Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall is closing for renovations
One of the city’s most important food halls is shutting down, reportedly for renovations. Golden Shopping Mall — famously the birthplace of Xi’an Famous Foods, but also the source of many other Chinese favorites — has closed so that the mall can get a revamp. But it’s not clear where some of the most popular vendors will return. Tianjin Dumpling House is “relocating,” and Express Tea Shop has already closed. But Chengdu Heaven, an instant sensation when it opened in the late aughts and one of the best Sichuan spots in New York, will not be returning; the owners are retiring, according to Queens blogger Joe DiStefano.
New high-end Chinese restaurant is “wonderful,” critic says
The glamorous new Midtown location of acclaimed Hong Kong and London restaurant Hutong is getting a positive early review here as well. Steve Cuozzo at the Post says the luxe restaurant in the former Le Cirque space is “big and beautiful,” and the food’s a winner, too. He enjoys the sliced branzino in chile broth, lamb ribs, roasted Beijing duck, and a colorful dim sum platter that has “flavors as distinct as their hues.” Cuozzo does make one baffling assertion: “The menu’s exotic enough, but attuned to mainstream taste.” Not to get all ethno-food warrior on him, but who exactly is “exotic” and who’s “mainstream” here?
A look at one of New York restaurateurs’ favorite upstate farmers
One reason that new kinds of produce get introduced at high-end New York City restaurants is Norwich Meadows Farm, an upstate farm that uses Egyptian techniques. Zaid and Haifa Kurdieh pick up on what varietals could become big hits, and they grow them in bulk ahead of the curve. The Kurdiehs, for example, introduced the thin-skinned and less bitter Persian cucumber to New Yorkers in 1998, and Jimmy Nardello peppers primarily appear in local restaurants because of them as well.
Ex-Karasu chefs are doing pop-up dinners with local sake brewery
Yael Peet and Elena Yamamoto — the two acclaimed chefs who left Karasu recently — are now doing pop-up dinners ahead of their new solo project Fury’s, opening early next year. Tonight, they’ll be offering a preview of dishes from the restaurant with Industry City sake brewery Brooklyn Kura, where the $95 ticket gets a five-course dinner, an after party, and sake. Dishes include arancini, sake-steamed clams and mussels, and cavatelli with wild boar ragu. Buy tickets here.