Joaquin Baca’s Teo and Günter Seeger NY Both Close After Short Runs

“(…) Short-lived restaurants don’t get the same treatment, for obvious reasons, but it’s still unfortunate when ambitious places from established players fizzle out fast. There are all kinds of reasons why these closings happen. But it’s still a bummer to hear that Bushwick’s Teo has closed after just five months of serving cast-iron-skillet okonomiyakis.

The closing came out of nowhere, given what the restaurant had going for it. It wasn’t a rookie chef’s project. The owner was Joaquin Baca, who was David Chang’s first employee at Momofuku Noodle Bar and helped right the ship at Ssäm Bar after a rocky start. Baca helped shape Momofuku in its earliest years before going on to open Williamsburg’s the Brooklyn Star, which closed in May after nine years in Williamsburg. He’s a talented chef who was cooking food people want to eat; short rib over kimchee fried rice, oysters coated in cornmeal and then fried, a confit duck-leg ramen. The news was announced on the restaurant’s Instagram and website, but no reason was given.

Read more here.

CBD-Infused Food and Drinks Have Been Banned From NYC Restaurants and Bars

“If you’ve been relying on a smidgen of CBD oil in your latte to relax after a long day at work, you might want to look into alternative methods of decompression (at least temporarily).

According to the New York Daily News, as of Tuesday, the New York City Department of Health is prohibiting restaurants and bars from selling any and all perishable products containing cannabidiol (or CBD, for short), a compound found in marijuana purported to have therapeutic effects.

This might seem dire, but the ruling was basically inevitable. When it comes to the ever-fluctuating invocations of cannabis law, state governments aren’t going to take any chances with validating CBD oil as a safe ingredient until the compound is confirmed to be harmless on a federal level. CBD oil was banned from Californian food last July, and authorities in Maine are taking steps to strip businesses of the marijuana-adjacent treats this week.”

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Benno, Proudly Out of Step With the Age

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“Dated was the word one friend used after going to Benno, and if you’ve eaten there, too, you’ll know why. It’s as if the past 15 years in food never happened. The menu seems to be stuck in some time between 1994, when Thomas Keller bought the French Laundry, and 2004, when he opened Per Se with a young Jonathan Benno leading the kitchen.

The restaurant will probably be a tough sell to those diners who expect all restaurants to fall on a continuum between Noma and the Salt Bae place. But I prefer it to any number of newer, self-consciously modern restaurants, some of which are so determined to be of the moment that they might as well have a time stamp. Benno is not trying to be contemporary. It’s trying to be delicious. And it is, from start to finish, almost without exception.”

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Impact of Min Wage Increase / NYCHA Survey & Results

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See here NYCHA Survey and Results on Minimum Wage Increase

Why Did NYC Lose 15 Kosher Restaurants In 2018?

Why Did NYC Lose 15 Kosher Restaurants In 2018? by the Forward

“Everyone knows opening a restaurant is a tricky business. Only 21% of restaurant start-ups survive past 15 years, the average restaurant lifetime is 4.5 years, and 17% of restaurants fail within their first year of business. In the kosher community, all of those percentages are a whole lot higher.

2018 was a particularly terrible year, with 15 kosher restaurants closing up shop. Veteran Manhattan kosher restaurants — midtown’s Cafe K, the Upper East Side’s Italian restaurant Va Bene, and Amsterdam Burger on the West Side — shuttered their doors this year. The gourmet kosher supermarket, Seasons, on the West Sider; Basta, an Israeli artisanal pizza spot in midtown east; Maoz, a vegetarian falafel chain throughout Manhattan — all closed.”

Read more here.

Fast Food Prices Rise to Better Reflect True Costs

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“Dollar cheeseburgers and discount nuggets are getting Americans in the door at their favorite fast-food joints, but the savings end there.

Even as the recent fast-food discount wars rage on, with Burger King advertising 10 chicken nuggets for $1 and Pizza Hut offering $5 pies, fast-food items that don’t make it onto value menus are actually climbing in price. Median fast-food hamburger prices have jumped 54 percent over the last decade to about $6.95, according to menu researcher Datassential. Chicken sandwiches are up 27 percent. Both surpass overall U.S. price inflation during that same time.”

“McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain, recently started touting a $6 meal including a burger, fries, a drink and a pie, but it’s also offering plenty of items at the other end of the price scale. Its honey-barbecue glazed chicken tenders are more than $6 without any drinks or sides, and the new Bacon Smokehouse Quarter Pounder meal runs nearly $9 in Chicago.”

Read more here.

The NYC Restaurants Ordered Closed Last Week

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“Filth flies, roaches, mice and unwashed hands — restaurants across the city have dirty secrets they’d rather you didn’t know about. Fortunately for the diner’s well-being, New York City’s Health Department is watching.

Every year, inspectors go unannounced into more than 24,000 restaurants in the city. Of them, the majority are fine, but some fall disgustingly short of the city’s cleanliness requirements.

The most common violations, according to the city, are food stored at wrong temperatures, vermin, “plumbing” issues (the mind boggles) and basic food safety protocols not being followed.”

Read more here.