— Post critic Steve Cuozzo applauds Tom Colicchio for switching to a service-included policy at Craft during lunch, and he urges more restaurateurs to consider removing tipping from the dining experience. The critic quips: "Doing math in dim lighting is the last thing I want when I’m woozy from wine. Am I leaving too much? Too little?" Cuozzo also talks to a number of big-name chefs and restaurateurs about whether or not they're thinking of switching to a no-tip system. Bobby Flay is "watching how customers and staff react [to Craft]," and Mario Batali says he's "carefully investigating several different scenarios," although a rep clarifies that the team is "still weighing options." Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, and Jean-Georges have no interesting in switching. And Eric Ripert goes one step further:
Integrating the tip into prices is bad for the customer, the waiter and the restaurateur. You see terrible service in some Paris bistros because there is no incentive for the waiters. It is not good for clients to have a system where waiters have a guaranteed income.
— Harold Dieterle's excellent Thai restaurant, Kin Shop, has axed lunch service:
Kin Shop served an unbeatable $20 prix fixe in the afternoon.
— For the last few years, a number of food trucks have set up shop daily on the stretch of 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. But now Midtown Lunch reports that the trucks no longer park there because the police have started cracking down on the vendors by handing out tickets and asking them to leave. A few carts still operate on this block, but the trucks are gone.
The broth is as crystalline as consommé, with long leaves of bok choy still on the stalk and bobbing thimbles of green onion. It’s lovely in its pristine state, but even better besmirched by brisket. The meat is rubbed with salt and pepper, smoked for 14 hours over mesquite and apple wood, and carved and seared to order. It lands in the bowl with dark fringes, the bark just shy of scorched, and its juices leach into the pho along with a trace of smoke.
— The Chelsea location of Taqueria Diana on Sixth Avenue between 24th and 25th streets is almost ready to go:
It shares a storefront with budget slice parlor 2 Bros. Pizza.
— A new coffee and pastry stand recently opened in Prospect Park called Tip of the Tongue Cafe. That name again: Tip of the Tongue Cafe.
— Max and Eli Sussman are no longer vying for the former Sheherazade space at 121 Orchard St. for their Mediterranean restaurant, Samesa. The chef brothers applied for a liquor license here earlier this year, but now a gallery is moving in.
— Martha in Fort Greene made the shift from brunch to lunch on the weekends. The owners tell DNAinfo: "Lunch is just more our speed. We like sleeping in."
— And finally, here's a reminder that people still lose their minds over Cronuts on a daily basis: