Trader Joe’s swings open in the LES — and other openings
Trader Joe’s opens its 30,000-square-foot store today in new development Essex Crossing at 400 Grand St., marking the grocer’s seventh location in Manhattan. The opening comes in the midst of a big recall of its “fresh salads” over food safety concerns in nine states — though New York is not affected. Plus, Ikinari Steak opens its 10th location this morning at 295 Madison Ave. The Japanese steakhouse plans to offer a 10-ounce ribeye steak for $20 to celebrate the opening.
Berber Street Food is a “heartening” newcomer for the West Village, critic says
New Yorker critic Hannah Goldfield says chef-owner Diana Tandia has the West Village wrapped around her finger with her counter-service venue Berber Street Food, an “unpolished and homey” spot featuring a small menu focused on the cuisines of Africa and its diaspora. Goldfield commends the chef’s menu, especially the street food-style snacks like the lamb meatballs served with a “creamy harissa that tastes almost of chocolate.” She calls the restaurant one of a few “heartening newcomers” in a neighborhood where luxury developers have driven out many mom-and-pop institutions.
Times critic discovers the flavors of the Ivory Coast in Brooklyn
Times critic Ligaya Mishan dives deep into the flavors of Paradis des Gouts in Bed-Stuy, where Ivorian staples like foutou banane, or boiled plantains that are beaten until they become stretchy, are served on hand-carved wooden plates. Mishan finds okra that’s made “voluptuous” in gombo frais, a stew of broken-down tomatoes, palm oil, and the vegetable, as well as foutou, or a dough made with cassava and green plantain flour, dipped in “lush” sauce graine, a palm nut stew.
Loosie’s Kitchen and Cafe gets a new chef and menu
Chef Henry Lu — who previously put in time at Llama Inn and now-closed Pearl and Ash — has been tapped to run the kitchen at Loosie’s Kitchen and Cafe in Williamsburg. Lu will move the cuisine, which originally focused on American soul and southern food, toward a “more refined seasonal menu inspired by his Chinese-American roots.” Dish highlights will include seared monkfish, duck confit, fried chicken, and braised brisket made with ingredients that reflect Lu’s Chinese upbringing.
NYC’s most Instagram-famous food babies are hosting a food festival
The Instagram-famous Chau family behind NYC’s popular Food Baby account have collaborated with the Hester Street Fair to put on the “FoodBabyNY Food Fest” on Sunday, October 21. Highlighted vendors include Ice and Vice, Supermoon Bakehouse, and Mama’s Too — all of which have thousands of Instagram followers themselves. The food festival is free admission and will happen from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 25 Essex St.