Justo Thomas is a symphony conductor.
His music: seldom heard. His stage: a sterile ten by five foot white-tiled room. The temperature: as cold as the fluorescent lighting above.
“Nobody comes down here. All this space is mine. Nobody comes in here,” says Thomas.
Here is the basement of Le Bernardin, arguably the best seafood restaurant in New York and most likely the country. Thomas, its fish butcher chef, has been “performing” at this three Michelin-star restaurant for seven years.
In the tucked away area, there’s a continual rhythm of sharp clings followed by loud thumps and wistful rings. But Thomas’s instruments do not include strings, percussion, or woodwinds. His are a half-dozen German-made steel knives.
The first thing I do when I get to NYC is pop two Advils.
All the delis, food carts, steakhouses, and ethnic food joints make my head hurt. Not because they make me ill, because I can't wrap my head around how I can try them all. It stresses me out to think the best meal I could ever have might be right around the corner, but I'll never know because I walked right on by staring at some monster billboard of Anderson Cooper gazing at me with those "national treasure" eyes.
So this week, I find myself back in the concrete jungle to work with my favorite Eatocracy editors. We have some fun stuff lined up to share with folks down the road. But first, I need to cross some places off my food bucket list.
At the front of the room, Pierre Siue calls roll. The rest of the room stands in their uniforms quietly, attentively, collectively with pens and pads out ready to jot down the notes from today.
A man with slicked-back silver hair approaches the front of the room carrying a wooden tray - part of today's lesson. "This is from Connecticut," he says pointing to the object on the right of the tray. "And this, is from Provence," pointing to his left. "Both are washed rind and will be new cheese selections on the menu this evening."
This is DANIEL, the flagship restaurant of famed French chef Daniel Boulud - one of seven restaurants in Manhattan with a New York Times four-star review and one of five with three Michelin stars. And this is the meeting held every day before dinner service, where the maître d' goes over the reservation book details, executive chef Jean François Brue explains any addendum to the menu and the general manager Pierre Siue oversees the calm before the dinner rush storm.
There are no models or aspiring actors in the room. It's an education, a continuing education at that - but it's also a career where the word "part-time" doesn't exist in a world where the profession of serving tables is typically viewed as a transient one.
Move over little black book, there is a new guide in town - and it's wearing red.
The results for New York City's 2011 Michelin Guide were announced today, and 57 area restaurants earned one or more of the guide's highest honor - the Michelin star.
The Michelin Guide, or Le Guide Michelin, originated in France in 1900 and has since then offered its notes, recommendations and ratings on restaurants and hotels in select cities around the globe. It published its first New York City edition in 2005.
Will New Yorker’s call it "Vendors on the Green"?
Beginning October 15th, vendor foods trucks will occupy the space where the fabled iconic Central Park restaurant Tavern on the Green once operated.
It's come to this: from filet mignon to tacos, homemade soups and dumplings. Four food vendors will occupy the space where the Tavern's Crystal room once stood.
On Thursday, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation announced that the outdoor terrace facing the Sheep Meadow will begin featuring offerings from Ladle of Love, Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, Rickshaw Dumpling Truck and Van Leeuwen Artistan Ice Cream.
Kira Kleaveland is an Associate Producer with AC360°
This past weekend I went to the beach to eat.
I'm the only person I know who goes to a beach not for the sand and sun but for the food, but I'm good with that. As far as I'm concerned, sand is kind of icky. It gets everywhere - your hair, your ears, your socks - and it's usually too hot to walk on.
So, when I announced my intention to visit Brighton Beach to friends last week, I made sure to specify, I'm not going to the actual beach - I'm going for the Russian and Ukrainian food.