Today’s Food Newsbits: NY Restaurants Continue Growth, Michelin Reveals 2010 NY Stars, Alice Waters on Gourmet
According to a recent Zagat survey, more restaurants opened in New York this year than the number of restaurants who shuttered their doors. Despite closings from big names like Payard and Tavern on the Green, survey results show that 157 ‘notable’ restaurants opened this year compared with 102 that closed. The survey also notes that overall pricing of a meal in New York actually rose 2.5% even with so many hot spots cutting back on expensive food items and offering lower-priced prix fixe meals. However, while restaurants continue to open, New Yorkers are cutting back on their spending when they do dine out, ordering less starter dishes, dessert, and alcohol.
“The recession seriously affected the New York restaurant industry,” said Tim Zagat, chief executive of Zagat Survey in a statement. “But the picture is far more nuanced than many reports suggest.”
I’m pretty sure we can’t count New York as “the norm” when it comes to restaurant spending, but it’s good to see continued growth in the food sector.
A big congrats to Daniel Boulud and the staff at Daniel on their recent award of three stars from the revered Michelin Guide. The guide’s 2010 New York City award list was announced on Monday morning. Other three-star notables include Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, and Thomas Keller’s Per Se.
“Earning a third star in the Michelin Guide feels like winning a Nobel Prize,” Boulud said. “For a chef born, raised and trained in France, Michelin’s prestige is undeniable. This recognition is as meaningful to me as it is for the 135 staff [members] working at Daniel. Their talent and dedication are what go into making Daniel what it is.”
The two-star list includes Gordon Ramsay at the London and David Chang’s Momofuku Ko. The one-star list is rounded out by a number of noteworthy restaurants as well, including Boulud’s Cafe Boulud, Charlie Palmer’s recently relocated Aureole, and Eleven Madison Park, which recently received a four-star rating from New York Times reviewer Frank Bruni.
As the foodie world continues to mourn the loss of Gourmet magazine this week, food activist Alice Waters talked with Grub Street San Francisco on her affinity for the food glossy. After nearly 70 years in print, it’s certainly a sign of the changing (media) times.
In case you missed it, be sure to catch this fab Washington Post interview with Momofuku’s David Chang, where the award-winning chef points out that sometimes the call of the kitchen is just too strong.
His father was in the restaurant business but gave it up to open a golf retail store because “restaurants are a hard-ass business,” Chang said. “Many of his friends were restaurant owners. He would tell the chefs to take me down and have a conversation to convince me that the kitchen was no place for a kid like me. He wanted his kids to have the best education that he could afford. So I got the best education he could afford” — Trinity College in Connecticut — “and the irony is, I squandered it.”