The Family Meal – Friday, November 18th, 2016

Good Friday afternoon!

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Michelin NYC: The big reveal was supposed to be today, but a bookstore in SoHo sold a copy of the little red guide to an Eater fan on Tuesday, so you’ve probably already read about this… If so, please skip the next four paragraphs. Sorry.

But in case you missed it: There were no changes at the top – Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Eleven Madison Park, Jean-Georges, Le Bernadin, Masa,and every critic’s favorite punching bag Per Se all still have three stars.

The big news this year is that only a few months after opening, Aska by Fredrik Berselius jumped straight to 2-stars – a rare move for anyone in the Bib book.

Per Eater: “New entrants to the one star category included: Claus Meyer’s Agern, Günter Seeger, Fabian Von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone’s Contra, Mario Batali’s La Sirena, Faro in Bushwick, the food hall restaurant L’Appart in Le District, John Fraser’s vegetable-heavy Nix, Sushi Ginza Onodera, Sushi Inoue, Sushi Zo, and Ushiwakamaru.”

The snubs: Notably The Spotted Pig, Le Coucou, and Brushstroke. “Also worth noting: Somtum Der and Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok Ny were also stricken from the list, which means New York is now left with just a single Michelin-starred Thai restaurant: Uncle Boons.”

End Michelin NYC news. Carry on.

Closed on the cusp of 3-stars: Not Michelin, but still… In SF, critic Michael Bauer writes: “It’s the first in my 30 year history at The Chronicle: I was about to award three stars to a restaurant only to find out that it was unexpectedly shuttered. I had visited the restaurant three times and the review was written, awaiting publication next Sunday.” The restaurant? Revival at Guernville’s Applewood Inn under chef David Spiegel. Ugh.

20 acres of building and over $100M later… FICO Eataly World is now set to open in Bologna in September, 2017. Read the details and look at the architectural renderings in Bloomberg and tell me you believe that. The ambition: Disney World for Italian food lovers that brings in around six million visitors a year. For comparison, Pike Place gets about 10 million folks through the door, and Faneuil Hall is closer to 18M. Six million tourists would put Eataly right up there with Bourbon Street, the Met, and DC’s big statue of Abe in a chair.

Cheap Gimmick –Like, actually relatively cheap. Former Noma chef James Sharman will be doing a pop-up at Everest Basecamp, and the price is surprisingly reasonable. For just over $1k, you get an almost all-inclusive trip from Kathmandu to basecamp and back, plus the big dinner.  Compare that to a lot of outfitters who sell the same trip minus fine-dining for a lot more and you’ve got yourself a bargain… of sorts.

Guest chef movements beyond the HimalayaWylie Dufresne is doing a six week stint at the NoMad, while Michael Tusk, riding high on his three-star ranking at Quince in SF, is stopping by Boka in Chicago for just one night.

Call accounting – And keep your eyes out for a decision this Tuesday on new overtime rules. According to NRN, unless a federal judge issues a stay, starting December 1st, “new overtime rules will raise the threshold of eligibility for overtime from $455 per week to $913 per week, or $47,476 annually. As a result, about 4.2 million more workers across the U.S. are expected to become eligible for overtime pay, including many in the restaurant industry.”

This Family Meal is brought to you by: Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), New York’s first museum with exhibits visitors can eat, now featuring its first-ever cultural exhibition, Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant. The multisensory exhibition chronicles how the Chinese immigrant community overcame prejudice and created one of the country’s most beloved cuisines, while providing an immersive experience for both the mind and the palate. Chow includes 200 curated historical artifacts, a colorful timeline of menus from 1910 to 2016, a working 1,500-pound fortune cookie machine, and a tasting at the ChowCulinary Studio. Tickets for Chow can be purchased on, as well as at the door of MOFAD Lab (62 Bayard St in Brooklyn), where the exhibition is on view on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

James Kent’s (teenage) life of crime – I somehow missed this gem in Bloomberg last week, featuring the NoMad NYC Exec Chef moonlighting (is there any other way?) as a paid graffiti artist around town. Now legit and spraying walls for restaurants and tech startups alike, he says of his early, less legal work: “A lot of my friends were trying to be vandals, but my work was beautiful.” Sure.

Fast Casual Cash: Washington DC’s build your own pizza phenom &pizza has convinced a Boston VC firm to give them $25M for expansion plans. Next up Baltimore and NYC. Time to dust off that old business plan of yours…

Food Policy spent Wednesday lobbying the USDA to allow SNAP benefits to be redeemed online. I report, you decide (because I’m not sure what to think yet).

Tell your pastry chef / Warn your bartender: Denver passed a law allowing marijuana use in bars and restaurants – smoking outside only, and BYOP. (And just in time for that news, LA Weekly released some “Danksgiving” recipe tipsthis year. Now let’s never say Danksgiving again.)

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! is exactly what Senator Chuck Schumer tweeted when he found out there was a fire at his favorite Captiol Hill Chinese restaurant, Hunan Dynasty. No word on damage, but as always in these cases we wish them no injuries, a fair insurance payment, and a speedy re-opening.

And finally, call your PR people – Because you’re not getting paid to watch football, but apparently Emeril is. Not sure if the NFL was also behind him pretending he often serves gumbo and popcorn from souvenir helmets, but hey, money is money.

And that’s it for Friday. If you’re working this weekend, I hope you also make Emeril money (read: lots and lots).

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