food 05.18.11

Hot List
Walking Off the Big Apple

David Bouley's long-awaited brushstroke, 30 Hudson [Duane] 212.791.3771, may well be one of the year's highlights. Though he's not in the kitchen—executive chefs are Isao Yamada and Hiroki Murashima, working with chefs from Osaka's Tsuji Cooking Institute—he's playing curator here to the Japanese Kaiseki-style setup. $85 for eight courses.

At Boulud Sud, 20 W. 64th [Bway/CPW] 212.595.1313, chef Aaron Chambers skims the Mediterranean under the care of Daniel Boulud. A sunny new Lincoln Center choice.

What was once Choptank is now the bar Caffe Muzio and the newly-opened Stivale, 308 Bleecker [Grove/Barrow] 212.675.2209, where southern Italian cooking is handled deftly by chef Michael Berardino.

Kudos to Sam Talbot for the sustainable seafood concept Imperial No. Nine at the Mondrian Soho, 9 Crosby [Grand/Howard] 212.389.0000, but the execution is inconsistent. And the room? Ghastly.

The eclipse of French food in these parts over the past couple of decades has been one long tristesse for Francophiles. La Silhouette, 362 W. 53rd [8th/9th] 212.581.2400, may not be quite enough to right the wrong, but it's a heartening development. The chef is a Boulud alum.

Alex Stupak made a name for himself as a pastry chef in Boston, and then at Chicago's Alinea. More recently, he was at wd-50. Now, he's taken a turn to the savory and to the south at Empellón, 230 W. 4th [W. 10th] 212.367.0999, his own restaurant, where he's pushing (the name of the restaurant translates as push) the borders of Mexican cuisine.

Niko, 170 Mercer [Houston/Prince] 212.991.5650, the new Japanese eatery in the old Honmura An space, has a serious sushi team and a self-conscious buzz. But co-owner Cobi Levy is a deal-breaker for us.

Todd English isn't a deal-breaker for us, but we wouldn't call him a huge plus, either. More interesting: chef Ian Chalermkittichai. The two men have partnered to open Ember Room, 647 9th [45th/46th] 212.245.8880, featuring a pan-Asian menu.

Two Michelin stars and the roughly equivalent three from the Times for César Ramirez and his
Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, 200 Schermerhorn [Hoyt/Bond] 718.243.0050, for the $165 prix fixe, BYOB, 18-seat kitchen counter—at this time surely the most unlikely and happiest surprise in New York's food world. Open seats? Hen's teeth. [Photo: Douglas Kim]

And, yes, Andrew Carmellini's The Dutch, 131 Sullivan [Prince] 212.677.6200.

Cultural and literary notes, plus self-guided walks, courtesy of Walking Off the Big Apple, a strolling guide to New York City.

Toward a Pedestrian New York: The Future of a City on Two Feet

The physical health benefits of walking have been firmly established. We know that walking is a safe form of exercise that increases overall fitness levels and doesn't require special clothes or elaborate equipment. Combined with controlled eating habits, a walking routine can help with weight loss, elevate good cholesterol and lower the bad kind. The idea of interval walking - alternating high speed bursts with slower strolls - has been touted by many fitness experts as a way to rev up metabolism and burn calories. Walking fast for several blocks does help the body warm up, and walking slow for a few blocks affords the occasion to look around and appreciate the scenes of the city. The good news is that almost all walking in New York is interval walking - running to beat the stop sign at the crosswalks, racing ahead to catch a train, and slowing down to look at store windows. Continued…


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