New NYC restaurants include Pastrami Queen, Black Seed Bagels expansions

You can now get Pastrami Queen's corned beef

Pastrami Queen

“The longtime Jewish deli has added a second Manhattan location. Like the Upper East Side location, the new Times Square joint will serve Jewish staples like corned beef and brisket sandwiches, matzo ball soup and latkes. The outpost will also exclusively offer an all-day breakfast menu with items such as pastrami and eggs and Belgian waffles.”

See more openings here.

The Absolute Best Rugelach in New York

Orwashers Bakery

“Amidst the many delights at this iconic New York bakery — sour-cherry-jelly doughnuts, sticky-bun babka, black-and-whites — the rugelach more than hold their own. The twisted nuggets of shortbread pastry glisten with mouth-puckering raspberry or apricot jam — arguably the preeminent jam in the rugelach oeuvre. And they come packed with chewy bites of raisins, a scattering of sunflower seeds, and, if you’re making your rugelach run at the original Upper East Side location, a sultry dip into melted baking chocolate.”

See more here.

Israeli Chef Re-Opens Flagship New York Restaurant

“Chef Einat Admony is familiar with the stress of opening a new restaurant, having opened 13 restaurants throughout her career. But the days leading up to the reopening of her latest eatery, Balaboosta, felt more intense than usual.”

”We have all-time favorites such as the cauliflower with lemon, currants, pine nuts, parsley and crushed Bamba (an Israeli peanut butter-flavored snack), and fried olives with labane and harissa oil.”

New creations include the short rib zabzi with hand-rolled couscous, herbs and almonds; and red snapper with pickled okra tempura and sour Fresno chili in okra chraime sauce.

Customers can also choose from an extensive wine list including Israeli wines. The dessert section features malabi and halva creme brulee.”

Read more here.

Pregnant New Yorkers Not to be Refused

Pregnant women in New York City are now legally entitled to purchase an alcoholic beverage, regardless of how it makes the bartender or patrons feel.  New guidelines based on the city’s Human Rights Law now say that refusing to serve a pregnant woman is discriminatory, and restaurants and bars are explicitly prohibited from refusing mothers-to-be.

Specifically, “While covered entities may attempt to justify certain categorical exclusions based on maternal or fetal safety, using safety as a pretext for discrimination or as a way to reinforce traditional gender norms or stereotypes is unlawful,” said the Commission on Human Rights.

Multiple medical associations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Surgeon General’s Office discourage any alcohol consumption during pregnancy.  And currently, restaurants and bars are required to post signs warning the dangers of alcohol to fetuses.  This new law now has foodservice establishments “stuck in the middle on this one,” noted Robert Bookman, a lawyer with the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

The new law also covers foods such as raw fish and soft cheese.  To read more, click here.

Padoca: Creative Bakery on the Upper East Side

Padoca BakeryTheir Success…“Padoca” is the Brazilian term of endearment for local bakeries.  Usually, these bakeries are fixtures of the community and run by familiar, friendly faces that know everyone in town.  Marina Halpern, who hails from Sao Paolo, owns New York’s Padoca Bakery, which opened at the end of June. The kitchen is in the hands of Rachel Binder, previously the pastry chef of Maialino, and from Israel originally.  TaraPaige Group worked with Marina and Rachel on conceptualizing, defining, and developing the business, and we couldn’t be more proud of what the duo is doing:

Pao de queijo—authentic Brazilian cheese bread puffs—are sold alongside sabich sandwiches—an UES favorite.  No cronuts here, but the bolo de coco is far superior—a traditional Brazilian cake with a hint of lemon and light and moist with coconut milk.  The drip and espresso are provided by Nobletree Coffee, which owns farms in Brazil and roasts in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  The made-in-house juices include pineapple-mint and an emerald bottle of kale, apple, and spinach, among others. It’s all good—seriously, all of it. The chicken empadinhas—think snack-size pot pie—haunts us. And with the cold weather coming around the corner, the bakery is starting to launch their soups. Thank goodness; having tasted those during recipe testing, we advise that you try them as soon as possible! The team has done a terrific job of balancing sweet and savory fare to provide something for everyone.

The space was previously a Wok n Roll Chinese restaurant, but you wouldn’t know it!  The bakery is now an inviting, comfortable setting with playful touches, much like the food. A beautiful set of windows overlook St. Catherine’s Park, and the walls and ceiling are clad with reclaimed wood. It’s hard not to feel at home in the space. The swing seat lights up children with excitement, and teapot pendant lamps add an accent of whimsy.  Whether just stopping in or looking to sip coffee with a friend, you’re going to be taken care of.

Take AwaysThe bakery-cafe segment in New York City is tough!  Between deli’s, bodegas, patisseries, and third-wave coffee shops, it takes more than muffins and iced coffee to survive.  That’s why it’s key to differentiate your brand by bringing something new to guests.  And that’s what Padoca Bakery has done.  Marina and Rachel have creatively integrated Brazilian, Israel, and American influences into a sweet, petite place at home on the UES with delicious treats and lunch fare priced affordably in a wonderful atmosphere.  We’re can’t wait to see Padoca grow into the community fixture it’s destined to be, and the type of place the Upper East Side so dearly needs.

Padoca Bakery: 359 E 68th St, New York, NY 10065 http://www.padocabakery.com

EATER NY asks NY’s Best Food Writers the Do’s and Don’t of Restaurants

Unknown-1Eater asked New York’s best food critics to anonymously share their frustrations about the restaurant industry. A total of 26 complaints were complied to help owners and businesses in NYC’s restaurant scene to avoid bad criticism from food writers.

Some of the key complaints from critics were that while space and real estate in NYC might be tough, over crowding of tables is a total miss on drawing comfort for eaters. “It feels like every time I go out to eat these days, my server has to pull the table out, let me in and shove it back in place like I’m being bolted into a roller coaster car.” Other critics included how restaurants with a wine list of $50+ but doesn’t accept credit cards is inconvenient and faulty especially when average checks are going to be high. Moreover, if a restaurant accepts reservations, they should allow reservations all hours instead of “before 6 or after 9:30.” Lastly, critics grieved about how places with vegetarian options tend to make things all vegan. “Theres a reason why vegetarians aren’t vegan.”

To read more on the 26 complaints by critics, click here.

Fight for 15 in Action

New YorkFight-for-15 City’s fast food worker minimum will rise to $15 by 2018 and the rest of the state by 2021. The increase in wages is in efforts to improve the lives of chain restaurant employees whose wages can keep them reliant on taxpayer-subsidized welfare programs. This policy will apply to not only company-owned restaurants with thirty or more nationwide locations but to franchise locations as well. As wages increases, labor costs increases resulting in price hikes for consumer goods. In a recent survey of 924 fast food businesses in New York, 70 percent were “very likely” to raise prices in response to the increase in minimum wages, and 83 percent of respondents claimed they were very likely or “somewhat likely” to reduce hours of staffing levels. This increase in higher wages could potentially prompt competitive salary increases throughout the hospitality and retail industries to avoid drama of workers who’ll suddenly find fast food jobs more attractive.

The New York City minimum wage increases are scheduled to occur on December 31st of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 at $10.50, $12.00, $13.50, and $15 respectively. While the changes to the New York State minimum wages will be broken down from 2015 to 2021, at $9.75, $10.75, $11.75, $12.75, $13.75, $14.50 and $15 respectively.

To read more, click here.