Carroll Gardens will lose a coffee shop next month, and more closings
Carroll Gardens coffee shop and cafe Smith Canteen is closing. Owner Kerry Diamond says in a Facebook post that she’s selling the cafe because she no longer has the bandwidth required to keep it running as a sole owner. Diamond, who founded Cherry Bombe magazine and previously ran Seersucker, opened the shop in 2011. In recent years, Diamond was focused on sustainability, removing single-use plastic cups from the cafe earlier this year. Smith Canteen at 343 Smith St., on Carroll Street, will close on June 30.
Over in the East Village, French fry shop FryGuys at 150 East Second St., near Avenue A, has closed. There’s a “for rent” sign hanging on the storefront’s window.
Critic pays a visit to one of the East Village’s ‘spiciest kitchens’
New Yorker’s Jiayang Fan visits the “spiciest kitchen on St. Mark’s Place,” also known as the East Village location of Szechuan Mountain House, and is impressed by how elegantly plated the dishes are. She says, “The best of what’s on offer at Szechuan Mountain House, it turns out, is creative proletarian fare that is trussed up, made bourgeois, and consummately plated.” As for the food, she advises to skip “unmemorable” staples like mapo tofu and go for the “richly spiced” pig intestines and beef aorta instead. The the rabbit loin and braised frog, and the fish maw (bladder) and pork kidney are also worthy options, which New Yorkers probably won’t find in other restaurants, she writes. Last year, critic Robert Sietsema gave the restaurant three stars.
Customer throws hot coffee cup at Fort Greene McDonald’s worker
A Fort Greene McDonald’s worker was sent to the hospital with burns to the upper body after she was hit with a cup of hot coffee thrown by an angry customer. The customer was Christine George, a 69-year-old from Baltimore who was sitting inside the fast-food restaurant at 4:30 a.m. Thursday, with her feet propped up on a chair. When the employee asked the woman to remove her feet from the chair, an argument sparked. The customer then threw the hot coffee at the employee, who was being treated for burns to her face. neck, and chest, the Post reports.
Times critic sets out to find the best version of this Taiwanese and Shanghainese breakfast snack
Times critic Ligaya Mishan went on a fan tuan crawl through Brooklyn and Manhattan. The Taiwanese and Shanghainese breakfast snack (called ci fan in Shanghai) is a hand roll-like snack of mayo-soaked rice stuffed with pickled vegetables and meat. It’s sold for $1.50 at A-Pou’s Taste in East Williamsburg, where it comes filled with deep-fried dough, pork spiced with star anise and ginger, and “brightly sour” pickled mustard greens. Yet Nuan Xin Rice Roll in Sunset Park and Jiang Xin Fan Tuan in Chinatown also nail the snack. At both restaurants, the roll costs $3 to $5 and comes stuffed with roast duck, braised pork, as well as nontraditional pairings like bacon. Ho Foods in the East Village has a stellar rendition, too — the fan tuan there is a “small miracle,” she writes.
A new chef at db Bistro Moderne
Daniel Boulud’s Midtown restaurant db Bistro Moderne has a new executive chef: Michael Balboni, who previously worked at Restaurant Daniel and L ’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. So far, Balboni has crafted new dishes like scallops Billi-Bi, and is now charged with maintaining one of New York City’s best burgers — the seminal foie gras, black truffle, and short rib-stuffed DB Burger.