Simply Cooked Seafood Turns Luxurious at Taverna Kos

“An important omission on the menu at Taverna Kos in Astoria, Queens, is the enormous plate of feta you may see passing your table en route to a smarter party of people. Heaps of the imported cheese, which the restaurant buys in 28-pound containers, come flecked with dried oregano and slicked with olive oil, and act as a soft, creamy condiment for fried or broiled seafood, or dainty lamb chops.

The off-menu cheese course, which anyone can ask for, will remind you that feta can be just as slouchy as any washed-rind French cheese, as long as you buy the right stuff and put it on something hot. You could also just order a plate of feta fries, in which the crumbles melt into the soft, fresh-cut potatoes like a tangy, higher-quality Cheez Whiz.

Taverna Kos has been open to members of the Pancoan Society, a private club with which it shares a building, for 11 years; in 2016 the restaurant opened its doors to the public, and last summer began serving on weekends. There’s a lightly celebratory air about the place: String lights abound, tangled into the trees outside and lining the ceiling of the enclosed patio, where televisions play a constant stream of poppy Greek music videos.”

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China’s Fastest Growing Hotpot Chain Just Minted Two Billionaires

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“China’s insatiable demand for spicy hotpot is placing the founders of a restaurant chain atop one of the world’s fastest-growing fortunes, allowing them to outpace many of the wealthiest families globally.

As of Monday, Zhang Yong, chairman of Haidilao International Holding Ltd., and his wife Shu Ping, had grown $6 billion richer in 2019, a 79 percent jump in just over three months.

That pace is the fastest in Asia and globally only topped by Australian mining baron Andrew Forrest, who has doubled his fortune this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.

Haidilao went public in September, and it’s been a lucrative time for China’s largest hotpot chain, popular for the spicy broths in which diners cook their meats and vegetables. The company is pushing to make its restaurants more efficient by creating automated kitchens. Perks like the free manicures it offers waiting customers have kept families coming in. And the brand is expanding overseas with new locations planned in New York and London.

Last year, revenue surged 60 percent to 17 billion yuan ($2.6 billion), and that’s helping to push the stock up more than 75 percent this year. At about $21 billion, the company’s market value is now higher than Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.”

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