This post originally appeared on April 21, 2018, 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.
Before we get into some other, unrelated thoughts, I want to direct your attention to this long-in-the-works piece about the importance of three Black-owned bars in Brooklyn. The feature was the brainchild of our manager of visuals and design Brittany Holloway-Brown, who wanted to pay tribute to the incredibly cool designs of these spaces. This piece does that, while also — through the words of writer Muna Mire — explaining these places’ relevance as gathering points in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.
Now, I am writing this to you all from the Amtrak heading home from a small offsite in D.C. One fun-but-challenging aspect of the Eater network is how dispersed our staff is. While many of us are in New York in the Vox Media offices, pretty much our entire part-time staff and almost half of our full-time employees live elsewhere. I consider it a great competitive advantage, to be able to bring a national perspective to our coverage while having on-the-ground experts in dozens of major cities — but it can also be hard to make everyone feel like they’re part of the same team.
Once a year we do a big annual retreat where the entire crew gets together in New York. And, new to this year, we have regional offsites for our city editors. This is a long-winded way of saying I got to spend 24 hours in D.C. eating a bunch of food, workshopping articles and headlines, and playing get-to-know-you games with some colleagues I rarely see. A couple of highlights from the road:
- Yes, the Obama portraits are absolutely gorgeous. As is Elaine de Kooning’s portrait of Kennedy (which is apparently “in conversation” with Kehinde Wiley’s Obama piece, according to my Insta DMs). If you’re in town to see those sometime in the next month, I also highly recommend the Sally Mann exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. Absolutely stunning work. (h/t Melany Robinson)
- Bad Saint — the exalted and wildly popular Filipino restaurant in Columbia Heights — is everything everyone said it would be. I usually refuse to wait in lines, but forced myself to do it this time, and ultimately found it worth the hour standing in the too-cold-for-April weather. The menu changes too often for me to recommend anything, but if you go soon, don’t miss the prawns.
- The Line Hotel is perfect. If you’ve been to the Line in LA, this one is just as stylish, just as hip, but 100 times less weird and clubby. And it feels like every detail — from the branded pencils and notebooks on the desk, to the decorative old books and framed esoterica and lighting fixtures with dimmers — was obsessively considered. Plus, during cherry blossom season it was one of the cheaper hotels I could find!
- There, I only got to eat at Brothers & Sisters, the lobby restaurant from Erik Bruner-Yang. I had a very wonderfully spicy duck consume and caesar salad (with big fat anchovies). An old NY favorite of mine, Pichet Ong, is there making the most extravagant cakes. Elsewhere in the hotel, they have a coffee shop, a fancy restaurant from Baltimore’s Spike Gjerde, a cocktail bar that looks too pretentious even for me, and a standing-only Japanese dinner spot. Next time.
- Oh, and they also have a radio station in the lobby, which is almost… too cool.
- I got to see my soon-to-be-friend (I’m working on it) Joe House, of Ringer podcast fame, and now have a whole to-do list for when I’m next in town, including Maydan, the whole Wharf complex, and Supra.
Openings of the week
New to my to-try list:
Hide, the biggest restaurant opening in London this season:
- Intel: Disgraced restaurateur Charlie Hallowell sold one of his restaurants to a former employee and her husband; a major boutique hotel with a hip restaurant and an outpost of cocktail bar Death & Co. will debut next week in Denver; LA officially legalized street food for the first time; chain of my Massachusetts childhood Bertucci’s filed for bankruptcy; personal fave Alex Raij and her husband are plotting a NYC seafood restaurant; a diner at Chicago’s Boka left a $2,000 tip on a $769 meal; Ayesha Curry will release her own Napa wines; the Eleven Madison Park team is getting a Lower East Side events space in New York; the guy behind Nashville’s Rolf & Daughters will open a pizza spot called Folk next week; San Diego has a new sweet-looking all-day cafe; cocktail destination Employees Only is open in West Hollywood; a high-end dart bar is opening in Chicago and has the most perplexing-looking food; Ludo Lefebvre opened a second and not-so-petite Petit Trois; khachapuri is sweeping New York; and here’s a recap from the Cherry Bombe Jubilee in New York and the La Cocina Conference in SF
- Reviews: Momofuku Ko in NY; Cassava in SF; and, most importantly, White Castle’s Impossible sliders and Shake Shack’s veggie patties
- Today in nasty splits: the one between Anne Burrell and Phil Casaceli is a real doozy; and vendors and old investors are suing celeb chef Jose Garces for almost $1 million
- Today in service: greasy spoons in London, all-day restaurants in Austin, and pancakes in NYC
- I’ve said this before, but Robert Sietsema is a national treasure, and here is his giant brain dump on the best affordable eating New York has to offer
- I was unaware of this group buying up all kinds of bars and restaurants across LA, but it’s pretty fascinating
- How Irish butter earned its cult following
- Inside the prop house that supplies fake food to TV and movie sets
- Watch Team Meat Hook smoke a whole lamb with Arrogant Swine
- Understanding the rapid and chaotic rise of vegan chain By Chloe
Last week on the Upsell
Dan and I talk to Giada De Laurentiis about why the success of her Vegas restaurant was so important to her, the stereotypes she’s been fighting her whole career, and how she feels about the downfall of her mentor Mario Batali. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.
- So true. If you had a bad time at the restaurant, it might be because of the expediter (the restaurant’s true quarterback) [NYT]
- LOL [@keano81/Twitter]
- Style is an algorithm [Racked]
- When even the curmudgeonly old man restaurant critic is more progressive than you, maybe it’s time for a change [Guardian]
- Why restaurants became so loud — and how to fight back [Vox]
- Wow: The UK is going to ban all plastic straws [BuzzFeed]
- It’s always funny to see who Time gets to write the profiles for their Time 100 list. Dave Chang on Chloe Kim! Cher on Adam Rippon! Aaron Paul on Eleven from Stranger Things! [Time]