Wells was unimpressed by the small plates and the cuisine
"A single taste of some plates was too much," Wells wrote.
This week, Pete Wells lamented the rise of the small plate after a visit to Telepan Local in Tribeca. The American tapas restaurant is a sister spot to the Upper West Side’s Telepan, and has served up small-plate selections in a casual atmosphere since opening its doors in December. Wells was unimpressed, finding the meal “half-formed and unconvincing.”
Of the move towards small plates, Wells wrote: “The old two-course menu has broken down so badly that some restaurants feel no obligation to send dishes out in any particular sequence, even if diners clearly order appetizers and mains, as we did,” adding “the new outpost offers most of the drawbacks of small-plates eating and almost none of the advantages.”
In addition to Telepan Local’s small-plate style, Wells found the taste of the dishes to be largely unimpressive, writing that “a single taste of some plates was too much. With its shrimp poppers — peculiarly bland fried shrimp stuffed with peculiarly bland crab and fish mousse — Telepan Local seemed to be trying to imitate Red Lobster and not quite succeeding.”
He gave the dessert selection a mixed review, writing: “I had one of the worst desserts of the year at Telepan Local, a galette of under-ripe, undercooked pears on a gummy, doughy crust. I also had one of the best. Larissa Raphael, who pulls double duty as pastry chef here and at Telepan, has come up with a champion recipe for coconut cake that is rich like pound cake but lighter — pound cake that could fly.”
For Wells' full review, click here.
Adam D’Arpino is the Restaurants Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDArpino.
Crisp Plantains for Party Dipping
Crisp ribbons of plantains, a munchable staple at Marjorie’s Restaurant in Seattle, are now sold nationwide. You will want them to dip into salsa, avocados mashed with jerk seasonings or even hummus and tzatziki, but they are just as good plain. Watch them disappear: Miss Marjorie’s Steel Drum Plantains, $4 for a two-ounce box from marjorierestaurant.com.
Restaurants on the Rockaway Peninsula are generally divided into longstanding taverns lighted by neon beer logos where locals in baseball caps talk about boats, and scruffy new establishments where day trippers in board shorts talk about coffee grinders. Bar Marseille is something else, a vaguely Provençal date-night venue at the foot of a high-end apartment building. The menu bounces between stuff you might actually find on the Côte d’Azur, like bouillabaisse, Pastis-scented mussels and olive tapenade, and resort food like tuna burgers. But the cold French whites and rosés are authentic enough, the grilled oysters in warm pools of seaweed butter slide down easily, and the sprawling patio is dotted with propane heaters in case there’s a chilly evening breeze rolling off the Atlantic, a block away.
190 Beach 69th Street (Rockaway Beach Boulevard), Arverne, Queens 718-513-2474 barmarseille.com.
DUI Crash In Pinellas Park Leaves 1 Man Dead, 1 Injured
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A St. Petersburg man is now dead after police say a drunk driver crashed into his vehicle early Tuesday morning.
One of the busiest roadways in Pinellas Park has been cleared of debris from that crash that happened just before 1am on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. Police say 27-year-old Kaylyn Coston of Tampa was driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed down Park Boulevard. At the same time, 21-year-old Keondrae Miller and his friend in the vehicle 36-year-old Javonte Williams were stopped at the stop sign on 64th Street before crossing Park Blvd. Police say Miller pulled out to take a right in front of Coston&rsquos vehicle and was struck. Williams suffered severe injuries and Keondrae Miller died in the hospital.
Police say Coston was driving while intoxicated. &ldquoSafety for our roadways is a priority and one of the ways the community can help us with that is, obviously, if you drink, to not drive. It&rsquos easier and safer to catch a rideshare or a cab or have a designated driver then it is to get behind the wheel and potentially take the life of somebody, like what happened unfortunately this morning,&rdquo said Sgt. John Shea, a spokesperson for the Pinellas Park Police Department.
Now, Pinellas Park Police are focusing on roadway safety ahead of the holiday weekend. &ldquoWe see a large quantity of traffic traveling along US-19 and Park Boulevard, so our officers will be out and they will be working through DUI enforcement waves,&rdquo said Sgt. Shea. &ldquoThey will be out there to ensure the roadways are safe and that we are removing any impaired drivers from the roadway to keep those that are being safe about it, safe – as they travel home.&rdquo
Considering more people are expected to stay home due to the pandemic this year, officials tell CW44 News At 10 that driving has become the preferred option for those choosing to travel for the holidays. &ldquoYou see that the airports are not as busy as they previously have been so people are taking to the roadways because they feel safer in their own vehicle, so that, in turn is going to put more traffic, potentially, on the roadways,&rdquo said Sgt. Shea.
A few basic tips, the Sergeant says, will help their teams to keep the roadways safe for everyone on them. &ldquoThere are so many options nowadays to avoid a DUI or potentially a life-altering decision of yourself and or somebody that could be an innocent driver on the roadway. Obviously, for folks that are going to be going out on New Year&rsquos Eve, plan ahead. Have a designated driver, have a ride to pick you up. You can park your vehicle, obviously there are rideshares.&rdquo
The suspect, Coston was arrested and is being charged with DUI manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury, DWLSR involving death, DWLSR involving serious bodily injury, and Violation of Probation for DUI. The investigation is still active but police say no further information is expected to be released.
Roy Choi wanted to start a revolution with Locol. Two years later, the fast-food chain closes
Locol opened as a grand restaurant experiment: Could a pair of celebrity chefs — one best known for launching the insanely popular Kogi truck, the other a Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurateur — create a successful fast-food chain aimed at serving neglected neighborhoods, with food that was affordable and more healthful?
The first location, on East 103rd Street in Watts, opened to much fanfare. Camera crews and food writers descended upon what had long been an ignored corner of the city and customers waited in a line that stretched down the block for chili, burgers and tacos called “foldies.” Co-founders Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson called it a revolution and vowed to open “a million” locations across the country.
Two and a half years later, Locol as a restaurant entity is no more. Choi and Patterson shut the remaining two locations this week — the flagship Watts restaurant on Thursday and a Locol stall at a Whole Foods in San Jose a few days ago two other outposts, both in Oakland, had previously been shuttered. Instead, the company is moving to full-time catering.
“We are not closing! The mission is as strong as ever,” Locol said in Instagram and Facebook posts. “We are just leaving retail store ops for now (facility will remain open as a catering event space) to find the most profitable path for growth for our communities and the company.”
Stephen DeBerry, Locol’s lead investor, said the restaurants were unprofitable and were hampered by too few customers willing to drive across town for fast food.
“This is a business, and it’s a start-up more specifically, so this is not ‘Locol is dead’ — this is a transition to focus on what works,” he said. “The retail piece has not worked, that’s true for sure.”
Catering, which the company introduced several months ago, will enable Locol to bring its food to sizable audiences at conferences and other large-scale events.
“The economics are way better and we can go to the customers rather than asking them individually to go to us,” DeBerry said.
Locol was created to tackle a pervasive problem in many low-income neighborhoods in America: food deserts, or urban areas lacking convenient and quality food and dining options at reasonable prices.
Supermarkets were traditionally thought of as the solution, but Choi and Patterson saw an opportunity in upending fast food. It was a way, they reasoned, to keep the fast-casual business model that residents in Watts were comfortable with, but offer something that tasted better and was better for you.
They decided to not sell soda and offered healthful fare such as salads, roasted veggie bowls and veggie burgers, and attempted to appeal to the neighborhood’s residents with items including “red beanzz and rice,” waffles and wings, and shrimp and grits. They hired workers who lived in the community, many who had never worked in restaurants before, and promised to pay them fair wages.
The chefs “aim to do nothing less than revolutionize the system of fast food in America,” The Times’ late restaurant critic Jonathan Gold wrote in a front-page story shortly after Locol opened: “The prospect of a baron of multicultural deliciousness like Choi joining forces with the Michelin-starred modernism of Patterson is intriguing in foodie terms alone.”
There were soon Locol locations in the Bay Area and a food truck. But the restaurants seemed to struggle over time, never managing to amass the kinds of crowds that mobbed Choi’s famed Kogi trucks.
Although there would be a rush during lunchtime, business was otherwise slow, Watts branch manager Gwendolyn Etta said midafternoon Thursday, two hours before the location closed for good. There were three customers in the restaurant.
Watts resident Gerardo Del Rio, 62, ate at Locol once or twice a week, always ordering a burrito. He was sad to hear of the eatery’s closing.
Downtown St. Pete Introduces E-Scooter Share Services
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Residents and visitors of downtown St. Pete now have another commuting option in which to explore the city.
Officials with the City of St. Petersburg announced Thursday that E-scooters will be available for rent starting immediately, giving St. Pete residents and visitors a new, environmentally friendly way to get around downtown. Partner companies Razor and VeoRide will be begin rolling out approximately 250 e-scooters into the downtown core.
The introduction of e-scooters is a component of the City of St. Petersburg’s strategic approach to improving and increasing mobility options.
The City adopted the Complete Streets Policy on November 2, 2015 to encourage streets that are safe and convenient for all users of the roadway, including persons walking, bicycling, motorists, persons with disabilities, users and operators of public transit, seniors, children, and movers of commercial goods.
Riders can download the smartphone app for both Razor and VeoRide to locate scooters that are available for rent, find parking corral locations, and to set up their account.
Rock-star chef aims to lure locals back to Ghirardelli Square
1 of 9 Opening night of Waxman restaurant at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California on Friday March 18, 2016. This table is Jonathan Waxman's brother's family from Berkeley. Jonathan Waxman is on the far right, his nephew Aaron Waxman is sitting down to the left and waiter Edward Battenberg is at the left. Craig Lee Show More Show Less
2 of 9 Chef Jonathan Waxman (right) on opening night of his Waxman restaurant at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California on Friday March 18, 2016. Craig Lee Show More Show Less
3 of 9 Chef Jonathan Waxman (left) on opening night of his Waxman restaurant at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California on Friday March 18, 2016. Daniel Griffith (right) sous chef. Craig Lee Show More Show Less
4 of 9 A row of seating is seen next to the kitchen, which is a central element separating the cafe from the main dinning room at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, CA, Saturday March 12, 2016. Michael Short/Special To The Chronicle Show More Show Less
5 of 9 Chef Jonathan Waxman holding his great nephew, Calvin Waxman, age 4, on opening night of his Waxman restaurant at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California on Friday March 18, 2016. This table is Jonathan's brother's family who live in Berkeley. Craig Lee Show More Show Less
6 of 9 Tourists have their picture taken in front of a sign at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, CA, Saturday March 12, 2016. Michael Short/Special To The Chronicle Show More Show Less
7 of 9 A row of seating is seen next to the kitchen, which is a central element separating the cafe from the main dinning room at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, CA, Saturday March 12, 2016. Michael Short/Special To The Chronicle Show More Show Less
8 of 9 Jonathan Waxman poses for a portrait in his new restaurant "Waxman's" at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, CA, Saturday March 12, 2016. Michael Short/Special To The Chronicle Show More Show Less
9 of 9 Nicole Whitten (left) and Sarah Varley (right) on opening night of Waxman restaurant at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California on Friday March 18, 2016. They both work at Marlowe restaurant. Craig Lee Show More Show Less
Jonathan Waxman&rsquos arms were crossed high as he looked out over the bay from the northern edge of Ghirardelli Square, his hair blowing in all different directions, almost like a tease of the celebrity chef&rsquos brazen personality.
&ldquoI&rsquom going to be the pioneer,&rdquo the 65-year-old Berkeley native said of his sprawling new Ghirardelli Square restaurant, exuding equal parts fun and bravado. &ldquoAnd I don&rsquot mind that.&rdquo
The Tuesday opening of his restaurant, named Waxman&rsquos, will be the culmination of what has been a long &mdash and in some cases, contentious &mdash redevelopment of the historic complex, long dismissed by locals as a tourist attraction. The attempted overhaul began almost a decade ago with the unveiling of the Fairmont Heritage residential boutique hotel, but in the years since, it has seen multiple new landlords, lawsuits, failed leases and massive delays.
Being the pioneer is not a new role for Waxman. He shaped the course of California cuisine in America, first as chef of Berkeley&rsquos Chez Panisse in the late &rsquo70s, and then by bringing the movement to Los Angeles and New York.
Waxman as the anchor tenant of the complex is significant, not only because it represents his homecoming, but also because there&rsquos an underlying pressure for the chef &mdash whose last California success was over two decades ago &mdash to turn the square around and bring both tourists and locals back.
This has been years in the making.
By the time the current restoration began, Ghirardelli Square had already become a shadow of its former self.
Wood fire roasted chicken (right) and steak on opening night of Waxman restaurant at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California on Friday March 18, 2016. Craig Lee
&ldquoWhen the square was originally curated (in the 1960s and early &rsquo70s), it was pure genius,&rdquo said Waxman. It was home to the Mandarin, Cecilia Chiang&rsquos revolutionary Chinese restaurant Modesto Lanzone, a popular northern Italian spot Señor Pico, an offshoot of Trader Vic&rsquos and Magic Pan, which went on to become a successful crepe chain. All are defunct now, including the Magic Pan restaurants, though Magic Pan was reintroduced as a mall crepe stand by Lettuce Entertain You of Chicago in 2005.
&ldquoI grew up in the East Bay &mdash the best thing was to jump in the car with my parents and come here,&rdquo he said.
&ldquoThen at some point it turned into a place for tourists.&rdquo
When Jamestown Development brought the property in 2013 for $54 million, the complex had already been through several failed would-be renaissances. Jamestown president Michael Phillips had the task of finding a tenant to fill the 6,000-square-foot Mustard Building space that had just been released by Gary Danko, who had been planning to open a brasserie there. But after dealing with too many headaches surrounding the property, the chef backed out.
&ldquoWe ended up having legal battles and landlord issues,&rdquo Danko explained. &ldquoWe finally had to move on.&rdquo
Danko, who counts Waxman as a friend, said he carries no hard feelings about the situation. In fact, he seemed downright relieved to be on the other side of it.
&ldquoThe climate in San Francisco is tough right now it&rsquos hard to find good help. You&rsquod probably need over 100 people to staff that space,&rdquo Danko said. &ldquoFor me, it was probably a blessing in disguise.&rdquo
Still, he said, &ldquoI can&rsquot wait to have (Waxman&rsquos) roast chicken.&rdquo
Phillips has already brought in some new businesses: Marina bakery Le Marais is currently selling pastries and Stumptown coffee in the old Kara&rsquos Cupcakes space, which now looks like a Parisian patisserie. Bluxome Street Winery brings a modern sensibility to a restored late 19th century brick structure at the center of the square.
But the Mustard Building space was the big one. Phillips polled members of the chef community to find out how to bring some of that history back to the square. Getting Waxman drummed up excitement within the industry, he said, mostly because of his history in the area and his reputation as a passionate American chef.
Waxman came of age in the Alice Waters era &mdash following Jeremiah Tower as the chef at Chez Panisse &mdash and earned his reputation for shaping California cuisine at Michael&rsquos in Santa Monica. He was credited with bringing that style &mdash a blend of rustic European technique and fresh, local ingredients &mdash to New York, where he opened the wildly successful Jams in 1984, at the age of 33.
There, he became a nationally known chef, a role he stepped into easily, especially given his affection for the stage &mdash before moving into the kitchen, Waxman had played the trombone professionally, in jazz and rock bands.
Currently, he and his business partner, Howard Greenstone, operate Barbuto in New York, which is now in its 13th year of business. They also own Brezza Emporia and Pizzeria in Atlanta, as well as Adele&rsquos, named after Waxman&rsquos mom, in Nashville. Just last year, they reopened Jams in New York&rsquos Midtown. This year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chef: New York.
&ldquoIt&rsquos an interesting come-full-circle moment,&rdquo said Nancy Oakes, chef-owner of Boulevard and Prospect, who has known Waxman since his early days in the Bay Area. &ldquoHe was here in such a formative time for the Bay Area food scene and then was a great ambassador, taking this food back to New York.&rdquo
Jonathan Waxman poses for a portrait in his new restaurant "Waxman's" at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, CA, Saturday March 12, 2016. Michael Short/Special To The Chronicle
Luring the customers
As a celebrity chef making frequent television appearances, Waxman is hoping to reach the tourists as well as the locals, and as Phillips suggested, both are necessary to keep a business alive in this part of town. &ldquoAny time you have a successful environment, it has to start with a commitment from the local people, and then the tourists will follow,&rdquo said the developer, who has restored other high-profile, food-centric properties like Chelsea Market in New York.
Walking through Ghirardelli Square earlier this month, Waxman was already generating buzz. A couple from Kansas City stopped to take a photo with him on the front patio elsewhere, he shook hands with one of the Fairmont residents who inquired, in joking impatience, about the restaurant&rsquos opening date.
&ldquoEveryone is off-the-charts excited,&rdquo said Scott Broccoli, who owns the Pub, a barbecue restaurant and bar on the ground floor of the complex. &ldquoWhenever you can get a name like his to be on your block, that&rsquos a good thing. He&rsquoll draw more attention and give us a level of sophistication and maturity that the square has needed for a long time.&rdquo
Toast tortillas until crisp and browned in a toaster or toaster oven on high (if you don’t have a toaster/toaster oven, you can “toast” tortillas in a hot cast iron skillet or other frying pan over high heat).
Place 2 tortillas per serving on serving plates.
Spread black beans over tortillas. Spoon cooked salsa over black beans.
Slip sunny side up eggs over salsa, then top eggs with avocado slices, queso fresco, and garnishes. Serve with additional salsa and optional garnishes on the side
Every summer, my husband and I plan a couple of family camping trips to the Tahoe National Forest, a place we have been returning to for more than 15 years. Our style of camping is the primitive car variety. We like the luxury of packing up our four-wheel-drive truck and pulling right into the campsite but still deep enough into the wilderness to distance us from other campers. I am not one to hike into the wilderness with a full backpack and here’s why: I couldn’t live without my giant cooler. I am a bit of a nut when it comes to camping trip food. I plan exactly what my husband, my young son, and I will eat hour by hour, and I meticulously list every food item, condiment, drink, tool, and utensil we’ll need. A lot of preparation goes into planning these meals and snacks. I wouldn’t think of shoving everything into the cooler with a few of bags of ice. I’m sure it would still be fine and we would eat well, but I am too much invested in the food experience. I enjoy nudging out on little details like putting a paper bag of dry ice in the bottom of the cooler so the regular ice stays frozen all weekend, or save little jars and bottles and filling them with condiments and cooking oil so I don’t have to pack the big bottles, or using my FoodSaver to seal marinated meats so the meat juices don’t leak and ruin the ice for my five o’clock Jack and Coke. I pack my cooler with the focus of a tournament chess player and I am proud of the result. Here’s how I do it:
The cooler: We have two coolers, a 100-quart capacity (17 × 17 × 33 inches), which we use for trips longer than four days, and a 48-quart capacity (15 × 15 × 22 inches), which we use for weekend trips.
Dry ice: I buy a couple pounds of dry ice from an industrial gas supplier because I can buy it by weight, no minimum amount. I found my supplier through this website: www.dryicedirectory.com . The night before we leave, I go there with my empty cooler and a brown paper shopping bag. After few scoops of dry ice goes into the bag (I’ll get 3-4 pounds for the larger cooler and about 1 pound for the smaller one), I carefully fold up the bag and pop it into the cooler. Dry ice is not safe to handle with your bare hands so it is a good idea to keep it contained in a breathable material like paper. The dry ice will evaporate by the end of the trip.
Cubed ice: If we are bringing the large cooler, I take four bags of ice: two for keeping food cold, one for drinks, and one for backup. For the small cooler, I take two bags of ice: one for food and one for drinks.
FoodSaver: I marinate meat and poultry and seal them separately in the FoodSaver. This gadget vacuum-packs food in hermetically sealed plastic bags that are airtight. There is no chance of cross-contamination, and if the ice happens to melt or something spills in the cooler, the meat will be safe in these bags. Plus the packets are flat, so they don’t take up valuable square footage in the cooler. If you don’t have a FoodSaver, resealable plastic bags work well too. As a safety measure, I would put all the individual packets together in a larger bag.
Little jars: I save glass and plastic jelly and condiment jars, the ones I get from hotels and airplanes. I fill them with ketchup, cooking oil, mustard, mayonnaise, and barbeque sauce. It’s another space-saving trick.
Square plastic containers: I use these stackable containers to hold my jars of condiments, and to organize the produce, cheese, and cold cuts. The containers serve as drawers in the cooler and keep everything in order, dry, and off the ice.
Drinks: I transfer milk and juice to smaller containers. We wouldn’t drink a whole carton of milk or orange juice, so I only take what we need in Mason jars or metal or plastic water jugs.
We can’t go on a family camping trip without these barbecued ribs. Here’s how we make it. A generous coating of the rub goes on both sides of a rack of baby back ribs. Wrap the ribs in a few layers of heavy-duty foil and cook the packet on a low, glowing fire for a few hours, turning now and then, until the ribs are cooked through but not falling off the bone. Take the ribs out of the foil and pour the delicious cooking juices into a bowl and mix with an equal amount of barbecue sauce. Slather the ribs with the mixture and cook over a medium-low fire until the edges begin to crisp up a bit.
For one full rack of baby back ribs, mix together 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika), 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon ground New Mexico chile (or other mild chile), ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic and a healthy pinch each of ground black pepper, celery salt, and mustard powder in a small bowl. —Makes about ¼ cup.
You can use this marinade with just about any kind of meat, but I lean toward chicken thighs and legs, and beef short ribs. The longer the meat marinates the better, so we eat this on the last day of the trip.
Combine 1 cup soy sauce, ½ cup water, ¾ cup mirin (sweet rice wine), 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 3–4 crushed cloves garlic, 3–4 crushed slices ginger, 1 coarsely chopped scallion, and ground black pepper to taste in a medium bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves. —Makes about 2 ½ cups or enough for 1–2 pounds of meat.