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‘Ick’: rats, roaches and rank smells dampen NYC composting program

Plans to expand program are on hold as gag-inducing pong and vermin are holding back residents, foodies and hipsters from saving food scraps

It was meant to be an ambitious environmental program but efforts at composting in New York are breaking down amid rats, roaches and rank smells.

New Yorkers are relatively good at recycling but an ick factor is holding them back from saving food scraps for reprocessing, the authorities admitted.

In a sweaty city that regularly has back to back humid days in the eighties and nineties Fahrenheit all summer, some householders are recoiling from the scheme in a cloud of fruit flies.

Now plans to expand New Yorks organics collection program are on hold as even eco-minded residents, foodies and hipsters wrestle with the idea of bags of putrid mush sitting on their kitchen counter tops awaiting disposal.

City-issued large brown plastic collection bins that are put out on the sidewalk have special fastening lids to keep out vermin but, full of deteriorating leftovers, still often exude a gag-inducing pong when opened.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio introduced a pilot program five years ago, hoping hundreds of thousands of tons of this food-loving citys leftovers and grass mowings would be churning their way through the system, to be turned into alternative energy or fertilizing compost.

But expansion has been put on hold because there is insufficient participation to be cost-effective. The city collected only about 13,000 tons last year and found that the 3.5 million people currently in the voluntary program are only separating 10.6% percent of their potential scraps.

Honestly, I think its a complete waste of time, says Anselmo Ariza, who maintains the trash and recycling bins for several blocks of apartment buildings in Brooklyn. Some people use them, but most of them just put trash and plastic bags in there.
Marzena Golonka complained that the citys weekly pickup at her apartment building in Brooklyn is not frequent enough to keep the stink and rats away.

Its vile, she says. Until sanitation starts doing their job effectively, Im not going to have a brown bin.

De Blasios goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030 depends on residents and businesses separating their organic waste, which currently makes up a third of the trash that ends up in landfills and is a major producer of greenhouse gases.

The city is still committed to expanding the program to all 8.5 million New York City residents, but right now is focused on making the system more efficient, sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia said.

We are having to overcome the ick factor, Garcia said.

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Osteria FrancescanaIs the Best Restaurant in the World, Again

Osteria Francescana is the best restaurant in the world, on a night that had a sense of déjà vu, especially for the Top 10.

Chef Massimo Bottura’s modern Italian restaurant in the back streets of Modena was the World’s No. 1 Restaurant in 2016; last year it was No. 2. The biggest movement in the Top 10 was a drop by last year’s No. 1 winner, Eleven Madison Park. They fell to No. 4, after a year that saw a major renovation and a much-buzzed-about pop-up in East Hampton

The flamboyant Bottura is known for his playful approach to classic dishes. His creations include a lasagna with only the crispy bits and a deconstructed dessert called “Oops I Dropped the Lemon Tart.” Bottura is an art lover and his food is visually exciting as well as delicious. More recently, he has become known for Feed the Soul, an international non-profit organization to feed the homeless and hungry that grew out of a community kitchen in Milan.

Bottura accepted the award on stage with his American-born wife Lara Gilmore. He said that chefs and everyone in the restaurant business must realize that they have the power to change the world.

“I am going to use this spotlight to make even stronger the changes there are going to be,” said Bottura at a press conference following his win. “Feed the planet. Fight waste. Last week Henry Kissinger asked me for a selfie. It is unbelievable. We have to involve all the community of chefs … pushing the spotlight you have to make the invisible visible is extremely important.”

Chef Massimo Bottura
Photographer: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

The results of the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards were announced before an invited audience in Bilbao, Spain. Although much was made about diversity in advance of the ceremony, there was little change in the Top 10 beyond a minor reshuffling of places. Apart from Eleven Madison Park’s drop, it was a good year for North America. The United States had four more restaurants in the Top 100, up from nine last year. Mexico had two restaurants in the top 15; in 2017 the country’s highest entry was 20.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is organized and compiled by William Reed Business Media. It is created from the votes of more than 1,000 restaurateurs, chefs, food writers, and gastronomes. The voters are split into 26 separate regions around the world. Each region has its own panel of 40 members. (Vines formerly chaired the U.K. and Ireland panel but is no longer involved.)

Winning the 50 Best is great for business. The day after El Celler de Can Roca first topped the list, in 2013, its website got 12 million visitors and the restaurant hired three extra staff just to turn down requests for tables. Noma’s Rene Redzepi said he could have filled his restaurant for almost 15 years with the booking requests the day after he first won, in 2010

The awards started in 2002 as a feature in , a U.K. publication founded the previous year. It grew out of a brainstorming session in a pub to promote the magazine. The editors sent emails to journalists and chefs to pick their favorite places, like a music magazine compiling a best-albums list. The response was overwhelming and the annual awards were born.

Ahead of Tuesday evening’s ceremony, three awards were announced: Clare Smyth, of Core by Clare Smyth in London, won Elit Vodka Best Female Chef; Gaston Acurio of Astrid & Gaston in Lima won Diners Club Lifetime Achievement; and SingleThread, a farm restaurant in Northern California won the Miele One to Watch. The second part of the list, 51-100, was also previously announced; the winners follow.

Here are the results (last year’s place in parentheses):

1. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy (2)

2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain (3)

3. Mirazur, Menton, France (4)

4. Eleven Madison Park, New York (1)

Thailand’s Gaggan is climbing up the list.
Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

5. Gaggan, Bangkok (7)

6. Central, Lima (5)

7. Maido, Lima (8)

8. Arpège, Paris (12)

9. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain (9)

10. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain (6)

11. Quintonil, Mexico City (22)

A post shared by BlueHillFarm (@bluehillfarm) on

12. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, U.S. (11)

13. Pujol, Mexico City (20)

14. Steirereck, Vienna (10)

15. White Rabbit, Moscow (23)

16. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy (15)

At No. 17, Den’s garden salad with a single ant.
Photographer: Shinichito Fujii

17. Den, Tokyo (45)

18. Disfrutar, Barcelona, Spain (55)

19. Geranium, Copenhagen (19)

20. Attica, Melbourne (32)

21. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris (13)

22. Narisawa, Tokyo (18)

23. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy (29)

24. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai (41)

25. Cosme, New York (40) 

26. Le Bernardin, New York (17)

27. Boragó, Santiago (42)

Singapore’s Odette was a big mover on the list.
Source: The Lo & Behold Group

28. Odette, Singapore (86)

29. Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris (31)

30. D.O.M., São Paulo (16)

31. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain (30)

32. Tickets, Barcelona (25)

33. The Clove Club, London (26)

34. Alinea, Chicago (21)

35. Maaemo, Oslo (79)

36.  Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italy (43)

37. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin (48)

Chef James Lowe’s simple modern cooking, here a bloodcake, at No. 38 Lyle’s.
Photographer: James Lowe/Lyle's

38. Lyle’s, London (54)

39. Astrid y Gastón, Lima (33)

40. Septime, Paris (35)

41. Nihonryori  RyuGin, Tokyo (52)

42. The Ledbury, London (27)

43.  Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain (38)

44. Mikla, Istanbul (51)

45. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (36)

46. Saison, San Francisco (37)

47. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland (72)

48. Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia (69)

49. Nahm, Bangkok (28)

50. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town (63)


And here are the previously announced winners of places 51 to 100. 

“NEW ENTRY” indicates the first time the restaurant has appeared on the list. “RE-ENTRY” indicates its reappearance in list after a year of absence (i.e. due to a closing/renovation). 

51. De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands (34)

52. L'Astrance, Paris (46)

53.  Benu, San Francisco (67)

54.  Sühring, Bangkok 

55.  Don Julio, Buenos Aires 

56. Amber, Hong Kong (24)

57.  Nerua, Bilbao, Spain (56)

58. Brae, Birregurra, Australia (44)

59. Florilège, Tokyo (99)

60. Tegui, Buenos Aires (49)

61. Burnt EndsSingapore (53)

62. Momofuku Ko, New York (58)

63. Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium (50)

64. Sud 777, Mexico City (75)

65. Frantzén, Stockholm 

66. Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany (47)

67. Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden (57)

68. Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain (62)

69. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, New York (82)

70. Selfie, Moscow (88)

71. Relae, Copenhagen (39)

72. Twins Garden, Moscow (92)

73. Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany (70)

74. The Fat Duck, Bray, U.K.

75. Belcanto, Lisbon (85)

76. Martin Berasategui, Lasarte-Oria, Spain (77)

77.  Elkano, Getaria, Spain

78. Mingles, Seoul (89)

79. A Casa do Porco, São Paulo 

80. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong (71)

81. Per Se, New York (87)

82. Hedone, London (98)

83. Estela, New York (67)

84. St John, London (91)

85.  Le Coucou, New York

86. The French Laundry, Yountville, U.S. (68)

87. Maní, São Paulo (81)

88. Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Berlin 

89. The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium (74)

90. Indian Accent, New Delhi (78)

91.  SingleThread, Healdsburg, U.S.

92. L’Effervescence, Tokyo

93. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong (60)

94. Alo, Toronto

95. Enigma, Barcelona, Spain 

96. DiverXo, Madrid 

97. Atelier, Munich

98.  108, Copenhagen

99. Leo, Bogotá, Colombia 

100. Lasai, Rio de Janeiro (76)

(Adds quote from Bottura, photos, and analysis in 6th paragraph.)

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    The Only People Who Arent Using Instant Pots? Chefs


    The Only People Who Aren’t Using Instant Pots? Chefs

    The company is looking for opportunities to expand.

    In the cookbook world, you need just need two words for a surefire best seller: “Instant Pot.”

    The pressure cooker-style device, specifically the six-quart, seven-in-one model, has dominated the world of home cooking since Inc. featured it during Prime Day in 2016. In November, CNBC reported that 5 million Instant Pots had been sold in a three-year period.

    Two of the top 10 cookbooks in 2017 were devoted to the appliance, according to . Melissa Clark’s  (Clarkson Potter, $13.93) has sold 150,000 copies since its October release; the columnist estimates that her latest hit outsold her previous 39 cookbooks, combined.

    Mention the appliance to chefs and you’re most likely to draw a blank stare.

    “What’s an Instant Pot?” asks Alex Stupak, chef and co-owner of Empellón in New York.

    Officially, the device shouldn’t be in professional kitchens at all. “Our current products are designed and certified for household use only,” Yi Qin, vice president of product management at Instant Pot in Ottawa, Ontario, told Bloomberg by email.

    One obvious reason the appliance hasn’t been embraced by the restaurant community is scale. The largest Instant Pot holds 8 quarts—a drop in the (stock) pot for most restaurants.

    One of the few professional chefs who admits to having an Instant Pot in his restaurant is Jonny Hunter of the Madison, Wisc.-based Underground Food Collective.  In fact, he has five. Hunter is a fan of the compressed cook times and precision that the device offers.

    “Traditionally, it takes about 40 days to make black garlic,” he says, referring to the intensely sticky Asian flavoring. “I can do it in six hours.” 

    Most dishes can’t be sped up so rapidly by the Instant Pot, but Hunter argues that even modest time savings will add up for a busy cook. Take hard-boiled eggs, for example: “It takes you eight minutes in an Instant Pot; the regular way takes 12 minutes,” he says. “Chefs say, ‘Who cares about that difference?’ But I save four minutes each time, and they’re perfectly cooked.”

    Garrison Price, of New York’s il Buco Alimentari, routinely does 250 covers a night, yet he still finds the low-yielding appliance useful for making goat-milk yogurt. He serves it as an accompaniment to leg of lamb with wild watercress and anchovies, as well as spice-roasted spring carrots with green almonds. Making yogurt the traditional way is “tricky,” Price says. “You don’t have to baby sit yogurt you’re making in an Instant Pot.”

    Goat-milk yogurt, fresh from the Instant Pot at il Buco Alimentari. 
    Photographer: Evan Ortiz

    Price believes chefs don’t use the Instant Pot because of the message they associate with it. “I think it’s the infomercial-ness,” he says.

    In Houston, James Beard award-winning chef Chris Shepherd is experimenting with an Instant Pot to create batches of pho “dressing” for a carpaccio dish at his upcoming 80-seat restaurant, UB Preserv. “I got the idea from my manicurist; she’s a big Instant Pot fan,” says Shepherd. He first used one at a previous restaurant when he ran out of Korean-braised goat and dumplings. “My cook said: ‘We should bust out that Instant Pot we have in storage.’ We had more goat ready in 45 minutes.” 

    Chris Shepherd turned to Instant Pot when he ran out of braised goat during service.
    Photographer: Julie Soefer

    At the Latin restaurant Público in St. Louis, Mike Randolph cooks almost everything on an open hearth. Yet his Instant Pot has been used to produce items ranging from vegan chorizo stock to dulce de leche. Randolph agrees that a drawback for some chefs is perception. “There’s a hesitation in having a brand name like that in your kitchen. A lot of chefs want to keep things more traditional, with a stovetop,” says Randolph.

    Why indeed doesn’t Instant Pot create a bigger model for professionals? The company appears to have already asked the same question. “We are looking into all opportunities to expand the electric pressure multi-cooker market. Currently, we don’t have a commercial offering. But nothing is impossible,” said Qin by email.

    Spring carrots get a boost from (Instant Pot-made) yogurt.
    Photographer: Evan Ortiz
    (Corrects the name of the restaurant in the 13th paragraph.)

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    Fran Lebowitz: ‘You do not know anyone as stupid as Donald Trump’

    She loves to talk, hates to fly and wants to make it clear she takes no responsibility for the state of US politics

    Be grateful you didnt sit next to Fran Lebowitz on the plane from New York to Melbourne. The trip was the longest flight she had taken, and therefore the longest time she managed to go without a cigarette. When I ask if it is her first time in Australia, she says: That makes it sound as if theres going to be a second time. She surprised herself by not being taken off the flight in handcuffs for assaulting fellow (first-class) passengers or smoking in the toilets.

    I was like a child on the plane, asking the flight attendant, Are we there? And she said, Are you nuts? Weve only been flying for four hours. The only people who live in Australia are those who came to Australia and couldnt face the trip back Im actually one of those people.

    Lebowitz has been invited to Australia several times but, as a longtime smoker, 30 hours on a flight without a cigarette was out of the question. But she was persuaded to perform shows (which quickly sold out) at the recent All About Women festival at the Sydney Opera House, and a Wheeler Centre talk in Melbourne. She got through the flight without being arrested by chewing lots of gum and being able to smoke during a brief stop in LA.

    Before our meeting, I spot her standing on the footpath smoking, naturally in her sartorial uniform of Levi 501s, a white shirt and custom-made dark blazer. She glances up the street, towards Melbournes Fawkner Park, as if shes not quite sure where she is or how she got here. (She later asks me what day it is.)

    Once we sit down to talk its immediately apparent that talking is what Lebowitz does best. Thats a big call, given the New Yorker is an author, social commentator, public speaker and even actor, appearing in shows such as Law and Order. Shes such a good talker that when I go to a nearby restaurant to do some work on my laptop after our interview is over, she sees me, sits next to me and talks for another hour. (Let me know if Im disturbing you, she offers politely).

    But first, during her interview with Guardian Australia, Lebowitz wants to make it clear that she takes no responsibility for the state of American politics. She had just arrived in Melbourne and was having breakfast in her hotel when a man next to her saw she was reading the paper. And this guy started talking to me, I was reading something about Trump, and he said, You elected him! And I said I did not!

    Lebowitz becomes indignant. I mean, I did not. Its not my fault. I know you [Australians] are very upset about it. But we are more upset. Even my friends I have a lot of friends in New York who are not American were blaming me. I spent a year of my life before the election, going around the country, talking about this stuff. Its not my fault. I am blameless. I am not a perfect person. I am not blameless in life but I do not know one single person who voted for him.

    Fran Lebowitz at Diane von Furstenbergs International Womens Day celebration in March. Photograph: Angela Pham/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

    Echoing the reported opinion of former US secretary of state Rex Tillerson, Lebowitz thinks the biggest danger of Trump is that he is a moron. Everyone says he is crazy which maybe he is but the scarier thing about him is that he is stupid. You do not know anyone as stupid as Donald Trump. You just dont.

    Lebowitz is still shocked that Trump won. Part of the shock is that she was living so fully in a liberal New York bubble. I had zero belief he would win. I have never been so wrong in my life. And being right is something I cherish. Its really important to me to be right.

    Its one of three nights burned entirely into 67-year-old Lebowitzs memory on a par with the Kennedy assassination and 9/11. I remember every single second of the whole day voting, everything the whole day.

    She voted and went to lunch, and on the way home she felt like New York was getting ready to welcome its first female president. She walked past a party being set up, hosted by Harvey Weinstein. They said, See you tonight, Ms Lebowitz! But she didnt attend that party, opting instead for the party of the then Vanity Fair editor, Graydon Carter.

    Everyone was in a great mood and there were these huge American flags draped everywhere. Everyone was drinking champagne.

    From time to time over the night, Lebowitz popped into the kitchen to look at the election map on TV and, with each visit, became increasingly nervous. The map was turning red.

    A friend, the contributing editor at Vogue, Andr Leon Talley, who had been on a strict weight-loss regime all year, entered the room. I had been with this guy in restaurants all year and he was like, Fish, just a little salad, no dressing! There were all these chocolates and cookies and stuff [on the table] and he started eating them without even looking.

    Then Im smoking as usual but at a certain point I realised Im smoking two cigarettes and Andre had eaten all the cookies. Graydon had in his hands two martinis and a waiter said You want another? and he said Yes! He couldnt even hold them. At a certain point [another] friend of mine said, Im going home, I cant take this Im not tough enough. Im going home to take drugs. This is a man my age, a very distinguished man.

    Lebowitz went home to SoHo through neighbourhoods usually busy with nightlife. But there was no one in the streets it was nothing. It was like grief inside those houses. It was horrible. I felt that strongly affected emotionally for at least a month. My level of rage, always high, is now in fever pitch all the time.

    Lebowitz believes naked racism is behind Trumps election. He allowed people to express their racism and bigotry in a way that they havent been able to in quite a while and they really love him for that. Its a shocking thing to realise people love their hatred more than they care about their own actual lives. The hatred what is that about? Its a fear of your own weakness.

    The other hot button issue right now is guns. Lebowitz nearly chokes on her mineral water when I ask her if she has one.

    Fran Lebowitz: I had zero belief Trump would win. I have never been so wrong in my life. Photograph: Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock

    Of course I dont have a gun! She is scathing of gun owners. Who are these people that love guns? These people who love Trump and they love guns, these are the most frightened people I have ever seen in my life. Whos after you? They live in the middle of nowhere. I live in New York city and I dont have a gun. No one I know has a gun.

    In the early 70s, when I was more vulnerable in every way, it was really dangerous. I could have gotten a gun but I never got one. I was an 18-year-old penniless girl in the middle of a dangerous city and I was never as afraid as these men in Texas, living in a state of terror. Her voice drips with disdain.

    What does she think of the teenaged activists taking on Congress over gun control?

    I do feel that this very young generation people who are teenagers today and in their 20s are so much better than the generation right above, people who are in their 40s. When I was in my 40s and these people were coming up, making music and taking drugs, I thought, These people are horrible. But when these new young people started coming up, I was pleasantly surprised. I mean they read books. When I am on the subway and I see a person reading a book, they will be 24, and the person on the Kindle is 44.

    Young people love her. Young men come up to her in Macys and tell her she has to change her views about men in shorts; others have created songs and memes about her.

    While Lebowitz loves to talk, she sees herself as a private person.

    Publicly, I dont really talk about myself in a very personal way and I wish other people wouldnt either. I mean, partially this is because people my age were raised that way. We were raised not to talk about ourselves. But I dont really think about myself any more. Its one of the upsides about getting old. Ive lost interest.

    Todays young people have always lived in an environment where people asked them what they thought, she says.

    When I was a child no one ever asked you a question and I mean no one. Children were told what to do. From morning to night, instructions No one ever asked about yourself, that is for sure. Unless you had a fever, and even then they took your temperature and told you how you felt. I dont feel well. Yes, you do.

    Apart from taking part in the Trump resistance, Lebowitz says she has considered running for mayor of New York except she doesnt want to do any early starts. I would consider being the night mayor and starting at 4pm, she says.

    Youre a nightmare already, I joke.

    Yeah, I dont need to be elected to be a nightmare.

    She looks out to the quiet, leafy Melbourne street, contemplating the flight home to that city she embodies in so many ways. You know what, she says. I cant do that trip again. Its nice here. Ill get someone to send my stuff.

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    Wall Street Picks the Best New Restaurants in New York

    It should come as no surprise that Bloomberg Terminal users (aka the who’s who of the financial industry) eat out a lot. After all, there’s a lot of business to be done at restaurants, and it’s been a big year for New York dining, especially with the relaunch of the former Four Seasons space. So we took a poll among readers of Red Dot NYC, a weekly restaurant-openings newsletter available on the Terminal, to determine their favorite restaurants across the five boroughs. No surprise: It’s still all about Manhattan. 

    Here are New York’s top new restaurants, as chosen by hedge fund managers, traders, and other Wall Street insiders.  

    The Grill

    The runaway hit for Wall Street diners: the Grill. 
    Photographer: Anthony Causi

    The runaway hit among the Bloomberg audience. And why not: The landmarked dining room from Major Food Group celebrates New York’s chophouse culture with a prime rib cart that rolls from table to table and a fabled bar, with its long list of martinis.

    The Pool

    A little foie gras snack, from the Pool.
    Photographer: Zack Dezon/Bloomberg

    The splashy (hehe) restaurant opposite the Grill puts an emphasis on seafood prepared simply—and foie gras amped to 11—plus an exquisite and pricey raw-bar selection and the best caviar service in the city. 

    4 Charles Prime Rib

    On a quiet West Village street, 4 Charles has the vibe of a small private club. The menu features prime rib, salt-crusted and roasted for hours. It’s served in multiple ways, from thinly sliced to a 16-ounce center-cut to a bone-in double cut that goes for $89.

    Le Coucou

    Power dining in New York at Le Coucou.
    Photographer: Corry Arnold

    One of the city’s newer power-dining spots is not far from the Financial District in lower SoHo. From the gleaming, open kitchen comes such reinvented French classics as pillowy seafood quenelles in lobster sauce and duck with figs and foie gras.  

    Loring Place

    Loring Place
    Photographer: Aliza Eliazarov

    A vet of Jean-Georges Vongerichten kitchens, chef Dan Kluger serves New American dishes in a laid-back West Village dining room. Grain salad with smoked chili aioli, grandma-style pan pizza, and barbecue chicken from the wood-burning grill are all crowd-pleasers.


    This stylish all-day café is from the same team behind Cosme, a destination restaurant famed for its duck carnitas. The menu here features Mexican treats such as herb-topped guacamole and fried fish Milanese, accompanied by a basket of fresh tortillas. The tequila and mescal list is stellar.

    Empellón Midtown

    Fancy nachos and tacos at Empellón Midtown.
    Photographer: Evan Ortiz/Bloomberg

    Chef Alex Stupak has expanded his downtown Mexican empire to 53rd Street and Madison Avenue, where he serves tacos that riff on such classic midtown dishes as hash browns and roast beef. The bar is great for after-work margaritas and guacamole—and indulgent seafood nachos worth the $30 charge.

    Lobster Club

    The third restaurant to open in the Seagrams Building from Major Food Group, this stylish space designed by Peter Marino evokes a Japanese brasserie, with sushi and teppanyaki-grilled wagyu skirt, lobster, and branzino. There’s private dining space for up to 50 guests.


    Photographer: Paul Wagtouicz

    The modern Middle Eastern restaurant, down the block from Gramercy Tavern, is co-owned by the founder of the popular Breads Bakery (you may know its famous chocolate babka). The unconventional menu includes gigantic Jerusalem sesame bagels, seared scallops with chestnut cream, and Palestinian tartare made with hand-cut beef and smoked eggplant.  


    The Butcher’s Feast at Cote.
    Photographer: Zack DeZon/Bloomberg

    This dynamic Korean steakhouse specializes in the Butcher’s Feast (which we named one of the year’s best dishes), which gives guests the chance to sample multiple cuts of beef selected by chef David Shim from the dry aging room. That might include 45-day-aged rib-eye and Cote galbi, or marinated short ribs, cooked on the grill at your table. On any given night, you might see David Beckham or Chrissy Teigen.

    Emily West Village

    Brooklyn’s hit pizza spot set up shop on a scenic West Village corner. The stars are thick, chewy, and cheese-crusted, with such options as Pig Freaker (bacon, kimchi, miso) and Street Fair (sausage, cherry peppers, tomato sauce, mozzarella). Burger fanatics are familiar with the double-stack Emmy Burger, which comes with caramelized onions, American cheese, and curly fries.

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      Why Foodies Should Flock to San Francisco Instead of New York

      Michelin has delivered some good news to the Bay Area.

      Today, the restaurant bible announced the places that it has awarded one, two, and three stars in and around San Francisco. The news had been postponed, due to the wildfires in the area.

      There are now seven Michelin three-star restaurants in San Francisco. The newest addition is Coi, a modern, thought-provoking restaurant near the Financial District. Chef/owner Daniel Patterson handed over kitchen duties to Matthew Kirkley early last year; in response, the restaurant gained a star. “Matthew Kirkley has taken the restaurant to another level,” says Michael Ellis, international director of the . “He can combine sweetbreads and skate. He can serve a dish like sea urchin mousseline with grapefruit caramel. You think, ‘How can that work?’ Yet it does.”

      The newly three-starred dining room at Coi. 
      Source: Coi

      Patterson agreed. “I’m so happy for Matt,” he told Bloomberg after hearing the announcement. “He’s worked incredibly hard and he’s very deserving. I knew when I hired him he would cook at a three-star level and it’s great to see that hard work truly recognized.”

      New York has only six Michelin three-stars, at least for the moment. The 2018 winners will be announced on Monday, Oct. 30. It remains to be seen whether New York will gain any more; the Bay Area seems to be ahead of the Big Apple in terms of creativity and ambitious cooking, and it has an affluent, young, tech-industry workforce that supports this—at least on the higher end. 

      The Michelin two-star category included mostly good news, too, for the Bay Area. Two restaurants were freshly named: the modern Mexican Californos, in the Mission, and the exceptional, farm-based, Japanese-minded Single Thread, in Healdsburg.

      In all, 55 restaurants earned Michelin stars; last year there were 54. That bucked the trend for the area’s inexpensive restaurants—the Bib Gourmands, Michelin’s cheap eats, listed 67 spots this year, down from 74 a year ago. (For anyone wondering whether the charming, New American Rich Table was taken off that list because it landed a Michelin star this year, the answer is “Yes.”)

      Another worthy addition to the list is Kenzo, the elegant Japanese omakase spot in Napa that’s attached to the winery of the same name. It’s owned by video game mogul Kenzo Tsujimoto, chief executive officer of Capcom Co. Also notable is In Situ, from chef Corey Lee. His restaurant in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art received a star for recreating the world’s most famous dishes from such chefs as Massimo Bottura, David Chang, and Wylie Dufresne

      The extraordinary Single Thread catapulted to win two Michelin stars in a single year.
      Photographer: Garrett Rowland

      One restaurant that was downgraded from two stars to one is Campton Place. “It went to an all-tasting-menu format, which is fine, but the bar is higher,” notes Ellis. Several one-star spots shut their doors, including Aziza, Mosu, and Nico.

      “There’s a lot of high level cooking going on in San Francisco right now,” Patterson says. “It’s at the highest level I’ve seen it. When we opened Coi [in 2006], there was nothing. I’ve seen it go from zero to where it is now. It’s been a  remarkable evolution.”

      Ellis says we’ll have to wait until the New York stars are announced to see whether San Francisco has emerged as the better food city. “New York has a lot of talent. But there’s a particular, creative energy and almost unlimited ambition coming out of California. There are huge Asian and Mexican influences, access to incredible products both locally and from Japan, and a young, thriving audience. It’s a perfect cocktail of things coming together for the city’s culinary scene.” The full list follows.

      (An asterisk denotes a new entry.)

      Three Stars

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      Benu, San Francisco
      *Coi, San Francisco 
      The French Laundry, Yountville
      Manresa, Los Gatos
      Quince, San Francisco
      The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena
      Saison, San Francisco


      Two Stars

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      Acquerello, San Francisco
      Atelier Crenn, San Francisco   
      Baumé, Palo Alto
      *Californios, Mission
      Commis, Oakland
      Lazy Bear, San Francisco
      *Single Thread, Sonoma County 

      One Star

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      Adega, San Jose
      Al's Place, San Francisco Mission   
      Aster, San Francisco Mission   
      Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford
      Aziza, San Francisco 
      Bouchon, Yountville
      Campton Place, San Francisco
      Chez TJ, Mountain View
      Commonwealth, San Francisco   
      Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Forestville
      Gary Danko, San Francisco 
      Hashiri, San Francisco
      *In Situ, San Francisco 
      Ju-ni, San Francisco
      Keiko à Nob Hill, San Francisco 
      *Kenzo, Wine Country 
      Kin Khao, San Francisco  
      *Kinjo, San Francisco
      La Toque, Napa 
      Lord Stanley, San Francisco    
      Luce, San Francisco
      Madera, Peninsula, Menlo Park 
      Madrona Manor, Wine Country
      Michael Mina, San Francisco
      Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
      Mourad, San Francisco
      Octavia, San Francisco
      Omakase, San Francisco
      Plumed Horse, South Bay
      The Progress , San Francisco

      It takes a team to get a Michelin star: the staff of Rich Table.
      Source: Rich Table

      Rasa, Peninsula
      *Rich Table, San Francisco 
      Sons & Daughters, San Francisco
      SPQR, San Francisco
      Spruce, San Francisco
      State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
      Sushi Yoshizumi, Peninsula
      Terra, Wine Country
      Terrapin Creek, Wine country
      The Village Pub, Peninsula
      Wako, San Francisco
      Wakuriya, Peninsula

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        These Are the Best Meals Under $40 in New York City

        The 13th edition of Michelin’s Bib Gourmand guide for New York has been announced. The “cheap eats” version of the famous dining list describes 127 restaurants in the five boroughs, including 14 new spots this year.

        The chief criterion for Bib Gourmand winners are that a meal for two courses plus dessert or wine can be had for $40 or less, tax and tip excluded. (Whether that’s accurate or not is another story.) Anonymous inspectors visit the restaurants to make their recommendations. This year, the number of new Bib Gourmands in New York equals the total number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Washington, D.C., in 2018.

        Still, this number is smaller than last year’s New York Bib Gourmand list, which named 132 restaurants in its guide. In 2016, there were 133 restaurants that made the cut. That year, 27 new places were named.

        This year’s additions include some newcomers: Star chef Enrique Olvera notably didn’t get a Michelin star for Cosme, his New York restaurant, or Pujol, his scene-defining spot in Mexico City. But his casual Mexican spot, Atla, made the Bib Gourmand list this year. And some are not new at all, such as Luzzo, the old-school pizza joint in the East Village.

        Mexican food was big for the guide this year with such additions as El Molcajete and Patron in the Bronx, as well as Atla.

        It’s a list dominated by Manhattan and Brooklyn, although 15 restaurants are named in Queens, seven in the Bronx, and three in Staten Island. The full list is below.

        New York Michelin Bib Gourmand 2018

        (An asterisk denotes a new entry. All neighborhoods are listed by their designation in the Michelin guide.)


        al Bustan (Midtown East)
        Angkor (Upper East Side)
        *Atla (Greenwich and West Village)
        Atoboy (Gramercy, Flatiron, and Union Square)
        Baker & Co. (Greenwich and West Village)
        Bar Primi (East Village)
        Beyoglu (Upper East Side)

        Cho Dang Gol (Midtown West)
        Chomp Chomp (Greenwich and West Village)
        *ChouChou (East Village)
        Ciccio (SoHo and Nolita)
        Congee Village (Lower East Side)
        Cotenna (Greenwich and West Village)
        Dim Sum Go Go (Chinatown and Little Italy)
        DOMODOMO (Greenwich and West Village)
        Don Antonio by Starita (Midtown West)
        Donostia (East Village)
        00 + Co (East Village)
        El Parador (Midtown)
        HanGawi (Midtown East)
        *Hao Noodle & Tea (Greenwich and West Village)
        Hecho en Dumbo (Greenwich and West Village)
        Hide-Chan Ramen (Midtown East)
        High Street on Hudson (Greenwich and West Village)
        Hunan Bistro (East Village)
        J.G. Melon (Upper East Side)
        Jin Ramen (Harlem, Morningside, and Washington Heights)
        J. Restaurant Chez Asta (Harlem, Morningside, and Washington Heights)

        Katz’s (Lower East Side)
        Khe-Yo (TriBeCa)
        Kiin Thai (Greenwich and West Village)
        Kiki’s (Lower East Side)
        Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen (Midtown West)
        Land of Plenty (Midtown East)
        Larb Ubol (Midtown West)
        Laut (Gramercy, Flatiron, and Union Square)
        Lupa (Greenwich and West Village)
        *Luzzo’s (East Village)
        MáLà Project (East Village)
        Mapo Tofu (Midtown East)
        Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too (Upper West Side)
        Momofuku Noodle Bar (East Village)
        Momofuku Ssäm Bar (East Village)
        Oso (Harlem, Morningside, and Washington Heights)
        New Malaysia (Chinatown and Little Italy)
        *Norma Gastronomia Siciliana (Midtown East)
        Nyonya (Chinatown and Little Italy)
        Pippali (Gramercy, Flatiron, and Union Square)
        Prune (East Village)
        Ribalta (Greenwich and West Village)
        Rubirosa (SoHo and Nolita)
        Russ & Daughters Cafe (Lower East Side)
        San Matteo (Upper East Side)
        Sip Sak (Midtown East)
        Soba-Ya (East Village)
        Somtum Der (East Village)
        Spotted Pig (Greenwich and West Village)
        Streetbird Rotisserie (Harlem, Morningside, and Washington Heights)
        Supper (East Village)
        Szechuan Gourmet (Midtown West)
        Tertulia (Greenwich and West Village)
        *Tfor (Greenwich and West Village)
        Turkish Kitchen (Gramercy, Flatiron, and Union Square)
        Uva (Upper East Side)
        Zoma (Harlem, Morningside, and Washington Heights)



        Achilles Heel, Williamsburg
        *Alta Calidad, Park Slope
        *Bunker (Fort Greene and Bushwick)
        Buttermilk Channel (Downtown)
        Chavela’s (Fort Greene and Bushwick)
        East Harbor Seafood Palace (Sunset Park and Brighton Beach)
        Egg (Williamsburg)
        Falansai (Fort Greene and Bushwick)
        Frankies 457 Spuntino (Downtown)
        Freek’s Mill (Sunset Park and Brighton Beach)
        Ganso Ramen (Downtown)
        Gladys (Fort Greene and Bushwick)
        Glasserie (Williamsburg)
        Good Fork (Sunset Park and Brighton Beach)
        Gran Eléctrica (Downtown)
        Hometown Bar-B-Que (Sunset Park and Brighton Beach)
        Kings County Imperial (Williamsburg)
        Lea (Park Slope)

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        Llama Inn (Williamsburg)
        Mile End (Downtown)
        *Miss Ada (Fort Greene and Bushwick)
        Olmsted (Park Slope)
        Paulie Gee’s (Williamsburg)
        *Pok Pok Ny (Sunset Park and Brighton Beach)
        Prime Meats (Downtown)
        Purple Yam (Park Slope)
        Rider (Williamsburg)
        Roberta’s (Fort Greene and Bushwick)
        Shalom Japan (Williamsburg)
        Sottocasa (Downtown)
        Speedy Romeo (Fort Greene and Bushwick)
        Runner & Stone (Sunset Park and Brighton Beach)
        Rye (Williamsburg)
        Tanoreen (Sunset Park and Brighton Beach)
        *21 Greenpoint (Williamsburg)
        Vinegar Hill House (Downtown)
        Xixa (Williamsburg)



        Arharn Thai
        Casa del Chef Bistro

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        *Dumpling Galaxy
        Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna
        Hahm Ji Bach
        HinoMaru Ramen 
        Hunan House
        Hunan Kitchen 
        Il Poeta
        John Brown Smokehouse
        Mu Ramen
        Paet Rio
        Sweet Yummy House
        Tong Sam Gyup Goo Yi 
        Uncle Zhou 

        The Bronx

        *El Molcajete 
        Havana Café 
        La Morada
        Tra Di Noi 

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        Zero Otto Nove

        Staten Island

        San Rasa

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