Tables for One, Waffle Hybrids and a Doughnut Worker Takes Aim at Receipts

by in News, May 1st, 2014

Waffled Brownie SundaeThe Singles Scene: Solo diners need not bother to ask for a table for one at Eenmaal, a new pop-up restaurant in Amsterdam. That’s because the sparsely decorated eatery features only tables for one — the better to relieve the social stigma of the solitary eater. The restaurant has no Wi-Fi, so diners can focus on their meals (four courses, organic and locally sourced, $48, including drink), though magazine and book reading is encouraged. “I wanted to show that a moment of disconnection, by eating out alone, sitting alone, can be attractive, especially in our hyperconnected society,” owner Marina van Goor told Bloomberg Businessweek. Plans are underway to expand later this year to cities including London, Berlin and the United States. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Hybrid Watch: Two examples may be one shy of an official trend, but sweeping that aside, the next generation of hybrid foods appears to be all about the waffle. Dominique Ansel has just unveiled his new Waffogato, a dessert he describes on Instagram as a “vanilla ice cream waffle with Belgium waffle bits, slightly salted, and topped with maple-syrup espresso poured on top.” (Watch Wendy Williams scarf it down here.) And now a Chicago spot called Waffles Cafe is offering the Wonut: a half-waffle, half-doughnut creation available in flavors such as red velvet, vanilla and chocolate, as well as more outré offerings such as green tea and Mexican chocolate. Try experimenting with your waffle iron at home with Food Network’s 12 recipes for sweet and savory waffle mash-ups. [Wendy Williams and Foodbeast]

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Restaurant Revisited: Bummed Out at Bumbinos Italian Ristorante

by in Shows, April 30th, 2014

Terry Garner and Robert IrvineThis week, at Bumbinos Italian Ristorante, the problems with which  Robert Irvine had to contend went beyond the usual bland decor and kitchen filth this week. The negative interpersonal relationships at this Orange City, Fla., eatery were causing so much screaming among employees and owner Terry Gardner that it was driving away customers. With just two days to work and a budget of just $10,000, Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team addressed the staff’s issues and overhauled the interior and menu at Bumbinos to ultimately give the business a second chance at success. Read on below to get an exclusive update from Terry.

“The first two weeks after the show, we increased approximately 35 percent,” Terry said. She added that both she and the diners have been wowed by the updates in design. “They are loving the lights and the tile. Favorite elements would be the closing of the pizza area, the chandelier and the tile wall.”

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Reinvent Cube Steak as Crispy Open-Faced Tacos

by in Recipes, Shows, April 30th, 2014

Steak ChalupasFor this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient cube steak. The key to cooking with cube steak is not overcooking the meat, because it can get tough. Typically used for chicken-fried steak, cube steak is often tenderized with a meat mallet to produce a thin cutlet, which makes it easier to cook and eat. But the technique the chefs came up with for making these Steak and Black Bean Chalupas was to sear the thinly sliced meat in a screaming-hot pan, and then simmer it in broth briefly to eliminate the need for tenderizing. Paired with mashed black beans — a take on refried beans — and a tangy chili-lime mango salsa, these open-faced tacos are filling and refreshing, perfect for Cinco de Mayo or a simple Mexican Night any day of the week with the family.

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Top 10 Recommended Eats from the West: On the Road with America’s Best Cook

by in Shows, April 30th, 2014

CioppinoOn America’s Best Cook, Sundays at 9|8c, home cooks battle it out for the chance to win the title of America’s best cook, all while representing their specific region of the United States. The cooks are split into teams from the North, South, West and East. Each of these regions has its characteristic foods that make up an integral part of its identity. To celebrate the new competition show, each week during the season, FN Dish has the top 10 reader-recommended eats from one of the regions. This week it’s all about the West.

If you were to characterize the West in just two words, they would be “fresh” and “bold” — and you can apply those words to everything from the local ingredients to the cuisines, including the Latin-inspired dishes and American Indian foods of the Southwest. But the West is also well known for its fusion foods, one of the most popular being California cuisine, which was made famous by Chef Wolfgang Puck. Look no further for Asian-inspired pizzas, burgers or tacos. Among all the regions, the West is one of the most diverse in its offerings. Pick any city or town on the West Coast to find flavors from all across the nation and even around the world, all in one square mile or even in one single restaurant.

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And the World’s Best Restaurant Is …

by in News, April 30th, 2014

World's 50 Best RestaurantsWhat’s the best restaurant in the world? In the estimation of the judges who bestow the prestigious S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards (aka fine dining’s Oscars), that distinction now belongs to the Danish restaurant Noma. Chef-owner René Redzepi’s Copenhagen dining establishment, which last year landed at No. 2 on the annual list, organized by the U.K.’s Restaurant magazine, has retaken the top honors for what the committee called “mould-breaking Nordic food that takes nature’s bounty to new levels.”

Accepting the award at a ceremony in London on Monday night, René called the accolade “too … crazy!” He said he and the staff had worked hard to make this year their best. “Thank you for believing in us.”

Rounding out the top 10 were, in order from top to bottom, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain (last year’s winner, moving down a spot to No. 2); Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy (holding steady at No. 3); Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park in New York (moving up one spot to No. 4); Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London; Mugaritz in San Sebastián, Spain; D.O.M. in São Paulo, Brazil; Arzak in San Sebastián, Spain; Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago (moving up to No. 9 from No. 15); and The Ledbury in London.

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13 Spring Picnic Ideas

by in Family, April 29th, 2014

13 Spring Picnic IdeasWhen the weather’s just right — not too hot, not too cold, not too buggy — there’s only one way to describe it: It’s picnic season. From kid-friendly fare to portable desserts and spicy dishes for all, these are our favorite dishes to bring to a blanket near you.

Warm Picnic Burritos: What travels better than tortillas rolled up around simple pulled pork with extra-zesty flavors? Put this recipe at the top of your list.

Cold Classic Potato Salad: Picnic purists, this one is for you. Alton Brown’s masterpiece is destined to become a family favorite for you too.

Sandwiches on a Stick: Just say “no” to messy mayo. Instead, spear the kids’ favorite sandwich foods onto a skewer and snip in half if it can’t fit in your container.

Layered Picnic in a Jar (pictured above): Who said picnics had to be so much fuss? For a simple meal on the go, try Melissa d’Arabian’s brilliant idea for layering rotisserie chicken, green olives and more — all in individual servings ready the moment you twist off the lid.

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How to Make Restaurant-Style Fajitas

by in Holidays, How-to, April 29th, 2014

Chicken and Beef FajitasIt’s one of the few meals out there associated with a sound. The gratifying sizzzzle of a piping-hot skillet loaded with tortilla-ready add-ins signifies the arrival of one of our favorite hands-on dishes: fajitas. Lay out grilled veggies, cheese, pico de gallo and more on the table, and let your guests assemble the taco of their dreams. Along with salt-rimmed margaritas, bowls of guac and more, there is no better headliner for your Cinco de Mayo menu.

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