The NY Food World’s Biggest Surprises of 2017


L1140731.0.jpgWelcome to Year in Eater 2017, Eater’s annual ritual of eulogizing the past 12 months through input from the city’s top food writers. For 2017’s final week, Eater NY will be posting questions daily about New York City’s restaurant scene in the past year, with answers from those who know it best: Eater editors and friends of Eater. Today’s topic: What was the biggest dining surprise of 2017?

Reveal the surprise here

The 5 Best Food Movies of 2017


As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the best moments in food on film over the last year. I’ve singled out my picks for the top five movies about eating and drinking down below, and next week, I’ll share my list of the best food TV episodes.

See the list here

Watch: New York City’s Go-To Spot for Sashimi After Midnight


Stateside, it’s not uncommon for omakase to be someone’s dinner of choice, but in Japan, omakase is traditionally reserved for the daytime, with yakitori and izakaya dining taking its place in the evenings. Since opening in 2002, chef Seki Shi has been pushing this envelope by keeping his New York City restaurant Sushi Seki open until 2:30 a.m. nightly.

Over 15 years later, Seki is a late-night favorite for chefs and restaurant owners looking for quality fish and seafood once their restaurants close for the night. In this episode of Eater’s Omakase, a visit to Sushi Seki’s flagship Times Square location, where chef Shi stresses the importance of two things: rice and fish, no matter what the hour.

Watch the clip here

Long Island Iced Tea Becomes ‘Long Blockchain,’ Triples in Value

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Blockchains. Yes, those. You don’t know what they are. I don’t know what they are. They seem to be valuable, because Long Island Iced Tea Corporation renamed itself as Long Blockchain Corporation and tripled its stock value on Thursday (the price has come back down a bit on Friday).

Long Blockchain is only the latest company to see its value skyrocket after adding “blockchain” to its moniker, according to Ars Technica. The publication notes this is similar to how companies in the late 1990s increased their stock prices simply by adding “.com” to their names. Nothing bad happened as a result of that strategy, right?

Reading the full article here

The True Meaning of KFC Christmas


Much has been written about Japan’s predilection for Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas, but most of it fails to understand just what it is that a cardboard bucket of fried chicken on Christmas exemplifies — KFC, as a Westernized holiday ideal, has come to represent a culturally aligned yearning for a no-questions-asked familial harmony.

Precisely how that happened is opaque. On the website of the Mitsubishi Corporation, which first brought KFC to Japan in 1970 for the Osaka World Expo, it’s noted that by 1974 the Christmas Party Barrel was widely promoted, thus “beginning the uniquely Japanese lifestyle of eating KFC on Christmas.” In some articles, former KFC Japan CEO Takeshi Okawara says that the idea of Kentucky for Christmas came to him in a dream. In others, KFC for Christmas is proffered as the closest substitute to turkey for lonely expats.

Read the full article here

‘Stranger Things’ Mixes a Collusion Cocktail With a Shot of Stolichnaya


Stranger Things 2, which premiered almost a year after the 2016 presidential election, is a whole different demogorgon. Gone are the ominous blinking lights and the focus on the familial home as a site of potential terror. This season, the entire town of Hawkins is under siege from something much bigger; the monster looms over the town, invisible to most residents, and at the same time, cancerous roots grow below them, spreading rot and decay. We don’t know yet what the monsters want from Hawkins, but we know they’re laying the groundwork to get it.

It is a deliberate pivot from the previous season, and everything from the dialogue to the brands referenced supports this reading. Stranger Things relies heavily on brands to anchor itself in a specific time period; entire plotlines develop around nostalgic names like Eggo and Radio Shack. (The proliferation of Cheetos references this season is certainly intriguing.) And like the toaster waffles of the previous season, one brand came to the forefront in Stranger Things 2: the Russian vodka Stolichnaya.


Fried Squash Rings Are the Hottest Side Dish in NYC Right Now


The hottest side dish this fall and winter is apparently fried squash rings. In the last six months, Danny Meyer’s new wine bar Vini e Fritti, David Chang’s fast-food restaurant Fuku, Greg Baxtrom’s Prospect Heights restaurant Olmsted, Aurora Restaurant Group’s new Evelina in Fort Greene, and popular Carroll Gardens pizzeria Pizza Moto have all added versions of the dish — from onion ring-inspired versions to fluffier ones topped with honey.

Read the full article here

Orlando’s Restaurant Scene Is Now Thinking Bigger Than Giant Turkey Legs

Let’s count the reasons visitors flock to Orlando. There are the endless theme parks, the sprawling convention center, the abundance of world-class golf courses nearby, and proximity to the Kennedy Space Center. Whatever the reason you might go, you’ve got a lot of company: In 2016, 68 million visitors descended upon the area, spending $41.8 billion on lodging, entertainment, and dining, making it the top tourist destination in the U.S.

Read the full article here

McDonald’s First Eco-Friendly Restaurant Is Open in Maryland


The future of food is sustainable, and last week a McDonald’s franchise in Bethesda, Maryland became the chain’s first location to receive Level One certification from the Green Restaurant Association. GRA certification differs from others in that it incorporates all aspects of a restaurant’s business. This is different from something like LEED certification, for example, which applies only to buildings and construction. GRA incorporates LEED requirements, but also focuses on operations and interiors.

Read the full article here

A Restaurant Where You Can Order a Dish, Literally

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La Mercerie, the cafe, bakery and restaurant in the furniture and design store Roman and Williams Guild, which opens Thursday, is not exactly the kind of place you associate with takeout.

Marie-Aude Rose — a celebrated Parisian chef who has cooked at Pierre Gagnaire and alongside her husband, Daniel, at their now-closed restaurant, Spring — will serve what she describes as “simple but refined” French food. But after enjoying dishes like vegetables cooked in saffron broth beneath a puff pastry dome or buckwheat crepes with seafood in a sauce Nantua, diners can order something to go: the plates, the napkins, the tableware, the candlesticks and even the tables.

Read the full article here