Michelin NYC (and up), The VC nanny state, Yesteryear 2016, and more...
Family Meal - Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
A seemingly extra slow news weekend means an extra short Family Meal today. If I missed everything, let me know!
Let’s get to it…
Michelin Season – The 2020 Michelin Guide to New York City and Westchester County arrived in full yesterday, with eight new single-stars, two new two-stars and an unchanged top tier of Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, Masa, and Per Se. Shocking everyone, a previously unknown Pocantico Hills restaurant named “Blue Hill at Stone Barns” debuted on this year’s list with two stars. Atomix was the other newcomer at that level (via promotion from one star last year). The new singles were Benno, Crown Shy, Estela, Four Horsemen, Le Jardinier, Odo, Oxalis and Ukiyo. Congrats, all!
Eater NY’s Ryan Sutton and Serena Dai have a useful rundown of the rest, plus key omissions: “A number of high profile restaurant fell off the starred selections altogether, including Babbo, in the first year since Mario Batali divested of the venue; Faro, the Bushwick Italian restaurant; Cafe Boulud, Daniel Boulud’s more casual counterpart to his tasting menu-only flagship on the Upper East Side; Cafe China, one of the city’s top Sichuan spots; Kyo Ya, the East Village Japanese staple; and Junoon, the heralded Indian restaurant in Flatiron. New York once had three South Asian venues with Michelin stars. Now it has none, despite raves over Adda in Long Island City.”
P.S. – Assume they’re being vague so as not to back themselves into a corner on any one specific thing, but damn, the one-line descriptions of newly starred restaurants in the Michelin press release read like hack critic Mad Libs. Combining them altogether, I’d like to especially congratulate the newcomers on: “[Your restaurant’s] enticing menu of creative, refined and approachable fare… [that] features creative compositions… [with] astute preparation and bold, yet balanced flavors…. [and is] a delight for its high-quality ingredients and impeccable seasoning…. [which inspectors found] incredibly consistent, unique and utterly enjoyable”!
The Benefit – Per Eater EIC Amanda Kludt, “There may be a solution on the horizon for strapped restaurant-world parents and the people who employ them. Camilla Marcus, the owner of Soho café West~bourne, teamed up with a new venture-backed child care center Vivvi to offer her employees fully subsidized child care from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. It’s a striking new employee benefit as parents across America struggle with the rising costs of child care and as restaurant owners face an ever-tighter labor market.” So far there’s just one Vivvi location (Varick and Watts), and its business model hinges on federal and state tax credits covering up to 75% of users costs (making it a somewhat NY-specific public-private partnership of sorts), but… at least it’s a try?
The Media – The Association of Food Journalists is looking for an Executive Director. More of a non-profit management gig than a media job, but it’s remote, and part time if interested.
For Design Fans – Get what they were trying to do here, but the signage on this new “dive bar” in DC doesn’t feel right. It’s just “Last Call” spray-painted over the nameplate of a former warehouse district Korean cafeteria, but it leaves enough of the old sign visible to read like less tribute, more F-U. Am I way off? Pouring salt in the wound is the Eater DC caption referring to J & P Cafeteria — #5 on their 2016 of “Where to Go for Korean Barbecue Around DC” list — as “a dingy cafeteria from yesteryear” in the captions. Damn.
And last but not least, The Critics – SF Chronicle critic Soleil Ho’s talk at last month’s XOXO Festival in Portland, OR is now on YouTube. Subject: “What happens when you become the representation you’ve been fighting for?” The talk is sincere and smart and worth your time, but for the purposes of this newsletter, here’s a wildly out of context quote she definitely said at around the 08:38 mark: “I’d leap out of the pages of a newspaper and start cutting everyone’s dicks off.”
And that’s it for today.
I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.
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