CHOW Tour
Two CHOW editors on a caloric extravaganza exploring innovation, novelty, and deliciousness.
See Where We've Eaten!
Friday, July 23rd, 2010

What’s Innovative About SF, LA, and NY, Part 2 (Lessley’s Take)

We're flying home to San Francisco, and New York is still fresh in my mind (and on my shirt via crumbs from the very good flaky Turkish pastry I picked up before leaving, in Hell's Kitchen). Compared to San Francisco and LA, not surprisingly, New York had a great deal of innovation and exciting food. And also not surprisingly, you could find any type of dining experience you could possibly want, from the best of expense-account dining (Eleven Madison Park) to riffs on hand-held ethnic street food (BaoHaus). A disproportionate number of my favorite dishes from the CHOW Tour were found in NY, but I was often more uncomfortable eating them than I would have been in another city (more standing up, less air conditioning, usually more expensive.) But I've been to NY in July before—I didn't need to go on a work-sponsored tour in search of Innovation to figure that out. So now that it's all over, what's going on with new and interesting food and dining in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles? (more...)
Friday, July 23rd, 2010

What’s Innovative About SF, LA, and NY, Part 1 (Roxanne’s Take)

The tour is a wrap, and after nonstop dining in SF, LA, and NYC for three weeks straight it's fun to be able to compare the cities and look back. Here are some observations: (more...)
Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Where We Ate in New York


View CHOW Tour: Innovation - New York in a larger map

The Breslin: Brit Breakfast in High Victorian Style

Doughnut Plant: Crazy Doughnut Smackdown

Il Laboratorio del Gelato: Red Grape Sorbet to Prolong the Sugar High

Baohaus: Friendly Bun Shop or Aggressive Foe?

Degustation: Nouveau Tapas Face-Off

Resto: Far-Out Belgian Food

Brooklyn Flea: Flea Market Food in Brooklyn

Spot Dessert Bar: Avocado Parfait Perfection at Spot Dessert Bar

WD-50: Getting Educated at WD-50

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream: Earl Grey Ice Cream from a Truck

Xie Xie: How Does the Top Chef Sandwich Stack Up?

Fatty Cue: No Revelations, Just Good Food

Brooklyn Kitchen Labs: Food-Dork Mecca in Brooklyn

Annisa: Lobster Whipped Cream and Metaphorical Fish at Annisa

Momofuku Noodle Bar: Changtastic!

Momofuku Milk Bar: Changtastic!

The French Culinary Institute: Mad Science at the French Culinary Institute

Takashi: Adorable Beef Guts at Takashi

M. Wells Diner: What's Quebecois Food Like (in New York)?

Eleven Madison Park: Organic Precision at Eleven Madison Park

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

8 More of the Biggest Food Trends

We alluded to more trend coverage after our first trend post, and here it is. New York weighed in with some good evidence of new dining trends, and confirmed our suspicions about others we'd been tracking already. Hints: pickle juice, goat butter, savory granola. (more...)
Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Organic Precision at Eleven Madison Park

Organic Precision at Eleven Madison Park
We had a good idea that Eleven Madison Park, headed up by 2010 James Beard Award winner Daniel Humm, was going to be impressive, so we saved it for our last CHOW Tour dinner. And yes, our instincts were dead-on. Interesting nugget: We were told that the restaurant is in a transitional period of moving from extremely fastidious-looking plating, where "everything has its own space on the plate," to a more organic look, as if the food just blew there on the wind. (Of course, it was meticulously placed just so in the kitchen to look like that.) The new plating could be part of the reason why Eleven Madison Park had an air of casualness while still being a place where every man in the room was wearing a suit—not a sport coat, a suit. Here were some of our favorite things: (more...)
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Adorable Beef Guts at Takashi

Adorable Beef Guts at Takashi
You don't expect a place specializing in raw beef liver and grill-your-own large intestines (not your own large intestines; another animal's) to bring the word "cute" to mind, but Takashi in the West Village does. The walls are wrapped in a cartoon mural that lays out what the restaurant is all about: It's all beef, and you order meat parts that you either grill yourself over electric grills set into your table or eat raw. It's a clean, open space with wide wooden benches and a central kitchen. The chef behind Takashi is a third-gen Korean immigrant born in Japan, and his food pulls from both cultures. (more...)
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

What’s Québecois Food Like (in New York)?

What’s Québecois Food Like (in New York)?
Two weeks into its soft opening, M. Wells was getting quite a buzz when we landed in NY. A Québecois-American diner in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, it seemed to have the "next hip thing" glow about it, so we canceled our ABC Kitchen reservations (Jean-Georges is crying somewhere, no doubt) to check it out. (more...)
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Mad Food Science at the French Culinary Institute

Mad Food Science at the French Culinary Institute

Dave Arnold, at the French Culinary Institute, puts words together in one sentence like hypercolloids and crème anglaise. Watch him make salep dondurma in the video below, and read more about the Turkish stretchy ice cream on Dave's blog. (more...)

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Changtastic!

Changtastic!
Talking about the inventiveness of the Momofuku empire, for a food writer, probably feels a bit like talking about the Mona Lisa for an art critic. Hyperbole, maybe, but seriously: What has NOT been said about David Chang's game-changing cuisine? That said, a lot of what Chang arguably started (the reinterpretation of East Asian street food for a white audience, for instance) can be found everywhere in NY, more popular than ever. So it only felt right to visit Noodle Bar on our Innovation tour (and hit up nearby Milk Bar, the dessert joint he started with pastry chef Christina Tosi afterward). (more...)
Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Lobster Whipped Cream and Metaphorical Fish at Annisa

Lobster Whipped Cream and Metaphorical Fish at Annisa
Anita Lo's Annisa in the West Village was a little fancier than we were expecting, with a simple, elegant interior (for more on all that feng shui, see the video below), dusty rose–colored velvet booths, and oversized vases filled with twisty branches. But it didn't feel stuffy. Lo's food gave a similar vibe: elegant but not overwrought. Unfortunately, our photos don't really do the dishes justice: Using the flash in NYC restaurants these days is pretty much verboten, according to our dining companion that night, Rebecca Marx, writer for the Village Voice's food blog Fork in the Road. (OK by us, since it's pretty embarrassing to be "that guy.") (more...)