Posts for February 6, 2013

D.C. Shooter Intended to Use Chick-fil-A Sandwiches to Send ‘Statement’

The 28-year-old Virginia man who opened fire inside the headquarters of the conservative Christian lobbying and policy group in downtown Washington, D.C., last August was carrying fifteen Chick-fil-A sandwiches "he planned to smear in the dying faces of staffers he expected to kill," according to documents filed today in U.S. District Court, CNN reports.

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What To Eat at Luxbar From New Chef Michael McDonald

Truffle mac and cheese at Luxbar.Photo: courtesy Luxbar via Facebook

As we reported last week, the Gold Coast's Luxbar named Michael McDonald its executive chef some months back, but only yesterday sent out an official announcement. The chic restaurant from the Gibson's group, done in Frank Lloyd Wrightish Prairie-style design (actually Adolph Loos, the website says), has a fairly standard menu if you just look at the names of the offerings. But as McDonald showed at business dinner spot One Sixty Blue, luxe is in the details, and his farm-to-table sourcing and impeccable, Trotter-trained technique should take them to new levels. Check out his new lunch and dinner menu below.

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This Doctor Who-Themed Restaurant Really Needs to Happen

Exterminate! Exterminate! Broil for four minutes on high!Photo: W.H. Allen & Co PLC

Sure, the steampunkish Way Station in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, gives customers access to the bathroom through a TARDIS, but we can do better than that. Interestingly enough, an entire Doctor Who restaurant may become a reality, the Independent reports, because the fourteen-acre BBC Television Centre at White City is renovated into a very large visitor center celebrating all the series once filmed there. "Among the ideas so far," the paper reports, "are attractions based on Fawlty Towers, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Blue Peter, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing." A Great British Bake Off bakery has been suggested as well, which sounds fine, but really, it's been 50 years now, and since Doctor Who fandom has spawned its own distinct and scholarly food culture, shouldn't the daleks have a clean, well-lit white tablecloth place of their own? [Independent UK]

15 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Chances of Getting Cast on Top Chef Season 11

Padma's not sure about this.Photo: David Giesbrecht/Bravo

Pack your knives and stay: The Bravo show will come back for at least one more season, Deadline reports, which means more tempers, more Tom, more Padma, and, hopefully for all of us here at Grub Street, more Rees. No word on where the next Top Chef will take place, but casting begins next week in Austin. The details — including open calls in L.A., Chicago, Brooklyn, Vegas, and Miami — are here, but if you haven't been working on your mother sauces since the fall and you aren't currently a junior sous-chef at an enormous Asian fusion restaurant, what can you do to improve your chances of getting onboard the S.S. Watch What Happens?

Some ideas. »

Serious Eats Looks at Chinese Food Not By Tony Hu and Named Lao

Egg custard at Cai.Photo: Nick Kindelsperger courtesy Serious Eats

Chinatown, any Chinatown, is simultaneously the most fascinating and frustrating of ethnic neighborhoods. The food is well-liked overall, but finding the best stuff off catalog-sized menus often requires both cultural knowledge and language skills beyond most non-Chinese. At most you can find someone else's guide to a few discoveries, and hope to work from there to expand the base of knowledge. Serious Eats Chicago's Nick Kindelsperger tackled Tony Hu's Chicago Chinatown empire a few months back, and now he returns to scope out some of the other 40 restaurants within a few blocks in Chinatown and turn up star dishes. From salt and pepper shrimp at "Little" Three Happiness (which we'd agree is the one star at that otherwise wildly overrated spot) to great baked egg tarts at dim sum spot Cai to the Portuguese pork chop sandwich at weirdly space-age Sweet Station; he even finds something worth eating at the usually forlorn food court in the Richland Center. [SE: Chicago]

Mixing Diet Soda With Booze Makes You Extra Drunk

Someone get this man a Diet Coke.Photo: iStockphoto

Here's an angle Marc Jacobs should play up in his new Diet Coke campaign: A new study from Northern Kentucky University, where there's probably plenty of time to experiment with such things, reveals that pairing alcohol with diet soda will render you more drunk than if you mixed it with boring, obesity-inducing regular soda. Apparently the sugar found in typical soda slows alcohol absorption. In fact, your breath-alcohol content could shoot up by as much as 18 percent if you use diet soda as a mixer, so you should probably set down the Fresca and vodka before hopping behind the wheel. [Salt/NPR, Related]

Chowdah Fest Early Bird Tickets Now on Sale

GT Fish & Oyster chowder in a cup.

Want to eat chowder while sailing the ocean blue? Well, it's a lake, not the ocean, and it won't be leaving the dock, but it's as close as March is going to get. The Columbia Yacht Club will hold its third annual Chowdah Fest that day, with chefs like Giuseppe Tentori (GT Fish & Oyster), Kevin Hickey (Allium), Ryan McCaskey (Acadia), Matt Troost (Three Aces), and more cooking up chowder on board the Yacht Club's 1940s vintage ship. Guests will enjoy chowder, local wine and beer and more, and get to vote on the Audience Choice Award for best chowder. It's $40, with proceeds going to the Sea Scouts youth program, and early-bird tickets are on sale now here.

Death of Print Journalism? There’s a Beer for That

Not available in stores.Photo: Jon Campbell

Former Hartford Advocate reporter Jon Campbell is now living the life of a freelancer, and between assignments he's been homebrewing up a pithy, malted barley beer that's as "dark and bitter as the future of American journalism." It's a foamy beer for the heady age of buy-outs and layoffs, and on his blog, Campbell explains that he's also been keeping busy by "making some very elaborate labels."

Beer for breakfast. »

There May Be a Few Stray Nanoparticles in Your Morning Doughnut

The ever-expanding scope of manufacturing, packaging, and production methods may very well mean that in addition to monitoring the salt, sugar, and fat content in their diet, consumers might as well also start fretting about the presence of possibly deleterious chemicals known as nanomaterials in their food. The Times reports that an advocacy group called As You Sow surveyed a staggering 25,000 companies on their nanomaterials usage, but just 26 of them responded. Of those companies, only fourteen — including PepsiCo, Whole Foods, and Yum! Brands — said they do not use nanomaterials. So, is it time to head for the nano-free hills?

What you should worry about. »

Slideshow: Take a Savage Journey With Next: The Hunt

Next's menus have hit many notes, from reverent to decadent to gently humorous, but Next: The Hunt is the first one that could be termed in any way subversive. Here is a meal, in one of the hottest restaurants ever to exist, which looks fine dining right in the eye and invites you to confront the primal, primitive carnality at its core. It is a meal devoted to meat, yes— though vegetables are by no means ignored— but one conceived in the context of how humans collect that meat and how they dress it up culturally to tell themselves they are something other than just another mammal, red in tooth and claw. Some hunting, it acknowledges, is honest enough about what it involves— the early courses, inspired by the Michigan experiences of Chef Dave Beran, feature preserved game meats and even a venison heart tartare, which hints, ever so gently, at the hunter-gatherer ritual of eating your prey's heart and drinking its blood to mark your taking of its life force (as seen in the greatest movie ever made, the original Red Dawn).

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Marc Jacobs Is Diet Coke’s New Creative Director

Body by Diet Coke.Photo: Stéphane Sednaoui/Diet Coke

The oft-naked, tattoo-covered fashion designer, who's the yin to Taylor Swift's yang, is designing Diet Coke cans and posing in the corresponding ad campaigns. Jacobs claims he guzzles two or three Diet Cokes a day — which can't be healthy, but day-um, those abs above are about to turn 50. More details will emerge about the “Sparkling Together for 30 Years” collaboration in March, but expect Jacobs's work to be far sexier than Coke's recent anti-obesity ad. He sure can sell a six-pack. [Earlier, Earlier, WWD]

Two Southern Views of Chicago, One Posh, One Profane

We saw two guides this week to Chicago from Southern publications. The similarities pretty much end with that sentence— one is of a rarefied Chicago few will ever see, the other is very much the ordinary visitor's Chicago... peppered with the obscenities that are the common man's meat (and hilarious because it is so, so true). First up is in Garden & Gun, by a writer for Newsweek and elsewhere named Julia Reed. Here is a Chicago that seems almost a genteel satire from a Whit Stillman movie, Chicago seen from the rarefied air of the hyperarticulate upper classes. It's called "Chicago's Southern Soul," but it doesn't mean Edna's biscuits:

her father, “Ace,” was a larger-than-life trial lawyer who presided over the improbably tasteful bar (complete with stools) in their enormous apartment on North State Parkway (otherwise known as “State Street, that great street”). Ace poured us icy martinis, ordered up filets with béarnaise at the Ambassador East’s legendary Pump Room, and ensconced us for the weekend at the Ambassador West... The party itself was at the Saddle and Cycle Club, a country club complete with a three-hole golf course smack in the middle of the city, and by the time I left, though (or perhaps because) I’d only seen a fairly rarefied view of the place, I’d decided that Chicago was definitely my kind of town.

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Jennifer Lawrence Is a Budweiser Gal

The biggest actress in Hollywood right now hit Conan last night. While there, she revealed that at the Silver Linings Playbook premiere, her dad had shed tears after her monologue beside Robert De Niro. "It had nothing to do with my performance," she told Conan. "It's because I pop a Budweiser" — apparently a Lawrence family favorite. When Conan mentions that her beer plug is sure to result in a bunch of free Bud, Lawrence lights up. But it sounds like somebody needs to send this girl a couple of nice craft beers, stat.

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