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Weekly Chef and Menu Report: The Week of December 9, 2013

Weekly Chef and Menu Report: The Week of December 9, 2013

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Chef Makini of Pono Burger in Santa Monica debuted her seasonal burger mash-up — Da Loco Moco — showing the "endless variations that a classic burger can take on for the holiday season." The burger consists of a wood-grilled, organic grass-fed beef patty; house-made shitake mushroom gravy; crispy shallots; sunny-side up, organic farm-raised egg; organic baby arugula; Sriracha sauce; and organic brown rice.

New York City

Michelin-starred modern Nordic restaurant Aska in Williamsburg debuted a new three-course menu at its bar, according to a press release. The new bar menu offers a taste of chef Frederik Berselius’s Scandinavian-inspired cuisine for $39 with wine pairings for an additional $25. The menu changes daily but it may include dishes such as fennel caraway bread with New York butter; winter herring, rutabaga, and dill; and sorbet of caramelized bread with cardamom. Aska also introduced new cocktails inspired by the kitchens such as Scandinavian glogg, which is given a twist and served with white wine instead of the traditional red as well as Danish, aquavit, spices, and lemon peel.

New York’s artisanal sandwich shop, Melt Shop, loved for its grilled cheese classics, is donating a portion of proceeds from sales of its "shop tots," sold through Dec. 24, to the New York branch of the Toys for Tots Foundation.

Mexican restaurant Teqa in Kips Bay hired a new chef Steve Cruz, who is spicing up the restaurant’s desserts with tequila. Its tres leches, featuring traditional rum-infused cake but, is now topped with whipped cream made with cinnamon-flavored Jose Cuervo. Other new treats with tequila include churros served with espresso tequila chocolate sauce; a Spanish version of crème brûlée called chocolate crema Catalina, served with espresso tequila whipped cream; and alfajores, Mexican shortbread cookie sandwiches made with espresso tequila. Dessert prices range from $5 to $8.

“Thaietnamese” food truck Sweet Chili NYC helmed by Top Chef finalist Lisa Fernandes is looking for a replacement for its 45-year-old, 1968 silver-paneled Cherolet Step Van, which has suffered many breakdowns and other mechanical issues over the years. The team hopes to raise $5,000 for a new truck they’ve found which costs $25,000, through a Kickstarter campaign. There are currently 19 days to go. Supporters can donate to the fund here: Donors who give certain amounts will receive special rewards. Some rewards include a three-course meal for a $25 donation, a private cooking lesson for a $1,000 donation, and one free lunch a week for an entire year for a $5,000 donation.

On New Year’s Day, Lower East Side’s Taquitoria will serve one-day-only hangover specials including scrambled eggs taquitos with Sriracha, guacamole, and cotija cheese, served alongside the restaurant’s signature Pancho’s red sauce and a Bloody Mary dipping sauce as well as black-eyed peas taquitos with pico de gallo and Pancho’s red sauce. The taquitos are three for $5 or five for $8 and will be available all day or until they sell out. New Year’s Day hours are 12 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

Pop Up Yoga NYC, EAT, and Imagination in Space are collaborating on a yoga and silent dinner "pop-up" on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m., according to a press release. Pop Up Yoga NYC founder Angelica Olstad will lead an open-level, hourlong yoga class. After, complimentary prosecco will be served and chef Nicholas Nauman will prepare a three-course vegetarian dinner. As part of the "silent" aspect, guests will eat in complete, meditative silence. There are 18 seats available and tickets cost $40. To secure a ticket, guest can email [email protected].

Laotian-inspired restaurant Khe-Yo in Tribeca is open for Sunday service and has introduced a special family recipe from chef Phet — Nong-Khai Style Pho, according to a press release.


The Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6 Cognac has made its debut at The St. Regis Atlanta, according to a press release. Hand-delivered by Rémy Cointreau, U.S. vice president of prestige brands Yves de Launay, the cognac was escorted in a 1935 Duesenberg convertible, which was originally owned by the late Madeline Astor, wife of St. Regis founder John Jacob Astor IV. The cognac will be served in the St. Regis Bar and The Wine Room for the prices of $1,050 per half-ounce, $2,100 for 1 ounce, and $3,150 for 1.5 ounces.


New dinner menu items are available at Earl of Sandwich, "Home of the World’s Greatest Hot Sandwich," according to a press release. Those items are freshly made pastas including, tortellini Alfredo, penne Bolognese, and pesto chicken cavatappi; pizza breads, including cheese, pepperoni, and barbecue chicken; and stuffed baked potatoes, including loaded, broccoli and Cheddar, chili and cheese, and Baja chicken.

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