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the sweet scoop
It was another thrilling year for the New York City dining scene, and last night, Time Out New York held their annual industry awards honoring the best new restaurants, bars and chefs. “It’s been an incredibly exciting year for food and drink,” shares Mari Uyehara, TONY’s Food & Drink editor. “Sensational new restaurants opened on Madison Avenue and in the West Village, but also in Bushwick, Flushing and Red Hook. It also brought national superstars, celebrated cookbook authors and daring upstarts to town. Our roster of winners reflects the astonishing range of drinking and dining experiences in New York City right now.”
Taking over the spacious Stephen Weiss Studio, the 2013 Food & Drink Awards paid tribute to the city’s culinary finest in a grand celebration attended by top toques, restauranteurs, mixologists and industry insiders. Before the winners were announced, guests sampled bites from nominated spots, including L’Apicio, Pork Slope, Dear Bushwick and Gran Electrica, and sipped prosecco, Stella Artois and Frederick Wildman cocktails—all while eagerly anticipating the results.
TONY’s food-obsessed readers voted for their faves out of 40 nominees to determine ten winners in the Readers’ Choice categories—top honors included Best New Restaurant (The NoMad), Chef of the Year (Daniel Humm), Best New Italian Spot (Perla), Best New Cocktail Bar (Pouring Ribbons) and Best New Bakery (Ovenly). Additionally, ten Critics’ Picks were presented, in aptly named categories ranging from Best Big-Pimp’ Brooklyn (Blanca) and The New Nordic Wonder (Aska), to The Same Same But Different Award (Pok Pok NY) and The High Rolling Stoner Sushi Award (Chez Sardine). You can check out the full list of this year’s winners here.
Many congrats to all the winners and nominees!
From rising food rockstars to acclaimed celebrity chefs, the country’s culinary elite gathered together last night to celebrate the Food & Wine 2012 Best New Chefs. Held at the Liberty Theater in the heart of Times Square, the 24th annual soiree ushered in the latest roster of talented visionaries, as announced by Food & Wine Editor-in-Chief Dana Cowin and Publisher Christina Grdovic.
During the Broadway-themed affair, Best New Chef alumni Daniel Boulud (1988), Michael Anthony (2002), Shea Gallante (2005), Gavin Kaysen (2007), Matthew Lightner (2010), George Mendes (2011), and Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais prepared tempting signature dishes, as partygoers mingled with the industry’s finest and eagerly anticipated the winners ceremony.
Every year, the editors at Food & Wine scour the nation to find the most talented chefs with a unique culinary vision. “It is such a delight to honor these incredible chefs, who have made a tremendous impact on the culinary world in a short period of time,” Cowin says.
Now, introducing the 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chefs:
Erik Anderson & Josh Habiger, The Catbird Seat, Nashville, TN
Mario Carbone & Rich Torrisi, Torrisi Italian Specialties, New York, NY
Danny Grant, RIA, Chicago, IL
Dan Kluger, ABC Kitchen, New York, NY
Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco, CA
Jenn Louis, Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, OR
Cormac Mahoney, Madison Park Conservatory, Seattle, WA
Bryant Ng, The Spice Table, Los Angeles, CA
Karen Nicolas, Equinox, Washington, DC
Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn, Lummi Island, WA
After the big reveal, guests noshed on Creole-seasoned buttermilk fried chicken drumsticks from DJ Questlove—who rocked the turntables and helped take the event to all-out dance party status. In between savory bites and cutting loose on the dance floor with Dana Cowin and The Harlem James Gang, the crowd sipped Belvedere cocktails and Gallo wines, and got sweet on luscious Godiva chocolate truffles.
Thanks to the entire Food & Wine staff for a truly memorable evening. Wishing many congrats to all the 2012 Best New Chefs!
Chef Dave Martin knows how to play ball. As demonstrated when the Top Chef alum debuted his meatball-centric menu to an eager crowd during this weekend’s preview of The Meatball Factory, which officially opens on Tuesday, October 25th.
Commanding the corner of East 14th Street and 2nd Avenue, this warm, rustic bistro boasts a cozy interior with dark wooden tables, exposed brick walls, floor to ceiling windows and a sizable bar area. The menu of upscale comfort food centers around an extensive selection of house-ground gourmet meatballs, including flavorful rounds of braised pork, short ribs, chorizo, duck, lamb, turkey and veggie. Proteins pair up with eight savory sauces, such as green curry peanut, black truffle cream, spiced up vodka and fire roasted marinara, and fully customizable combos allow diners to curb any meaty craving—you can have your balls on a challah roll, over housemade pasta or crispy, thin-crust pizza, or poutine-style atop fresh cut Idaho fries coated in melted cheese.
So, what makes The Meatball Factory stand out? “Simple, high quality, fun food that’s affordable,” Martin shared. Nothing on the menu is over $15 and no bottle of wine is priced over $40. Yet, the quality and flavors are top notch. Take the Turducken meatball, made from a house blend of La Frieda turkey, Bell & Evans chicken, Hudson Valley Farms duck confit, sage & allspice. Martin prides himself on prime sourcing and uses his own line of handcrafted rubs, sauces and seasonings to tastefully elevate each dish.
While meatballs are the star here, you’ll also find dairy-free and gluten-free options, seasonal salads, vegetable sides, and a tempting array of sweet treats and ice cream sundaes to round out the menu. The ‘Thai This’ pizza—a mouthwatering medley of ground Turducken, luscious green curry peanut sauce, Thai chiles and Grana Padano sprinkled over delicate cracker dough—is a must-try. For the ultimate indulgence, order up Dave’s World Famous Black Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese—a decadent breadcrumb-topped infusion of slow cooked cream, shallots, brandy, sherry, truffles, fontina, thyme and oregano. And make sure not to overlook the shaker of red chili spiced agave on your table. When splashed onto entrées, it adds complexity, depth and quickly becomes addicting. To wash it all down, belly up to the bar for reasonably priced vino, along with 18 taps and 20 bottles of craft beer.
With an evident passion for his craft, chef Martin masterfully pairs new flavors with comfort food staples, creating dishes that you’ll want to savor again and again. And since The Meatball Factory rolls out endless choices and combinations aplenty, be sure to come hungry and prepare to have a ball.
The Meatball Factory, 231 Second Avenue at 14th Street, 212.260.8015