Gastronomic Fight Club SM

Mischief. Mayhem. Soup.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

FOOD NEWS: March 13, 2008

posted by snekse
We hope to get back to doing more restaurant reviews shortly, but until then, we'll keep the news coming. In the not-quite-news department, we'll be moving to our new design in a couple of weeks, so get your monitors ready! And now for the news...

I didn't get a chance to watch Top Chef last night, so la la...don't tell me what happened.

If you want to get a glimpse of what has already happened and what's going to happen, I have some teasers for you.
Off camera, Top Chef villain from season one, Stephen Asprinio, finally opened his restaurant, Forte, in trendy Palm Beach.

Anyone pre-order the Top Chef Cookbook?

Speaking of Chicago, Schwa is now re-open with an awesome article from the Chicago Tribune that discusses their abrupt closing and their eventual rebirth. This makes me extremely happy since it was on my short list of places to hit the next time I'm in Chicago.

I love the internet.

Cheeseburger in a Can

How To Make Sushi Rice

And just this morning I found this little gem...

Cornell Wine Cellar Optimizer:
What Wine To Buy And When To Drink It.

Executive Summary: This report takes what we believe to be the first scientific approach to optimizing a personal wine cellar. We identify the key factors related to optimizing a personal cellar: performance metrics, such as drinking the best possible wine; constraints, such as budget and cellar capacity; and decisions, specifically what to buy and when to consume the purchased wines. We describe the Personal Wine Cellar Optimizer, which is a tool designed to identify the optimum cellar management plan. Using scenarios differing in cellar capacity, cellar life, and wine budget, we examine how the constraints affect the optimal cellar management plan. Using an example of a real cellar, we also illustrate how the recommendations can be used to improve the cellar management. This report is cosponsored by The Vance A. Christian Beverage Management Center, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
Registration (free) is required to get the document, but it's interesting enough that I think it's worth it - granted I was already registered.

And of course all that optimization assumes you can actually buy the wine you want without getting caught in red and yellow tape weaved the archaic distribution laws.
Help stop the madness.

In other booze news...

Empyrean Ales is expanding outside of Nebraska

And The Nebraska Brewing Co. gives us a peak at their brewing process.
Brewing with NBC

Brent Udron covers Omaha's craft brew scene in this week's OCW.

All this beer talk makes me ask: Where's Omaha's curry pub?
Like Kennedy's Irish Pub & Curry House: San Francisco

In local restaurant news...

The Famous Dave’s Restaurants in Omaha got the smack down from the U.S. Department of Labor. The area restaurants were ordered to pay $92,516 in back wages for violations of the FLSA which states workers are to be paid overtime in the amount of 1 1/2 times their regular wages for time worked over 40 hours. Naughty, naughty Famous Dave's. I wonder what the corporate office had to say about the situation.

The last remaining Ted’s Montana Grill was rebranded Ted’s Nebraska Grill. Ted Turner even came to town for the reopening event. I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on why this franchise struggled so much in this market.

Harry & David is opening it's first Omaha location at Village Pointe Shopping Center. It only took them 145 stores to do so. For those not familiar with Harry & David, they sell gourmet fruit (and what exactly is that?), jams, candy, etc... Personally I've never understood what the big fuss was about.

The rumors have been confirmed. Blue Sushi will be opening a location in the Old Market. They will be taking over the Jobber's Canyon location. The owners plan on making a substantial investment in the renovation and hope to be open in June.

Too much good stuff in the Feb 29th OWH dining notes for me to rehash.

Lincoln Landmark To Close. PO Pears To Sell Off Memorabilia

The Omaha Restaurant Association gave out some awards. Restaurateur of the year: Katie O'Connor, owner of O'Connor's Irish Pub. Purveyor of the year: ConAgra Foods. Nicole Jessie, of La Casa Pizzaria, is now the association's president.

When Paul Urban said he was going to revamp the Lucky's 1001 menu, he wasn't kidding. Not only has he reprised his award winning Mac & Cheese recipe, but he's also added liver and onions to the menu. And by liver and onions, I mean seared foie gras, house brioche, glazed cipollini onions and a shallot-lemon micro green salad. Yum. Then April 14th to the 16th they're featuring "three days, 34 courses."
  • Monday: A 14 course over-the-top dinner with wine pairings. Think hyper-modern, molecular gastronomy type dishes.
  • Tuesday: A 14 course 110% local product dinner. The kitchen will be visiting local farms to not only hand select their product, but they will also be doing the butchering.
  • Wednesday: A 6 course kids tasting menu (no wine pairing :). Not sure what this will include, but probably something along the lines of fried PB&J or a Cherry Coke Amuse.
And last, but certainly least, the "Best" of Omaha "winners" were announced. What a joke. I'll comment more on this in the future.

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