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Salt Bae’s Food Isn’t Good, But It Doesn’t Need to Be, GQ Says

Plus, Legacy Records looks close to debut — and more intel

A man in dark sunglasses in a signature salt-sprinkling post stands over a cutting board with sliced steak.
Salt Bae at work in Nusr-Et
Photo by Jean Schwarzwalder

Food’s not the point at the new Salt Bae restaurant, GQ says

Writer Joshua David Stein visits Nusr-Et, the new Midtown steakhouse created by living internet meme Salt Bae. Like other critics, Stein agrees in GQ that “the steak is mundane, somewhat tough and rather bland,” and the other food is similarly subpar and expensive. But that’s not the point of the restaurant, he argues — “as Salt Bae knows, we aren’t there for the meat. All flesh become worms, but celebrity live longer, and a geotag forever. We approach this glistering Midtown temple of meat in the hope that some of Gökçe’s immortality might land on us, or at least our Instagram accounts.” Check out a full rundown of what critics have been saying about the new restaurant here.

New Ace Hotel will be called ‘Sister City’

The new Bowery spinoff of the Ace Hotel will be called Sister City, and so far, it sounds like it could give Goop a run for its money. According to a release, it’s inspired by “the functional perfection of Finnish saunas, Japanese bento boxes, rock-cut cliff dwellings of prehistory and John Cage’s 4’33”.” (The Cage song is just silence.) The 200 room hotel also says it’s “an experiment in essentialism,” taking from Japanese and Scandinavian design. A ground-floor restaurant and a rooftop bar will be run by Nick Morgenstern of the ice cream shop and El Rey. The working name has previously been Cafe Como, an all-day restaurant with proposed dishes like parsnip pancakes.

East Village favorite Benny’s Burritos returns — and more openings and closings

Longtime East Village restaurant Benny’s Burritos is back in business. The restaurant closed three years ago after 27 years in business. Owner Mark Merker opened an empanada spot called Che Cafe instead, but recently he and decided to turn it into Benny’s, serving burritos, tacos, and empanadas. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, 17-year-old Ciao For Now has closed, though it will continue as a catering business. All-you-can-eat sushi spot Oishi Village Sushi is also down for the count. But up in the UWS, a Spiga to Go has opened at 57 West 85th St., offering Italian fare for take-out.

Legacy Records looks close to opening

The team behind Charlie Bird, along with PDT bartender Jeff Bell, are close to opening their new Hudson Yards-adjacent restaurant Legacy Records. The restaurant, including an all-day cafe and bar, will be two floors of a luxury apartment building at 515 West 38th St., between 11th and 10th avenues. SF high-end designer Ken Fulk is in charge of the “luxury luggage”-inspired design. Update: Jim Meehan is no longer part of the project. Here’s a peek:

West Village’s Blue Ribbon Bakery will revive as delivery-only restaurant

The Bromberg brothers’ shuttered West Village restaurant Blue Ribbon Bakery, which now houses an outpost of pizza hotspot Emily, will live again — but only via delivery. The Blue Ribbon team is jumping in on the (somewhat beleaguered) delivery-only restaurant game by offering the Blue Ribbon Bakery fare only via Seamless. All the food will be coming from the Blue Ribbon Federal Grill kitchen.

Hungry City visits Taiwanese restaurant Happy Stony Noodle

Ligaya Mishan at the Times adored the Taiwanese comfort foods available at Happy Stony Noodle in Elmhurst, praising the beef noodle soup, lu rou fan, and the popcorn chicken. Noodles for the soup come from a factory in Chinatown, of which Mishan prefers the flat, white rice noodles. Of the broth, she writes: “The soup is deceptively mild at first, gaining carnality with each spoonful but never growing too forceful, held in check by a faint, ameliorating sweetness.” For a look at some other noodles around town, check out this video:


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