Chef and Menu Report: Week of 9/7/14

Every week, we take a look at some new chefs and menus that have been announced across the country

Grand Banks will host AHOYsters, a benefit for the Maritime Foundation and Billion Oyster Project.

Evolution Fresh has announced the addition of two new cold-pressed juice smoothies that were crafted in partnership with Whole Foods Market and are exclusive to the retailer. Taking a cue from the growing demand from consumers, Evolution Fresh and Whole Foods Market worked in tandem to design the two new smoothies: Organic Avocado Greens and Organic Splendid Carrot. Using distinctive ingredients such as chia seeds, turmeric, and avocado to create unique flavors and address relevant trends, the cold-pressed smoothies aim to meet the health and wellness needs of customers.

New York
Chef David Santos of Louro shows off his love of duck and skill for utilizing whole animals with the next Nossa Mesa event: All About Duck Dinner on Monday, September 15 at 7 p.m. Five savory dishes will highlight the versatility of duck like duck prosciutto with arugula and housemade pickles, duck eggs with foie gras and potato hash, duck sausage raviolo with whey and charred shishito pepper tea, roast duck breast with pluot butter, pancakes, and stir-fried vegetables. Tickets are $65 and, like all Nossa Mesa dinners, the Duck Dinner is BYO wine and beer.

Grand  Central Market, located in Grand Central Terminal, will be fêted September 15 to 19 with a daily mix of gifts-with-purchase, photo contests to win foodie gift baskets, and “flash sales” designed to inspire commuters’ and visitors’ own creations. Flash sales will happen daily that week from 10 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m.  Customers receive free canvas tote bags with the purchase of any flash sale item, while supplies last. Deals include 20 percent off items at Oren’s Daily Roast, 25-cent fudge at Li-Lac Chocolate, buy-one/get-one-free sauces and dressings at Ceriello Fine Foods, discounts at Pescatore Seafood Co., Spices and Tease, and more.

il Buco, Donna Lennard’s beloved, rustic Italian restaurant on Bond Street, will celebrate its 20th anniversary. In commemoration, the restaurant will host its outdoor Sagra del Maiale (festival of the pig) on September 21 led by chef Joel Hough and famed Argentine chef Francis Mallmann. Plates will include Flying Pigs Farm’s pork slow-roasted on an infiernillo, porchetta panini, and house-made apple-pork sausages, alongside farmers market panzanella, pasta Genovese, and ricotta fritters. Tickets are available in advance through Brown Paper Tickets.

The week prior to the festival, from September 15 to 21, the restaurant will welcome back its acclaimed chef alumni for a series of special dinners. The lineup is as follows:

  • Monday, September 15: Jody Williams
  • Tuesday, September 16: Sara Jenkins
  • Wednesday, September 17: Justin Smillie
  • Thursday, September 18: Joel Hough and Roger Martinez
  • Friday, September 19: Christopher Lee
  • Saturday, September 20: Ignacio Mattos 
  • Sunday, September 21: Francis Mallmann (beginning at 8 p.m., following the pig roast)

The dinners, beginning at 7:30pm, will also include an aperitivo hour including wine and cicchetti from 6 to 7 p.m., for which separate tickets are being offered. Reservations for both are required and can be made by calling il Buco directly or online via OpenTable.

In conjunction with California Wine Month, Dovetail will offer a California Harvest Menu featuring renowned wineries from several of California's premier wine growing regions. From September 15 to 26, guests will have the option of two four-course prix fixe menus, one being entirely vegetarian. Each menu will include a selection of premier California wines chosen by Dovetail's wine director, Jaime Kaloustian, including gems such as the Dunn 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon and the Kalin Chardonnay 1995.   

As part of Oyster Week, on Tuesday, September 16, Grand Banks will host AHOYsters, a benefit for the Maritime Foundation and Billion Oyster Project. Tickets are necessary to score a spot at the open liquor and oyster bar; 100 percent of all sales will go non-for-profit maritime conservation and education initiatives based in the city.

Reservations are now open for the first-ever Astoria, Queens Restaurant Week, Eat In Astoria, focused on the rapidly growing food scene in the neighborhood. Taking place September 19 to 28, Astoria Restaurant Week will feature a range of restaurants, including Arepas Grill, Bourbon & Vine, De Mole, La Rioja, Marketa, Mojave, MP Taverna, Kopiaste Taverna, Piccola Venezia, The Sandwich Bar, The Thirsty Koala, Pachanga Patterson, Vesta Vino, and The Sparrow Tavern (recently featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives). To kick off the festivities, organizers are hosting the Eat in Astoria Food Festival on September 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. All-access tickets to the festival are available for purchase here; diners interested in attending, and vendors interested in participating, should visit for more information.

Indulging in the delectable union of apples and honey is a well-known Rosh Hashanah tradition, which symbolizes hopes for a “sweet” New Year. With that in mind, chef Francois Payard has introduced green apple and honey macarons, as well as an apple honey cake. The desserts are available at all Francois Payard Bakeries and FP Patisserie Manhattan locations.

André Balazs and Michelin-starred chef John Fraser’s garden restaurant, Narcissa, is now open for lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef Fraser's vegetable-heavy and rotisserie offerings ring true for the new lunch menu including Locusts Farm kale salad with bacon lardons, corn, and goat cheese atop kale grown at the restaurant’s Hudson Valley farm; grilled baby squid with marinated eggplant, shishito peppers, and chimichurri; whole rotisserie Branzino with fennel arugula and soft herb vinaigrette.

As Dallas Cowboys and NFL fans gear up for the 2014 football season at AT&T Stadium, appetites of all kinds will be satisfied with an amazing and expanded menu of delicious flavors characterized by farm-fresh ingredients carefully prepared by chefs. Featured new arrivals on the 2014 NFL Season menu are a fire-roasted turkey burger, a Texas torta, Texas chicken and waffles,   slider dogs (a regional favorite), and a surf-and-turf sushi roll. 

Brennan’s of Houston welcomes special guest executive chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, to collaborate with the restaurant’s own executive chef Danny Trace for two nights of Creole cooking. Last night, the celebrated chefs created a six-course dinner menu, complete with wine pairings and cocktail reception, to celebrate their own unique vision of Creole cuisine. The dishes served included stuffed gulf coast flounder, spicy goat head tamales, prickly pear barbecued with 44 Farms beef belly, and Mardi Gras flambeaux cake.

Tonight, the chefs will again collaborate, this time on a special cooking class demonstration, in which they will prepare a three-course meal consisting of barbecued vegetable salad, Louisiana tur-duck-hen, and candied Texas tomato galette.

On Wednesday, October 15, Balena will host world-renowned chef Massimo Bottura of Italy’s most celebrated restaurant, the three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana. Balena invites guests to enjoy a seated Italian-inspired dinner prepared by executive chef Chris Pandel, who has spent months reading and learning from Massimo Bottura’s new book, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef. Tickets include the food menu and a personalized copy of Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef.


Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.