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.
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.
Foodies’ll be in a tizzy today, as the James Beard Awards have announced their semifinalists. As per usj, downtown Manhattan restaurants are representing — and this year, North Brooklyn is, too! You’ll find many of the usual suspects in the list of nominees below, but you’ll also find fresh faces like Daniel Delaney of BrisketTown, Amanda Coen of Dirt Candy (who’s been a critic of the dude-centric awards in the past), Fredrik Berselius of Aska, Eli Sussman of Mile End, Carlo Mirarchi of Roberta’s, and Jennifer Yee of Lafayette. Here’s the list with NYC chefs and restaurants bolded and those from Bedford + Bowery’s neighborhoods linked — in case you want to maybe eat at a Beard contender before seeing an Oscar-nominated movie. Finalists will be named March 18 and the winners will claim their medals May 5.
Good shwarma seeks stable and (meat-)loving home, preferably in Brooklyn or the East Village.
Last night, former Momofuku Noodle Bar chef/partner Scott Garfinkel brought Furn: Project Shawarma to the backyard at Fritzl’s Lunch Box, serving up shawarma (shocker), chicken wings (with garlic toum, chili, and sumac), great northern beans stewed with lamb’s neck, chicken liver pâté, smoked lamb breast, and the traditional Bushwick palate cleanser, Narragansett tallboys.