Russ & Daughters Uptown at The Jewish Museum

Russ & Daughters, the purveyor of Jewish-American foods on the Lower East Side, plans to open a cafe in the Jewish Museum uptown on 92nd St and 5th Avenue early next year. Recently, Russ & Daughters opened Russ & Daughters Cafe on East Houston St next to its flagship store. The new cafe at the museum will be on the lower level and will also have a retail counter. Claudia Gold, Museum director, describes her thoughts on Russ & Daughter, “They’re really hip, and we want to try to make Jewish hip. We feel like the brands align.”

Niki Russ Federman, an owner of Russ & Daughters, is also excited for the collaboration, “We’re both important cultural institutions. We want to preserve tradition yet move ahead, so there’s a synergy in our values.” The fare at the new shop in the museum will be kosher and will not require museum admission to enter.  The 75-seat sit-down kosher café will have a selection of Russ 7 Daughter classics such as bagels, egg creams, herring, knishes and traditional homemade breads.

To read more about the partnership between Russ & Daughters and the Jewish Museum, click here

Midtown Interactive Lunch Finder

Where should you grab lunch in Midtown today? DNAinfo New York has made it easy to choose! By launching an interactive food finder, the viewer will be able to navigate through the hundreds of restaurant and fast-casual eateries available in Midtown. The food finder first prompts the viewer to choose where they are located (midtown north, south, or east). Following this selection the food finder generates a list of different types of foods to help the viewer figure out what they are in the mood for (Mexican, Middle Easter, Soup/Salad, etc.). After the meal type is selected, the viewer is prompted to state their desired lunch budget, and the food finder will show a list of restaurants that meet the criteria.

For the initial rollout DNAinfo has included 36 popular Midtown eateries to choose from but the selection will continue to grow. The website also allows for the viewer to send along suggestions of good recommended lunch spots either by leaving a comment directly on the site or by letting them know via Twitter: New York.

To check out the interactive food finder for lunch in midtown click here!

Manhattan Food Halls

Brookfield Place, the upper level of the World Financial Center, houses Hudson Eats: a food hall consisting of 14 different eateries. Hudson Eats is not comparable to a food court, it is more upscale  with marble countertops, walnut furniture and custom light fixtures. Some of the eateries include known lunchtime establishments such as Num Pang sandwich shop or Black Seed Bagels, whom are both serving the same $10 meals that are found in their standalone shops. It is five times cheaper to be operating out of Hudson Eats than it is at a standalone shop.

Hudson Eats is one of the new food halls that are cropping up around the U.S and across the globe. These new “upgraded food courts” are targeted towards a white-collar working audience who seek an easy and appetizing lunch. Other food halls in Manhattan that are comparable to Hudson Eats include the Chelsea Market, Gotham West market, Plaza Food Hall, and Mario Batali’s Eataly. Rumor is that Anthony Bourdain also has plans to open an international street-eats bazaar. .

Edward Hogan, the national director of leasing at Brookfield Office Properties who own Hudson Eats. has stated, “This customer is more educated…they want fast casual food, and they want to be impressed.” To read more about the Food Hall trend in Manhattan, click here

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest

The 13th Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest will take place this Saturday, September 6th and Sunday September 7th at the Dutchess County Fairground in Rhinebeck, NY. The event will begin at 11AM featuring wine and beer tasting from some of the best wineries and breweries in New York State. As the festival is a NY registered farm market, bottles are available for purchase. To view a list of the participating wineries, click here.

The restaurant, food truck and gourmet specialty food line-up is also very impressive. At the Festival you will be able to sample a variety of gourmet specialty foods from across the East Coast. There will be a food truck corral and ongoing cooking demos from celebrity chefs. Gourmet ingredients will also be available for purchase. To view a list of the participants, click here

Tickets for regular admission start at $22 for the day and $37 for the weekend. The tasting ticket (must be 21 years or older) is $40 for one day and $70 for the weekend. For more information on the festival and to purchase tickets online, click here


Opportunities For Growth At Penn Station

Transportation officials hope to transform Penn Station into a complex where travelers are eager to experience the dining and retail offerings at the hub; similar to Grand Central Terminal where travelers can choose from various good coffee, dining and retail options, such as Shake Shack’s burgers, the GCT Market or Michael Jordan’s steaks. As it stands now, Penn Station is lined with cases of (probably day-old) soft pretzels, less than average pizza slices and grab and go food establishments. The frequent insect sitings, dim flickering lighting, low ceilings and visible homeless population certainly do not add to the experience either.

Several restaurants operated by Riese Organization in spaces owned by Vornado Realty Trust within Penn Station are expected to close, however it remains unclear whether or not they will be immediately replaced or if these spaces will be closed to make room for higher-end dining options. The owner of the station along with other Amtrak officials have stated that it would be challenging to have a fast turnover given the layout of the building and overcrowding concerns; they did, however, agree that there is a definite push towards a change to upgrade.

Moynihan Station, which is a future planned rail hub construction across eighth avenue, is intended to be built to resemble Grand Central Terminal in the sense that it will offer enticing dining and retail options. Amtrak’s principal of capital program development, Jeff Gerlach, has mentioned that new retail and food additions are more likely to be found in the Moynihan Station project over the next several years.

To read more about the efforts to upgrade New York City’ Pennsylvania Station, click here

First Seafood CSA Model In NYC

The first seafood CSA in NYC, Dock to Dish, will attempt to return restaurants to the older way of doing things, where they worked around what was in supply over what was in demand. We are more familiar with CSA’s where consumers sign up for a memberships to be provided with seasonal, local, fresh produce from local farmers. Dock to Dish operates in the same manner just with seafood rather than produce. Restaurateur Sean Barrett has come together with fishermen to apply the same CSA economic model to seafood and established Community Supported Fisheries (CSF).

Dock to Dish will help to foster the relationship between growers and eaters by shortening the distribution chain. Dock to Dish was founded in Montauk, Long Island to provide members with a weekly portion of high quality seafood caught sustainably within the last 24 hours. Dock to Dish then took off in New York City where it became the first Restaurant Supported Fishery with chefs such as Bill Telepan, Dan Barber and April Bloomfield subscribing amongst others. They receive an abundance of whatever is caught fresh such as bigeye tuna, fluke, black sea bass, swordfish, squid and many others. According to Edible, “Chefs used to rely on fishermen who came to their kitchen doors offering what was local, plentiful and in season. Then they wrote the menu. It put excitement into preparations: a little surprise to get the creative juices flowing.”

To read more about the CSF and watch a short video on how it operates, click here

Fake Scarcity in the New York Food Scene

There is an interesting phenomenon occurring in the New York City Food Scene: that of fake scarcity. Food establishments are making their products or dishes hard to get as opposed to boasting a bountiful fully-stocked quantity of their products. This is the case in the fashion industry, where consumers will line up for coveted limited-edition limited-supply designer pieces, which makes sense to a certain degree, however should this also be the case for lunch or  a pastry? Totonno’s pizzeria in Coney Island is known for the times when customers used to be ushered away because the pizzeria had run out of dough, causing customers to line up early to ensure this wouldn’t happen to them. They now operate with sufficient dough for the demand, however the hype and memory of the frenzy that was caused by the running out of dough at Totonno’s will remain. This seems ironic, however the limited availability of a product and the hype that ensues if a product ‘runs out’ (although designed this way) gives the guest the impression that it must be an outstanding product worth lining up for.

A great example of this phenomenon is Dominique Ansel’s cronut. New Yorkers are willing to start queuing at the crack of dawn to get their hands on one of the 450 $5 croissant-donut hybrids. For those who are not willing to line up early, there is a “cronut black market” where the item can be made available for $40 each. Another example is at a restaurant downtown in SoHo called Raoul’s. Raoul’s is known for only making 12 hamburgers per day. 12 hamburgers. The line begins to form at 4:30 PM, an hour before the kitchen opens, and if you are lucky to get to order one of these 12 burgers you may only enjoy it at the bar. David Honeysett, chef at Raoul’s admits that, “If anyone could order a burger, it would really interfere with dinner service..Our check average now is much higher than what a burger would produce.”

Clark Wolf, a local restaurant consultant sums up the fake scarcity phenomenon by expressing that, “In New York, people love getting what they can’t have or fighting for it..running out can create drama and notoriety.” To read more about the marketing principle of limited supply in the New York City food scene, click here


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