food 02.11.04

Eating Points

Washington D.C. relies on its talking points. Here are some eating points for the New York food-obsessed to chew over.

Sunday Morning Talk:
If the McLaughlin Group drives you out of the house, you can head to One Little West 12th, 1 Little W. 12th [9th] 212.255.9717, which begins serving brunch this Sunday.

Hidden Stockpiles:
Buon Italia, 75 9th [Chelsea Mkt] 212.633.9090, has gotten in cases of that extraordinarily good olive oil Mancianti affiorato from Umbria. It is made from the free-run juice of olives before they're pressed and costs $25.85 for 750ml.

Counting the Delegates:
We've been longtime fans of the Basque restaurant Marichu, 342 E. 46th [1st/2nd] 212.370.1866, which is often filled with people from the U.N. Besides a lively paella, there is tender squid with black ink which tastes considerably better than it looks. When milder temperatures arrive, try the Txakoli, an unusual and distinctive, lightly carbonated white wine of which the Basques are rightly proud. Entrees average $24.

Winning the South:
At Mara's Homemade, 338 E. 6th [1st/2nd] 212.598.1110, they'll be celebrating Mardi Gras with a special Cajun menu from February 16th-24th.

Pork Barrel:
Keeping with the animal theme, a new British-style gastro-pub called The Spotted Pig, 314 W. 11th [Greenwich St.] 212.620.0393, has opened where Le Zoo used to be. April Bloomfield, formerly with London's River Cafe, is in the kitchen.

Out of the Race?
Unnamed sources are saying that the popular, long-running Grange Hall, 50 Commerce [Barrow] 212.924.5246, will be closing soon, when its lease expires.

Opposition Research:
Here's what food critic Seymour Britchky wrote in 1987 about Rakel restaurant, Thomas Keller's NY swan song before taking off to start the French Laundry. "Confidence, not to say audacity, is here at work…Rakel is that most chancy of restaurant essays: a big place, a pricey one, and situated at a remove from most of the city's money…[It] is a monument to quite another (restaurant) era — specifically the years between the ascensions to the presidency of Gerald Ford and Nancy Reagan — and it encapsulates the spiffiest architectural and culinary restaurant styles of that time." MUG thinks Keller's return to New York, Per Se, probably should have been named No We, the response you'll get if you call for a reservation in this lifetime.
Two omissions from yesterday's A Year of Film Festivals list. It should have included the Margaret Mead Film Festival in November at the American Museum of Natural History. And we wanted to mention in the On the Radar section the terrific local blog about movies called Cinecultist.

Finally, we're behind on our email replies. We love getting your mail and we try to answer every (signed) email, but please be patient. It may take us a while, but you will hear back from us.

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