Daniel Boulud and sushi master chef George Ruan, formerly of Masa, have teamed up to open Jōji, below 1 Vanderbilt, in an alcove of Grand Central Terminal. The 18-seat omakase restaurant includes a ten-seat counter and an eight-seat private room, with courses that showcase seasonal ingredients along with sake and wine pairings; the tasting starts at $375 per person. Ruan describes the food as weaving “tradition” with “the unexpected,” in a statement ahead of the opening. Boulud, who operates Le Pavilion on the second floor, assists with service and management.
The restaurant at 1 Vanderbilt Avenue, at 42nd Street, is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday with two seatings each night. The omakase includes five appetizers, 14 pieces of nigiri sushi featuring the chef’s selection of seasonal fish, and one dessert. The menu changes daily — “and will even be sometimes changed based on if a guest has visited before, creating an entirely bespoke experience,” according to a spokesperson.
In addition to the reservations-only omakase, Jōji Box, which operates out of a connected storefront, is now open for takeout and for delivery beginning October 14. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
City Council looks to add high-sugar warning labels at local chains
City Council is re-upping the fight the add warning labels to high-sugar foods and drinks at local chains. Under a new proposal from Council Majority leader Keith Powers, chains with at least 15 locations in the five boroughs would be required to add sugar-content warnings next to menu items that exceed the FDA’s recommended daily dose of 50g of added sugar, according to the New York Post. The bill is modeled off a similar proposal from 2019, which was scaled back due to backlash from local chains and only affects pre-packaged foods.
Restaurants, retail slower to recover than other sectors
As New York City approaches the three-year mark of the first pandemic shutdown, recovery in the hospitality industry continues to lag behind other sectors. The city is still missing some 176,000 of its pre-pandemic jobs, according to the New York Times, with a majority of private sector losses clustered in restaurants, hotels, and retail. Job growth slowed in those industries this summer, compared to the same time last year, while businesses in tech, health care, and finance grew over the same period, the Times reports.
A ‘life-changing’ clam pie? In this city?
In its “Where to Eat” newsletter this week, the Times recommends the “life-changing” clam pizza at Bellucci’s Pizzeria in Astoria, Queens. Not to be confused with Bellucci Pizza in the same neighborhood, staff at the pizzeria backed by chef Andrew Bellucci hand shuck two dozen bellies that are delivered from Connecticut, then throw them onto an 18-inch pie with a lemon wedge on each slice for $55. The pies are only available to dine-in customers and have to be ordered 48 hours in advance.