First Vandaag loses its chef, and now Northern Spy Food Co.‘s co-owner Christophe Hille tells Eater that chef Nathan Foot has left “to pursue other projects.” So will the interim chef Brittanny Anderson be nicer about cooking the lamb burger medium-well?
“NORTHERN SPY FOOD CO.”
Northern Spy Food Co., at 511 East 12th Street between Avenues A and B, is a very pure place. The produce is locally grown, the wine is artisanal and even the very simple décor — blue benches lining white walls — “incorporates as much reclaimed and repurposed materials as possible,” according to the restaurant’s website. The meat comes from “the best and most progressive butcher on the East Coast.” Even the name conjures up purity, since a Northern Spy is a New York State heirloom apple.
I was not initially aware of the depth of Northern Spy’s commitment to purity. At lunch the other day, I asked my waiter if the turkey in the turkey sandwich was regular Boar’s Head. He shot me a look of pure disbelief; maybe he thought I was needling him. The turkey came from a farm in Pennsylvania; it had been roasted in-house, and then shaped into a roulade for uniform slicing. And the turkey was, indeed, dense and moist and darker in color than most commercial birds, and made for a beautiful sandwich.
A $29 ticket for this Saturday’s East Village Eats food festival would have got buyers a taste of 12 neighborhood restaurants as well as discount drinks and theater tickets, but there were few takers. Organizer Fourth Arts Block decided yesterday to push the event back to October, and will try to drum up more interest in the meantime.
Tamara Greenfield, Fourth Arts Block’s executive director, said that fewer than 100 tickets had been sold. The first East Village Eats, held last October, saw more than 400 foodies nibble their way around the neighborhood.
“We felt it would be more damaging to go forward with an unsuccessful event,” than to reschedule for the fall, Ms. Greenfield said.
Jimmy Carbone, owner of Jimmy’s No. 43 a restaurant and bar on East Seventh Street, helped to organize the festival. In an e-mail message he said that there were a number of competing events this weekend and that without sufficient advance ticket sales, the festival could not serve its purpose of raising money for Fourth Arts Block.
Tickets will still be good for a free happy hour this Saturday at Idle Hands on Avenue B and a small Mud coffee at the FAB Cafe on East Fourth Street. The full event will now be held on October 22 but restaurant owners lined up for this weekend have not yet confirmed their involvement.
Instead of biting into a crisp apple to celebrate (finally) the start of fall, how about going upscale with a glass of homemade Fuji apple lemon seltzer? Or you could try Concord grape or quince, all flavors concocted for microbrewed seltzer.
Northern Spy Food Co. at 511 East 12th Street between Avenues A and B has been serving the sparkling spritzers since opening November. The flavors, made from locally sourced, organic ingredients, change with the seasons from strawberry-rhubarb in spring, to cucumber-mint for early summer, and watermelon-basil for the early days of autumn.
The restaurant, named after a local variety of apple, even mounted an old-fashioned seltzer arm, hearkening back to the soda fountain heyday of the ‘20s and ‘30s.
Traditional soda fountain culture has its roots in the natural mineral baths of 18th-century Europe, according to Anne Cooper Funderburg, who wrote “Sundae Best: A History of Soda Fountains.” Scientists believed that duplicating the effervescence of the spa waters would also produce healing effects in the body, a far cry from soft drinks of today. Now, restaurateurs are taking fountain drinks back to their roots with fresh ingredients and simple flavors.