$10 Pasta Night at Osteria Morini

The deal with "Industry Night" is any of the pastas on Osteria Morini's menu are $10.  The special may only run an hour and a half but, it turns out, a couple of friends and a craving for gluten is all you need to taste through the pastas, which are all homemade.  The deal runs through August.  Digest NY was there last night.

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Eleven Madison Park Will Turn Another Corner in September

Eleven Madison Park wants to be the best restaurant in the world.  In the fall of 2010, the restaurant took a new approach to hospitality.  EMP removed a few seats along with its a la carte option and implimented their 'grid menu'.  The idea behind the grid is to encourage interaction with the guests.  They choose from rows of ingredients, which might read something like this: tomato, crab, langostine, foie gras.  Once the guest's decisions are made, the kitchen builds their meal accordingly.

More changes are underway.  According to a Times article, one of these is a beer made by Ithaca Beer Company, brewed specially for the restaurant to pair with a cheese course (served in a picnic basket btw).  Shortly after Labor Day, the $125 prix fixe option will no longer be available once Chef Daniel Humm and General Manager Will Guidara impliment a few more changes that will result in a four hour, interactive dining experience under the lofty ceilings and lofty goals of Eleven Madison Park.


Donde Dinner?

It's almost dinner time and Digest NY wants to help you decide where to eat.  Enter Donde Dinner?, a weekly column that posts a restaurant's address for you.  The catch is, that's all the information you get.  No name, no type of cuisine, and no Googling allowed!  Price, quality, and accessibility are all being taken into concern.  We promise you won't be waiting at the bar for two hours with $15 cocktails, and since we're not fancy folk, you never have to worry about a dress code.  Just hop on the train, or your feet, or your bike, and head to:

109a North 3rd Street, Brooklyn (btwn Berry and Wythe)


Triple Play: Coverage of Three Projects Opening in Park Slope

The two blocks of 5th Avenue between 1st and Carroll Streets in Park Slope are going to be quite the culinary nexus.  Construction is well underway on three different projects that will each have their own unique influence on Park Slope's palate.  Digest NY is introducing Triple Play to provide you, kind reader, with updates as work progresses on Pork Slope, Calexico, and Terroir.

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Eric Asimov is in Fact Isaac's Nephew, and He Has a New Book Coming Out

Eric Asimov is the wine critic for the New York Times.  His contributions have long been insightful and educational.  Asimov's approach to wine is casual and intentionally unpretentious.  "In the most enlightened households and cultures, wine belongs on the table as part of a meal. It’s a staple, like bread, rice, potatoes or salt, and this is the basis of how I understand wine."

Asimov has a new book coming out.  It's called How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto and it will hit shelves October 16th.  For more with Asimov, head over to I'll Drink To That, a podcast hosted by Levi Dalton and produced by Matt Duckor, and listen to their interview.  The podcast features wonderful conversations with different people at the center of the wine industry.  Other cork dorks featured on I'll Drink To That include Aldo Sohm of Le Bernardin and David Lillie, a founding partner in Chambers Street Wines, one of Manhattan's best wine stores.


"Danny Bowien Was In Swim Trunks"

In his review this week, Wells gives Mission Chinese Food two stars and proves to like Danny Bowien's San Fran import a little more than Adam Platt did. 

Wells hints at the waits you're liable to experience, which happen in any decent restaurant here in the city, especially when its only 30 or so seats.  "Outside on Orchard Street, they were waiting, all right..." "Unseen others were sitting in bars nearby, wondering whether they would order a third round before the phone rang."

Led Zepplin was playing during some of Wells' meal.  "Mr. Bowien does to Chinese food what Led Zeppelin did to the blues. His cooking both pays respectful homage to its inspiration and takes wild, flagrant liberties with it. He grabs hold of tradition and runs at it with abandon, hitting the accents hard, going heavy on the funk and causing all kinds of delicious havoc."

What Danny Bowien is trying to do at 154 Orchard Street is a healthy fusion he himself has dubbed "Americanized Oriental Food."  But, there's more to it than that.  He draws influences from his past.  Bowien is Korean born, adopted and raised in Oklahoma.  He's a generous guy.  Nothing on the menu is more than $15 and 75 cents from every dish goes to the Food Bank for New York

The two stars should be as much a representation of the food/experience at Mission Chinese as they are an honor bestowed on Bowien for his undeniably unique approach and his one-of-a-kind perspective on a cuisine and business model he has made entirely his own.


Michael White is Watering his Altamarea Plant

Michael White is the culinary mind behind a growing number of restaurants.  His Altamarea Group owns Marea, Ai Fiori, Osteria Morini, and Nicoletta here in the city, in addition to property in New Jersey and Hong Kong. Butterfly is scheduled to open later this year under the Altamarea umbrella in Tribeca, with a solid cocktail program and food inspired by White's Midwest upbringing.

Today, Flo Fab reports the empire is heading uptown.  Michael White and his business partner Ahmass Fakahany signed a lease for an Upper East Side space. The name? Ristorante Morini. It will fill the two levels of 1167 Madison Avenue (@85th Street), with a cafe planned for downstairs and a white table cloth affair on the upper level. The restaurant will serve Italian cuisine that falls somewhere between that of Osteria Morini and Marea.

Mr. Fakahany refers to the company's expansions as part of the "Morini brand." It is a philosophy woven through Altamarea Group's vision that makes for duplicatable restaurants and leaves endless room for growth.


Haven's Kitchen

A native New Yorker, mother of five, and practitioner of sustainability, Alison Schneider opened Haven's Kitchen in January to teach the community about local, sustainable food.  She chose an old, three-story carriage house two blocks from the farmers' market at Union Square as her school.  Her message is delivered through a recreational kitchen, event space, and specialty food shop.

Digest NY founder Craig Cavallo conducted an interview with Alison for The Scout Mag, a lifestyle and design-conscious site launched by Tom Ran in 2008 that highlights unique events, retail and dining experiences in New York City. 

Read the article here.