Walking Off the Big Apple
Betto, 138 N. 8th [Berry/Bedford] 718.384.1904: Jason Denton ('ino, et al) brings small Italian plates to Billburg.
Bread & Tulips, 365 Park Ave. S. [26th] 212.532.9100: Pasta, pork, and brick-oven pies.
Hospoda, 321 E. 73rd [1st/2nd] 212.861.1038: Contemporary Central European cooking on the UES and a serious craft beer predilection. [Pictured above: beef shank with mustard ice cream]
Jones Wood Foundry, 401 E. 76th [1st/York] 212.249.2700: British gastropub, from fish and chips to brook trout.
Left Bank, 117 Perry [Hudson/Greenwich] 212.727.1170: More local-sourced than Frenchy, in a spare, appealing space.
Mexicue, 345 7th [29th/30th] 212.639.4283: The Mexican/barbecue truck puts down roots.
Monument Lane, 103 Greenwich Ave. [12th] 212.255.0155: Did George Washington address the troops here? Nah, but that's the vibe. Food is mostly contemporary American.
Neely's Barbecue Parlor, 1125 1st [62nd] 212.832.1551: No roadhouse, that's for sure: call it pig in a cashmere blanket.
Soco, 509 Myrtle [Ryerson/Grand] 718.783.1936: 'Southern fused cuisine' – barbecue, Cajun, soul.
Vin Sur Vingt, 201 W. 11th [Greenwich Ave.] 212.924.4442: sweet new French wine bar and bistro.
Chef Ferran Adrià is surely the most influential chef of a generation. His restaurant, El Bulli, has been declared the world's greatest restaurant many times. And its last regular meal service is this Saturday night. Gereon Wetzel's documentary, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, opens today at Film Forum. Following the 7:50pm screening, Aldea's George Mendes, who's also an El Bulli alum, will do a Q & A.
Want to get some of the El Bulli magic into your cooking? Well, at least in theory? The Texturas line is for you if you've been jonesing to work with gel-based shapes and spheres, to experiment with effervescence, or to "take the flavor of tomato to new dimensions." You'll need to raise your own debt ceiling, though: each can is $34.50 to $161.10.
A SANDWICH AND A SLIDER
Vittles Vamp makes the case for Van Horn's fried chicken sandwich while over at Cravings, they consider the oyster slider at The Dutch "the most addictive habit of the year."
Aquavit celebrates its annual Crayfish Festival from 8/8-8/12, and 8/15-8/19. Lunch is $28, dinner is $38 for peel-and-eat crayfish and smorgasbord (which will have things like crayfish herring).
There was a time when Phelps, NY was the sauerkraut capital of the world. How careless to lose that distinction! But even so, they honor the past with the annual Phelps Sauerkraut Festival, August 4th-6th. More
Some images courtesy
Cultural and literary notes, plus self-guided walks, courtesy of Walking Off the Big Apple, a strolling guide to New York City.
The Place Where Joe Papp Lived
People commonly refer to the Public Theater on Lafayette as "the house that Papp built," referring to its legendary founder Joseph Papp (1921-1991), but let's now consider a place where Papp lived, a handsome modern apartment building in Greenwich Village at 40 E. 9th Street. Known as The Sheridan, the 13-story structure between Broadway and University Place, built in 1950, features deep large terraces and a spacious private landscaped garden. The Historic Landmarks Preservation Center has marked Papp's residence here with one of their oval red cultural medallions, noting his importance as the "dynamic founder and impresario of the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater." He lived in the building from 1973 until 1991, the year of his death.
According to Helen Epstein's biography, Joe Papp: A Life, the 52-year-old director, his long-time assistant and future wife Gail Merrifield, and his second son, Tony, moved to the apartment on E. 9th Street in the summer of 1973. In marked contrast to his previous large apartment on the Upper West Side, one packed with Victorian furniture, his new apartment "was small, bright and – except for beds, one couch and one chair – completely unfurnished." (p. 302) Leaving a 20-year marriage along with the uptown apartment, Papp was starting anew. Importantly, the move downtown afforded closer proximity to his greatest preoccupation, the bustling theatrical spaces on Lafayette.