This post originally appeared in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of her favorite food and restaurant stories — both on and off Eater — each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.
I’m going to keep it short and sweet this week. First: a big shout-out to Bill Addison, Mariya Pylayev, and Vince Dixon for winning James Beard Media Awards for Eater on Tuesday night. Here’s Bill’s travel piece about eating crabs in his home state of Maryland, and Vince and Mariya’s immersive piece on the realities of our food delivery culture from the POV of two bike messengers.
Next, I’d like to say a big, sloppy, sad goodbye to our friends over at Lucky Peach, who threw their funeral after the Beards on Tuesday night and had their last day in the office on Friday. If it’s any consolation, they are going out at the top of their game.
Finally: Loyal readers will remember I wrote this last weekend after relaying my marathon tasting menu dinners across the Bay Area: “After all this I’ll be revisiting Contra in NYC this week to test my hypothesis that < $100, < 2-hour, super streamlined tasting menu experiences are my (everyone’s?) preferred method of upscale dining. (And then I go on a diet.).” Turns out my hypothesis wasn’t exactly right. I had a fantastic meal at Contra. It’s about as close to perfect as a restaurant can get, in my mind. But there’s still a place in the world for the theatrics and weirdness and whimsy and indulgence and backflips of a well-done, extended menu. I just don't want it all the time.
Opening of the Week: Du’s Donuts
Who is behind it?: Wylie Dufresne, famed modernist chef and owner of boundary-pushing New York restaurant wd~50, until it closed after 11 years in 2014, and the shorter-lived Alder.
What is it?: A doughnut shop.
Where is it?: Inside a hotel that looks like a spaceship in an especially bougie section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
When did it open?: Wednesday, April 26.
Why should I care?: Presumably these are very. good. doughnuts. Of course they sold out in just a few hours on day one. But it’s relevant to me that one of New York’s most well-known chefs — and one of its only chefs to push a certain style of modernist cooking in New York — is now selling doughnuts in Williamsburg. Another interesting data point? Sam Mason, his longtime pastry chef and the owner of Tailor (RIP), is just down the street, selling ice cream.
- Intel: The Grill, the revamp of the old Four Seasons space and the biggest NYC opening of the year, is now taking reservations; Dominique Crenn’s Atelier Crenn just reopened after a big redesign; here’s some more intel on the new izakaya (with a creative FOH policy) the Gjelina/Gjusta crew are opening in Venice; the two founders of Waffle House died within two months of one another; neighbors are fighting to halt a gun range with a bar in Chicago; Dallas Chef of the Year Misti Norris is back in action with her new project Petra and the Beast; Michael Solomonov’s hummus concept Dizengoff is expanding to Miami; Mario Batali and Jeremiah Tower will spend the summer scouting restaurant spaces on the beaches of Italy; a look inside Preeti Mistry’s new Oakland restaurant; the Koi inside Trump Soho in New York is closing, and they are kinda maybe sort of blaming the election, but I’m not sure that location was ever all that busy; and even Taco Bell has a chef’s tasting counter now.
- Joshua David Stein’s wonderful review of the new Jeremiah Tower doc The Last Magnificent.
- Caity Weaver is the best comedic restaurant reviewer in the business.
- Where to eat and drink on your next trip to Burlington, Vermont.
- What happens if you take the movie Avatar and translate it into dessert?
- A popular Japanese steakhouse without chairs opened in NYC. Eater NY’s Serena Dai takes us inside.
- The iconic Ina Garten on why she never wanted kids. [Page Six]
- What goes into (labor, food costs, operating costs) the price of a $32 single crab at a trendy LA restaurant, and how to create perceived value amid rising costs. [LA Weekly]
- This beautiful video of a rare, handmade, super-thin noodle. [Great Big Story]
- On the casual racism of the “Asian Salad” on American menus, and how the majority of Asian food is still stigmatized because “white people have not decided they like it yet.” [NYT, Munchies]