashews and pumpkin seeds. There’s also the mundane with a mushroom quesadilla.
Olvera and Soto-Innes know that keeping a menu basic will never draw crowds, especially when so many other options are out there in competition for the breakfast dollar.
Of course, Alta serves both lunch and dinner as well, and in the lunch area, Olvera is offering a relatively rare commodity. That’s the pambazo, a sandwich with a healthy supply of salsa applied to it, with sampling it the only way to do it justice.
Innovation in the restaurant industry is largely tied to new creations that find their way onto the menu, yet one new restaurant in New York City is offering diners something new. However, those who have the image of sitting down and relaxing while food is being prepared will likely be in need of an attitude adjustment.
That’s because at Ikinari Steak, there are no booths or even chairs for diners. Everyone who arrives will have a chance to sample some good food, but will be doing it while standing up ober the course of the meal. The reduction of clutter like tables and chairs allows the eating surfaces to offer large eating areas and plenty of space between fellow diners.
The concept of having diners stand as they eat has been tried before at bars and sandwich shops, though this is certainly out of the ordinary for a New York City steakhouse. In addition to that oddity, the ordering process begins after a diner is directed to their eating station and given a number card. From there, any appetizers or drinks are ordered and when the diner’s number is called, they can choose at an open kitchen counter between filet mignon, sirloin or rib eye steak, with the size and cooking option up to the diner.
One of the most prominent side dishes that has gotten plenty of raves at Ikinari Steak is the garlic pepper rice. This has rice that has beef trimmings mixed in with corn and the twon components of black pepper and garlic.
This concept of no seating has the earmarks of a fast food eatery, since diners may not be inclined to spend a great deal of time standing around. Yet Ikinari attempts to combine a steakhouse approach with a more casual approach that doesn’t push people out the door.
The remnants of eating at Ikinari Steak are such that plastic bibs are available when diners are directed to their eating station. In addition, fabric refresher is also available for those who prefer not to have their clothes immersed in steakhouse smoke.