The Best Restaurant Meals of 2018

Roasted eggplant with Calabrian chile

Kat Kinsman, Extra Crispy Senior Food & Drinks Editor and Food & Wine Contributor: Eating out is often tough for me because I have so many dietary restrictions, so the vegetable courses at Misi were an absolute godsend. I texted a friend on the way home freaking out about how each of them was excellent in a violently different way, and that I could partake of just about everything with glee. Also, I must mention the hospitality at Temple Court. Even during an overwhelmed Restaurant Week, every single person was gracious, informed, efficient, and warm. I know I’m an easily identifiable food world professional, but I also take care to look around and see how other tables are being treated. All smiles. It was a joy.”

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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.”

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The Biggest Surprises in NYC Dining in 2018

A dinner spread at Le Sia

“Serena Dai, editor of Eater NY: I suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised by this because the world is such a garbage fire, but it was interesting to see how quickly powerful people (and a lot of media) were to embrace the return of the Four Seasons Restaurant seemingly without any caveat. I guess I’m an optimist, which means I will always be a little bit surprised at how naive old-school power is. Did the 40 investors really think that Julian Niccolini’s past behavior wouldn’t impact perception of the restaurant among the new audience they were reportedly aiming to attract? Did they really think amazing food and a $30 million build-out could overcome years and years of baggage — now newly visible in the age of #MeToo — when nobody from the restaurant came out front to address the fact that the face of the restaurant is an admitted sexual assaulter? People can’t move forward without an apology, but here, there wasn’t even really that. Yes, it’s legendary; yes, it’s hugely influential. But we live in a different world now, and sometimes it is okay to pay our respects, and then lay a restaurant to rest.”

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Pearl Found In Restaurant Oyster For Second Time In Month

Pearl Found In Restaurant Oyster For Second Time In Month: Report

“The latest treasure was discovered at the Williamsburg eatery Maison Premiere on Bedford Ave., the New York Post reported. Kristin Pulaski, 29, told the newspaper she felt something hard in an oyster that she bit into on Dec. 15.

Earlier this month, Rick Antosh, 66, chewed an oyster in the Grand Central Oyster Bar and bit down on a pearl thought to be worth $4,000.

An appraiser told Pulaski her the pearl was lumpy and wouldn’t be worth a fortune, but she intends to have some statement jewelry made out of it, she told the Post. The restaurant’s owner told the paper this was the first pearl he knew of that had been found there in eight years.”

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Key marketing trends on Instagram

The Top 2018 Instagram Trends for Small Business

2018 Instagram Trends

If your business has an Instagram presence or if you’re thinking about starting one this year, here are some of the top statistics, updates and trends from 2018.

  • Instagram had about 800 million worldwide users earlier this year. That number has since grown to over 1 billion.
  • In fact, the app has more than 1 billion downloads on Google Play alone.
  • 95 million photos and videos are uploaded to the platform daily.
  • 53 percent of those who use social media have an account on Instagram.
  • And 61 percent of Instagram users said they used Instagram more often this year than they did during the previous year.
  • It’s also especially popular with young people. 50 percent of Gen Z social media users are on Instagram.
  • And it’s popular with consumers who are willing and able to spend; 31 percent of adults on Instagram earn at least $75,000 annually.”

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Banned in Boston: Plastic bags at grocery stores

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A Boston city ordinance banning major grocery store chains from providing plastic bags to customers went into effect Friday. The new law – enacted to help reduce pollution and clean up city streets – applies only to checkout bags, described in the ordinance as carryout bags with handles.

Retailers can still stock recyclable paper bags, compostable bags or reusable bags and sell them for at least 5 cents, as long as the charge is advertised near the checkout location, according to the ordinance, signed into law by Mayor Marty Walsh last December.

The plastic bag ban will be rolled out over eight months. For now, it applies only to stores that are 20,000 square feet or larger. Stores that are at least 10,000 square feet have until April 1, 2019, to comply. Smaller establishments have until July 1, 2019.

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Yankee Stadium, Barclays Center Respond To Report Claiming They’re Among The Dirtiest Sports Venues

A bombshell report released by ESPN’s Outside The Lines pored through and analyzed nearly 17,000 food safety inspection reports from 2016 and 2017 conducted by the local health departments which oversee the 111 arenas where every team from the four major North American sports hosts its games. OTL found that in 28% of the arenas, at least half of the outlets inside these venues incurred what ESPN called a “high-level violation — one that poses a potential threat for food-borne illness.”

In the New York City area, where we’ll focus this report, findings were mixed for the six arenas which house teams in North America’s largest and most lucrative market.
Of all 30 Major League Baseball teams inspected in this ESPN report, none fared worse than Yankee Stadium. The new-era cathedral in the Bronx ranked 102nd out of the 111 venues, with 34 of 43 outlets at the Stadium reporting high-level violations, a whopping 79.07%.

Read more here.