Chef and Menu Report Week of 7/06/14

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

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

New Yorkers and tourist alike can celebrate Bastille day by ordering Duck l'Orange at one of Tour de France restaurants throughout the city.

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

For the first time ever, Panera Bread is featuring naan-inspired flatbread sandwiches and sprouted grains on its summer menu. Inspired by the global travels of Panera’s culinary team, the new flatbread sandwiches, each just 360 calories or less, are served on Panera’s version of naan, the traditional Indian flat bread. The new selections include a Mediterranean chicken sandwich, Thai chicken sandwich, Southwestern chicken sandwich,  and a BBQ chicken sandwich, all made with chicken raised without antibiotics. Panera is also one of the first restaurant chains in the industry to offer sprouted grain bread to their customers. Used in their new sprouted grain bagel flat, it can be enjoyed on its own or as part of the egg white, avocado, and spinach breakfast sandwich.      

Travelers headed to Providence, RI this month can experience some of the best cuisine in America at special discounted prices during Providence Restaurant Weeks. Now in its eighth year, the culinary event is currently underway from until July 19, the 2014 edition of Providence Restaurant Weeks features special menus at more than 60 of the city’s nationally-recognized eateries where diners can take advantage of a $14.95 prix-fixe, three-course lunch menu as well as prix-fixe, three-course dinner menus that are either $29.95 or $34.95. For more information, including a full list of participating restaurants, please visit their website.  

M.C. Spiedo has recently launched Spiedo Supper Club, a family-style dinner series inspired by the supper clubs that became popular during the Italian Renaissance. Each Sunday, the three-course food and wine pairings will highlight spit-roasted specialties and restaurant classics, such as the M.C. grand tortellini and meat torta with roasted vegetable sauce; spit roasted guinea hen with prosciutto, cremona fruit mostarda, and cress; and salt crusted day boat halibut with lemon, herbs, and broken olive vinaigrette.

Additionally, they have also just launched the M.C. Spiedo Market Cart Lunch, offering a series of daily market cart sandwich specials. Examples of the day’s offerings will be displayed on the roving market cart, guests can choose one of the authentic Italian sandwiches with a market cart side of choice and any non-alcoholic beverage for $14. Selections include the "Toscano," made up of spit-roasted chicken, eggplant caponata, mozzarella, prosciutto di Parma, heirloom lettuces, and balsamic vinaigrette, and the "Sardegna," comprised of olive oil poached tuna, black olive tapenade, marinated tomatoes, basil, and lemon aioli.

New York
With New York’s Summer Restaurant Week just 10 days away away (starting Monday, July 21st) Magrino’s roster of New York restaurants will offer inventive menus for one of the most anticipated food events of the year.

Hakkasan New York will offer a $38 three-course prix fixe menu for dinner that includes some of the eatery’s most popular dishes such as the hakka steamed dim sum platter; sweet and sour pork tenderloin with pomegranate, and fried soft shell crab. Guests can add on a special curated wine pairing for an additional $35 a person. To keep the crowds coming back for more, those who opt for the restaurant week menu will receive a $38 gift certificate to use for their next visit to the restaurant. 

Harlow will offer a Restaurant Week three-course prix-fixe lunch menu for $25, which features the Hawaiian heart of palm “steak,” an off-menu vegetarian dish that guests will only have the chance to try during restaurant week. Additionally, diners can choose from favored signature menu items, including lamb meatballs with kochujang marinara, mint, and pickled red onions, and stone oven chicken with root vegetables and chimichurri.

Sirio Ristorante will offer three-course prix fixe menus for lunch at $25, and dinner at $38. Opt for the vongole on the dinner menu, normally priced at $28 as an a la carte entrée. For lunch, try chef Massimo Bebber’s seasonal chilled cucumber soup with marinated baby shrimp.

Le Cirque Cafe will also offer three-course prix fixe menus for lunch at $25, and dinner at $38. Try newly-appointed chef Raphael Francois’ salmon appetizer with watermelon and broad bean tartare, topped with mojito sauce, while his trout entrée is finished with vinaigre de Balconville, green apple, and fresh fennel. For dessert, diners can choose from Le Cirque staple, such as their signature crème brulée, or new creations like the pineapple prepared with Malibu rum, coconut, and bourbon vanilla.

This Monday is Bastille Day, and Tour de France restaurants throughout the city will be paying tribute to long‐forgotten staples of classic French cuisine during the week-long Forgotten Foods and Wines of France festival that runs from July 14 to the 20. On the menu at Café D’Alsace, L’Express, French Roast Uptown & Downtown, Le Monde, Marseille, Nice Matin, and Pigalle will be a host of retro favorites crafted old-world-style to indulge your gastronomic nostalgia. Some of the dishes highlighted will be quenelles de brochet nantua, duck à l’orange, and crêpes Suzette.

In honor of this year’s MLB All-Star Game, which takes place on next Tuesday,  July 15 at Target Field in Milwaukee, WI, NYY Steak will be offering a special off-the-menu American League Manhattan cocktail with Lagavulin scotch and Lillet Red, from Monday July 14 through Friday July 18 only. It's red in support of both the American league team, as well as being a reference to a rare steak.

Chef Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao will be serving Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine on the grill this Tuesday, July 15, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Good Co in Brooklyn. The menu for this BBQ Blowout includes babyback ribs with Asian potato salad, Burmese tomato, and long bean salad. Gelato will be provided by Ciao Bella, beer from Brooklyn brewery, and the music set will be courtesy of DJ Ducky. $10 buys you a plate of food and a beer if tickets are purchased before the day of the event, otherwise, they're $15.  

Chef Jesse Schenker’s new Flatiron hotspot, The Gander, will be launching “Sunday Suppers” starting Sunday, July 20. A weekly, family-style, three-course dinner, the Sunday Supper menus will change periodically to feature seasonal ingredients, but the inaugural menu’s offerings include a shellfish platter of spot prawns, oysters, and clams; roasted porcelet porchetta accompanied by a variety of sides like potato tostones with chorizo crème fraiche, grilled asparagus with salsa verde, and summer greens with tomato and corn, and for dessert, a sherry caramel flan; almond cake, or smoked galleta. A bottle of wine per table, selected from a menu of options specially paired by beverage director Rick Pitcher, is also included in the $50/person price.

The High Line Hotel is launching Champagne Charlie's, a unique outdoor lounge and restaurant by renowned restaurateurs, Nick Hatsatouris and Lincoln Pilcher. Located in the hotel's historic courtyard in Chelsea, the new space was named after the 1866 song "Champagne Charlie," whose lyrics by George Leybourne are believed to have sparked the creation of the song "Cliquot," composed by Leybourne's rival, Alfred Vance. Champagne Charlie's features a menu of small plates such as oysters, crudos, salads, burgers, along with a weekend brunch menu.  Spirits, beer, and a selection of premium Champagnes and wines by the glass or bottle will be available as well.

Get over your humpday slump at Hotel Chantelle’s “Luau On Ludlow” every Wednesday from 7 to 10 p.m. Executive chef Seth Levine will serve some Pacific favorites a la carte including a roast suckling pig; tuna poke, and citrus steamed red snapper. The regular dinner menu is still available, and guests can enjoy cocktail specials, coconuts, smoking Tiki heads, and live hula dancers.

Celebrity chef Marc Murphy will be offering two all-you-can-eat crab boils at his Upper West Side eatery Ditch Plains on Thursday, July 17 and Thursday, August 21.  The menu will include Maryland blue crab served with jalapeño hushpuppies, potato wedges, corn on the cob, and dessert, all for only $55.

The team behind Contigo and the soon-to-open Gardner has named Steven Cak as the new executive pastry chef for both restaurants. Since 2010, Cak has been the executive pastry chef of Shawn Cirkiel’s restaurant group that includes Parkside, The Backspace, Olive & June, and Chavez. The Iowa native will now bring his years of expertise to Contigo and Gardner, continuing to put his modern spin on dessert classics like his s’mores with smoked chocolate ganache, graham crumble, toasted meringue, and honey cinnamon ice cream.

Los Angeles
The Spare Room, a truly hidden hot spot found on the mezzanine level of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, has launched a summer cocktail menu, and is also hosting a number of seasonal events. Every Wednesday, there will be a "Tiki," a Polynesian-themed party hosted by a different star bartender each week. The tiki-themed craft cocktails will be paired with an equally themed menu that boasts island-inspired food like spam sandwiches, equator dogs, crab ran goons, chili mango popcorn, and more. Additionally, a "Beer, Brats and Bingo" night will be held every Sunday. The event is hosted by various LA-based comedy crews, including The Comedy Store, Groundlings, The Laugh Factory, Improv, and others. There are more summer events in the works at The Spare Room, so make sure you check out their website or give them a call to learn more about all the season fun.

Recently relocated to Chicago's bustling East Lakeview neighborhood, Ceres' Table is introducing its brand new brunch menu, available Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Highlights from the menu include specialties like a benedict made with butter poached lobster, prosciutto cotta, hollandaise, and topped with parsley; duck hash with potatoes, caramelized onions, red peppers, and arugula, and Italian toast with Pannetone, slow roasted pineapple, mascarpone, and cinnamon. To go along with the new brunch, bar manager Matt Amann has created a fun, new menu of eleven specialty cocktails, including a “Top of the Morning,” consisting of sparrow coffee, dark rum, and amaro, as well as a “Hound Dog,” made up of grapefruit, Citra hops and Italian vodka.

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