— Brett Martin’s Best New Restaurants in America runs today in GQ, a list of ten spots with Aska in Brooklyn representing his NYC pick, which Eater critic Ryan Sutton awarded four stars. “There's a tragic, wan aspect to Aska's Swedish-born chef, Fredrik Berselius, as though he were an art student or a Goethe hero,” writes Martin. “You want to buy him a sandwich and a ticket for a roller coaster. Amazing, then—especially in the genre of multi-course tasting menus that can so easily turn into an endurance test—how attentive this second iteration of Aska is to comfort and pleasure.”
— “Wylie Dufresne has made a doughnut that tastes like a campfire,” Alan Sytsma reports on Grub Street about the soon-to-open Du’s Donuts in Williamsburg’s William Vale Hotel. “The defining feature, though, is the chocolate glaze, which Dufresne first smokes, and that’s the detail he’s thinking might remind people of ‘Kumbaya’ and lakeside cabins.”
— Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield, Geoffrey Zakarian, Matt Kliegman, and Carlos Quirarte are featured in “Foodie Face-Off: L.A.-Bound NYC Chefs Dish on Diners in Both Cities” in Hollywood Reporter. Among observations: “In New York,” says Friedman, “people drink more, so they end up tipping more.”
— You may have read about Kabir Ahmed from Tejal Rao’s New York Times piece, “A Day in the Life of a Food Vendor,” this week, where she chronicles a man’s routine as he earns a living selling food from a halal cart on a sidewalk near the World Trade Center. “What’s hard about this job?” Ahmed says. “Everything is hard. If I get old, I can’t do it anymore.” In response, a reader set up a GoFundMe campaign so he can go on vacation. GoFundMe will work with the campaign organizer to ensure the funds are transferred directly to Ahmed. Here’s the link.
—One of San Francisco’s “Essential Mexican restaurants,” Nopalito is popping up with The Meat Hook for a Threes Brewing (333 Douglass St.) takeover tonight, with chef Gonzalo Guzman working with meat from the shop and doing his food. Go early.
— Tomorrow marks the release of Lydia Tenaglia’s documentary of Jeremiah Tower in The Last Magnificent, but word has it that there’s a screening at Ace Hotel tonight at 8 p.m. in Liberty Hall (20 W. 29th Street).
Tower began his career at the Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1972, becoming a pioneering figure in the emerging California cuisine movement. He left the restaurant, in part because of his contentious relationship with Alice Waters. He started Stars Restaurant in San Francisco that was wildly successful, then overextended and closed in the late 1980s after the group tried to do too much. After ducking from the limelight for two decades, he reemerged at the troubled Tavern on the Green and left in 2015.
Says the Times about the film, “. . . the solitary Mr. Tower maintains an unflappable refinement, dedicated, a college friend says, to “looking for some utopian possibility of living, because that’s what kept the darkness away.” Tower’s book also came out this month, Start the Fire: How I Started a Food Revolution in America.
— And last, perhaps you’d like some hummus and pita from Dizengoff for lunch: