Apparently, Phat Thai's Aren't Just What People Wore in the '70s

Diner's Journal reports Andy Ricker is changing things up at Pok Pok Wing.  The demand for Ricker's wing rendition has proven to be too big for the small Lower East Side space.  Pok Pok Wing will be closing this Sunday for minor renovations and menu adjustments and reopen Friday the 24th as Pok Pok Phat Thai.  Phat Thai, aka pad Thai, is a popular noodle dish Ricker was eventually going to build a space around.  That space will be the former Pok Pok Wing.

He introduced the east coast to his wings when Wing opened back in January.  When Pok Pok NY opened on Columbia Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, the wings showed up on the menu there as well.  Cobble Hill will be the only place to get the wings after Pok Pok Phat Thai opens next week.  Ricker hasn't abandoned the idea of a wing space in Manhattan, it's just a matter of finding a space with a kitchen big enough to accommodate the demand.

As for PPPT, there will be four types of the noodle dish, with the option of rice or glass noodle: pork, prawn, prawns and pork, and vegan.  Everything (vegan dish aside) will be stir-fried in rendered pork fat.


Pork Slope Preview Party

Pork Slope is the highly anticipated bar/restaurant from Dale Talde, David Massoni, and John Bush. The trio got together and opened Talde in Park Slope back in January. The restaurant was one month old when the triumvirate announced they were taking the former Aunt Suzie's space on 5th Ave between Garfield and Carroll a few blocks away. The time has come. Pork Slope is opening this Saturday. Dale Talde and co threw a little shin dig last night to show off their goods and Digest NY got an invite. Now we have some pictures and a hangover we'd like to share.

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A Century of Wit and Wonder

Julia Child was born 100 years ago today.  Her contributions to America's foodscape are plentiful and undeniable.  This video has invaded the internet in honor of America's cook and we thought we'd share it with you here as well, to celebrate the dialogue that lives on between food and family that Julia is largely responsible for starting.  Her truly unique personality warmed hearts and kitchens during her lifetime devotion to cuisine and craft.  Happy Birthday Julia.  Bring on the roasted potatoes...


Biang Biang (You Shot Me Down)

Wells takes his palate to Flushing this week and files on Biang!, an extension of David Shi and Jason Wang's Xi'an Famous Food stalls.  "Biang! is essentially a cleaner, brighter, more modern sit-down version of Mr. Shi’s food stall inside the Golden Shopping Mall."  The restaurant opened in May this year and serves food similar in both flavor and price to its Xi'an brethren.  The word biang comes from a local dialect spoken in Xi'an, China and refers to the sound noodles make when they're whacked on a table as they're being formed.

"Before they arrive in the dining room, the biang biang noodles, a specialty of the house and its namesake, are punished in ways that might have unnerved the Spanish Inquisition. They are repeatedly swung up and down through the air, slapped on a table, ripped right down the center and then dropped in boiling water."

Biang! is the first restaurant in the Xi'an family with table service.  It's a work in progress.  "The servers’ notions of what it means to clear a table may not coincide with your own."  Wells has hesitations about the decor as well, but nothing on the menu is more than $10 and his handful of recommended dishes suggest the trip to Flushing is worth it.


Interview with Rick Lopez and Tom Hyland of Gowanus Wine Merchants

Neighborhoods often develop on the merits of a single street. Brooklyn is no exception. Carroll Gardens has Smith Street, Park Slope has Fifth Avenue, and Gowanus, the transitioning neighborhood in between, has Third Avenue. Rick Lopez and Tom Hyland share a love of wine and a passion for Gowanus, a neighborhood they believe is quickly stepping out from the shadows. Their love has been built into a brick and mortar storefront at 493 Third Ave at the corner of 11th Street. They’ve decided to call it Gowanus Wine Merchants. Digest NY dropped by to chat with the guys about their new store, what they expect when Whole Foods opens seven blocks away, and why people are making so much noise about uncommon grape varieties showing up in the wine world.

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Subterranean Restaurant News

When Atera opened in Tribeca in March, Grub Street told us chef Matt Lightner and co were planning to open a bar in the space under the restaurant.  Originally going to be called "The Office," it turns out the name is to be determined.

Plans for the new bar space include a separate kitchen with its own private dining room.  It will provide a place for diners to have coffee and reflect on all the foraged food a multi-course meal at the 17-seat chef's counter puts in their stomachs.

In the West Village, the laundromat space Ed Schoenfeld took over under RedFarm is closer to opening.  In an interview with Paper Mag back in April, Schoenfeld said he'd be taking over the laundromat June 1st.  "It's going to take us a few months to do it over. So by September 1st, middle of August, we'll have that space."


When Wine Gets Weird

Steve Cuozzo's "Sour Grapes" article from a few weeks ago continues to harvest opinions from members of the wine world.  In an article published today called "Wine & Cheesed," he responds to all the flack he's been catching for his opinion about obscure/natural wines.  In it, he mentions Digest NY for a post we did last week called "Steve Cuozzo is Corked."  We may have used the word lunatic.  No hard feelings, Steve!  Flattered by the mention.  Would love to get together over one of Frank Cornelissen's wines, a Hilberg beauty from Langhe, or a Ridge Zin; all all-natural favorites of ours.


Donde Dinner?

Donde Dinner? wants to make your next dining experience an adventure.  So, we'll pick a restaurant and post its address for you every Friday.  The catch is, that's all the information you get.  No name, no type of cuisine, and no Googling! Starting this week we'll be doing things a little differently.  From now on, we're going to reveal the name of the restaurant featured in the previous week's post.

Last week's address:

30 East 13th Street (btwn University and 5th) = Taboonnette

As for tonight, we got a spot for you.  In typical Donde Dinner? fashion, price, quality, and accessibility have all been taken into account.  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.  Put that rumbling belly to rest.  Hop on the train, or your feet, or your bike, and head to one of two locations this restaurant has:

23 East 23rd Street (btwn Madison and Park) OR

620 8th Ave (btwn 40th and 41st)