East Village’s Jiang Diner Is a Magnetic New Entry Into NYC’s Chinese Dining Scene

Lamb stuffed shumai dumplings

“(…) Jiang Diner also refers to its purse-shaped manti dumplings as shumai, even though they are not the sort of fragile little dumplings one finds in a Cantonese or Japanese restaurants. They are nevertheless quite good, bulging with a wet lamb or beef filling. The dumpling skins are way more delicate than the doughy ones found in, say, a Uzbekistan restaurant like Nargis Cafe.

The greatest strength of Jiang Diner lies in its introduction of dishes we hadn’t really seen before in New York. Most brilliant of all, but also on the expensive side, is its plate of lamb ribs ($26), either steamed or roasted, and presented with dipping reservoirs of powdered Asian cumin and thick chile paste. Those who eschew fat should avoid these, but there is no more flavorful lamb in town, except perhaps some local versions of Mexican barbacoa. Another dish that shouldn’t be missed is the steamed eggplant with fresh garlic paste ($8), which will feel somewhat familiar to anyone who frequents local Sichuan restaurants. This one also features potatoes, while red bell peppers add sweetness. I liked it so much that I tried it twice, and the time it was served to me warm, it was transcendent.”

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Three Owls Market: One Part Bodega, One Part Restaurant

Three Owls Market

“Lehrer Dumaine seeks to close the gap with Three Owls Market, which is one part bodega, one part prepared-foods all-day cafe and one part bar. The Mamaroneck, N.Y., native who lives close by, (“I’ve got it down to an eight-and-a-half-minute walk,” she says) hopes to serve the neighborhood with New York City bodega staples like Domino sugar, Heinz ketchup and toilet paper — and also feed and imbibe them, with a full menu of hot sandwiches, prepared vegetable dishes and rotisserie chicken, as well as craft beers and wine for happy hour.

To staff her full kitchen, Lehrer Dumaine brought in head chef Greer Lou, who previously worked as a private chef for Jessica Seinfeld at her Hamptons home, and is a veteran of Alice Waters’ Rome Sustainable Food Project.

Lehrer Dumaine has been working on Three Owls since 2017. The landlord for the property informed her the previous tenant — the Nonno Gourmet deli and bodega run by a man named Charlie — wanted to hang up his hat. Lehrer Dumaine said yes, and started on renovations and acquiring a liquor license; a process she says allowed her to become closer with the community.

“The liquor license process required me to meet with the neighborhood associations around here,” she explains. “That was really eye-opening to me because I’d never been involved with city politics before — just seeing how influential the people who live in a neighborhood can be, determining what goes where.”

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2019 Coffee and Beverage Trends: Inside the NCA’s Annual Report

coffee market trends 2019

“While total coffee consumption in the United States has remained fairly flat over the past year, more Americans are regularly drinking gourmet coffees, cold brew and other specialized beverages compared to non-gourmet coffee, according to the latest National Coffee Association (NCA) annual report on coffee consumption.

The NCA has been releasing the report each year since 1950, providing a macro-level snapshot of U.S. coffee consumer behavior while amassing a wealth of data in the process. This year, the NCA is changing the name of the report from “National Coffee Drinking Trends” to “National Coffee Data Trends,” maintaining the long-running NCDT acronym.”

2019 Coffee Consumer Trends

Past-Day Coffee Consumption

  • The number of people who reported drinking coffee within the past day was 63 percent, a modest 1 point down from last year, and a 6 percent increase from the 57 percent mark in 2016.
  • Older people (60+) reported the strongest past-day consumption (72 percent), while younger people reported the least (47 percent for 18-24-year-olds).
  • No significant U.S. regional differences were observed in past-day consumption totals.

 

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West Village Favorite Gabe Stulman Is Eyeing the Iconic Great Jones Cafe Space

“Looks like prolific West Village restaurateur Gabriel Stulman is trying to get in on the former space of Noho icon Great Jones Cafe. Stulman’s name is on the Manhattan Community Board 2 agenda, applying for a liquor license at the 54 Great Jones St. restaurant, as EV Grieve first pointed out.

He’s the second person to try and open a new business there; in the fall, a crew including a Tao vet applied to reopen Great Jones as a “modern American” restaurant. The Cajun restaurant closed in August after 35 years, a shutter that happened shortly after owner Jim Moffett’s death. It was known for being a lively neighborhood hang, a stand-by for locals and a late-night fixture.

Knowing that history, the last people to try and open a restaurant in the space told neighbors that it would maintain “the spirit” of the original Great Jones. What Stulman plans to do with it is to-be-announced; he declined to comment on the liquor license application.”

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Tim Hortons Expands to China

Image result for Tim Hortons Expands to China

“Tim Hortons has arrived in China, joining the high-stakes battle to sell coffee in a massive country that mostly drinks tea.

The Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain, run by Burger King-owner Restaurant Brands International Inc., plans to focus on “everyday value” as it muscles up against the ambitious plans of local and foreign players such as Starbucks Corp. Its also debuting at a tricky time as a diplomatic row brews between China and Canada (…).

GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES

Besides joining a crowded field that includes Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., Coca-Cola Co.’s newly acquired Costa Coffee and local startup Luckin Coffee, Tim Hortons faces a slowing Chinese economy and complicated geopolitical situation.

Its origins as a beloved Canadian brand may run into some nationalistic consumers, given the political tensions underway currently.

Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou has been held in Canada at U.S.’ request since last December. The Canadian government said in January that 13 citizens have been detained in China since Wanzhou’s arrest.

Many Chinese consumers, however, seem unfazed. Canada Goose Holdings Inc., which opened its flagship store in Beijing in December amid calls for boycott of Canadian goods, downplayed the backlash fears earlier this month after it saw shoppers line up outside its store.

Tim Hortons has struggled to build a following outside its home country. The chain, named for a Canadian hockey star, is opening its first Chinese shop on Tuesday in People’s Square, in Huangpu, Shanghai and is banking on a growing middle class keen to try Western inventions like its honey cruller donuts.

“Tim Hortons will need to offer not just something unique that Chinese consumers can’t find at other chains, but also spend heavily on marketing to build awareness of the brand,” said Jason Yu, Shanghai-based general manager of Kantar Worldpanel in Greater China.”

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Sweetberry CEO predicts 300% growth in sales

Image result for Sweetberry Bowls CEO Desi Saran

“Predicting a 300 percent sales increase for a 1-year-old brand is a pretty gutsy statement for any new business, but Sweetberry Bowls CEO Desi Saran is confident that he’s on to something.

The restaurant veteran and serial entrepreneur first opened the New Jersey-based brand, which serves acai, coconut and pitaya bowls, wraps, salads, smoothies, in 2017, and has since grown it to 13 locations. That was after he served as an operating partner at Playa Bowls, four years ago, helping to grow it from a beach-front smoothie stand to a national chain. He left that behind, however, to launch Sweetberry Bowls, which Saran said is on its way to becoming a global chain.”

“Q: What sets you apart from your competitors?
A
: Sweetberry Bowls is a brand new company, and we’re truly making a name for ourselves in the growing Acai bowl category, which is fairly new in the fast casual space. But, we’re not just a bowl concept or smoothie shop – we serve a full product mix of salads, sandwiches and wraps as well. As a result, our product offering isn’t just seasonal, but fully functional all year round.”

Read full interview here.

 

 

 

The best Venezuelan restaurants in New York City

Arepas Cafe

Located at 3307 36th Ave. in Astoria, it is the highest rated Venezuelan restaurant in New York City, boasting four stars out of 817 reviews on Yelp. Yelpers recommend the empanadas, the patacon con camarones and the plantains, as well as the sangria.

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