Back 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.
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.
Whelp, 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.