Serving Pastrami and Smoke to a Rye-Proud Town
By FLORENCE FABRICANT
Published: April 6, 2005
Kirk, a barbecue expert, teacher and author from Kansas City, Mo., has
chosen New York as the site of his first barbecue restaurant. Called
R.U.B. (for Righteous Urban Barbecue), it is at 208 West 23rd Street;
(212) 524-4300. Mr. Kirk, right, was persuaded to come here by an
ex-student, Andrew Fischel, who wanted to open a restaurant and is now
R.U.B. takes on a distinctly New York flavor with its succulent
pepper-cured smoked pastrami, infused with hickory in the big red
smoker it shares with St. Louis ribs, baby backs, whole briskets, pork
shoulders, chickens and Sichuan-style ducks. Prices range from $9.75 to
Midtown Pacifier: Tea and Scones
from the bustle of Midtown on the mezzanine of the City Club Hotel, 55
West 44th Street, is a quiet escape: a complete tea service. Tracy
Stern, who runs what she calls Salon Tea as a concession, offers six
themed tea blends. Among them, the Artist is a Ceylon tea, and the
Society Hostess is a decaffeinated vanilla-scented China black. The
Romantic, a green tea with jasmine, suited me fine. Ms. Stern serves
them with a copious assortment of scones, tea sandwiches and pastries
prepared by Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne in the hotel. Tea is
offered from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The price
is $32, and the serving can be shared; an extra pot of tea is $8.
Reservations: (212) 398-1323. Ms. Stern's teas are also sold at the
hotel and at www.salonteas.com.
An International Incident: American Brie Wins
California triple-crème pasteurized Brie-style cheese that breaks many
rules of the best French Bries won the top cheese award last month at
the International Food and Drink Exhibition, a trade show in London.
The winner, Rouge et Noir Brie from Marin French Cheese in Petaluma,
beat out the French cheeses even though it is very small - a mere eight
ounces - compared with classic wheels of Brie, which are a foot across
and weigh about five pounds. Rouge et Noir also has more butterfat than
the French cheese. But its mushroomy aroma is on the money, and when
ripe, the cheese is nicely satiny and nutty tasting. It can be ordered
at $37 for three wheels, including shipping. And for serving, this
clever beechwood cheese board will gladly show off whatever cheese you
have, though it begs for Emmenthal. It is $45 at the MoMA Design Store,
www.momastore.com or (800) 447-6662.
Two Accents, Speaking In Unison
was inevitable: olive oil seasoned with wasabi, crossing the
Mediterranean with Japan. Tokyo Kaneku, a Japanese company that has
grown and processed wasabi for 100 years, has introduced a Spanish
extra virgin olive oil with a gentle kick from wasabi leaves.
wasabi and the oil are in fine harmony; you taste both after spooning
the herb-flecked drops on grilled fish or dressing a seafood salad or
even a seafood risotto with it. A bottle of about 10 ounces is $15, and
about 3 ounces is $10 (both plus shipping), from (908) 351-1433.
more intense wasabi flavor swaggers from Boyajian's
wasabi oil, using a base of neutral canola oil.
It's better as a cooking ingredient - to season
a marinade, a sauce or a stir-fry - than as a finishing
oil. Whole Foods, Citarella, Agata & Valentina
and Gourmet Garage sell it for about $5 for 8 ounces.
From www.boyajianinc.com it is $4.85 plus shipping.
Off the Menu
Mafrici, who went from chef's jobs at Felidia and I Trulli to open Lo
Scalco in TriBeCa, now also has a role at Savore, 200 Spring Street
(Sullivan Street). Boutique del Vino, a wine bar and cafe, will open in
its back room on Friday with lots of quartinos, or eight-ounce carafes.
There is light food, often with three preparations of one ingredient,
like tuna, on the plate; (212) 431-1212.
When Winzlet and
Donna Clayton took over Wimps, a bakery at 29 West 125th Street owned
by Mr. Clayton's mother, they kept the Southern goodies and whipped
cream cakes downstairs but added Wimps Sky Cafe and Martini Bar on the
balcony. It features favorites like crab cakes and rack of lamb, with
Caribbean and Southern garnishes prepared by Stephanie Blades. The Key
lime martini is dessert in a glass; (212) 410-2296.
refurbished Leaping Frog Café in the Central Park Zoo has opened with a
menu with zero-trans-fat fries and many organic foods. Danny Meyer's
Shake Shack in Madison Square Park has reopened, and next month Tom
Colicchio's 'Wichcraft sandwich chain will open in the four food kiosks
in Bryant Park.
2005 The New York Times Company