Today in Taste Tests: Chain Sandwiches, Schweddy Balls, Foie Gras Doughnuts

Ben & Jerry's
Not all that ballsy, as it happens
It seems that taste tests, like geese, travel in flocks. Or at least that's one way to account for the three that we've stumbled upon in the past six hours alone.

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Fleisher's Meats Now Has Its Own Beefy Blog

Gary Grogan/Flickr via The Butcher's Case
Fleisher's Meats won't open its Park Slope store until September 22, but it's already making its presence known by way of a new blog. Called The Butcher's Case, it came online August 30 to "help our new neighbors in Brooklyn get familiar with what Fleisher's is all about, and ... also keep Fleisher's fans up to speed with what's going on at our flagship shop up in the Hudson Valley." Written by meat aficionado Paul Lukas, the blog has so far covered topics including wet vs. dry aging, rubs, and prime beef. It's also seeking old photos of butcher shops, so if you got 'em, flaunt 'em.

For more dining news, head to Fork in the Road, or follow us @ForkintheRoadVV.

This August, Eric Ripert Took His First Vacation in 20 Years

As you might have heard, Le Bernardin just underwent a major renovation, which means, contrary to what the people at Michelin may have told you, that it has been closed. This means that Eric Ripert and Le Bernardin co-owner Maguy Le Coze got to take a vacation. According to Bon Appétit's website, Ripert hadn't taken so much time off in 20 years, and he spent a lot of it at his pad in Sag Harbor, smoking cigars, grilling, and looking at the sunset.

For her part, Le Coze repaired to her beach house on the island of Mustique, where she snorkeled, drank rum, and swam with turtles in a nature preserve. And that is your answer to why culinary schools have such an easy time convincing their students that they'll be able to pay off their debts in no time, no time at all.

For more dining news, head to Fork in the Road, or follow us @ForkintheRoadVV.

David Chang Gives it up for Uniqlo

You may know David Chang from from such hits as Momofuku, Parts I-VI, as well as memorable appearances in That Mexican Coke Will Cost You $5, The Unbearable Lightness of First-Class Travel, and I Love Everybody. And now, you will know him as a model.

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Big Lines for the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, All Weekend Long

Robert Sietsema
Let the games begin!

As we reported on Saturday, the opening-day lines for the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop were long, constant, and festive. As we waited an hour for our American Globs waffle cone, the line behind us kept growing. And apparently it continued to do so all weekend long: As EV Grieve noted this morning, the line last night was just as long as it had been on Saturday. Congratulations, gents!

For more dining news, head to Fork in the Road, or follow us @ForkintheRoadVV.

Fatty 'Cue Invokes Thai Custom to Encourage Heavy but Casual Drinking

Fatty 'Cue
A couple of days after opening his Carmine Street location of Fatty 'Cue, Zak Pelaccio has taken to Food Republic to explain his approach to the restaurant's bottle service. Unlike the odious practice common to certain twatty clubs, bottle service at Fatty 'Cue will mean drinking like they do in Thailand, which is to order booze by the bottle. "You sit down at a table," Pelaccio and his partner Jori Jayne Emde write, "order some food and a bottle of Sang Som or Mekhong or whatever, perhaps you also order a beer, and out comes a small side table on which your bottles are placed, along with some soda water, limes and a bucket of ice. More often than not the waiter fills your glass with ice, pours your first glass of booze and then, well, it's your party."

It bears mentioning, however, that all bottles are not created equal: Patrons who order "super-rare, ultra-expensive" bottles will be given a chance to play restaurant DJ. So long as they "party responsibly," which means "no shitty music."

For more dining news, head to Fork in the Road, or follow us @ForkintheRoadVV.

Artichoke's Frozen Pizza Is 'Pretty Damn Good. For a Frozen Pizza.'

Although we knew that Artichoke's new 10-inch frozen artichoke and Margherita pizzas have an impressive number of fonts, we couldn't begin to imagine how they taste. Fortunately, Adam Kuban at Slice has done the gentlemanly thing and put himself in the line of fire on behalf of morbidly curious pizza aficionados throughout the tristate area.

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Dîner en Blanc Attendees Split on Whether Dining in the Rain Is 'Fun'

Hope that's waterproof, hon.
When we last heard from Dîner en Blanc, the organizers of the flash-mob picnic were busy apologizing to/refunding the money of jilted would-be ticket holders. And thanks to the weather, things haven't really improved for the event, which is scheduled to take place this evening.

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Chez Panisse Is Now Available in T-Shirt Form

David Byrne was here.
We always knew the day would come when Chez Panisse and the Hard Rock Café found they had something in common, and now that blessed day has arrived.

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Zabar's Turns to Wikipedia to Defend Its Definition of "Lobster Salad"

Because (a) August is a bit slow for news, and (b) sacred cow tastes best when it's freshly slaughtered, the world now knows that Zabar's spent the better part of the last two decades passing off crawfish salad as lobster salad.

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