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David Chang’s Maple Begins Delivery to East Village and LES

Screen-Shot-2015-10-19-at-2.09.01-PM-280x182Back when David Chang’s delivery service, Maple, came to Greenwich Village and the West Village, we noted that the LES and East Village were prime candidates for the next phase of expansion. That moment is now upon us: the service, which delivers daily specials made in a commissary kitchen rather than a restaurant, will be available everywhere below 14th Street starting tomorrow.

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Fuku Starts Delivering, Immediately Breaks Caviar

(Photo: Caviar)

(Photo: Caviar)

We thought today’s expansion of Maple would be the most exciting delivery news in David Chang’s world (anyone who orders lunch or dinner gets one of Christina Tosi’s “Sugar Shack” cookies, gratis), but an email from Caviar managed to steal its thunder. The haute delivery service is now dispatching Fuku’s spicy fried chicken sandwich and other items from Chang’s budding fast casual chain. But much as there was a line down the block when Fuku first opened in the East Village in June, it proved hard to get our hands on some Fuku fingers this morning.

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Forget About Getting into David Chang’s New One, Ruth Krishna’s

185809Whelp, that was fast. Less than half an hour after an e-mail went out this morning announcing that tables were available at Ruth Krishna’s Tandoori Steakhouse, David Chang’s pop-up with chef Akhtar Nawab was completely booked.

Ruth Krishna’s first made an appearance as one of “America’s Next Best Restaurants” in the “fantasy issue” of Chang’s Lucky Peach, which imagined it serving an “irreverent mash-up of northern Indian standbys and steakhouse favorites. (Think spice-rubbed twenty-one-day dry-aged ribeye cooked in a tandoor and creamed saag paneer.)” Now the fantasy is coming to life during a one-night-only dinner, on Sept. 17, in the former Spina space at 175 Avenue B. Among the menu items: Biryani Onion Rings and Aloo Bhaji Hashbrowns.

The $125-per-head fixed price might just seem worth it to those who recall Nawab’s Indian-infused Village restaurant Elettaria. But at this point you’d be better off waiting in line at Fuku. Then again, pop-ups do have a habit of becoming permanent fixtures around these parts.

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Food Delivery in 4 Minutes? We Tested Uber Eats vs. Munchery vs. Fastbite

Taim's falafel platter. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Taim’s falafel platter. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

David Chang’s new delivery service, Maple, has yet to make it up to the chef’s stomping grounds (it’s currently available only in the FiDi), but the Bedford + Bowery zone just got a few new delivery options that could give services like Seamless and Delivery.com a run for their money (or if not a run, a maniacal wrong-way bike ride). This week, Caviar added a service, called Fastbite, that promises to deliver restaurant meals to you within 15 minutes. It goes head-to-head with the recently launched Uber Eats, which promises meals in 10 minutes or less. Yet another new service, Munchery, gives you the option of ordering from chefs rather than restaurants, up to a week in advance. In short, there’s never been a better time to be lazy and hungry. We tried all three services to see how they compare.

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Photos: Fukuheads Lined Up For the Opening of David Chang’s Fried Chicken Joint

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Call us intrepid reporters: we waited in line for 40 minutes today for a first taste of Fuku, the spicy fried chicken joint David Chang just opened in the former Momofuku Ko space at 163 First Avenue, near East 10th Street. The budding chain specializes in one thing: a crunchy, tender, magical chicken sandwich that comes on a steamed potato-bread bun with a fermented-chickpea butter spread, pickles and accompanying hot sauce. The room is a tight squeeze (hence the line twisting out the doorway and around the block this afternoon). But we managed to speak to some customers (all intense David Chang fans). Click through the slideshow to see what they had to say before and after (sometimes during) their first bites. Fuku is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11am to 4pm.

Catharina Kahl (left):

Catharina Kahl (left): "She took me to Momofuku and Milk Bar. It was really delicious and then she gave me this bag, with their logo. It’s just, like, the best-sized bag ever.”

Gabriela Tiffany (right): "I’m not doing anything today, this is the highlight of my day."

Faridah Sharif (with Hasib Hossain and Adam Cohm):

Faridah Sharif (with Hasib Hossain and Adam Cohm): "I saw that it was opening today and it’s actually one of my last weeks in New York City. I wanted to have a new experience and this has definitely lived up to the hype. I feel like this is a high-end Chick-fil-A where the chicken is perfectly done. It’s a really good cut of meat, really well prepared, obviously marinated and obviously fried with love."

Hasib Hossain: "I think it’s pretty excellent, man. I love the chicken sandwich. Honestly, I like the fries with the sauce more than the sauce with the sandwich."

Adam Cohm: "I think it’s like the Wendy’s spiced chicken sandwich on steroids and on PEDs and on everything else you can imagine. It’s the Barry Bonds and A-Rods of chicken sandwiches."

Caroline Osse:

Caroline Osse: "We definitely intentionally came here. We’re big fans of all of his [David Chang's] restaurants and we’re foodies."

Guido Ditto: "They chose a chicken sandwich probably because the baos [pork buns] at the other places were doing really well."

How long would Alex Vitetta, pharmaceutical rep, wait in line for?  “About an hour.”

How long would Alex Vitetta, pharmaceutical rep, wait in line for? “About an hour.”

David Carter: “He [David Chang] pushes things. I like all his restaurant concepts. I did the fried chicken dinner once at Ko, it was cool and always interested to see what he’s going to come up with next.

David Carter: “He [David Chang] pushes things. I like all his restaurant concepts. I did the fried chicken dinner once at Ko, it was cool and always interested to see what he’s going to come up with next."

Tanner Glaves: “I like David Chang's food because it’s familiar yet innovative, which I think a chicken sandwich lends itself to, so I’m interested to see how they innovate.”

Tanner Glaves: “I like David Chang's food because it’s familiar yet innovative, which I think a chicken sandwich lends itself to, so I’m interested to see how they innovate.”

Fuku's menu (photo: Rob Scher)

Fuku's menu (photo: Rob Scher)

Prepping the spicy chicken sandwiches (photo: Rob Scher)

Prepping the spicy chicken sandwiches (photo: Rob Scher)

Fuku's spicy chicken sandwich.

Fuku's spicy chicken sandwich.

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What’s the Tougher Table: Momofuku Ko or the Cat Cafe?

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It’s been just about a month since the city’s first permanent cat cafe opened, right on the heels of Momofuku Ko’s relaunch in a swanky new space on Extra Place. When they first hit the scene, their calendars were jam-packed with reservations, scaring off many a would-be cat cuddler and caviar connoisseur. Are they any easier to get into these days? Let’s take a look!
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Shake Shack Is Doing a Music Festival. And This Momofuku Burger.

Momofuku Shrimp Stack (Photo: Evan Sung)

Momofuku Shrimp Stack (Photo: Evan Sung)

Get ready for even longer lines at Shake Shack — to mark 10 years in Madison Square Park, the burger joint is throwing itself a week-long birthday bash that’ll feature a music festival and limited-edition patties from celeb chefs like David Chang and April Bloomfield. This. is going. to be huge.
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Forget Papal Canonizations, Here Are the Heroes and Heroines of the LES

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

(Photo: Jenna Marotta)

Sure, there’ll be some downtowners in the running at Monday’s James Beard Foundation Awards (Hearth, Christina Tosi, wd-50, David Chang). But they aren’t the only locals getting big upped: as part of Lower East Side History Month, some folks who are decidedly not celebrity chefs are getting some recognition.
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The Country’s Finest Chefs Are Stinting in the East Village This Next Month

Sean Brock (Courtesy of Husk)

Sean Brock (Courtesy of Husk)

Between Wylie Dufresne, Michael White, and David Chang you’d think East Villagers had more than enough Michelin-starred and James Beard Award-winning chefs to choose from, but the neighborhood is now importing them just for giggles.

First Grub Street brought word that Alex Stupak was bringing Grant Achatz of Alinea (one of the top 15 restaurants in the world) to Empellon Cocina for a one-night-only 12-course meal. And now the folks at Hearth tell Bedford + Bowery that chef Marco Canora is teaming up with esteemed out-of-town chefs Sean Brock (of Charleston’s seriously awesome Husk and McCrady’s), Michael Tusk (of San Francisco’s Quince), and Hugh Acheson (of Five & Ten and The National in Athens, Georgia) for a series of epic dinners celebrating Hearth’s 10th anniversary. Not only that, but Canora is bringing some local giants — like the aforementioned David Chang — into his kitchen as well. Here are the details from team Hearth.
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