It was only a matter of time before one of the major networks put a food competition show on the air that followed a similar format to American Idol and The Voice. The formula works, especially when the judges are good. Here we are this week after The Taste made its broadcast debut, and the people of ABC are looking pretty damn smart. Anchored by Anthony Bourdain and today’s Friday Fives guest, Nigella Lawson, the network looks like it’s got a good one. We’ll surely be tuning in every Tuesday night at 8pm ET.
For those who aren’t familiar, Nigella is a massive celebrity across the pond in London, and all throughout Europe for that matter. She’s easily the most successful home chef in that part of the world, and she’s built an impressive personal empire of cookbooks, cookware, and iPad Apps. She’s like the Giada of the UK, only with more sass and somehow even more impressive TV cleavage. But it’s really her swagger that makes her stand out. Nigella is a woman who owns her curves, speaks the truth, and cooks really good food. That’s our kind of girl.
We’re honored to have Nigella write up some of her favorite NYC restaurants for Friday Fives today, and look forward to watching her on The Taste this winter.
Nigella’s “Perfect For” Picks
Grand Central Oyster Bar (87 E 42nd St.) – “At Grand Central Station, to misquote Elizabeth Smart, I Sat Down and Ate. American oysters are very different than those we have my side of the Atlantic, and this beautiful vaulted room is the place I come to for ostracine overindulgence.”
Dirty Bird To Go (204 W 14th St.) – “The minute I check into my hotel when I arrive in New York, I’m on the phone with Dirty Bird To Go for a very non-English fix of Buttermilk-dipped fried chicken, sautéed garlic kale, and smashed potatoes and gravy.”
15 East (15 E 15th St.) – “This is the sushi joint of my dreams – serene, well-lit, calm, and purveyor of the most exquisite sashimi, sushi, and assorted delights of an ocean-originating nature.”
Momofuku Noodle Bar (171 1st Ave.) – “If I could (I dream…) I’d charter a plane specifically to bring me here to eat the best Pork Buns you could ever imagine. By pork buns, don’t think char siu style, but hamburger-style sandwiches filled with squivering slabs of pork belly with hoisin and cucumber.”
Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto (283 Amsterdam Ave.) – “Agreed, I’m not generally a less-is-more kind of a gal, but the small plates that emanate from Cesare Casella’s kitchen (notably an incredible lasagne) make me strangely happy to be sitting at a tiny table in a not particularly pretty deli.”
Best Possible Burger in the Best of All Possible Burgers
Minetta Tavern (113 MacDougal St.) – “Just sitting here typing, thinking about the Black Label Burger at the Minetta is making me drool. You might think 26 dollars is a steep price for a burger, but this is a burger like no other – made from an exclusive blend of aged prime rib – and the best $26 you could ever spend.”
Nigella’s Twitter People
@Mariobatali – Frankly, you can learn more about food from Mario’s tweets than you can from most people’s books. Plus he’s clever and funny: that does me.
@BetteMidler – Well, why wouldn’t you? I love the Divine Miss M for reasons to obvious to have to point out, but (minus the food) see @Mariobatali, above.
@AlbertBrooks – I revere this man. My crush is so deep, I find myself tongue-tied and cannot say more.
@qikipedia – …on the basis that you can never have too much useless information.
@TheTasteABC – This my work-family Stateside: I love these guys; I love the show; it figures…
Also Check Out
Not the cheapest bowl of noodles in New York, and maybe not even the best, but Momofuku Noodle Bar is an indisputable Infatuation favorite. Come for all the other amazing things this place has to offer, like fried chicken, pork buns, and a soft serve machine.
Alain Ducasse opens up Michelin starred restaurants around the globe the same way Danny Meyer opens up Shake Shacks. The French chef is a true legend. Not to get hung up on Michelin stars, but they’re the closest thing the food game has to a statistic of measure and the guy owns the record as […]
Looking back on it, there is an argument to be made that Anthony Bourdain is at least partially responsible for the existence of this website. Years ago, before either of us had read Kitchen Confidential or become obsessed with certain episodes of No Reservations to the point of embarrassing familiarity, we were watching A Cook’s […]
Friday Fives restaurant picks from Andrew Zimmern
Katie Lee's Friday Fives.
Giada De Laurentiis's Friday Fives.
Grand Central Oyster Bar is a legendary, Classic NYC Establishment located inside Grand Central Station. There ain’t another place like this in the world, and unless you commute from Westchester everyday, it can be easily forgotten. Don’t let that happen.
15 East is upscale, it’s expensive, and it’s good enough for us to consider earning a criminal record for. Make sure you go with people that want to get down on a serious sushi experience.
So much hype. We like Minetta Tavern, but come on...everyone needs to chill out. Plus, we don't approve of restaurants with bouncers.