NYC now has at least 30 food halls — and counting
Steve Cuozzo at the Post asks where NYC’s obsession with food halls ends. New York now has them in apartment buildings, office towers, hotels, shopping malls, the subway, train terminals, warehouse spaces, and storefronts. There are the massive spaces like Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City and DeKalb Market Hall at CityPoint in downtown Brooklyn. There’s also the tiny TurnStyle, tucked underground at the Columbus Circle subway station. The Anthony Bourdain-backed Pier 57 food hall plan was killed, but plenty of other food hall plans are in the works. “There are way too many of them,” James Famularo from real estate investment firm Eastern Consolidated told the Post. “Food halls are good for one thing these days — to occupy a space as a placeholder until the landlord finds a higher-paying, more permanent tenant.”
Brooklyn pizzeria rolls out edible Tide pod pizza pockets
Ah, yes, finally a Tide pod you can eat without dying. Grub Street reports that Williamsburg’s Vinnie’s Pizzeria has hopped on the Tide pod meme trend by introducing “Pied Pods,” pizza pockets stuffed with mozzarella and pepperoni and topped with mozzarella swirls that are dyed bright blue and orange so people can experience the thrill of popping a toxic-looking pod without the actual toxicity. “Hope, not soap!” Vinnie’s posted in a statement on Instagram. It’s not the first time Vinnie’s has pumped out Instagram-ready novelty pizzas.
Ex-Sopranos actor seen cooking around Long Island and Queens
Joseph R. Gannascoli — who played Tony Soprano subordinate Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos — was a chef before he was an actor. According to Page Six, Gannascoli has been getting back to his roots by cooking as a guest chef at eateries around Long Island and Queens, including Matteo’s, Vincent’s Clam Bar, and Tazzina.
Japan-based steak restaurant opens third location in NYC
Ikinari Steak, a Japan-based steakhouse chain, first came to the U.S. in February 2017, which was quickly followed by another, and another, with plans for even more. Today, the ever-expanding chain makes its Theater District debut with a location at 368 W 46th St., between Eighth and Ninth avenues in Hell’s Kitchen. There are now three Ikinari Steaks in the city.
Update: This has been corrected to reflect that it is the third Ikinari New York location, not the fourth.
Where to get real New Orleans beignets in NYC
Times critic Ligaya Mishan spotlights Cafe Booqoo, which opened in August and made Eater NY’s guide to the top Cajun-Creole restaurants in NYC. Chef-owner Matt Pace grew up in New Orleans and moved to New York 10 years ago, eventually starting to fry and sell beignets at outdoor food markets in 2014 as Booqoo Beignets. His restaurant Cafe Booqoo in Brooklyn serves the sweet treats along with spicy crawfish tail mac and cheese and jambalaya. Mishan praises Pace’s authentic New Orleans flavors in the sizzling review.
David Chang kicks off his Olympics correspondent duties
David Chang, who has a new series coming to Netflix, will join the NBC Sports crew as a special correspondent covering food and culture during the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea this February. AmNY reports that Chang spoke about some of the common misconceptions about Korean food at an NBC Sports news conference at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday. “I think that when you talk about Korean food, most people think that it’s Korean barbecue or kimchi, and the reality is … there’s so much more,” the Momofuku restaurateur said. “People don’t realize that Korea has been heavily influenced by China, by Japan, by America, and you can see it in its cuisine. It’s not monolithic, it’s just a hodgepodge of many different things. . . . And I think if you can understand Korean cuisine, you can really understand Korean people.”