MANH — Nov-Dec 2008
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Food Drink Dish
- Jane Lerner

Slaughterhouse Five

BAR BOULUD

Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud inarguably off ers the city’s fi nest selection of French charcuterie. Sylvain Gasdon, a protégé of master charcutier Gilles Verot, moved here to gift us with specialties like a rich pâté grand-mère and a light-as-a-cloud boudin blanc. The industrialchic space features a long wooden bar lined with glossy platters of terrines and clusters of saucisson sec, providing a bona fi de taste of Lyon in Manhattan. 1900 Broadway, 212.595.0303

GRAMERCY TAVERN

Approaching its charcuterie program as it does every other aspect of its operation, Gramercy Tavern puts an emphasis on local and seasonal products of quality. Scott Bridi is in charge of the restaurant’s hams and pâtés, not to mention a thick-sliced mortadella, or the lonza, a kind of bacon that melts upon contact with the tongue. Flavorful sausages show up regularly in entrées and specials in the front Tavern Room. 42 E. 20th St., 212.477.0777 or gramercytavern.com

LEVER HOUSE

Daniel alum Bradford Th ompson is new to Lever House, the contemporary-American power spot housed in a glass-and-steel tower.In a turn more befi tting of the farm, however, Th ompson has a whole pig delivered to the kitchen every week; one of the fi nest results of that arrangement is the restaurant’s pork country pâté. “I use as much of the pig as I can,” he says. 390 Park Ave., 212.888.2700 or leverhouse.com

CONVIVIO

Earlier this year chef Michael White transformed Tudor City’s L’Impero into the more rustic-meetscontemporary Convivio. Italians have an epic history with cured and smoked meats, and one of the charcuterie specialties here is the coppa di testa, a head cheese, the recipe for which entails brining a pig’s head for three days before seasoning with citrus, spices and wine. 45 Tudor City Pl., 212.599.5045 or convivionyc.com

TRESTLE ON TENTH

“I truly enjoy doing the terrines, pâtés and sausages,” says chef Ralf Kuettel of Trestle on Tenth. He recalls his childhood in Switzerland, where journeyman butchers helped turn the family pigs into cuts of pork and sausages. Th ough Chelsea is a long way from the Alps, each January Trestle hosts its version of Metzgete, a veritable sausage festival. On Kuettel’s cured-meat platter, he presents a sinful chicken liver pâté crowned with a layer of fat. 242 10th Ave., 212.645.5659 or trestleontenth.com

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD

A longtime Californian, Govind Armstrong loves that in New York his commute is on foot. Armstrong is partner and chef at Table 8, a newcomer housed in the curved glass tower of the Cooper Square Hotel, and sibling to chic, popular Table 8s in L.A. and Miami. Th e genial chef has written a cookbook, been anointed by Oprah, and this December makes a move on Manhattan. –J.L

So how does it feel opening a restaurant here? It’s my dream. I’ve been coming to New York forever, and I love everything about it—such great neighborhoods, incredible food. I’m getting an apartment, maybe in the East Village so I can walk to work. I can’t wait.

Your cooking is incredibly seasonal—will the N.Y.C. menu be different than in Miami and L.A.? Th ere are real seasons here! Working in diff erent climates changes the food. All the Table 8 restaurants have the same philosophy, share that common thread, but in New York the menu won’t be the same at all, which is challenging. I’m trying to keep it as seasonal and local as possible and at the same time put my stamp on it.

Still plan on serving small plates? Th at’s how I love to eat. I’m such a pig when I go out, I want to eat as much and taste as much as possible, get as many sensations going on as I can. It’s a lot of fun to give people that range. Instead of having a structured meal, you can graze all night. You’ve got to keep the party moving!

Do you like being in the Cooper Square Hotel? Th e hotel is incredible, dramatic, simple and sleek. It’s about the neighborhood, too—it’s not uptown, it’s the Bowery.

Some people say places like Table 8 and John Varvatos are ruining the neighborhood. Th e Bowery has always been about food, drink, art and entertainment, and we feel that we’re helping to continue this legacy.
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