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Major Revamp at Kossar's Bialys, Anita Lo's White House Dinner, and More Intel

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The North Nordic Food festival is now underway, plus more restaurant news.

[The dining room at Uncle Boons. Great choice for dinner this evening.  When was the last time you went here? Really nice grilled items, especially. ]
[The dining room at Uncle Boons. Great choice for dinner this evening. When was the last time you went here? Really nice grilled items, especially. ]
Daniel Krieger

Lower East Side bakery Kossar's Bialys is closing this week for renovations that will take approximately a month and a half to complete. When it reopens, the store will have a grill and a sandwich station for breakfast items, and employees will be able to prepare bialys with butter or schmear for customers. Eventually, the Kossar's team also plans to expand to the Upper West Side, and the bialys might be available in grocery stores somewhere down the line. Evan Giniger, one of the new owners of the bakery, tells the Wall Street Journal: "Most people are going to buy a business to earn a living. We bought a business to almost restore a bit of history in New York City and then desire to expand that throughout the city, throughout the country and even throughout the world."

Anita Lo is the first female chef to collaborate with the White House on a State Dinner. Tonight, Lo and White House executive chef Cris Comerford will serve a meal for the Obamas and Chinese President Xi Jinping that will include mushroom soup, Maine lobster, grilled Colorado lamb, and lychee sorbet.

Ron Gonen, a former deputy sanitation commissioner for NYC, thinks that most businesses will avoid using foam containers from now on, even though a judge just overturned the foam ban. Gonen tells Crain's: "I don't see McDonald's and Dunkin' coming back because they’ve already changed their supply chain...This was a major change for these companies. They had to change all their coffee cups."

New York's deep dive into the power structure of Manhattan's Chinatown features cameos by Nom Wah/Fung Tu proprietor Wilson Tang, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory co-owner Christina Sei, and Wo Hop manager Ming Huang. Here is Huang's take onWo Hop's enduring popularity:

A lot of American-Chinese style of restaurant has closed down. Our business is still doing well, because we’re in the basement. The rent is cheap. And during Christmas, people come back to visit their old neighborhood and remember, I’ve been to Wo Hop. Because after 70 years, we’re still doing the same food.

The New York article also explores the employment agencies that connect Fujianese immigrants with jobs in Chinese kitchens all over the East Coast, and the companies that supply menus and hardware to restaurants in the area.

The North Nordic Food Festival is now underway. Most of the action takes place at a "Scandic Haymarket Square" at the corner of Charles and Washington streets in the West Village:

[Photo: Robert Sietsema]

Many of this weekend's events are totally free and open to the public.

The 10 Degrees Bistro space at 131 Avenue A is now for rent. The restaurant was seized last month, but its sister establishment, 10 Degrees Bar, is still open around the corner. "For lease" signs also recently appeared in the nearby spaces that housed the Belgian Room and Hop Devil Grill.

Although the menu has a few soft spots, Ligaya Mishan likes the spirit of Goa Taco on the Lower East Side. Here are some of her favorite paratha taco fillings:

Pork belly, with its gradations of surrender, is set against crisp jags of chicharones. Lamb shoulder, massaged with Oaxacan-style achiote paste and roasted for five hours, rests in beautiful tatters beside a mellowing swath of Greek tzatziki. A coarse raw pesto of spinach, basil, cilantro and toasted almonds is churned with blocks of Indian paneer still prickling from the pan, so that the leaves and herbs wilt just a little. This suggests a reverse-engineered saag paneer, infiltrated by crunchy chickpeas dusted with garam masala and curry leaves, and tomatillos pickled with mustard seeds and ginger.

A customer at MePa clubstaurant Catch was caught stealing another patron's purse the other night. The police charged the 24-year-old woman with grand larceny.

Curry Row newcomer La Esquina Bar & Grill (no affiliation to the Soho restaurant) got closed by the DOH this week.

— And finally, here's how to slice meat like Daniel Boulud's charcuteire Aurelien Dufour:

Catch

6623 Market Street, , NC 28405 (910) 799-3847 Visit Website

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