Weekly Chef and Menu Report: The Week of May 27, 2013

A look into this week's new chefs and restaurant menus
Staff Writer


Every week, we take a look at some new chefs and menus that have appeared across the country. Here’s this week’s roundup:

Arlington Club: On May 29, New York’s Arlington Club began offering a large-format feast experience available only after 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday nights. For $555, a party of four or more can get the cowboy rib eye: up to seventy-two ounces of dry aged, bone-in prime beef, served with a sixteen ounce lobster tail, creamed spinach with nutmeg, truffle gnocchi, reblochon rosti, and XO Peppercorn Sauce. Only eight cowboy rib eyes are available each Wednesday night; if there are any leftovers, they are returned to the kitchen, thinly sliced onto potato rolls for sandwiches, and packaged in to-go bags with coleslaw to be offered as lunches for guests the next day.

Denny’s: To celebrate America around Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, Denny’s unveiled its new limited-time “Red, White and Blue Plate Specials” menu, which features a new variety of comfort food options with a patriotic theme, such as red, white and blue milk shakes and lemon icebox pie. The menu, now available nationwide, starts at $5.99 and includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and late-night items.

Ada Street: For the summer season, Ada Street in Chicago has brought out an updated wine list and a new weekly wine promotion. Every Monday during the summer, patrons can get any bottle on the wine list for half price, excluding the reserve selections. Chef Michael Kornick has overseen the new wine list along with his picks for wine/food pairings on the restaurant’s menu.

Barraca: From Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each Sunday through Thursday, New York’s Barraca is offering a plate of free paella with the purchase of a glass of wine, house infused sangria, or specialty cocktail. Beverage director Gonzalo Marín has added five sangria cocktails to the menu for the summer, and Executive Chef Jesús Núñez has expanded the variety of paella styles for the season.

Aviary: Portland, Oregon’s Aviary restaurant has put into effect an entirely new menu, focusing on creative small plates with fresh ingredients. The menu features such items as za’atar in beet and asparagus salad, plus new varieties of smoked New York strip steak, including one smoked over Douglas fir with potato puree, pickled daikon, and bone marrow custard.

Beauty & Essex: For brunch, Beauty & Essex on Manhattan’s Lower East Side has created some new menus, one for each day of the weekend. The Saturday Brunch Prix Fixe menu includes four dishes and one dessert for $48 per person from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. On Sundays, the Champagne Brunch Prix Fixe menu is offered at $45 per person, and it includes three dishes and one dessert, along with two glasses of champagne from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Pikey: Chef Ralph Johnson has created some new local and organic dishes for Father’s Day at The Pikey in Los Angeles, which is featuring special brunch (10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), Sunday Roast (3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.), and dinner (until 2:00 a.m.) menus on that holiday this year. New Father’s Day pub fare includes items like venison hash with fried eggs and pickled onion for brunch, plus a new “Coach & Horses” cocktail.

Jar: At Los Angleles’ Jar, Chef Suzanne Tracht is presenting two new menus: Summer Tastes, a three-course menu of her favorite summer dishes, and a new series of original menus for Lobster Mondays. Summer Tastes lasts from May 28 through June 30, with a price fixed at $40, and features a few dishes such as cedar smoked wild salmon. Lobster Mondays, as the name implies, is featured each Monday for dinner between June 3 and June 17. The menus, changing every week, focus on dishes that include lobster, such as the lobster watermelon salad.

Volunteer Park Café: In Seattle, the Chef + Gardener Dinner Series begins in June at Volunteer Park Café, consisting of four dinners based on seasonal produce from the restaurant’s garden and other local ingredients as designed by Chef Ericka Burke and cookbook author Amy Pennington. At 6:00 p.m., participants are treated to a garden tour and a seasonal non-alcoholic drink, followed at 6:30 by a family-style meal in the café. The dinners, priced at $45 per person, take place on June 11, July 23, September 10, and October 22, all Tuesdays.

508 GastroBrewery: The 508 GastroBrewery in New York has a whole new menu for the summer, featuring fresh meal options by chef/owner Jennifer Hill and new beers, brewed in-house, by brewer Chris Cuzme. The menu pairs Chef Hill’s Mediterranean-American food with Cuzme’s original craft beers.

40/40 Club: JAY Z’s The 40/40 Club in Manhattan is celebrating its 10 year anniversary for the entire month of June. To commemorate, they have created an Anniversary Menu featuring 10 signature menu items (food and cocktails) that will be available the entire month for $10/each. Dishes include wings, sliders, quesadillas, and red velvet cake, and cocktails include the Bonds Home Run, a mix of orange vodka, Malibu, and pineapple juice. 

jm Curley: A collaborative multi-course event, the Northern Alliance Dinner, is kicking off for the first time at Boston’s jm Curley on June 23 at 6:00 p.m. Providence, RI chef Matt Jennings will organize the dinner, bringing nine other all-star chefs from Boston, New York, and Canada to prepare a huge pop-up dinner consisting of neo-traditional North American cuisine. Tickets run at $250 per person, and the proceeds will support the American Farmland Trust.

Jimmy’s No. 43: The Monday Night Specialty Prix Fixe Dinner series is continuing for the summer at Jimmy’s No. 43 in New York, which includes four unique dinners featuring guest chefs, beer and food pairings, local farm-to-chef menus, and celebrity guests. One of these is the New Small Breweries Vegetarian Nonsense Dinner on June 3, where guest chefs Marc Giroux of Canada and Matt Sakowicz of Hawaii will serve a menu focusing on seasonal vegetables and vegetable proteins. The other dinners take place on June 11, June 18, and June 24, and each start at 7:00 p.m.; tickets cost $45 per person.

Tribeca Canvas: Tribeca Canvas, New York’s restaurant operated by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, will begin offering brunch on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. starting June 2. The menu consists of Chef Morimoto’s riff on Western dishes, such as Ducky Potato & Dumplings, with duck gyoza, rustic potatoes, sunny side egg and sweet chili.

Triniti: The Monday night Guest Chef Series at Houston’s Triniti restaurant begins on June 3, in which a special eight-course tasting menu designed by various guest chefs will be offered to the first twenty-two guests that pay the $75 per person price. Chef Ryan Hildebrand hosts the series, which will take place at the Triniti chef table and community table.

FIX: Chef Chris Conlon has added a special new item to the menu at FIX Restaurant & Bar at Bellagio in Las Vegas: the Very Adult Mac & Cheese. A twist on a children’s classic, it includes white cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and prosciutto, and is cooked with bread crumbs to resemble crispy mozzarella sticks.

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