Manhattan poultry restaurant caught up in a lawsuit
A former partner at poultry-centric Flatiron restaurant Le Coq Rico filed a lawsuit against the business last week, alleging that his name is still being used to promote the restaurant despite no longer being involved. Antoine Westermann, a chef with Michelin cred, claims that his partner Francis Staub cut him out of Le Coq Rico in August and that the restaurant’s website and social media still use Westermann’s name and face, insinuating that he’s still in the kitchen.
Simon & the Whale goes all-day during the week
Freehand Hotel’s new American restaurant Simon & the Whale adds breakfast this week, serving a new menu on weekday mornings in Gramercy from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Chef Matt Griffin and baker Zoe Kanan, who runs the pastry and breads program at the hotel’s sibling restaurant Studio, have created a menu that includes breakfast classics like an egg sandwich as well as baked treats like a sourdough croissant.
Restaurants around town celebrate Diwali
On November 7, several Indian restaurants will celebrate Diwali — the Hindu festival of lights — with special menus and new dishes. All week at Bombay Bread Bar in Soho, a $65-per-person, four-course prix fixe menu is in place. Soho fast-casual Indian street food joint Frankie Goes to Bollywood will debut two new desserts on Diwali: rasgulla, balls of ricotta cheese soaked in cardamom, and a fusion dessert called Bombay beignets, which will be dough balls filled with rice pudding and dusted with cardamom powdered sugar. Chef Chintan Pandya at Rahi in the West Village has crafted a menu of specials inspired by the food his family made when he was growing up in India, including paneer pasanda made with a korma gravy and lamb raan, a slow-cooked lamb leg served with masala onion, gravy, and roti.
The Robs visit an Albanian restaurant in the Bronx
Grub Street gives three stars to Belmont Albanian restaurant Çka Ka Qëllu, which comes from owner Ramiz Kukaj, who also owns the Albanian-influenced pizzeria Tradita in the Norwood section of the Bronx. Critics Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld describe the restaurant’s look as “medieval farmhouse” and praise the “bready, meaty, dairy-rich” menu. “Veal stew is hearty and satisfying, brightened by the flavor of red peppers, and stuffed cabbage is meaty, tender, and everything a stuffed cabbage should be,” they write. But the dish not-to-be-missed, they write, is the kacamak, a fine-grained polenta cooked with milk, water, and kaymak, a type of clotted cream from the Balkans.