This New York Restaurant Sets the Standard for American Fine Dining

“Their questions might start near where coats are collected, or in the bar. (“Your first time with us?” “Where are you from?”) And their eavesdropping determines whether you might be the sort of diner to welcome lamb chops or lamb brain. Unbeknownst to diners, the intel makes its way back to the kitchen, where an assembly of cooks and servers use it to create one-of-a-kind meals for people who might have booked months ahead for one of 75 seats.

You don’t get a menu when you sit down, in other words. You’re asked to trust chef Dan Barber and associates with your appetite. Barber, 49, opened the dining destination — a 35-minute express train ride from Manhattan, home to the original Blue Hill — with family members 15 years ago, on land donated by the late David Rockefeller Sr. Almost from the start, the one-time dairy barn and its environs, located within the nonprofit Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, have redefined American fine dining.”

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McDonald’s Redefines Health In Terms Of Sustainability

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“McDonald’s is moving toward a menu free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, but every product has a unique challenge, said Amy Wilcox, director of quality systems and supply chain management for McDonald’s USA. She and her colleague, Cynthia Goody, chief nutritionist for McDonald’s, explained how “clean” ingredients are a key part of the chain’s sustainability initiative during the “Sustainable Approach to the Menu” panel at Restaurant Leadership Conference.

But “we can’t use the clean label description, because everyone has a different definition,” said Wilcox. “We had to create our own definition for suppliers, operators and customers. And that involved a lot of outreach to make sure all our suppliers were on the same page.”

The chain, in fact, announced this past September that is was removing artificial preservatives from its “classic” burger lineup in the U.S. “We have a great group of suppliers,” said Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s U.S., at the time. And now, the chain announced that a third of its eggs are cage-free—and it expects to source 726 million cage-free eggs this year. Right now, chicken nuggets fit the sustainability criteria, as do American cheese and burgers. As far as McDonald’s burger goes, “the pickle presented a problem,” said Wilcox. “We couldn’t find one that fit our definition, so we went forward with what we had and put an asterisk next to it on the menu. Being truthful and transparent is important to us.”

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Inside Williamsburg’s New All-Day Restaurant Gertie

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“In its bright, 70-seat space, Gertie — which opened over the weekend at 357 Grand St., at Marcy Avenue — will eventually serve an all-day menu built around its rotisserie, dedicated to roasted meats and vegetables. The setting and service style are casual: Orders get placed at the counter, but there’s still an element of table service when it comes to refilling drinks and bussing. There’s also a full bar program to come, the restaurant billing itself as both a luncheonette and a liquor bar.

Adler went to business school and was on the finance track when he started dabbling in the restaurant world by starting his own business in college. It was a take-out and delivery-only service for University of Pennsylvania students that mimicked home-cooked meals. After school, he decided to go all-in on hospitality and got a job at Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke, working as a bus boy and then a floor manager. A couple years later, he partnered with fellow Danny Meyer vet Jonah Miller to open Huertas, East Village’s Basque tapas restaurant.”

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Halal Guys, Wetzel’s Pretzel partner with Kitchen United

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Kitchen United, which offers off-premise kitchen centers for brands and franchises, now has two new partners as well as a new restaurant concept. Halal Guys and Wetzel’s Pretzels are now partners with Kitchen United, which also launched Fresgo, a fast Italian offering serving out of the Pasadena, California kitchen center.

The Halal Guys and Fresgo are now available for pickup, delivery and catering from the off-premise kitchen space, with Wetzel’s Pretzels officially opening April 1, according to a press release. Kitchen United’s Pasadena kitchen center opened last year and is home to Canter’s Deli, AmazeBowls, Cheat Day, Grilled Cheese Heaven, Mama Musubi and The Pizza Plant.

“One of Kitchen United’s goals from the beginning has been to leverage our collective restaurant experience to help our restaurant partners take a leadership position in delivery, a fast emerging growth opportunity in the industry,” said Jim Collins, Kitchen United CEO, in the release. “As a team of restauranteurs, we are thrilled to launch Fresgo in order to provide valuable insight and learnings to our partners. We are very pleased to add The Halal Guys and Wetzel’s Pretzels to our family of restaurant partners in order to help them expand their reach into the Pasadena market.”

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Yelp Will Now Tell You If a Business Is ‘Women-Owned’

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“The restaurants and shopping reviews app and website is adding a feature that will tell customers whether a business is women-owned. Businesses owned by women can mark themselves as women-owned via their Yelp accounts, and the distinction will appear in the “more business info” section of a Yelp page alongside features like “accepts credit cards” and “gender-neutral restrooms.”

“We’re excited to help raise the profile of millions of women-owned businesses who drive the local economies of our cities and towns,” says Miriam Warren, Yelp’s vice president of engagement, diversity, and belonging. “We’re hopeful that this new attribute not only makes it easier to identify and connect with great women-owned businesses on Yelp, but that it also drives more dollars directly to the bottom line for these female-owned businesses.”

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Toby’s Estate Doubles Capacity with New Bushwick Roastery Cafe

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“Toby’s Estate has opened its second production roastery in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, alongside a new cafe space with seating for 40, a daily brunch menu and a pourover bar outfitted by Saint Anthony Industries.

The New York arm of the Australian-born brand created by Sydney native Toby Smith in 2001 is co-owned by Amber Jacobsen and Adam Boyd, who first opened a Toby’s Estate roastery cafe in Williamsburg in 2012.

Since then, Toby’s Estate has opened four other retail bars throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, with a temporarily closed Flatiron location in Manhattan to be replaced this year by another Flatiron bar, according to the company.

At 8 Wilson Ave. in Bushwick, the new roastery will allow the company to double its current production capacity with the addition of a 22-kilo Probat roaster. The roastery will also be home to a new wholesale partnership initiative, through which cafes, restaurants or other wholesale partners can receive a more tailored coffee program.”

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The Future of Hotel Dining Will Be Branded

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“Paris-based Accor is one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, with more than 4,500 places to stay (homes and hotels) in 100 countries and 10,000 dining outlets that — according to Accor CEO of food and beverage and lifestyle, Amir Nahai — generate more than 5 billion euros, or $5.7 billion U.S. dollars, in revenue on an annual basis.

And now that SBE, the Los Angeles-based hospitality group whose hotel and restaurant brands include the Mondrian, SLS, Delano, Cleo, Katsuya, and Umami Burger, is partly owned by Accor, you can expect to see more of those thousands of restaurants and bars being rebranded under SBE.

Over the next seven years, Accor and SBE plan to open at least 100 Umami Burger restaurants worldwide, as well as focus on opening other SBE dining and beverage brands such as Carna, SkyBar, and Dandelyan within Accor properties.”

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