Every month, our Food Editor Nicole Douillet shares her top headlines from the world of restaurants, food and wine. So if you’ve got foodies in your life, or if you yourself are one, here are some quick news bites for the month of May 2018. Curious about big events in the world of food and drink this month? Click here.
1. The hottest new bar and restaurant in Los Angeles is finally open. While The NoMad Hotel’s downtown LA property opened in February, along with four excellent dining and imbibing options at the lobby and mezzanine level, the Rooftop Bar and Pool just opened at the end of April. The Rooftop features an outdoor cafe, cocktail bar, and beautifully landscaped pool area all run by the team behind 3-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park (currently the number 1 restaurant in the world). The Pool is reserved for hotel guests only, but The Rooftop is open to the public for lunch, dinner, and drinks. Reservations can be made through the Resy app.
2. LA isn’t the only Cali city celebrating Michelin-starred openings this month. Dominique Crenn, one of only two female chefs to hold 2 Michelin stars in the US, launched Bar Crenn next door to her lauded Atelier Crenn steps from the San Francisco Bay. If Atelier Crenn is the place Chef Crenn showcases her mastery of skill, Bar Crenn is the place she imagines hosting close friends over a drink and small delicacies. The Bar is her attempt to recreate the ambience and sensory experience of the lounges in 1930s Paris. Early reviews rave about the food and drinks, even if the price point seems high and portion sizes small. But really, can you ever get enough of a great thing?
3. Picnic season in New York. Meanwhile back in the Tundra…err, the East Coast, the buds are finally beginning to bloom, and there isn’t a flake of snow in the forecast. So, it’s a perfect time to get out of the apartment and enjoy a stroll along The High Line, or check out the daffodils and cherry blossoms in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. It’s also a perfect time to enjoy a casual meal spread on a blanket in the park, perhaps accompanied inconspicuously by a splash of rose from bodega paper coffee cups. If you’re like me and don’t want to pack the picnic yourself, head to Smorgasburg at the East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on a Saturday. This year’s line-up of vendors will surely offer something to make everyone in your party happy, regardless of mood. Some highlights include Neopolitan style pizzas, dashi fried chicken, pastries from an Eleven Madison Park alum, and mesquite-grilled lobsters topped with garlic butter and served over noodles. The season to enjoy a picnic is short, so don’t delay!
4. The James Beard Foundation announced its Media Award winners for 2018 in New York last week. Congratulations to cookbook authors Samin Nosrat, Sean Sherman, Stella Parks, and Michael Twitty, who won for writing and for book of the year for The Cooking Gene. The Sporkful podcast, Netflix’s show Chef’s Table, the LA Times critic Jonathan Gold and NPR’s The Salt were also award winners. The restaurant and chef category winners will be announced at the James Beard Awards Gala on Monday, May 7 in Chicago.
5. The return of the Prodigal Pizza Master is nigh. It’s hard to walk a single block in New York City without passing a pizza joint. And most of them offer the same big, greasy, slices for a couple of bucks. But that doesn’t mean that all pizzas are created equally. New Yorkers are fervent in their love for a perfectly created pie, and will argue with total strangers whether a coal-burning oven produces a better product than a wood-burning oven. Although, in 2009, New Yorkers almost unanimously mourned the departure of Anthony Mangieri and his Una Pizza Napolitana. Just 5 years after opening the small East Village space where he, and only he, cooked 130 pizzas per night his way (no exceptions, substitutions, or offerings besides pizza), he up and moved to San Francisco, taking his craft with him. But, as of last week, he’s brought Una Pizza Napoletana back to New York, opening in partnership with the chef-owners of Lower East Side restaurants, Contra and Wildair. The menu includes Mangieri’s stellar pies alongside small plates meant to complement the pizza offerings. Welcome back, Una Pizza.
6. This year, two big celebrations from very different cultures occur on the same day, May 5, 2018. And it’s a Saturday! Equestrians know this date as the 144th Annual Kentucky Derby which is run every year at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. Those of Mexican descent know this day as Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Since they fall on the same day this year, plan to celebrate both! Don your best seersucker suit or favorite fascinator and head out to the roof of the Refinery Hotel to watch the most exciting two minutes in sports. (Tickets are $125 and include drinks, a raw bar, and passed hors d’oeuvres.) After cheering your hearts out for your favorite horse, head to Empellon Midtown for their 1st Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, which will be much different (in a very good way) than the parties you remember from college. Tickets are $95, and include cocktails, canapés, a taco station, raw bar, photo booth, and surprise entertainment. Ole!
7. If you happen to find yourself in Denmark on Cinco de Mayo, definitely make the trek to the food truck that just won the easyJet Traveller magazine award for Best Street Food Stall in Europe. A team of 73 food experts, including celebrated Noma chef René Redzepi, bestowed the honor on the Mexican taco stall Hija de Sanchez. Founder Rosio Sanchez was recognized for the stall’s “arresting fusion of south-of-the-border spice and nourishing Nordic food.” You can find her stall at Torvehallerne, or pay a visit to her newly-opened Vesterbro restaurant.
8. Michelin has announced its 2018 stars for the “Main Cities of Europe.” The big news is that Budapest has its first two-star restaurant: Hungarian tasting menu restaurant Onyx. It first appeared in the guide, with one star, in 2011. Vienna also has a new restaurant with two stars: Konstantin Filippou earned a second star for its “sophisticated cuisine with well-balanced flavors and plenty of finesse.”
9. The sixth edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants crowned Chef Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok for a record-breaking fourth win. Indian Accent chef Manish Mehrotra has made the list every year since its inception in 2013. The award for Best Female Chef went to Bee Satongun of Paste in Bangkok; her restaurant was #31 on the list. And the Best Pastry Chef this year is Nicolas Lambert from Caprice in Hong Kong.
10. If you’ve always wanted to dine deep in the ocean, mark your calendar now: in early 2019, Norway will open Europe’s first underwater restaurant. Under, designed by the Norwegian architectural firm Sonhetta, will have three levels, a champagne bar, panoramic windows, and a dinner menu focused mainly on fish dishes, natch.
That’s it for this month. Forks in the air! And for a run-down of the upcoming events in the world of food and drink in May, click here.
Nicole Douillet is Dandelion Chandelier’s Food Editor. In addition to sharing her love of all things food with our readers, Nicole is a finance executive who has spent nearly 18 years on Wall Street in a variety of roles. She began her career as the first woman hired as a trader on the block trading desk at UBS. For over 13 years, Nicole was a quantitative trader and portfolio manager on the proprietary trading desk at Credit Suisse. She then served as Head of Product Innovation and LGBT Strategy for Wealth Management Private Banking New Markets at Credit Suisse. Most recently, Nicole co-founded Reboot Investing, Inc. where she served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. A recognized leader in socially responsible investing, Nicole created the ground-
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