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Escaping From 2020 With My Favorite Writers

From the Editor: Everything you missed in food news last week

This post originally appeared on August 22, 2020 in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.

Due to a glitch, my newsletter last week is lost to the world, and I had no time to recreate it. But I had three important takeaways I’ll summarize here. 1. There were a LOT of openings last week, at least 20 that I found nationally relevant. I’m assuming these are places that just figured “if not now, when?” but it’s interesting to track how they’ve adapted out of the gate to this moment. 2. We launched this How to Help guide last week that should help you route any funds to worthy organizations fighting for restaurant workers and against food insecurity. If you yourself are looking for help, the list of orgs is a great place to start. 3. My fantastic colleague Sonia Chopra put in her last day at Eater last week after an incredible eight-year run and I want to publicly wish her bonne chance on her new journey.

Now as for this week, I’d like to point you on this mid-August day to a gorgeous collection of travel stories. As the pandemic hit, we were just about to publish one of our big, splashy, servicey packages focused on dining in Barcelona. And our team was abroad reporting out the following guide, scheduled for a summer launch (and barely made it back in time!). That work is going to have to sit on ice for awhile.

Instead we offer a collection of missives from some favorite writers on pandemic-appropriate getaways (and how they ate their way through them). While there’s no service, per se, no hot tips, no lists or maps, there’s beauty and humor and joy and sadness and it’s also pretty to look at. So please check it out.

On Eater

Closures: The Riddler locations in both New York and San Francisco; Flaming Saddles in Los Angeles; Navy Pier in Chicago; and Ton Kiang in San Francisco.

Openings: Etta River North, a second location of a popular brunch and pastry destination, in Chicago; Kimika, a Japanese-Italian restaurant from the owners of a popular Thai restaurant, and Nice Day, a Chinese takeout pop-up inside of restaurant Junzi, in New York; Indigenous Food Lab, an education and training center from chef Sean Sherman, in Minneapolis; Mr. Roni Cups, a pizzeria from the O Ya team, in Boston; Bunny Bunny, a new Chinese restaurant in Detroit; and a reopening of Post House, a Charleston restaurant that got a makeover and new owners after closing in early 2019.

— Philadelphia reopened for indoor dining.

— The James Beard Foundation canceled its 2020 chef and restaurant awards (that were postponed from May to September) and both the media and chef/restaurant awards for 2021. Awards right now will “do little to further the industry in its current uphill battle.”

— High-end restaurant Blue HIll at Stone Barns will not reopen as usual next year, instead launching a series of chef residencies focused on ”a rotating, diverse set of chefs’ voices that interpret the farm and the region through their own cuisines and experiences.”

— The next season of Netflix show Chef’s Table will focus on pitmasters.

— I’ve never wanted to go tailgate in a New Jersey parking lot so badly.

A tray with chicken wings, tocino, loganiza, and lumpia Shanghai.
A spread at new Chicago restaurant Kasama
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

In which Ryan Sutton (controversially but correctly) calls Thomas Keller’s recently closed high-end mall restaurant TAK Room “a bland, plutocratic restaurant that failed to have any real impact on the city’s culinary scene.” RIP

— Third party delivery apps are still “partnering” with restaurants without their consent, and it’s annoying as hell.

— I wrote about this a few weeks ago, but here’s a service director at a popular New York restaurant making the case for outdoor dining.

Bagel consolidation of note in California: hip SF spot Wise Sons purchases Oakland’s Beauty’s.

— High profile D.C. restaurant Emilie’s lost its second chef this year and may close or rebrand.

— A look at the offerings from already-popular and very delicious-sounding Kasama, a Filipino-American bakery and cafe in Chicago.

— Home brewer Shannon Harris is aiming to open the first Black-owned brewery in Austin.

— Last but not least, it’s imperative you read Meghan McCarron’s nuanced look into the allegations against food world editor Peter Meehan. It published just as I was wrapping this note so I can touch upon it more next week.

Off Eater