Food Donations On The Menu For Many NYC Restaurants

Shoppers at the Union Square Greenmarket, which donates

“New Yorkers who want to be charitable this holiday season have no shortage of opportunities, from volunteering their time, making donations and writing checks to charities. But what about all that excess food at restaurants and markets that would otherwise be thrown away?

By collaborating with food rescue organizations, many of the city’s thousands of restaurants, grocers and farms are working to ensure that their leftover food also helps to feed the more than 1.2 million New Yorkers who face hunger each year.

Multiple partners are helping to make sure that food rescue is, as Gramercy Tavern executive chef Michael Anthony puts it, “not a passing trend but a defining characteristic of the restaurant industry.”

Read more here.

Designing a Chain Restaurant for 40 Million Travelers

Image result for legal sea bar washington station

“The estimated 40,000,000 people that pass through Washington D.C’s Union Station annually were a major consideration throughout the 6-month development of one of its newest bars and restaurants. Legal Sea Bar (part of the 37-Restaurant Legal Sea Foods chain) opened this past July on the West side of the station’s mezzanine level, was designed with high traffic in mind.

And so the casual bar/restaurant combo is “primarily designed for people trying to catch a train.” Small details take travelers’ needs into account: there are designated areas to put suitcases aside where visitors are still able to keep an eye on them, sufficient space between tables to store luggage, and ample hooks underneath the bar for easier purse and backpack storage.”

Read more here.

Hill Country Food Park Opens in Downtown Brooklyn

“Marc Glosserman, who brought his Texas roots to New York and founded the various Hill Country restaurants, has turned what was his barbecue place in Brooklyn into a spacious food hall with an outdoor vibe. “I want it to be like a gathering of food trucks,” he said. Here, there aren’t trucks, but rough-hewed stalls to provide sustenance from morning (coffee and Du’s Donuts) until night (Van Leeuwen ice cream and cocktails). Fried chicken, including some new sandwiches, will be on offer, along with baby back ribs and other barbecue. And there’s Austino’s, for square pizza Texas-style; Bluebonnets, serving vegetable-forward sandwiches and salads; and Nickie’s Tex-Mex specialties, including tamales, nachos and burgers with salsa. Libations are soft, hard and in-between. On the second floor, a sprawling new version of Hank’s Saloon, a venerable dive bar that is closing in Boerum Hill, will be installed by early next year.

See more restaurant opening here.

Italian Restaurant at Eataly Transforms Rooftop Into Winter Wonderland

Eataly, the Italian food market and restaurant in Flatiron unveils their newest holiday installation: SERRA ALPINA. The rooftop bar and restaurant is doused in holiday cheer for the season, showcasing silver and golden leaves that dangle from the ceiling, creating a magical ambiance. The restaurant makes as good a photo-op as it does a delicious meal. The holiday pop-up opened early November and runs through March.

See more here.

The Top 10 Food Trends For 2019, According To Whole Foods

“Twenty-six subject experts from Whole Foods have been convening for four years to predict what’s coming next to their own shelves and to the food world as a whole. These experts range from a master sommelier and global beverage buyer to a senior R&D culinologist to the president of the Whole Kids Foundation to a produce field inspector to a board-certified, internal medicine physician to a global meat buyer; some actually started out working at the store level.

Before I share their predictions with you, what is unsaid is that the chain, now owned by Amazon, has produced the biggest trend in grocery in decades: They have awaken a previously staid industry and revitalized it as chains both large and small are changing the way they look at grocery. Amazon/Whole Foods has also attracted new talent, some from Ivy League schools who might never have thought about a career in grocery, and led other grocers on the same path. For me one of the biggest trends for 2019 will be to watch where Amazon/Whole Foods leads us next.

Now on to Whole Foods’ top 10 food trends:

Pacific Rim flavors is the top trend, with Whole Foods announcing that its Market and 365 Everyday Value brands will launch a new line of products inspired by Pacific Rim fruits like a guava tropical vinaigrette, pineapple passionfruit sparkling mineral water, mango pudding mix and passionfruit coconut frozen fruit bars. It also expect to see ingredients like longganisa (a Filipino pork sausage), dried shrimp, cuttlefish and shrimp paste to appear on restaurant and home menus in dishes from breakfast to dinner. (…)”

See more here.

Ford teaming up with Walmart and Postmates on robot deliveries

“Ford is joining forces with Walmart and Postmates to create a grocery delivery service using self-driving vehicles in Miami, the companies announced Wednesday.

Ford has been using Miami as a test bed for its self-driving vehicles since earlier this year. And more recently, the auto giant joined with Postmates to see how people ordering takeout food would interact with an autonomous delivery van.

Now Ford is moving to the next stage: grocery delivery. The company says it will experiment with different vehicle types, as well as modifications to those vehicles needed to keep perishable food items fresh. It will also experiment with a variety of scenarios, such as multiple deliveries on one trip and the user experience of retrieving delivery items from a fully driverless vehicle.”

See more here.

The Best Restaurants on the Upper East Side

1. Flora Bar
945 Madison Ave., nr. 75th St.; 646-558-5383

Sure, the location is a little eccentric by local standards (the dining room sits on the semi-bunkered basement level of the Met Breuer museum on Madison Avenue). The decor is a little spare, too (did we mention that it’s in the basement of the Met Breuer?), and local gourmets will complain that the chef, Ignacio Mattos, is an interloper from the wilder, much more unruly culinary regions further downtown (he operates two popular restaurants below 14th Street). But we’d argue that the mingling of high culture and high cuisine at this unlikely three-star establishment creates the kind of alchemy which is unique not just on the Upper East Side, but to the city as a whole. Throw in Mattos’s refreshingly ingenious brand of high-low cooking (where else on the block can you get your crème fraîche and caviar served with house-frizzled potato chips?), the elegantly accessible lunchtime service (yes, there’s a Wagyu burger), the exceptional all-day coffee-and-pastry bar, and one of the better brunch menus in this brunch-crazed part of town, and you have the ideal Upper East Side restaurant for this unfussy, post-gourmet age.

See more restaurants here.