Posts for February 11, 2013

Maker’s Mark Is Watering Down Its Bourbon

What can drinkers expect from the new, 84-proof Maker's?Photo: Courtesy Maker's Mark

There are more bourbon barrels than people in Kentucky at the moment, but the sharp uptick in demand is crushing supply, and now, as a means of staving off a bourbon shortage, the distillery that produces Maker's Mark announced it is taking the seemingly extraordinary measure of lowering the alcohol-by-volume content of its product. As you can imagine, some drinkers are going nuts over this.

The full statement. »

Make Your Plans Now for Shōjō's Eight-Course Chinese New Year Feast

This weekend, it's the big Chinese New Year Parade! But where to feast prior? You could linger in line for hours at China Pearl only to chase down the one lone cart that houses a lobster dumpling, or you could dine upon an eight-course feast downstairs at Shōjō, for which reservations are available. Go this Saturday night or else on Sunday, when they'll change their hours to open at 11 a.m. for the parade. Special $68 (it's a lucky number) menu ahead, which we're told will be paired with a good-luck Red Envelope cocktail.

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Ruth Reichl Calls the Star System ‘Stupid’

"As a critic, I really hated the star system. It’s stupid and insulting to readers. I’d sometimes give a restaurant a lower rating so people would leave a restaurant saying I wrote a three-star review, but only gave two stars. But as an editor, I would never get rid of it. When you run a four-star review, it gets talked about all over the world." —The former Times restaurant critic and Gourmet editor isn't a fan of New York bagels or Yelp, either. [Daily Front Row]

Mountain Dew Introduces Kickstart, a Morning Soda

Officially endorsed by fedora-wearing, tattooed men.

For those of you who wake up and chug Red Bull (looking at you, Alex Stupak), PepsiCo's out to get you. The company is launching a new Mountain Dew drink that's intended for breakfast time. Kickstart is made with "real fruit juice" (read: 5 percent juice), "the right amount of kick" (a potentially lethal jolt of caffeine), and artificial sweeteners. Though Kickstart does have far less caffeine than energy drinks like Red Bell, PepsiCo's taken the liberty of labeling the two flavors "energizing orange citrus" and "energizing fruit punch," and has packaged it to look like Monster. Subtle. Maybe Taco Bell inspired this — in May, it introduced an awful "mixology" beverage called MTN DEW A.M., consisting of Mountain Dew and orange juice. Kickstart will be available nationwide starting February 25; it'll appear at college libraries and morning pregame parties on the 26th. [Earlier, Earlier, Earlier, AP]

The Painted Burro's Burro Bar Opens Tomorrow [Updated]

Fried oyster tacos at the Painted Burro.Photo: Facebook

It seems Davis Square's long-awaited Burro Bar, replacing Spike's Junkyard Dogs, will debut tomorrow. (The Painted Burro is closed tonight to complete renovations.) There are many worthy taco-and-burrito joints in Davis Square, from Chipotle to Anna's to Boloco just around the bend. However: We're pretty sure the Burro Bar is the only one with a jukebox.

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Todd English's 'Truffled Potato Love Letters' Await Your Reply

Pass the Dramamine!

The hackneyed chef swoon of Todd English knows no boundaries and even haunts the Queen Mary 2, writes Dwight Garner, who braves a cross-Atlantic voyage on the cruise ship in the name of truth. Everyone from Guy Fieri to Geoffrey Zakarian is lending their names to big boat restaurants, and in English's case, the experience is somewhat akin, apparently, to being smothered with a heart-shaped pillow. By the time you see "Todd's Truffled Potato Love Letters" on the menu, Garner writes, "you know you are in for it." And after you read the menu bio describing "One of the most decorated, respected, and charismatic chefs in the world," "you lurch outside to the deck and throw yourself overboard." [NYT, Earlier]

Well, This Is Offal-y Sweet

Barbara Lynch's Blizzard Bash fund-raiser hit some snags due to Nemo, so visiting chefs trekked across town to the Pine Street Inn to feed those who really needed tasty mid-storm meals. San Francisco's resident offal-master Chris Cosentino pauses with pals for a shot. [Earlier, Facebook]

Peek at Tavern Road's Funky, Rustic Insides

Just like an Edward Hopper painting.Photo: Matthew Jennings/Twitter

Farmstead's Matt Jennings shares a photo of Louis and Michael DiBiccari's soon-to-come Tavern Road in Fort Point. "This place is gonna be sick," he writes.

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Grubstreet Sweeps

Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Cookin' Cafe & Grill See the menu

    “Cookin is gooood!”

    I'm picky about meatball subs so when I say is good it's really good

  • The Pour House See the menu

    “Awsome food and drink”

    After spending all your hard earned dollars in the Pru enjoy a few cool one here before you take the T home.

  • Il Villaggio See the menu

    “Absolutely Amazing”

    Having worked at Olive Garden for 3 years I guess I never really knew what REAL Italian food tasted like.


Kara Baskin
NY Mag