Top Chef Hung Huynh to Cook Kosher

Hung Huynh, perhaps our favorite Top Chef contestant ever, and, in case you're living under a rock or something, last season's winner, will be cooking Kosher food for the month of March. Solo, a fancy Kosher spot in the Sony Building on Madison Avenue, has enlisted Hung's services as a guest chef. The full press release is available, after the jump. Jump!


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Extended Cubano Voting!

Categories: PSA

EfV Headquarters were hit with some gnarly pipe-related structural damage yesterday, and we apologize for going missing as a result. We have decided to give you all a little more time to vote for New York's best cuban sandwich. Take the weekend to entertain Thomas Vicari's challenge and sample the Casa Havana version, or just drop us an email (foodblog@villagevoice.com) or comment below with your favorite.

The polls now close at midnight on Sunday!

New Seafood Shack Comes to Bed-Stuy

Categories: New Kids

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A block down from a fish n' chips shack on Nostrand Avenue that's been closed for months, a new, family-run seafood/soul food take-out spot opened about a month ago to fill the void. EfV decided to look past the pun-y name, "71.Ate," and sample the fried whiting and chips. After a good dose of salt, they were delicious, mostly because they were fried "dark." But the best part was when the woman behind the counter offered a sample of the house-made banana pudding. We'll be back for that, no doubt.

71. Ate

417 Nostrand Ave

Bed-Stuy

(718) 638-0205

Our Man Sietsema: '(Gasp!) Balsamic Vinegar'

Our Man has brought us another gastronomic history lesson this week, and a review of First Oasis, a restaurant that "reflects [the Middle Eastern] culinary diaspora is First Oasis on Fourth Avenue, which offers a slightly different (and maybe more assimilated) take on Syrian food than the excellent, more traditional Damascus Gate."

At First Oasis, Sietsema approves of the addition of balsamic vinegar in a fatoosh salad, but not the skimpiness of the crunchy bits of pita. The hummus beats the baba ganoush, the lamb "scores a touchdown" (kebabs and, even better is the ouzi). But when it comes to the raw lamb kebbeh balls, which Sietsema loved most the next day, when he cooked them at home like burgers.

First Oasis

9218 Fourth Avenue

Bay Ridge

(718) 238-4505

Getting Out the Cubano Vote

Categories: PSA



Havana Chelsea's Cubano was widely adored, but it is no more.

Time is running out to exercise your right to vote in EfV's Cubano contest. The polls close on Thursday night, so drop us an email (foodblog@villagevoice.com) or comment below and tell us where you satisfy your Cuban sandwich cravings now that so many favorite spots have disappeared from our fair city. Results and analysis on Friday.

How to Make Coffee at Home, From an Expert

Categories: PSA

Ever since we met Dan Griffin, the manager/consultant/director of coffee at Williamsburg's new, super serious coffee-shop, El Beit, where I sampled their delicious coffee, my own morning mug has seemed lacking. So I got Mr. Griffin to give a few pointers, for us common folk who may not have access to the $11,000 machine he loves the most, the Clover.

From the master:

For making coffee at home several factors are key:

  • Always use fresh roasted coffee, between four to 14 days out of the roaster.

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    The State of the Ball-Field Vendors, Plus a Ceviche Exclusive

    Categories: PSA

    It may be wicked cold out, but if the Red Hook "Ball-field" vendors are going to be in action this summer, the time has come for them to fight for it. Cesar Fuentes, Executive Director of the Food Vendors Committee of Red Hook Park, gave us a full update on the situation.

    In a nutshell, the Park's Department has issued a Request for Proposals, and meeting its guidelines would be expensive. As Fuentes put it, "It is more fitted for a corporation than a group of artisan food vendors." In addition, the proposals are due in just ten days. But if they can make it happen, the permit would be good for six years, and the operation may eventually be open full-time (all week, all year). There is competition for the permit, but at this point, it doesn't seem to be fierce. The vendors' greatest opponents remains the Parks Department and the Department of Health.

    The only detail about the next season that's official is the sad news that Victor Rojas, the ceviche man whose stand was usually the furthest west on Bay Street, has decided to bow out already because of financial concerns. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the effort doesn't disintegrate before February 22, when the proposal is due.

    Let's break it down, shall we?

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    Valentine's Day is Only for Lovers at Prune

    Categories: PSA

    We love Gabrielle Hamilton's dueling Valentine's Menus—one for lovers and one for cynics. But this year, we're all united at Prune, with just one menu (after the jump).

    For the cynics, last year, the chef put forth some Pasta Puttanesca (whore sauce), some cold pork shoulder with tonnato sauce, bitter greens with a broken vinaigrette sauce, and for dessert: "coffee and cigarettes." The menu for Cathy-types was also half the price of the lover version, which was, as it is this year, $69. Bah-ha ha. (The cynics menu was also a much shorter price-fix affair).

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    How Long Can You Eat?

    Categories: PSA

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    The kids over at 826NYC's drop-in tutoring program have started an awesome blog, "Fish Slaps a Baby", which focuses on issues like wrestling, penguins, rock n' roll, transformers, and, uhhh, wrestling. But it's also interactive. On the right side of the page are polls for readers to answer. There are currently six days left to answer one that asks: "How long can you eat?"

    Stupid Shit: Mike Ditka's Pork Chops

    It's a proud day when your friends see really stupid, gross shit and immediately think of you. We have arrived, folks. And now Ill share with you, some really shameful "celebrity" food endorsements, via A.V. Club. For example, there's Smokey Robinson Down Home Pot Roast, a frozen dinner thing. It seems that he had a special operation to replace his eyeballs with a cats, or something. Mmm, pot roast. Check out Mike Ditka's "Coach Cut" pork chops, Jeff Foxworthy's BBQ sauce, and more here.

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