Posts for February 13, 2013

Spanish Chef Accused of Poisoning Ten of His Fellow Cooks

Don't trust the toque.Photo: iStockphoto

The view may be fantastic at the El Lavaderu restaurant in Gijon, Spain, but an unnamed assistant chef there is allegedly an aspiring murderer. (Not cool, unnamed assistant chef.) Police have arrested the 55-year-old on the suspicion he's been poisoning his colleagues on the line with calcium cyanamide — perhaps even over a lengthy time period. The Telegraph reports that at least one of the poisoned, nauseous cooks figured something was up when the chef's girlfriend, who worked alongside them in the Asturian restaurant, was the only other staff member who did not fall ill. The assistant cook now faces fourteen counts of attempted murder, and is also being investigated in connection with the sudden death of the restaurant's former head chef, who suffered a fatal heart attack in 2011. It gets worse, too: In addition to all that, authorities say the restaurant's former owners were afflicted with strange maladies that resolved after they'd moved on from the premises. [Telegraph UK via Eater]

Schlow Long, Radius: It's for Sale

Is Radius no longer at the epicenter of fine dining?

Boston reports the not hugely shocking news that Michael Schlow's flagship, Radius, is for sale. Schlow's been doing a lot of reorganizing lately: He's talking about opening up more Ticos in Washington; he closed Happy's and reopened it as Barrio Cantina; and he told the Globe this week that his suburban restaurants, like Alta Strada, tend to do more business than his city spots, so he has an eye toward suburban expansion.

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Alton Brown Says the New Star Wars Needs More Farm-to-Table Food

For its March issue, which hits stands next Tuesday, Wired polled all the notable residents of geekopolis to glean their thoughts on what kinds of topics the next Star Wars movie absolutely needed to cover. Alton Brown says "weird food" is high on his wish list, writing that he's always been fond of Yoda's stew, Aunt Beru's taste in vegetables, and the blue milk Luke's Uncle Owen puts out each night at dinner. So bring on the newfangled Jedi feasts. We're onboard as long as it doesn't involve young padawans hitting up their local takeout joints for cheap and greasy tauntaun soup. That's not sustainable. [Wired]

Four Loko Gets a Makeover

This can is now vintage.

The Federal Trade Commission and Phusion Projects finally reached a settlement on Four Loko. The frat-boy favorite is going to sport a new label, which will solve all the problems it causes. If the malt beverage exceeds two servings of alcohol, it's required to have an "alcohol facts panel" on the back. Study up before you chug! The FTC says that a 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko is the equivalent of four to five beers, but someone smart decided not to put that on the can. Information on how to get drunk quickly and cheaply is like catnip for teenagers, whom this drink has left hospitalized.

Phusion's still complaining. »

Knock on Wood: Restoration Hardware's Restaurant Might Actually Happen

Best paired with food.

For those who are too classy to pig out on meatballs at Ikea, here's happy news: That planned restaurant from Restoration Hardware might actually happen. The Boston Business Journal says they've applied today for a beer and wine license, always a step in the right direction, particularly if you want to get people tipsy enough to overspend on knick-knacks.

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There Are 500 McDonald’s Employees on That Stranded Carnival Cruise Ship

Long lines for burgers! Spewing toilets! It's the worst McDonald's employee vacation ever.Photo: Courtesy United States Coast Guard

Up to 500 of the 3,143 passengers aboard the disabled Carnival Triumph cruise vessel in the Gulf of Mexico are fast-food "franchisees and executives from the Houston area," CBS Houston reports. The stranded ship is being towed by two tugboats and is expected to reach port in Alabama sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, passengers have been sending reports to family members describing four-hour waits for hamburgers; elsewhere, there's news of overflowing toilets and "water and feces all over the floor," which, taken together, is really grim, but also certainly represents the absolute worst nightmare any McDonald's franchisee would ever expect to have.

We're running out of food. »

These Are the Best Brussels Sprouts We've Eaten in Ages

They're under that slab of bacon.

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap. At their worst, they're mushy, watery, turgid nuggets of flavorless obligation. However, chef Marcellus Coleman at Harvard Square's new Sinclair manages to make them not only edible but downright delicious, served smoky atop a poached egg. They're seen here commingled with hollandaise and a monstrous shingle of bacon (naturally).

Watch a Funny Scene About Artisanal Popcorn From This Week’s Portlandia

In this week's Portlandia, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein play pushy movie theater concession workers who hawk artisan, rustic food. "The newspaper infuses the food with the grittiness of the paper," is actually one of their claims. They oblige an overwhelmed customer to purchase Italian soda, arugula salad with fresh cheese ("it stinks, and that's good"), sun-dried grapes, and salted ice cream with a very important drizzle of caramel. Sound familiar? The episode airs this Friday, February 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on IFC.

"It's like being in Europe a little bit, but here." »

Try It Again, Charlie: Trotter to Auction Restaurant Contents Online

"@collector219 ROFL that you think that copper pot can go 4 $6. Bid higher or GTFO"

The last time an auction prompted this much excitement, Cary Grant was trying to escape from the bad guys in North by Northwest. But Charlie Trotter's efforts to sell off the contents of his legendary, now-closed Chicago restaurant keep stirring up trouble and chaos. First a pallet of rare wine disappeared en route to Christie's from Chicago. Then the original live auction in December turned into a three-ring circus, with Trotter tossing out Chicago Tribune reporter Mark Caro, berating the audience for failing to appreciate the cost of the frames of some of his restaurant's art, and finally pulling the plug on the whole sale. But when the auction kicks off online today, all Trotter will be able to do is tweet his displeasure.

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Here's the Dinner Menu at Ming Tsai's Blue Dragon

Gimmie some dim sum!

Behold the dinner menu at Ming Tsai's new restaurant, Blue Dragon, opening tomorrow at 324 A St. in Fort Point. We're intrigued by two items: Indonesian curried lamb shepherd's pie and escargot with Thai compound butter and brioche toast. ... oh, and something called "The Cookie." View snacks, plates, dim sum, and the cookie, ahead.

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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