Reading the Fish Wrap: 16-Year-Old Gets Facelift

Jeff Gordinier has a fascinating restaurant piece in the New York Times dining section this week. He outlines how Maloney & Porcelli, a midtown restaurant since 1996, is overhauling its style and image for a 2012 crowd. Turns out you have to go back in time to get to modern-day sophisticated. I’ve never even heard of this place, but the article is interesting regardless. One of the restaurant’s owners–it’s a family affair–founded TGI Fridays in 1965 as a “mellow place” for “single women” to “hang out.” His aim was meet ladies. He also founded Smith & Wollensky, so presumably that is why there is money to rework his current project rather than letting it go the way of most once-were restaurants in Manhattan.

Over the years, I’ve skimmed many a Passover article–the kugel how-to, the gefilte fish updated–but Joan Nathan’s piece about her annual Seder feels fresh. It’s a Cliffs Notes for the traditional dishes, explaining what they signify for someone who’s never experienced a Seder (or those who need a refresher). Although, I’m still not sure what the kugel is for–Nathan doesn’t make one.

And a little NYC envy: A traditional German bakery is opening in Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side. Called Landbrot, it boasts Bavarian specialties like dark rye, pretzels, rolls, and jelly doughnuts. I’m skeptical that Landbrot will actually have the Bavarian Semmeln that haunt my dreams, but I’m happy to find out.

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