The Batali-Bastianich relationship may not totally be over yet
In March, it was reported that celebrity chef Mario Batali finally divested out of his restaurant empire, cutting ties with longtime business partner Joe Bastianich more than a year after a series of sexual misconduct allegations against Batali came to light. But it appears that the celebrity chef isn’t completely out of the business just yet — when Bastianich purchased Batali’s stake in the 16-restaurant empire, he pledged to the chef his interests in Babbo and the building it’s housed in, plus two other buildings that house pizzerias they once owned together, Bloomberg reports. Based on those terms, that means Batali could still regain an interest in Babbo — and become the landlord at the pizzerias — if Bastianich defaults on his end of the deal. Bastianich, though, told Bloomberg that the split is “definitive,” declining to discuss further details of the March settlement.
A look at new Astoria restaurant Lokanta
Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfed checked out chef Orhan Yegen’s new restaurant Lokanta, praising his masterful mezzes and other dishes like “hot and tangy yogurt soup, grade-A stuffed cabbage, lush moussaka, simply cooked whole fish.” Yegen remains an owner at Sip Sak in Turtle Bay, and he tells Grub Street that he enjoys the “adventurous” customer base at his new spot.
Mission Chinese teams up with ... Arizona Iced Tea?
The Bushwick location of Mission Chinese is going corporate. Chef Danny Bowien’s zany restaurant has bafflingly teamed up with Arizona Iced Tea of all companies for a value menu of three dishes and a cocktail for $9.99 each. The brand is in all the dishes, which include a mango vegan fried rice made with Arizona Mucho Mango-infused yogurt, smoked green tea chicken noodles topped with Arizona Green Tea-infused hot and sour sauce, and “concord grapeade” ambrosia made with Arizona Grapeade and Arizona fruit snacks. The cocktail is a “green tea ginsenger,” inspired by the iced tea drink.
Temporary closures around town
Le Coq Rico is currently closed for “unexpected building maintenance” according to a sign posted in front of the restaurant. The sign says it’s expected to reopen later this month. The Usual is also temporarily closed for maintenance. And the Black Seed Bagels location in Nolita is still closed following a fire.