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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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.”

See more here.

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.

84 Million U.S. Wine Drinkers Fit Into Six Wine-Buying Segments

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“Representing 10% of wine consumers, Engaged Explorers are identified as the younger population of wine buyers. These are the most frequent buyers and they spend the most on high-priced wines than any in the list of six. They are called explorers because they drink many wine styles, from many countries and regions.

At 19% of wine consumers, Premium Brand Suburbans are middle to older age. They spend much less on a bottle of wine than most wine consumers and they are hard wired into staying with wines and brands they know, and members in this group happen to know more about wine than any in the five other segments.

Contented Treaters make up 17% of wine buyers. Like the “Suburbans” this segment comprises middle to older aged, but this group is affluent; they spend up, but they also don’t consume nearly as much wine as their counterparts. They go for a broad range of wines and are interested in a wine’s origin.”

Read more here.

Michelin Guide: New York City 2019 awards stars to 76 restaurants, up from 72

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“Michelin has handed out its coveted stars to 76 restaurants in New York City in its 2019 guide, four more than last year, boosting the Big Apple’s reputation as a global destination for its diverse and innovative culinary offerings.”

“Michelin will release the latest edition of its New York City eating guide tomorrow. Their grading system uses anonymous reviewers in 28 countries. Some argue it is rigid and overlooks some restaurants that critics and diners praise.

The restaurant rater awarded its highest ranking of three stars to the same five New York establishments as last year for their “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”: Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, Masa and Per Se. But New York will still likely lag San Francisco in the number of three-star restaurants for a second year. San Francisco and the wine-producing regions of Napa and Sonoma had seven last year, the most of any US cities.”

Read more here.

A Restaurant Brand Creator on How to Keep People Coming Back

“Sue Chan is the founder and chief executive officer of Care of Chan, a two-year-old brand management agency that has worked with a hit list of restaurants including Alta, Cosme, Una Pizza Napoletana, and Wildair to create that all-important but so-hard-to-capture great restaurant experience. Chan was previously the brand director at Momofuku for seven years.

At her own company, Chan focuses in on everything that makes a memorable restaurant experience the type of place that customers want to keep returning to again and again. While there’s no set formula for creating that unforgettable experience, once it’s in place it can drive sales and longterm customer loyalty like no quick-hitting press coverage can. “It doesn’t matter if you’re on Bon Appetit’s top ten, you could close in a year or two,” Chan explained. “That is a real thing that happens a lot. It’s more about just caring about the actual customers who come in every single day, and focusing on that community and building that community.”

See full interview here.

 

Request for Bids (“RFB”) for the Sale of Food from Mobile Food Units at Various Parks Citywide

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