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    Marta in Travel + Leisure | February, 2015



    Blue Smoke and Maialino in The New York Post | January 20, 2015

    THE 10 BEST NEW PASTA DISHES IN NYC   By Steve Cuzzo   The city is boiling over with luscious new pasta dishes topped with everything from truffles to egg yolks. We rank the best, including short rib lasagna at Arlington Club (left), bigoli with duck ragu at Stella (top right) and "Pastalaya" at Blue Smoke (bottom right). Photo: Gabi Porter   New York pasta has come a long way since the days when it was “macaroni” to generations of Italian-Americans.   Durum wheat semolina and its cousins now pop up in innumerable varieties, reflecting the tastes of actual Italian regions — and of chefs heedless of tradition, with results from silly to sublime. Pasta by any name is many eaters’ idea of comfort food on cold days and nights. But most of the choices I sampled aim higher. Black truffles, butter, strong cheeses and runny eggs dominated the field. Several dishes I tried were so rich, my normally insatiable pasta palate gave out before I could finish.   I gobbled my way through some of the most creative new dishes around town as well as a few old standbys that were recently added to menus. To keep a level playing field, I tried only Italian-style noodles — no risotto, farro or Asian dishes.   Hog heaven   Pork-stuffed pasta is topped with black truffles at Maialino. Photo: Gabi Porter   Lumaconi, $38 with black truffles, $23 without at Maialino, 2 Lexington Ave. (Dinner only.) (212) 777-2410   The dish: Large, snail-shaped pasta filled with pork sausage, pecorino cheese and cognac, finished with lemon and adorned by black truffles generously shaved on top by waiter.   Worth the dough? The citrus parries the inherent richness of the sauce. Cognac lends a welcome sweet complexion, while sausage and touch of cream stand up well to aromatic truffles. Alas, my pasta shells was seriously undercooked — a rare flub from chef de cuisine Jason Pfeifer’s kitchen.   Fusion fest   Blue Smoke’s pasta is Italian by way of Louisiana. Photo: Gabi Porter   “Pastalaya,” $22 at Blue Smoke, 116 E. 27th St., 212-447-7733   The dish: Yup, pasta in a barbecue joint. Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois cooked Cajun and Creole in Louisiana, but later mastered Italian working at Maialino. Orecchiette anchors a spicy jambalaya of pulled smoked chicken, andouille sausage and a sofrito-like pork base.   Worth the dough? Little “ears” nicely bear the Cajun “trinity” (bell peppers, onions and celery). Pasta thickens moderately spicy sauce, making it less sharp than conventional jambalaya. Substituting pasta for rice is a gimmick, but it’s a well-executed one.   (ORIGINAL ARTICLE)


    Gramercy Tavern's Michael Anthony in Saveur | January 19, 2015

    THE SAVEUR 100 More


    North End Grill's Tracy Obolsky in The Wall Street Journal | January 16, 2015

    THE BEST APRES-SKI RECIPES   Ski-condo kitchens aren’t always the best-equipped, but that shouldn’t stop you from going for the gold when you come in from the cold. These recipes for Swiss rösti, lamb shanks with currants and chickpeas, and peppermint schnapps whoopie pies will warm and satisfy after a day on the slopes   By Matthew Kronsberg   COOL FUEL | Clockwise from left: rösti; lamb shanks with currants and chickpeas; peppermint schnapps whoopie pies STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, FOOD STYLING BY JAMIE KIMM, PROP STYLING BY STEPHANIE HANES   EATING WELL (or at least heartily) is one of the great, earned pleasures of a day spent skiing or snowboarding. Often less pleasurable is negotiating the ski-town dining scene: Expensive food and long waits can make a home-cooked meal back at the rental look attractive. That is, until you think about the typical ski-condo kitchen.   There’s the set of cut-rate knives, all serrated, most gaptoothed; the iPad-size cutting board; and the skillet that lost its nonstick coating sometime during the second Clinton administration. There always seems to be, inexplicably, a hand-cranked egg beater—and quite explicably, given the priorities of the après-ski set, no fewer than nine bottle openers. You’ve seen this movie before, at the beach house (and at least that had a grill).   But scarce gear shouldn’t spell defeat. “I don’t think you need a lot of equipment,” said Daniel Humm, the Swiss chef and co-owner of Eleven Madison Park in New York and an avid skier. “You’d be surprised how many things you can make in a toaster.”   After a day on the mountain, simple and sustaining will win every time. “When you go to the mountain house, it’s like, ‘We’re going to have pancakes with extra butter for breakfast, then we’re going to put something in the oven to cook low and slow with tons of fat for dinner,” said Mike Solomonov, chef and partner of Zahav in Philadelphia and a serious snowboarder.   And while beach cooking often benefits from proximity to a farmstand, winter demands you work from a different larder. But there are treats here too. Mr. Humm said, “In Switzerland, there’s always great dairy—cheese, yogurt, milk, cream—and cured meats.” During visits to his parents’ ski apartment in the Swiss mountain town of Arosa, he steps away from the stove and revels in his mother’s cooking. Among his favorite dishes is rösti, a skillet-size potato pancake that can easily anchor a meal. “She would put prosciutto on top, with sliced tomatoes and cheese, then put it back in the oven. That plus a salad is a full meal,” Mr. Humm said. In Vermont, where Mr. Solomonov attended college and still snowboards, “the food culture is incredible,” he said. “We would go to the Shed brewery in Stowe, get some super dark beer and make beer-cheese soup. We’d make really good sour-cream pancakes in the morning with local maple syrup.”   Tracy Obolsky, pastry chef at Manhattan’s North End Grill, worked in snowboard shops before taking to the kitchen. Recently she found inspiration in a drink she had in her retail days. “I was up at Stratton Mountain for a demo day with Ride Snowboards,” she recalled, “and they were handing out Dirty Girl Scouts: hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps.” She decided to apply those flavors to whoopie pies and developed a recipe far easier to execute than her signature mountainside move: a frontside nosepress on a rail.   The attitude to take with après-ski cooking is pretty much the same as that for skiing itself: Know your limits and don’t let ambition get in the way of fun. “If I can take a trip to California or Colorado, I’ll absolutely do that,” said Mr. Solomonov, “but I’m also fine with driving to the Poconos. I just want to get up on the mountain and ride.”   Peppermint Schnapps Whoopie Pies Adapted from Tracy Obolsky of North End Grill, New York   Peppermint Schnapps Whoopie Pies STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, FOOD STYLING BY JAMIE KIMM, PROP STYLING BY STEPHANIE HANES   This dessert from pastry chef Tracy Obolsky is based on a minty, spiked hot chocolate. It’s both comforting and refreshing after a long, active day in the cold.   Total Time: 1 hour Makes: 18 3-inch whoopie pies   6 tablespoons cocoa powder 6 tablespoons granulated sugar 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1¼ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks 2 tablespoons brewed coffee 6 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 1 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup buttermilk ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1½ cups heavy cream ½ cup powdered sugar 3 tablespoons peppermint schnapps or liqueur   1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together cocoa, granulated sugar, flour, baking powder and soda and 1 teaspoon salt. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, coffee, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and buttermilk until smooth. Slowly pour liquid into dry mixture, whisking together until smooth. Stir in melted butter.   2. Spoon batter, one scant tablespoon at a time, onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Bake until slightly risen and just dry in the center, 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. (If using a pair of standard-size baking sheets, this will take about 3 batches.)   3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat heavy cream, powdered sugar, remaining vanilla, remaining salt and peppermint schnapps until firm peaks form.   4. Sandwich 2 tablespoons whipped cream between 2 cooled cookies. Repeat with remaining cookies.   (ORIGINAL ARTICLE)


    Gramercy Tavern and The Modern on Business Insider | January 15, 2015

    THE 13 BEST TASTING MENUS IN NYC By Portia Crowe   New York City is home to some of the world's most celebrated restaurants, with the most celebrated dishes — and that can get a little overwhelming. That's why we have tasting menus.   The Infatuation helped us compile a list of the best tasting menus in NYC, spread throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan.   Dig in and enjoy.     Gramercy Tavern   42 E. 20th St., Manhattan   The Infatuation loves Gramercy Tavern – especially its tasting menu ($48 for four courses).   "There aren't many better Fine Dining experiences in this city – or even in the world," wrote Chris Stang.   The seasonal menu features lots of seafood — scallops, oyster chowder, and halibut — as well as a tasty duck breast with bacon. Or try the vegetarian tasting menu with butternut squash and pappardelle.     The Modern   9 W. 53rd St., Manhattan   Located inside the Museum of Modern Art, The Modern serves delicious American fare in an elegant dining room overlooking the museum's garden.   The tasting menu costs $128 for six courses (that's counting caviar, foie gras, and black truffle separately, but not counting their $18 or $28 dollar cheese options).   (ORIGINAL ARTICLE)


    North End Grill's Eric Korsh in Nation's Restaurant News | January 14, 2015

    CHEFS TURN UP THE HEAT WITH LESSER-KNOWN CHILES Ají dulce, ají amarillo, pasilla and other varieties appear across menus By Fern Glazer   Peppers from North End Grill's rooftop. Photo: Melissa Hom   Though heat-inducing jalapeño, habanero, chipotle and Serrano peppers are fast becoming menu mainstays, some chefs are looking to turn up the flavor with less familiar varieties of chile peppers and chile oils.   According to officials at Technomic Inc., a number of lesser-known varieties of peppers are already emerging on menus and the Chicago-based market research firm predicts a trend in the making.   Eric Korsh, executive chef of North End Grill in New York City, is a big fan of ají dulce peppers, a sweet perennial pepper that grows mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean.   After finding the pepper difficult to source in the United States, Korsh began growing his own on North End’s rooftop. Korsh harvests and then pickles the ají, which preserves the pepper’s natural floral undertones and moderate smoky heat. He uses them on his Spanish mackerel crudo, along with cucumber, grapefruit, Serrano peppers and radish.   “Most peppers have one or two dimensions in terms of their flavor profile. You eat a jalapeño and you get the flavor of a jalapeño, combined with that particular type of heat, or you eat a red bell pepper and you get that flavor, but there isn’t much else going on,” Korsh said. “But the ají dulce pepper is unique because there are two or three things happening in the flavor profile that exist naturally in the chile.”   (ORIGINAL ARTICLE)


    Hospitality Quotient's Susan Salgado in Inc. Magazine | January 13, 2015

    THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO WRITING EMPLOYEE GUIDEBOOKS Why revisiting your employee manual is an opportunity to move your culture and business ahead. By Susan Reilly Salgado   IMAGE: Getty Images   The start of a new year is a great time to enrich the messaging of your culture and to state (or restate) what you as a leader expect of your team. One very impactful way to do this is with your employee guidebook. Have you read yours recently? Does it accurately reflect your evolving company culture? Does it set a purposeful tone for your organization? Here are some tips as you look at yours:   1) Rearticulate who you are. Even if you think employees do (or should) fully understand your purpose and perspective as an organization, lay it out clearly and make sure it reflects where you are today. Revisit whether your mission statement is what you want it to be. This becomes the guidepost for the future and lights the way for new employees. Moreover, a well-articulated statement of purpose can make new employees feel more connected to the organization from the start--and help tenured employees reconnect to feelings of pride about your company.   2) Write policies in a way that explains the why. Employees are more likely to comply with your guidelines if they understand why the rules exist. Make it clear how the policies you've created actually align with your organization's principles and goals. For example, a lateness policy that simply says "you must be here at 9:00 a.m." sets a clear expectation; a policy that explains that late employees create an added burden on those colleagues who have to cover for them creates a sense of connectedness among the team, which will be more effective in motivating the right behaviors.   3) Make it sound like you. The tone of your manual should sound like the environment you want to create. Don't get caught up in legalese. Use language that reflects who you are. Talk to your team through your employee manual. Let them hear and feel your leadership through your tone. For example,, the online shoe retailer, expresses its fun and wacky cultural values by producing an employee handbook in cartoon format.   4) Don't write policies to deal with one person's behavior. We once had a client who added a formal dress code policy and distributed it to all employees because one rogue employee was not dressing appropriately. Create policies intended for your organization as a whole; when you need to deal with one person's behavior, do so pointedly and privately.   5) Write policies that empower rather than restrict. If your policies reflect trust and respect in your employees, they are more likely to embody the behaviors you want to promote. For example, a strict allotment of sick days might tempt employees to use those days deceptively at the end of the year so as not to lose them; or, if they have used their days up, they might come into the office on a day when they're sick, and risk spreading it to others. Conversely, a sick leave policy that allows employees time off for illness whenever they need it implies that you trust your team's integrity--thus encouraging genuine integrity--and keeps potentially contagious colleagues out of the workplace.   6) Repeat, refine, and revise. Remember to revisit the manual periodically to ensure it accurately reflects your vision. Manuals can have legal ramifications, so if you have one, keep it current. And it never hurts to have an attorney review the document to ensure you have not implicitly made agreements you didn't intend.   When employees understand your vision, your organization, your policies--and the reasoning behind them--they are more likely to get on board with the behaviors you expect. Moreover, they will be more effective at work because they're not worried about "what's allowed." At HQ, we like to think of policies as riverbanks that help set the boundaries for workplace behavior. They help to contain and guide the river, while leaving plenty of room to swim around. Write an employee guidebook that clearly communicates what you expect--then trust your team to swim around a bit, and know that you can deal with individual infractions on a case-by-case basis.   (ORIGINAL ARTICLE)


    Danny Meyer and Union Square Hospitality Group in The Wall Street Journal | January 13, 2015

    RELAXED STYLE OF RESTAURANT SERVICE BLURS THE LINE BETWEEN STAFF AND CUSTOMER By Tim Carman   Janine Copeland checks in with diners at Rose’s Luxury. The Capitol Hill restaurant embraces a more relaxed style of service that workers and customers alike seem to appreciate. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)   Once she places the silver platter on the table, the waitress we know as Janine launches into a detailed description of our family-style meal at Rose’s Luxury. She tells us about the expanse of eggplant Parm, the crusty garlic knots and the bowl of fresh greens with red onions, radishes, peperoncinis and other submerged pleasures.   “The only thing I can compare it to,” Janine says about the leafy side, “is a really good Olive Garden salad.”   At that moment, my dining companion just about loses it. His expression hovers somewhere between delight and horror, a response that’s amusing only once you know his profession: Jonathan Crayne is a senior captain at Marcel’s, the Foggy Bottom institution where chef and owner Robert Wiedmaier proudly flies the fine-dining flag in a city increasingly dominated by restaurants catering to the T-shirt-and-sneakers set.   Crayne is an increasingly rare breed himself: a server who has been attending to the dining needs of the rich and famous for nearly 40 years. His career stretches back to the mid-1970s, to Windows on the World in New York, where he was trained not just to take orders, suggest wine pairings and recite daily specials. He was trained to be a master of tableside prep: In front of guests, he would prepare Caesar salads, debone Dover sole, chop steak tartare and flame crepes Suzette. In short, he peddled decadence, as largely defined and passed down by the great chefs of Europe.   To Crayne, the idea of invoking Olive Garden as a selling point at Marcel’s is incomprehensible, the equivalent of explaining Wiedmaier’s famous boudin blanc by comparing it to, say, a ballpark frank. When I ask the captain what Wiedmaier would have thought of Janine’s description, he responds with a one-liner, delivered with the timing of a stand-up comic.   “He would definitely have to take a pill and sit down,” Crayne cracks.   Copeland likes the fact that Rose’s Luxury doesn’t make servers wear uniforms or recite speeches about the menu. “I can be myself,” she says. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)   ‘Thank you, Danny Meyer’ If you want to understand how dining has changed in the past decade, you have to look beyond just the kitchen. You have to look at the people on the dining room floor, too. Like chefs who have incorporated influences far beyond France, servers and front-of-house managers have ventured beyond French and Russian styles of service to embrace latter-day philosophers such as Chicago restaurateur Richard Melman and Danny Meyer, the New Yorker behind Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Shake Shack and other establishments.   The bible for many young chefs and restaurateurs is Meyer’s 2006 book, “Setting the Table,” in which he explains his notion of “enlightened hospitality.” It’s a philosophy that emphasizes employees over customers, the community, suppliers and even investors; it also draws a clear distinction between “service” and “hospitality.”   “The service is the technical delivery of a product,” Meyer writes. “Hospitality is how the delivery of that product makes its recipient feel.”   In the realm of enlightened hospitality, managers prefer employees who have better emotional skills than technical ones — a person, in other words, who knows how to cater to a diner’s every need over a person who just knows how to refill the water glass. It’s an approach that Meyer appropriated from Melman, founder and chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, the company behind restaurants and chains such as Mon Ami Gabi, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab.   “It’s remarkable to me how many businesses shine brightly when it comes to acing the tasks but emanate all the warmth of a cool fluorescent light,” Meyer writes in “Setting the Table.” “That explains how a four-star restaurant can actually attract far fewer loyal fans than a two- or three-star place with soul.”   At the Red Hen restaurant in Bloomingdale, the goal is to serve customers with absolute attentiveness to their needs, says co-proprietor Sebastian Zutant. (Stacy Zarin Goldberg/For The Washington Post)   That philosophy has been practically etched into the psyche of some local chefs and restaurateurs, including Aaron Silverman at Rose’s Luxury on Capitol Hill, Sebastian Zutant at Red Hen in Bloomingdale and Jeremiah Langhorne at the forthcoming Dabney in Blagden Alley. Zutant still remembers the day last year when he and Red Hen chef and co-owner Michael Friedman were sitting at the bar at Gramercy Tavern, Meyer’s fine-dining institution. Friedman told the bartender he has a shellfish allergy. The food runner who brought his entree — a different Gramercy employee — told Friedman the dish had neither touched nor been anywhere near shellfish.   “It was such an impressive little piece of service that people overlook,” Zutant says. “But it’s really, really important when you experience it, and that’s something we do now. Thank you, Danny Meyer.”   The problem, as Meyer wrote in his book, is that “training for emotional skills is next to impossible.” The key, then, is hiring people who exhibit a natural impulse to take care of others and have an ability to intuit a diner’s needs. Short of employing a Myers-Briggs test to determine which personalities make the best servers, the process for identifying such emotionally sophisticated people can be vague, perhaps even arbitrary. A candidate’s résumé and experience often mean less than his or her personality during an interview.   Silverman offers an example from his own hiring process at Rose’s. He decided to hire a food runner who walked into the interview and immediately radiated warmth. He smiled, he was friendly, he had a good handshake. “He had a positive energy about him,” Silverman says. “That’s what we’re looking for: people who are naturally comfortable.” Silverman says he never even read the employee’s résumé.   At both Rose’s and Red Hen, if managers don’t personally like a candidate, the applicant is essentially doomed, no matter how qualified. Michael Richmond, assistant general manager at Rose’s, explains the logic behind the rather subjective process.   “We’re always looking for personalities, which is one of the keys,” Richmond says. “Are they good? Are they cool? Do they put a lasting impression on us?” That last quality is paramount: If the employee can’t impress a small handful of managers, how can he or she expect to impress 50 or more diners a day?   No scripts, no dress codes If servers are now tasked with making diners feel as if they’re visiting a friend’s warm and inviting home — rather than a stuffy restaurant where a waiter might use his knowledge as a blunt instrument — then managers are now tasked with providing servers a similar environment in return.   Restaurants historically have been cruel places for employees, who suffered long hours, low wages and endless verbal abuse from chefs and managers trained in the French brigade system. There’s a reason turnover is so high in the hospitality industry, pegged at 62.6 percent in 2013, according to a National Restaurant Association report that quotes federal statistics. But at places like Rose’s in Washington, Canlis in Seattle or Union Square Cafe in New York, managers are dismantling the old system and installing a new one. It goes beyond providing workers with benefits and other perks. It also gives them freedom.   For servers, it means they are no longer slaves to the classic steps of service — rules that, for example, might mandate that every diner be greeted within 30 seconds of being seated. Chefs and general managers still train the floor staff in greetings, wines, daily specials, dish preparations and 101 other things. But the more enlightened among managers don’t force scripts, or prepared speeches, on servers. They give the wait staff freedom to improvise. They even give them the freedom to dress casually, sometimes at establishments that once had more stringent dress codes.   During a phone conversation, Meyer says he has relaxed rules on attire at Union Square Cafe to allow servers to wear blue jeans. The change was designed to appease the staff — and maintain the restaurant’s service standards. Apparently a significant number of Union Square employees live in Brooklyn, where the casual, lumberjack-hipster restaurant scene has matured to the point that it can now compete with Manhattan eateries for top servers. Meyer didn’t want attire to be a factor when a employee had to choose between his restaurant and one in Brooklyn.   “You want to keep the best employees, especially for Union Square Cafe,” Meyer says about his restaurant that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The owner notes that it’s critical to keep Union Square up to date, “so that it’s relevant for the next generation.”   At Marcel’s, a bastion of fine dining in Foggy Bottom, service is much more formal. Here, chef Robert Wiedmaier, left, and chef de cuisine Paul Stearman talk with the suited-up staff before dinner begins. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)   In her previous jobs, Janine Copeland, our server at Rose’s Luxury, didn’t always enjoy the same freedoms and perks she has now. When she worked for the small Matchbox chain, she regularly had to follow written scripts, she says. At her current gig, she’s given the ability to improvise and personalize the service. Copeland, 25, can also dress as she pleases, as long as her attire doesn’t cross over into what she calls “slutty” territory. The idea is to dress as if “you’re on a date,” she shares during dinner.   On this cold January evening, Copeland has selected a pair of bib overalls and a black shirt. Her hair is tied up in a bandana. “Tonight,” she says, “I’m on a date with a farmer.”   Bantering with her, Crayne is charmed.   “I could play with her all night,” says the 59-year-old captain. “She’s funny.”   But her act, Crayne notes, wouldn’t play in Marcel’s quiet, low-lit dining room, where outbursts of laughter are frowned upon. Marcel’s aims for “polite but aloof elegance” with its service, although Crayne acknowledges he likes to inject more personality into his interactions, occasionally crossing the line with Wiedmaier.   Still, Crayne thinks Copeland has the passion and drive to work at Marcel’s, should she ever decide to doff the overalls and slip into one of the designer suits worn by the wait staff at the fine-dining palace. Traditionally, that would be the logical move for a server like Copeland: Take her skills to a restaurant where a well-heeled diner could add hundreds of dollars to her bank account with the stroke of a pen.   But Copeland doesn’t sound all that interested in changing jobs. As she says, “I’ve always thought Rose’s will be the last restaurant I work at because I can be myself.” It seems clear that she loves working where the line between server and customer, between work and play, is not so sharply drawn.   (ORIGINAL ARTICLE)


    Gramercy Tavern on Eater NY | January 6, 2015

    THE 38 ESSENTIAL NEW YORK RESTAURANTS, JANUARY '15 By Eater Staff   It's time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, "Can you recommend a restaurant?" This highly elite group covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck. Every quarter, we add pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game.   As it's the start of the new year, we here at Eater felt it was time for a bigger update than usual. So here's the new Eater 38, fresh for 2015, with 10 new additions.   16 Gramercy Tavern     Gramercy Tavern is the king of farm-to-table cuisine in New York City. The front room is one of the best places in New York for a leisurely lunch, or a romantic meal during the week. [Daniel Krieger]

    30 UNDER 30

    Marta's Jack Mason on | January 6, 2015

    FORBES 30 UNDER 30: FOOD & DRINK Edited by Vanna Le, Maggie McGrath, Alicia Adamczyk   Presenting the 30 Under 30 2015 in Food & Drink who are refining how, and what, we consume. Scroll down to see the full list, gorgeous photos and video conversations, breakdowns of everything interesting about this year’s class, and the most influential alumni from the past three years.   Jack Mason, 27 Wine director, Marta     At New York's recently opened Marta, Mason has already received acclaim from The N.Y. Times and Wine Spectator for his outstanding wine list. At just 27, he's a step away from achieving the title of Master Sommelier, the Guild of Sommeliers’ highest professional designation.   (ORIGINAL ARTICLE)


    Gramercy Tavern's Juliette Pope in FSR Magazine | December 2014



    Marta and North End Grill on Eater NY | December 29, 2014

    FRIENDS OF EATER ON THE TOP RESTAURANT NEWCOMERS OF 2014 By Eater Staff, photos by Daniel Krieger     The best places to eat right now.   As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. This year, we asked the group eight questions running the gamut from meal of the year to top restaurant newcomers. Their answers will appear throughout the week. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Please, add your answers in the comments.   Lockhart Steele, Vox Media editorial director; Eater co-founder: I tend to binge on restaurants when they open, which is what I did this summer at Bar Primi and Claudette, and this fall at Dirty French and Marta. Love all those spots, but my newcomer of 2014 is the restaurant I wish I'd dined at way more often: Narcissa. I first ate at John Fraser's reinvention of the haunted Standard East Village restaurant space in January, right after it opened, and was blown away. I dined there again early in the summer, and then outside, tucked into the garden, in early September. Each meal was among the best I had all year. Three times just didn't cut it; I'm doubling down on Narcissa in 2015.   Mimi Sheraton, restaurant critic and author of 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die: North End Grill (new chef, Eric Korsh), The Clam, Gato, elan, Sushi Nakazawa, Cherche Midi, Batard.   Jordana Rothman, food writer and editor, cocktail expert: Cosme is really the beginning and the end of the best new restaurant conversation as far as I'm concerned. I don't love the cement room (or the resulting acoustics), but Enrique Olvera's food is astonishing. Enfrijoladas, scallop aguachile, pozole, duck carnitas, husk meringue...I waited all year to be this moved by a meal.   I also had wonderful dinners at Via Carota, Upland, and Tuome. And I'm obsessed with this anonymous little Thai place in Red Hook called Kao Soy — it looks like a janky takeout spot but they are actually serving super meticulous and complex curries, noodles and snacks. Feels like a real discovery (and they deliver). Marta is great too, especially that lamb mixed grill, and definitely Ivan Ramen.   There were also a few great new bars to talk about this year. Long Island Bar is everything I have ever wanted in a local spot: Relaxed with good cocktails that aren't self-conscious and easy-drinking food. I also love Rocka Rolla in Williamsburg because there's a good juke, bad-girl bartenders, and because I am gross and I like drinking slushy bourbon out of fish bowls.   Bret Thorn, Nation's Restaurant News senior food editor: Limani, the Gander, and Bacchanal. I suspect Decoy, Cherche Midi, Marta, Root & Bone, Bâtard and Elan are great, but I haven't been yet. I'm also positive that I've forgotten a bunch.   Hillary Dixler, Eater associate reports editor: Hands down my favorite 2014 additions to the NYC dining scene are Russ & Daughters Cafe and Marta. These are places I just keep going to back to.   Ben Leventhal, Resy co-founder; Eater co-founder: Upland, Cosme, Marta, Claudette, Narcissa, Ivan Ramen, Bowery Meat Company.   Amanda Kludt, Eater editor-in-chief: Cosme, Marta, Cherche Midi.   Kat Odell, Eater editorial producer: Marta, Arcade Bakery, Dimes, Ivan Ramen, Tuome, Root & Bone, Cherch Midi, Russ & Daughters   Nick Solares, Eater NY, senior editor Batard, Cosme, Cherche Midi, Dirty French, Marta.   Greg Morabito, Eater, Engagement Editor Batard exceeded my very high expectations, both in terms of food and overall experience. That restaurant added a jolt of fun to the fine dining world. I also love that Batard doesn't have a lofty concept or theme — it's just a comfortable place with great food, attentive service, and a lively spirit.   I was surprised by the pizza, pasta, and salads at GGs. That place is not blazing any trails, but Bobby Hellen is clearly putting a lot of care into the cooking.   Also, on the pizza kick, I loved all my meals at Marta. That food is just so satisfying and I weirdly dig that clean, comfy dining room and Danny Meyer mega-hospitality vibe.   (ORIGINAL ARTICLE)