Last Minute Thanksgiving in NYC

If there’s one city where you can make Thanksgiving dining plans at the last minute, its New York City. There are a number of last minute reservations that are available and a good variety of restaurant and menu options. Below is a list of a few restaurants that GrubStreet compiled that still have reservations on Turkey Day with some great menus:

Price per person: $95
Menu: The holiday menu includes a chestnut soup with roasted brussel sprouts, heritage turkey with polenta and kale, as well as the Maialino classics such as the roast suckling pig and tonnarelli cacio e pepe. 
The Gander
Price per person: $85
Menu: The Gander is offering a four-course prix fixe menu with seasonal squash soup, a crispy calamari salad and sea trout tartare. The entrees include a dry-aged strip steak, a roasted branzino, and of course a turkey dish. 
Pearl & Ash
Price per person: $95
Menu: Pearl & Ash will be serving turkey four ways: in turkey butter, turkey sausage, turkey Wellington and fried with cranberry and slaw. Take your pick!
Price per person: $60
Menu: Daniel Boulud will be serving, “The Gobbler,” a seven-ounce Turkey burger topped with rodichio slaw, toasted pumpkin seeds and cranberry ketchup. This is not the only item featuring the holiday bird, but definitely sounds like a must to try…The three-course holiday menu also includes great pâté and ice-cream sundaes. 

To see a full list of last-minute Thanksgiving Day restaurant options in the city, along with a great list of takeout options, click here




NYC Does Hot Chocolate Better

Its time to gear up for the cold by packing on those layers, and of course by locating New York’s best cups of hot chocolate. To take your mind off the dreaded words “polar vortex,” Grubstreet has compiled a list of a few spots in the city that serve an elevated cup of hot chocolate. This great city is full of chefs, bartenders, baristas, and bakers wanting to step up their chocolate game to offer exotic versions of the classic hot chocolate.  A few of these listed below are spiked with ingredients such as lavender, salted caramel, brownie batter, and actual alcohol. Here are some of the options from the Grubstreet survey to go out and try!

Price: $3.50
Secret Ingredient: Lavender
It’s no surprise that the bakery with the most amazing new chocolate chip cookie in town also makes a solid hot chocolate. The milk is infused with dried lavender, then strained, steamed, and combined with melted dark chocolate. Plus: Maman also sells prepackaged spoons made of chocolate, which melt beautifully into a mug of warm milk.

Blue Bottle Coffee at Gotham West Market
Price: $5
Secret Ingredient: Coffee
Of course, there’s coffee in this hot chocolate — making it a mocha, technically. Mast Brothers supply the chocolate ganache.

Victory Garden
Price: $4.50
Secret Ingredient: Cajeta
Sophia Brittan makes a salted-caramel hot chocolate, using traditional chocolate from Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s hand-frothed with a Mexican molinillo whisk and topped with homemade cajeta and sea salt.

Shake Shack
Price: $3.50
Secret Ingredient: Salted caramel
This year, Shake Shack’s hot chocolate includes a blend of bittersweet dark chocolates, caramel sauce, sea salt, and milk. It’s exactly what you need after waiting in line, in the freezing cold, just for a perfect burger.

Pasar Malam
Price: Free!
Secret Ingredient: Condensed chocolate milk
A wise business strategy at this relatively new version of a Malaysian night market: Give customers a hot drink as soon as they arrive. To make this “Pulled Hot Chocolate Tea”: orange-Pekoe tea infused with warm spices, and then drizzled in condensed chocolate milk.

To check out the full list of great spots in the city to get a cup of special hot chocolate, click here

Chobani Launching Food Incubator

Next Spring, Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya will be launching the brand’s first food incubator in New York City. The company has been doing very well with sales increasing from $3 million in revenues in 2007 to over $1 billion by 2012. The newly launched six-month program will be offering up office space and contacts with potential clients. Chobani will also be allocating up to $2 million in early-stage investment for the first group of about 10 companies. Ulakaya has had the idea to launch a food incubator for some time now, expressing that they, “have learned a lot about the space, about the food, and we’ve proved our model works. The founding mission we had was better food for more people–why does yogurt have to be exclusive?”

The program will be putting emphasis on branding, positioning and pricing. Chobani knows that these factors are crucial to food startups as they too have made important strategic decisions to get them to where they are now. Ulakaya will ensure that the startup’s products are tasty and affordable so as to appeal to mainstream consumers in the same way  Chobani’s products have. According to Ulakaya, “Some of the [issues with obtaining this food] is that it’s a lifestyle, but a majority of it is also availability, and if it is available, it’s not affordable. We can start from a better position and make it better as we go.”

There is a webpage where Chobani urges new entrepreneurs to apply and the class will be announced in the next few weeks. The entrepreneurs will have access to a host of resources such as marketing and distribution, and will be mentored directly by Ulakaya. To read more about the launch of Chobani’s first food incubator in New York City, click here

New Shake Shack in Midtown East

Shake Shack opened yet another outpost yesterday in eastern midtown on the corner of 40th St and 3rd Ave, just a short walk from Grand Central Station. This location will be the seventh outpost opened by Danny Meyer and his team in New York city. This location was in the works for about a year, and it seems the next outpost will be Herald Square to open soon after this. The popular burger chain is known for adding some location-specific concretes to the custard menus at their different outposts.

The concretes featured at this new Midtown East Shake Shack include the ‘Murray Hill Malt’, consisting of chocolate custard, marshmallow sauce, malt powder, chocolate truffle cookie dough and Mast Brothers cocoa nibs, the ‘East Slide,” a custard with strawberry, banana and cheesecake blondies, the ‘Jitney’ with Tate’s Bake Shop chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter sauce (5% of sales on this custard benefits an animal welfare organization). The crinkle cut fries and Brooklyn Brewery ShackMeister are also served here along with all the Shake Shack classics, just in case there was the slightest doubt.

To read more about the opening of Danny Meyer’s seventh Shake Shack in Manhattan, click here

New Amsterdam Market Returns

TaraPaige Group was sad to post a few months ago that the New Amsterdam Market at the old Fulton Fish Market would be closing due to the redevelopment of the area by Howard Hughes Corporation. Good news! Although not in the same location, the market will be returning next year. Robert LaValva is not yet ready to reveal the new home of the New Amsterdam Market, but is eager to reopen a space where butchers, cheesemongers, seafood dealers and other vendors are able to showcase their fare.

The real estate developers are planning to demolish the old New Market building to construct a high rise waterfront tower. This decision was of course met with a strong opposition. After a solid seven years of events being hosted at the South Street Seaport location, the official next event will take place in late February of 2015. April Bloomfield, chef of the Spotted Pig was on the market’s board of directors and will be appearing on a panel to discuss the future of the Seaport next Monday, November 10th. For more information on this panel discussion, click here.

To read more about the future of the New Amsterdam Market in the upcoming year, click here


Maple: New Upscale Delivery Service

Chef David Chang of the Momofuko empire just signed on to create menus for the newest upscale delivery service app called Maple. This app-based service will be launching early next year and are advertising that they will guarantee a delivery time of fifteen minutes. The already existing similar app-based service Caviar will be getting some competition. Chang will be assembling a culinary board of directors to help contribute recipes and dishes to the service and also has plans for a rotating seasonal menu.

The difference with Maple is that delivery will not be coming from a specific restaurant; the team will be making their own food. Maple promises that the food will be ‘at the same level’ as in restaurants and a very speedy delivery within fifteen minutes of receiving the order. This is a very big promise in the city, so we will just have to wait to see how this will roll out in terms of operations. Chang also started selling Momofuko bento boxes to the WeWork office by City Hall so it is not his first venture in the world of delivery.

To read more about the launch of Maple and David Chang’s involvement, click here

Second Starbucks Open in Williamsburg

The first Starbucks opened in Williamsburg a few months ago and was met with a less than welcoming crowd. Starbucks now opened a second Starbucks Coffee Shop and is making an effort to try and make the outpost blend in with the feel of the neighborhood. This Starbucks location has exposed brick and a large communal table that is intended to be used for coffee seminars. In another effort to fit in with the Williamsburg scene, this Starbucks will host local music bands and showcase artwork from neighborhood artists.

Williamsburg is not the only market where Starbucks is attempting to variegate appearance and activities, they are also experimenting with this in a few other markets. This location also had high hopes to sell wine and beer, however a 500 person petition from local businesses and residents forced a no vote from the Community Board. The decision remains in the hands of the SLA which has yet to make a final decision. The owner and manager of the neighboring The West coffee house took it upon themselves to collect the signatures for the petition. Owner Esther Bell stated, “”They have 255 locations in Manhattan right now, and we would be setting the precedent that Starbucks will not only keep opening up in Brooklyn, block by block, but now take a vital revenue stream from small business. As you know, most restaurants can’t survive without alcohol.”

 To read more about the opening of the new Williamsburg Starbucks location, click here. The Starbucks is located near the L train Bedford Stop at 154 North 7th Street, Williamsburg. 


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