I don’t own a single piece of Cubs paraphernalia. I don’t have Chicago’s four-star flag tattooed on my forearm. I don’t care if you put ketchup on a hot dog. But there’s one thing from my hometown that I will absolutely go to bat for, and here it is: Chicago is clearly America’s most exciting city to eat in right now.
As a Chicago native who covered the city’s food scene for years as a local restaurant critic, I’m obligated to tell you that my hometown has always been able to hold its own against the best food cities in the country. But I can’t remember a time that I’ve been as psyched to eat there as I’ve been this year. Where other cities fall into soulless trend cycles, Chicago has a way of generating distinctively personal restaurants. So, SF and L.A., this might hurt a little, but here’s all the proof you need that the Midwest is best.
The night is billed as “The World’s First Food Casino.” I think it probably is, considering we’re promised the chance to bet with actual French fries and exchange our winnings for an array of burgers and sides. Similar to All-In Kitchen, the recent, temporary poker-themed restaurants that saw gamblers play for three-course dinners, the “casino” is actually a pop-up taking over an American-style diner in London’s Soho.
The poker pro I’m pinning my hopes of a free dinner on is Jerome Bradpiece, who represented the UK at the International Federation of Poker’s European Nations Cup and has won over £1,000,000 in poker tournaments. He messages me with burger and fries emojis as I make my way to Soho, so I’m confident his eyes are on the prize.
While some of those unexpected extras are pretty fair (that waiter did manage not to sneer when you asked for gluten free gnocchi, after all), even the most profit margin-obsessed budget eatery wouldn’t charge its diners for the air they breathe, right?
According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, a restaurant in Zhangjiagang city in the country’s Jiangsu Province charged its customers one yuan ($0.15 or 10p) each to cover the cost of purifying the air inside the building.
At egg restaurant in Brooklyn, Hanczor allows all 25 employees to buy virtually any ingredient the restaurant purchases, virtually at cost. (He adds 5 percent or less to save in a fund to keep the program sustainable as it grows.) Every server and line cook has a daily, low-priced farmers market at work where the fine ingredients are literally the same as those served at an acclaimed New York City restaurant.
At a time when the definition of a “sustainable restaurant” is growing to include fair treatment of workers, as well as of the environment, Hanczor is promoting better nutrition security for his workers.
Calling all hungry bronies and pegasisters: Japan is home to the world’s first official My Little Pony-themed restaurant. According to a press release (translated), the cleverly named My Little Pony Cafe opened last week and will remain open in Tokyo until November 29. The pop-up is a collaboration between Sega Toys, which makes My Little Pony; Umajo, a professional women’s horse racing team; and Sunday Jam, a restaurant that is known for its pancakes.
Everything in the colorful restaurant is themed, writes Tech Times. The cafe features a massive mural of My Little Pony characters and there are My Little Pony horse dolls everywhere. As for the food, the menu features items like banana, chocolate, and marshmallow pancakes drizzled with a very pink sauce and topped with a My Little Pony cookie. There is also a matcha chocolate latte with pony-themed foam, My Little Pony-emblazoned toast, and “a milky rainbow parfait.”
The 2016 Zagat Guide to New York City was released on Tuesday, with a few surprises. A notable addition to the top 20 restaurants is Graffiti, which received a 28 (on a scale of 1 to 30) for food. Jehangir Mehta’s tiny eclectic spot in the East Village joins a list populated by big guns like Gotham Bar and Grill and Peter Luger.
Last year Graffiti also received a 28, but from too few voters to put it on the top 20 food list, said Evan Barbour, a spokeswoman for the guide.
A few people on social media say that they spotted Clark waitressing, refilling napkin dispensers, clearing tables, and so forth. When asked if these reports are true, Chef Andrew Marc Savoie confirmed the news over the phone.
The week, the world learned about Jonah Reider, a 21-year-old Columbia University senior who’s operating a “restaurant” (of sorts) named Pith, which he runs out of his dorm room. The idea is that it costs just $10 to $20 for five- to eight-course dinners (capped at four people) that Reider prepares in his dorm’s common kitchen.
It quickly became popular among students, and because of the influx of press, Reider says non-collegiate New Yorkers have actually made Pith overbooked. But unlike, say, Flynn McGarry, Reider says he started doing this to get away from high-end restaurant culture, and he’s not even sure he wants to make cooking his career. He realizes that, if he does, he’ll have to put in a lot more work: “I recognize how presumptuous it is to casually cook and get so much attention,” he says.
From the outside, Untitled looks like one of those places where intimate conversation gets lost in the din.
The restaurant, which anchors the architect Renzo Piano’s new home for the Whitney Museum of American Art in the meatpacking district, has all the makings of a cacophony box. The primary walls are glass. That back wall is concrete. The floors? Blue Catalan limestone. The cooks chop and sear in an open kitchen, and the tables don’t have tablecloths.