Chef and Menu Report: Week of 8/17/14

Every week, we take a look at some new chefs and menus that have been announced across the country
Goose Island Beer Co.
Credit: facebook/gooseislandbeer

Goose Island Beer Co. is kicking off a five-city global BBQ tour beginning in Chicago on August 30, presented by Heritage BBQ.

New York
Park Slope’s Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn has introduced their "Clam Bake To-Go" package for Labor Day. The seafood spot is launching the promotion next week and it will be available during the entire month of September. The package includes lobster, cherrystone clams, mussels, corn, and potatoes for two ($34.95) or four ($59.95) people, and can be purchased by calling the restaurant at in advance.

Williamsburg's oyster and cocktail bar Maison Premiere will host their fourth-annual Labor Day Party on Monday, September 1. Doors will open at noon, and the event will include an assortment of oysters, chilled seafood, and an exciting selection of chef's specials. The full bar will be available throughout the day, featuring Maison Premiere's signature absinthe cocktails, wine by the glass and bottle, and a range of draft and bottled beers. Entrance to the party is free, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are available for dinner beginning at 5 p.m. until midnight, with the full menu available; the bar will stay open, serving oysters until 1 a.m. and drinks until 2 a.m.

Eataly New York is getting ready to turn four, and has organized a few activities to celebrate its birthday. During the week of August 31, shoppers can save up to 60 percent on selected products, while their restaurants will feature special dishes prepared with only four ingredients. On September 4 they will host an Eataly’s Greatests Hits Dinner at La Birreria. For $180, guests can enjoy a menu consisting of passed assaggi like market fish crudo and friend shitake mushrooms, and four stations offering dishes such as porcini rubbed prime rib and lasagna al ragu. On their actual birthday, stop in for a piece of free cake on Tuesday, September 2 at 4 p.m.

Alobar's Annual Tomato Fest will run September 11 through 13 and feature a 5-course dinner tasting menu for $48 per person, with $10 from each sale going towards Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. Chef Greg Profeta's TomatoFest Menu will include an heirloom tomato salad with avocado, basil, goat feta, and dressed in charred onion vinaigrette, a classic tomato gazpacho amuse, fluke with tomato water jus, olives, and pesto, Hanger steak with tomato Provencal and Choron sauce, and roasted tomato tart for dessert; Alobar's a la carte menu will also be available.

Hard Rock Café in Yankee Stadium has launched their new menu. Open year-round, diners can now enjoy appetizers like jumbo chicken wings coated with their signature smoked dry rub, slow roasted and served with blue cheese and carrot and celery sticks, and “Twisted Mac, Chicken & Cheese” comprised of cavatappi macaroni tossed in a three-cheese sauce with roasted red peppers, topped with Parmesan parsley bread crumbs and grilled chicken breast. Mains include a smoked beef brisket sandwich with slow-cooked beef brisket topped with hickory barbecue sauce and crispy onions on grilled sourdough bread, and grilled Norwegian salmon wrapped in cedar paper and drizzled with sweet and spicy barbecue sauce with maître d' butter, served with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and a seasonal vegetable. One of the new desserts is a cheesecake made with Oreo® cookie pieces that’s made in-house, with a generous helping of Oreo® cookies baked in rich and creamy New Yorkstyle cheesecake, with a decadent Oreo® cookie crust, and the updated cocktail menu includes the “Twist & Shout” made up of Guinness draught beer, Bacardi OakHeart Spiced Rum, dark crème de cacao, chocolate syrup, Monin salted caramel syrup blended with Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream, caramel, chocolate, and their signature applewood smoked crisp bacon.

Many New Yorkers wistfully gaze at happy hour menus that they can't take advantage of because they don't get out of work in time, so North End Grill has just introduced a $1 oyster happy hour from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. Executive chef Eric Korsh changes the selection of oysters daily to ensure fresh quality; workaholics rejoice!

Ocean Prime, a modern American supper club, announced the return of executive chef Jason Shelley to Atlanta. After embarking on a year-long adventure across Spain, Shelley brings his expertise and newfound global culinary inspirations back to the restaurant where he led the kitchen since its debut in 2011. Prior to moving to Georgia, he also opened the Ocean Prime Orlando location as executive chef. Originally from Pittsburgh, the chef began his culinary career in his hometown at Atria’s Restaurant where he worked as a line cook. Since he first entered the industry, his passion and enthusiasm have grown in preparing a variety of cuisines and he is looking forward to the continuation of that growth with the Ocean Prime team.

This Sunday, August 24 from noon to 4 p.m., Pubbelly  will be kicking off everyone’s favorite meal: brunch. Their new menu will range from $9 to $18 and will be categorized by food “genre”: Pubbelly Classics, Dim Sum, South Beach Diet, Hangover Grub, Brunch Fare, and Bread & Co. Guests can expect to find dishes like domestic Burrata with local mangos, pistachios, basil, and olive oil; “PB French Toast Sticks” with seasonal marmalade, bananas foster, and bacon maple; “Media Noche Mcbelly” with confit of pork belly, cox farms ham, Gruyère, and dijonnaise; and “Mushrooms & Huitlacoche” with Key West pink shrimp, castle mills grits, and sobrasada.

The Fireside in Northwest Portland gains new momentum with Jake Martin as executive chef. Prior to The Fireside, Martin was executive chef of Genoa, the long-time Portland fine dining establishment. Martin brings a creative flair and deep understanding of Oregon’s bounty, while retaining the spirit of outdoor-inspired fare. In addition to Martin, The Fireside also recently gained a new lead bartender, Chauncey Roach. Previously at Ración, Roach will bring a dose of creativity to the restaurant’s stellar beverage program.

Cincinnati, OH
The Friends and Family SIDS Brunch at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Presented by Cincinnati Children’s is Sunday, October 19. It features food and beverages from the area’s best chefs and wine vendors, a Silent Auction, hands-on kids’ activities, and live entertainment. Tickets are $65 for adults, $75 at the door; $20 for kids ages 5-12, $25 at the door. The de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation is led by Jean-Robert and Annette de Cavel, who lost their four-month-old daughter Tatiana to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2002. The Foundation has most recently awarded grants to researcher Dr. John Hutton at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Cradle Cincinnati; Tri-Health’s Cribs for Kids; and the Tatiana de Cavel Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State.

Heritage BBQ presented by Goose Island Beer Co. is kicking off a five-city global BBQ tour beginning in Chicago on August 30. The local-food focused BBQ tour started by Brady Lowe, Founder of Cochon 555, invites five notable chefs to put their love of globally-influenced whole pig BBQ to the test in a friendly but fierce competition to promote the consumption of heritage breed pigs raised by local family farms.

This year’s competing chefs include Chrissy Camba of Laughing Bird, Carlos Gaytan of Mexique, Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice, Cary Taylor of Big Star, and Nathan Sears of The Radler and D.A.S. Each chef will be given a 200-pound heritage breed pig to create six dishes for a crowd of pork-loving enthusiasts. A panel of 20 respected judges will vote for Chicago’s “BBQ King or Queen.” The BBQ will take place at Goose Island’s new Barrel Warehouse — a facility dedicated to the art of aging beers in wine and bourbon barrels. The 500-person event features more than 1,400 pounds of heritage pig in an all-inclusive tasting. There’s much more to the event, so for a full list of activities and to purchase tickets, please visit their website.

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