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Archive for May, 2007

Momofuku (NY) – The Revolution Will Be Eaten

I’m just makin’ my play
Don’t try to push your luck, just get out of my way

- AC / DC – “Back in Black”

It blares through the loudspeakers at Momofuku and it’s oh-so-appropriate. Momofuku, and Chef David Chang, are at the forefront of a movement that’s injecting a good dose of rock’n'roll rebellion and Schumpeter’s creative destructionism into fine dining across the country – small format restaurants, fused with personality, that serve seriously good food.

Talented chefs are leaving the factories and creating casual eateries at lower price points – while using the filtered-down techniques of the culinary elite. You could call it a democratization of fine dining. The lower price points and casual atmospheres attract a larger crowd unconcerned with the normal pretenses of fine dining – servants, hushed tones, “civilized” dress codes, and wine programs that flaunt unattainable $3000 bottles of wine. It’s an attempt to translate the essentials of fine dining (ingredients and technique) to a youth culture format.

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Sushi Yasuda (NY) – Supersonic Sushi

The top sushi players of Manhattan have done a nice job positioning themselves in the market – Masa for the over-the-top-price-is-no-issue annual or bi-annual outings; Kuruma Zushi for a slightly less expensive fish-is-the-only-thing-that-matters meal; and Sushi Yasuda for a quick, informal, and far less expensive rice-is-king stop.

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