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New York’s Pulino’s to Close, French Restaurant Moving In

New York’s Pulino’s to Close, French Restaurant Moving In

Keith McNally’s pizzeria will close to make way for a new restaurant

Pulino's has a prime corner on The Bowery and Houston.

Pulino’s, the pizzeria from Keith McNally that opened with much fanfare in March 2010 but failed to really catch on, will be closing by the end of the year to make way for McNally’s next project, a French restaurant that will be called Cherche Midi, Eater is reporting.

"Through no one's fault but my own Pulino's hasn't fully worked and I've decided to change it quite radically," McNally, who’s also the brains behind now-legendary Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, told the site. In 33 years I've never had to close a restaurant. So on the plus side I'll finally be first at something."

Pulino’s will shut down right after the new year for "extended alterations," and when it reopens it’ll be named Cherche Midi, a "small French restaurant," according to McNally. He’s lined up current Balthazar executive chef Shane McBride to take on that role in the new restaurant, and Minetta head sous chef Daniel Parilla will come on board as chef de cuisine.

Chef Nate Appleman was the restaurant’s original head chef, but he left seven months later to take a job developing recipes for Chipotle.

French Drinks and Beverages

Whether it's a celebration or just a casual meal, good cheese and wine go together like young lovers walking along the Seine, hand in hand. Which is to say they go well together. France is renowned for its food and&hellip

Charles Masson Brings Back the Art of Tableside Service at Majorelle

The legendary restaurateur previously at La Grenouille opens his newest restaurant in New York City at The Lowell Hotel.

“In this day and age, a lot of dishes are finished in the kitchen, and waiters are relegated to carrying from point A to point B,” says Charles Masson, the always suited-up French restaurateur best known for his time as general manager at La Grenouille in New York City.

“We’re old-school here,” he continues. “We’re doing tableside, and it’s quite exhilarating.”

“Here” is his new project, opened Wednesday of this week: Majorelle, his French fine-dining spot in The Lowell Hotel in New York City’s Upper East Side. It’s his long-awaited return to the restaurant scene, which Masson thinks it could use a bit more flourish.

At Majorelle, the baba au rhum is flamb before diners, whole chickens carved by the table. Though it’s not flair for fine-dining’s sake, rather it’s to maintain the optimal temperature and presentation for the diner. As you can tell, everything about service is meticulous the initial crop of front-of-house candidates clocked in at 45 and now it’s down to the core of 16 in the dining room. No detail is left up to chance.

“The construction started quite a while ago, and the inspiration even longer,” says Masson.

New York goes back in time with revival of hand-painted ads. See pics

Toiling under the blazing sun of a heat wave, Justin Odaffer puts the finishing touches to a Ray-Ban ad he has spent several days painting on the facade of an East Village building in downtown Manhattan.

For the past seven years, Odaffer -- who has a degree in fine art -- has painted ads on walls in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago for Colossal Media, which has risen from nowhere to become the leader in painted advertising.

“Basically we created a revival,” says Odaffer. Without the company he works for, he believes painted ads would be hanging “by a very thin thread.” But setting up the company in 2004 was a leap of faith, admits Paul Lindahl, co-founder of Colossal, which is based in Brooklyn’s hipster hub of Williamsburg.

Liam Williams, a painter for Colossal Media, paints an ad on the side of Colossal Media's office building (AFP)

“Technology was taking over and there was really no need for hand painting at the time. Nobody cared,” says Lindahl, who comes from a family of Hungarian immigrants. “It was expensive. It was slow,” he concedes. “I didn’t know if there was a future in it at that point. I just knew that I loved it.”

Thirteen years later, his company has 70 employees, paints 450 to 500 murals a year in major US cities and is eyeing sales of $24 million in 2017.

Even though painted ads take longer and cost more, they offer advertisers a unique opportunity to set themselves apart. Seeing painters in action can generate buzz on street corners.

“People are astonished,” says Odaffer. “That’s why this company has done so well. It’s because people can actually watch the process.”

Pedestrians walk past a hand painted ad for Delta Airlines on a building wall in New York. (AFP)

That buzz carries over onto social media, fuelled by photographs and videos which enhance brand visibility and advertising, says Lindahl.

“That brings value to what we do. What we realized along the way is yes, this thing takes longer than a digital ad or print ad but that’s part of the benefit. It’s performance art. People stop and they wonder and they’re intrigued.”

Will Krieg, an apprentice for Colossal Media, organises paints at Colossal Media's office building. (AFP)

Chris Cockerill, general manager of the New York office for Lamar Advertising, one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the world, agrees -- even if the growth still accounts for a fraction of the overall market.

“We’re seeing more around the city. It’s a unique product that advertisers are asking for now. In the past, it’s been something a little more difficult to sell,” he says. Lamar does not work with Colossal.

Liam Williams, a painter for Colossal Media, paints an ad. (AFP)

Lindahl attributes the growth to multiple factors -- luck, timing, the “do-in-yourself” trend and the enduring popularity of street art.

Colossal secures its own walls and real estate, which means it can sell a package to advertisers with space and the painted ad without having to depend on another advertising company.

But are commercial ads really art? Odaffer says definitely.

“It’s still the same process as other street art,” he said, adding that many of the painters started out in some form of street art. “I see nothing wrong with it,” says graffiti artist BG 183, a member of the oldest New York graffiti collective that is still active, Tats Cru.

A Gucci ad is displayed on the wall of a Manhattan building. (AFP)

“The quality of the painting has improved a lot,” says Cockerill. “It stands out better than it has in the past. It makes them (advertisers) feel like it’s more of a hip-looking kind of ad.”

Mayor of Nice Takes Flight in a Blow to French Politics : Scandal: He’s accused of skimming money, accepting kickbacks when corruption is a hot national topic.

Wars were fought, governments fell and new republics were formed in the rest of France.

But almost continuously for 60 years, unruffled and undisturbed by these outside events, the Medecin family ruled Nice, the French tourist mecca and regional capital on the Cote d’Azur.

Father Jean (The King) Medecin served 35 years as mayor. Handsome son Jacques Medecin took over where papa left off, logging 25 years at the helm of France’s fifth-largest city (population 340,000) without ever facing a serious challenge at the polls.

The only break came after World War II, when Jean Medecin was banned from public office for two years because of his participation in the collaborationist Vichy government.

It was, in French terms, a dynasty enduring enough to rival the Kennedys of Massachusetts and the Daleys of Chicago. Nice was in Medecin hands for nearly half the time it has been a permanent part of France, having been deeded to Napoleon III by the King of Sardinia in 1860.

Along the way, the Medecin clan built a political machine that controlled the southeast corner of France and could deliver enough votes to change the outcome of close French presidential elections.

In addition to being mayor of Nice, Jacques Medecin also was president of the regional council for the department, or state, of the Maritime Alps, and all nine of the region’s representatives in the National Assembly were Medecin loyalists. The mayor had national political clout.

That’s why when Jacques Medecin suddenly packed up and fled the country recently, establishing himself in self-imposed exile in a resort town in Uruguay, the world of French politics was stunned. The ensuing attention has offered a rare peek inside the occult workings of French politics in general, not just in Medecin’s stronghold in the Maritime Alps.

Back in Nice, townspeople were so accustomed to seeing a Medecin at City Hall that they didn’t quite know how to react.

“He is my god. I worship him. We owe him everything,” said a despairing Alex Ricci, owner of a popular Italian restaurant across from the Palais de Justice in the sun-dappled, ocher-tinted old city of Nice.

Jean Oltra, a burly political operative considered the mayor’s right-hand man at City Hall, started wearing two wristwatches, one set to Nice time, the other four hours earlier, to the local time in Punta de Este, Uruguay, where Medecin has set up camp. To Oltra and others here, Nice still operates on two times--French time and Medecin time.

Theories differ over what chased Jacques Medecin from his sunny bastion on the Bay of Angels.

Oltra offered one: “Jacques Medecin is a fighter, but he was broken, crushed by the harassment he suffered. Some people kill themselves in similar circumstances. Jacques Medecin is not one of them. He left.”

The mayor did owe several million dollars in back taxes, the result of a tax department investigation that traced his holdings to Beverly Hills, Panama and the Caribbean. The tax bill forced Medecin, 62, and his American wife, Ilene Graham Medecin, 42, to give up their stunning hillside villa in Nice, complete with its own underground shooting range.

French tax authorities were alerted to some of Medecin’s foreign holdings by a former California business associate, Claudette Pezanas. She was angry that Medecin had not paid her $10,000 she claimed to be owed for her role in unsuccessful Medecin business ventures to sell a bus-stop video system and portable toilets to the city of Los Angeles. So, Pezanas went on a late-night French television program and answered questions about her dealings with the Nice mayor.

After her 1985 appearance on the television program, “Droit de Reponse,” Pezanas claimed that she and her family received numerous death threats. Three years later, she was found dead in the Jacuzzi of her Palm Springs home, an apparent drowning victim but, improbably, still wearing hair-curlers and jewelry.

Palm Springs Detective Mark Harvey noted in his police report: ". . . This agency is unable to establish whether the drowning death of the victim was a homicide or an accidental death.”

At the time Medecin left France, ostensibly on an official trip to Japan, a special magistrate in Grenoble was investigating charges that he had misappropriated tens of millions of francs in public funds through such dubious schemes as a multi-continent “talent hunt” for singers for the Nice Opera.

In October, the magistrate, the equivalent of a federal prosecutor in the United States, issued a warrant for Medecin’s arrest on charges of “fiscal mismanagement.”

Among other charges, Medecin is accused of accepting kickbacks from large, government-funded construction projects in the region, including the new opera building and a convention center here, as well as skimming money from several dozen quasi-public “municipal associations” that received public funding.

In perhaps the most embarrassing episode along these lines, the magistrate is searching for 4.6 million francs (about $900,000) that was allocated to help restructure the municipal debt in Nice.

The money was traced to an account held by a woman friend of the mayor, Elisabeth Arnulf, where records showed it had been withdrawn shortly before investigators got there. Asked about the disappearing money, Arnulf said she loaned it to a boyfriend in New York but forgot his name.

A member of the moderate right political party Rally for the Republic, Medecin had also managed to frighten mainstream French political leaders by his recent flirtation with the extreme right-wing National Front party of Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Because of its large community of pieds noirs, mostly conservative former French colonists from Algeria, and an equally conservative retiree community, the Nice region was already a stronghold for the National Front. Le Pen’s opponents feared that an alliance with Medecin could give the right-wing party its first majority in a regional government.

Fueling this fear, Medecin announced earlier this year that he agreed with 99% of the ideas espoused by the National Front, which has a strong anti-Arab, anti-immigrant platform and has been accused of anti-Semitism.

After Le Pen was turned down by mayors all over France in his attempt to find a site for the National Front’s annual convention last spring, Medecin not only offered Nice but also hosted a reception for Le Pen.

Medecin’s abrupt departure from his hometown left his broad-based political machine exposed at a time when corruption in French politics is a hot topic, and not just on the Mediterranean coast.

In his controversial new book, “Impossible Inquiry,” disgruntled Police Inspector Antoine Gaudino claims that the same kind of corruption that Medecin is alleged to have practiced--accepting illegal kickbacks from government contracts and diverting funds from government-funded associations--permeates the whole French political system, all the way to the Elysee Palace, the office of President Francois Mitterrand.

Gaudino claimed he was suspended from his job as inspector of finance in Marseilles after he uncovered a scheme of false billings on government contracts that steered money to many leading Socialist Party politicians in the south of France. One of the men named in the Gaudino investigation was a former Mitterrand campaign treasurer, Henri Nallet.

Nallet was recently named minister of justice, the government position that oversees the courts.

Unlike the United States, which requires strict accounting for political financing and gives investigative agencies the power to demand party financial records, French political funding has traditionally occurred in the dark, beyond public scrutiny.

In January, the French National Assembly passed a law attempting to correct the problem by requiring more public disclosure of political contributions and allocating public money to help fund campaigns. For decades, however, the French electoral system has operated in a state of semiofficial corruption. Political parties needed money. The most common way to raise it was through kickbacks, often in the form of exorbitant consultant fees, on government contracts.

According to Gaudino, the same crimes that Medecin is accused of committing are also practiced by most of the main French political parties, including the ruling Socialist Party. He theorizes that the only reason Medecin was picked out for special attention was because, with his potential alliance with the National Front, he posed a political threat to the other parties.

“Corruption exists everywhere,” Gaudino said in a telephone interview, “but the courts are not always authorized to look into it. Today the Socialist Party is in power, and one discovers that the biggest scandals are found in the opposition. Right now, the courts are after Medecin. But they could just as easily go after the others. The same (municipal) associations that surround Monsieur Medecin can also be found around the Socialist Party in the (Marseilles) affair that I investigated.”

From his retreat in Punta del Este, Jacques Medecin sings a similar tune, claiming he is the victim of a “Socialist plot” against him.

Meanwhile, back in Nice, people await his return.

“I can’t tell you when he will come back,” said Jean Oltra. “Not tomorrow, but maybe after a year or two. But he will come back. Nice is his life, his soul, his family . . . . “

Anthony Falco Left Roberta’s. Now He’s an “International Pizza Consultant”

“Welcome to the pizza dungeon,” Anthony Falco says, as he leads me down concrete stairs to the kitchen of Bocce, a new thin-crust pizza-slinging restaurant smack in the middle of the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City.

Falco, who you might know as the guy who put Roberta’s on the map, left the legendary Brooklyn institution a few years ago and now he’s doing what he does best: helping restaurateurs develop the ideal pizza for their concept and then moving on once his job is complete. A self-dubbed “international pizza consultant,” he’s taking the skill, knowledge, and connections he’s accrued in a decade of pizza-making and sharing it with anyone who wants to get into the pizza business. Since Falco started consulting at the end of 2015, he’s been hired dozens of clients for six concepts all over the world, from Braz Elettrica in Sao Pãolo to General Assembly in Toronto, and he’s got at least six more in the works. But the dream isn’t owning a restaurant that bears his name. “That’s a nightmare for me. I never want to be a 100 percent sole chef and owner of anything again,” Falco says. “I’m all about giving away pieces to people I like.”

Stretching out the dough before it goes into the oven

And for Bocce, that means doing the research with partner Jason Leeds (research = eating at Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia), creating a pizza style (“American,” straddling the line between extra-crisp bar pizza and foldable New York style), developing recipes, training staff, and fine-tuning everything during small friends-and-family events like today. Upstairs, Bocce has a breezy, courtyard-like feel, more windows than walls (and Greek columns—it’s inside a huge stone monument on the north end of the park) downstairs in the kitchen, it feels more and more like a humid public swimming pool. The unrelenting blast of the ovens beat down like the August sun and three food runners stand by the entrance, hands behind their back like lifeguards. Pizza lifeguards.

Linton Hopkins to close Restaurant Eugene, move Holeman & Finch

James Beard Award winner Linton Hopkins is making some major changes in his portfolio of popular Atlanta restaurants.

The chef and restaurateur, who owns restaurant group Hopkins & Co. with his wife, Gina, first told Atlanta Magazine that he plans to close his groundbreaking Atlanta restaurant Restaurant Eugene next month. Located at 2277 Peachtree Road, Restaurant Eugene opened in 2004 as a fine dining restaurant that had a small, seasonally-rotating a la carte menu as well as a tasting menu. Hopkins said that the restaurant's final day of service will be either Aug. 18 or Aug. 25.

Hopkins will turn the restaurant into the more casual, all a la carte concept called Eugene and Elizabeth’s, named for his grandparents and slated to open in October following a renovation.

“I want to remove the pretension from excellence,” Hopkins told the AJC about the switch from a tasting menu to a less formal, a la carte-only concept. “I don’t eat tasting menus any more,” he said.

The menu will feature permanent fixtures including soups, salads and entrees including red snapper and free-range chicken with goat cheese. The vegetable plate from Restaurant Eugene’s menu will also make an appearance.

“We’re still going to use these amazing top-shelf ingredients,” he said, yet the goal is to “make it good cooking for everyday.”

The beverage program will feature an accessible wine list, local beers and seasonal cocktails.

The restaurant will be open for dinner nightly, and will most likely serve weekend brunch.

“There will be people who are sad about what we are doing, but hopefully, they will really enjoy what we do next,” Hopkins said.

In addition to the Restaurant Eugene switch, Hopkins is moving his perennial favorite Holeman & Finch to Colony Square next year. The restaurant, which serves a meat-heavy menu including a popular cheeseburger, is currently located next door to Restaurant Eugene.

The Colony Square location will almost double the restaurant’s current footprint. The space will feature a patio, and the expanded size will allow Holeman & Finch to serve lunch as well as dinner, coffee, pastries and even weekend brunch.

Credit: Courtesy of Atlanta Eats

Holeman & Finch will continue to operate in its current location until late spring 2020. Hopkins anticipates relaunching it in its Colony Square home next May or June.

Hopkins will turn the current Holeman & Finch space into a concept that is still to be determined, although Hopkins confirmed it won’t be a replication of his burger or chicken concepts. He also owns an H&F Burger locations at Ponce City Market and inside SunTrust Park, as well as Hop’s Chicken at Ponce City Market.

Hopkins said he wants Holeman & Finch to be a family-friendly place that serves the neighborhood and that lends itself to delivery.

Helping with that project will be Hopkins' son, Linton, currently enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in New York City. "He's worked every in the restaurants," Hopkins said. "We're going to rely on his strength to be able to pull this off."

New York’s Pulino’s to Close, French Restaurant Moving In - Recipes

For 30 years, David and Karen Waltuck cultivated a unique niche in the
New York City restaurant world: Chanterelle. Opened in 1979 in SoHo, before moving to its
grand location in TriBeCa, the restaurant pioneered downtown fine dining.

With the help of designer and art world insider, Bill Katz, the Waltucks were extremely
honored to feature the art of friends and legends alike on the covers of their seasonal menus.
The Collection is presented here in its entirety, with the full roster of distinguished
contributing artists, photographers, musicians, and writers — from the inaugural menu by
Marisol, to a recent edition by Chuck Close.

A new menu cover was created about every 6 months. Almost all the images were made
specifically for the menus, although a few were already in existence and were adapted for the
Chanterelle menu. In addition, some of the images were made for one night special events,
such as annual benefits held for the Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Most of the menus were printed by offset lithography at American Menu Printing,
a small print shop in Manhattan. About 800 copies were printed at the time new menu
artwork was featured. Less than 50 copies were saved for the Chanterelle archives.
The special event menus were printed by silkscreen at Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE).
Less than 100 covers were printed for each event.

Christie&rsquos Fine Art Auctions appraised the Collection in 2009 in order to set a value for the
gift of a full set of menus to the New York Public Library's Print Collection.

1. How to Cook Steak on the Grill

We won&apost get into the fiery debate between charcoal versus gas grills here — we&aposve covered that in depth. But for certain, great grilling can be had with either charcoal or gas.

We&aposve also covered how to pick the best steak for grilling. The good news is, the perfect steak doesn&apost need to be the most expensive. If breaking the bank isn&apost part of your barbeque plan, consider less spendy sirloin, hanger, flank steak, and skirt steaks.

Choose cuts that are at least 1-inch thick. If the steak is too thin, the interior gets cooked well-done before the exterior can develop the crave-worthy crust. If you can, choose steaks of even thickness so they&aposll be done at the same time. Also, meat near the bone will take a little longer to cook.

Marinades and Rubs. The ideal steak marinade combines acid, fat, and seasonings. The acid creates a tangy flavor foundation and tenderizes the meat the fat adds flavor, seals in juices, helps keep the meat from sticking to the grill, and promotes caramelization and the seasonings complete the flavor profile. Here&aposs a breakdown of The Best Steak Marinade in Existence.

Rubs are another way to go. These simple seasoning mixtures infuse grilled steaks with exciting flavors. The best rubs enhance the natural smoky flavors of the grilled meat without overwhelming it. Add a little oil, vinegar, or other liquid to the mix, and you have a wet rub. Let rubbed meats sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. Now that you&aposve prepped your meat, learn step-by-step how to cook steak on the grill:

Why are French children better behaved?

French parents have better- behaved children because they look after themselves first. The majority of babies are breastfed in the beginning, but if the mother suffers cracked nipples or any other problem she is encouraged to move on to the bottle. Infants naturally keep parents awake for the first two or three months, but then breastfeeding usually stops. From two to three months, babies are expected to sleep alone in the dark through the night. Parents leave them to cry for longer and longer periods, which teaches babies to comfort themselves and also that they are individuals.

This is just the start of raising French children, who sit patiently at the table awaiting their food because they are on a strict schedule of meals with no snacks in between. They learn about delayed gratification from the start.

French parents never discipline or punish they “educate” in a loving manner, while also letting children know they are not the centre of their parents’ universe. Children know that a firm “no” means no. US-born Pamela Druckerman, author of French Children Don’t Throw Food, had to be taught to say a firm “no” by a French friend in the playground, who advised that saying it with conviction was what mattered. To her amazement, after several tries, it worked.

Evenings are for the parents to spend time together, so if the younger children are not in bed by 7pm, the older children occupy themselves quietly and don’t disturb “adult time”. “The French assume that even good parents aren’t at the constant service of their children, and there is no need to feel guilty,” she says.

Now compare this to Irish children, who give their parents sleepless nights for years in some cases and even share the parental bed. An Irish child sitting patiently awaiting a meal and eating with a knife and fork? Snacking in front of the TV and eating with fingers is more like it.

In the evenings in Irish homes, children rule the roost. We overparent, hyperparent, helicopter-parent, stock our shelves with baby books and turn our homes into a relentless kindergarchy.

Firm boundaries and free time

The middle-class French, who give their children firm boundaries but also plenty of relaxed free time to be themselves without parental intervention, have got it right, says Druckerman. Druckerman’s book has been translated into 24 languages, and she regularly writes for the New York Times.

While Irish mammies sacrifice themselves, French mothers enjoy six days in hospital after birth with a gourmet menu, including wine, and get their tummy tucks free on the national health service, as well as physiotherapy to tighten themselves up “down there” to enjoy better sex during that parental alone-time.

French parents have free daycare, and in school, children are given healthy meals of several courses at lunchtime. Children get three meals a day and one small repast at 4pm.

When Druckerman has US friends visiting her in Paris, she notices that her friends let their children eat when they are hungry. Druckerman’s children are told they will be having a meal at such-and-such a time, and that it’s best to be hungry to enjoy it. She has even had one of her twin sons ask for more spinach.

Contrast this with an Irish family. Uneaten sandwiches in the playground for lunch, and if the family eats out, the kids are running around the restaurant, hiding under tables, emptying salt shakers and sugar packets, disturbing other diners and squalling that they hate the food, or else they’re eating it with their fingers and spreading it around the place.

Druckerman’s eureka moment came when she and her British husband, Simon Kuper, a columnist with the Financial Times, were on holiday a few hours from Paris with their 18-month-old daughter, Bean, before the twins came along. In contrast to French children, their daughter was so fussy and fidgety they had to ask for the food to come immediately, then one parent had to bring the daughter outside to the beach while the other ate and vice-versa. It was far from the leisured French dining experience. They threw tips around to apologise for the torn napkins and tossed calamari.

While Druckerman found it difficult to make close French female friends (it’s always the formal “vous” saying “tu” can provoke an international incident, she says), her observation of their parenting style made her realise the conservative French culture instilled in young children a way of behaving that all families conformed to, no questions asked.

Culture matters, of course. You may be relieved to know that when Druckerman brings her children home to the US, they tend to “go native” there, just a little.

  • Pamela Druckerman will appear at Dalkey Book Festival on Saturday, June 13th, at 3.30pm, in conversation with Colm O’Regan, the author of Irish Mammies


The Zurich Dalkey Book Festival runs June 11th-14th. It will feature more than 50 events, including family events. Booking is essential.