The Magnificent 10: Restaurants That Changed American Dining

The Magnificent 10: Restaurants That Changed American Dining

By Adria Valdes Greenhauff, Editor-at-Large

There are great restaurants and then there are iconic restaurants. The latter do more than just serve up delicious food, they dare to be different and give permission for others to follow their lead.

In his new book, Ten Restaurants That Changed America, author and historian Paul Freedman takes readers on a journey through the culinary melting pot that is American dining, exploring the most influential restaurants, that each, in its own way, played a part in changing American culture, society, industry and even politics as we know it.

From chronicling the rise of America’s obsession with Chinese food through San Francisco’s legendary The Mandarin, to outlining how Sylvia’s, a small Harlem eatery, pioneered the concept of American soul food, Freedman uses each restaurant to tell a bigger story of race and class, immigration and assimilation. 

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No Gloves, No Sushi? NYC DOH Says Yes.

Some of the top sushi restaurants are pushing back against health inspectors who require prepared food to be handled with gloves. Sushi Dojo and its sibling, Sushi Dojo Express, were threatened with closure by the New York City Department of Health after they were found to be handling sushi without wearing gloves. Sushi Dojo was closed temporarily after being cited for this infraction six times. The chefs and owners feel like they are being discriminated against because traditional sushi preparation requires hand contact with the finished product to feel the consistency of the rice and fish. Using latex gloves doesn’t allow sushi chefs to feel what they are doing. “Sushi is being ruined [by] gloves, freezing fish and more issues,” says owner and chef David Bouhadana.

What’s interesting about this issue is that Bouhadana has admitted that when health inspectors come in he makes his employees wear gloves but otherwise tells them that they don’t have to. It’s a tricky situation since the chefs and the owner are just trying to adhere to traditional Japanese practices and the DOH is just trying to make sure that customers are safe. Should Japanese restaurants be given a pass or have looser rules on wearing gloves? Read more.

Eat, Drink and Be Silent at This New York Restaurant

Dining out typically evokes images of laughter, friends and great conversation. Unless you're at Eat, that is. The Brooklyn restaurant has been getting a lot of press lately, and not just for its use of organic and locally sourced food. When you visit Eat, that's the only thing you can do: eat. 

The restaurant has been hosting silent dinners where everyone - both the staff and guests alike - are to remain absolutely quiet while inside the restaurant. The idea is to be present and fully appreciate the dining experience, without any distractions. Read More

City Chefs Head to the Country

Photo Credit: The New York Times

Photo Credit: The New York Times

As the farm-to-table movement moves forward, we see a lot of city chefs trying to incorporate simpler ideas into their concepts. These chefs are trying to bring the country to the city... but what happens when two chefs try to bring the city back to the country?

Successful chefs and restaurateurs Zak Pelaccio and Mark Firth are doing just that. After successfully owning and operating their own respective restaurants in the big city, the two have taken their talents just outside the big city into rural New York.  Read more about their story here.

New Meatball Shop Features Lunch, Brunch, and Everything Holy

Photo Credit: Grub Street

Photo Credit: Grub Street

Good news, Upper East Siders:

Michael Chernow and Daniel Holzman's beloved Meatball Shop has recently opened its fifth location at 1462 Second Ave, between 76th and 77th. 

The new digs holds 116 seats and a 40-seat back room option for private parties, making this location their biggest one yet.  

But wait, there's more... 

This particular Meatball Shop will offer weekend brunch (our favorite), with a menu including Balls Benedict, two poached eggs, bacon, your choice of meatballs, and hollandaise on a brioche bun. And, of course, what's a brunch without cocktails? Luckily, there's a beverage program for that: 40-ounce cocktail pitchers are in the line-up.

For even more details on the UES Meatball Shop (and for more food porn): Read More