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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Kogi Is Going to Sundance

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© Nigel Parry
Roy Choi's Kogi truck will serve late night tacos at Sundance.

Boy do I wish I were a Park City, Utah, restaurant critic. Or a celebrity with a new film to promote right now. Last week we heard Michael Voltaggio would be cooking at the Sundance Film Festival. And now, here come my heros on L.A.'s Kogi taco truck, too. The truck will be at the Lift in Park City for two nights serving its exceptional tacos, like short rib, spicy pork, chicken and tofu. While Voltaggio is cooking breakfast and lunch, Kogi will make sure that all the late-night eaters are covered, too.

Menus

First Look: Niko

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© Laura Maniec
Crispy Tokyo Chicken at Niko.

As a rule, I disapprove of restaurant reviews that come before a place has fully opened its doors. So let’s not call this a review of Niko, the Japanese spot in the former, iconic Honmura An space in New York City’s Soho; after all, it isn’t even open yet. Instead, let’s call out what was great about Niko on the very first night of its soft opening.

Crispy Maine sweet shrimp with Sriracha salt. The shrimp were supercrispy, and that little pile of salt (made with dehydrated Sriracha chile sauce) alongside was genius.

Miso-charred octopus. Every octopus should be properly charred with miso glaze.

Crispy Tokyo chicken. Co-owner Cobi Levy says he’s been eating fried chicken for 21 days straight in search of the ideal crust (thanks, Cobi). He serves his with an elegant ginger dipping sauce (as well as a honey-mustard sauce that I pretended wasn't there).

Local hero Josh DeChellis is back preparing Japanese food (the Sriracha salt is his). A sushi chef fresh from Sushi Yasuda behind the sushi bar. Master sommelier Laura Maniec with a bottle of rose Champagne in her hand. Torrisi’s Mario Carbone at a banquette in the back. Nate Appleman, an F&W Best New Chef 2009 and Chipotle’s new burrito maker, at the sushi bar.

Menus

Raclette Night at Anfora

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Raclette Night at Anfora.

© Anfora
Raclette Night at Anfora.

 

I was a little bummed watching the BCS Football Championship last night. For starters, Oregon State lost in the final minutes of the game to Auburn. Even sadder was that the loss marked the end of Monday night football, at least until next season. Luckily, the team at NYC’s Anfora wine bar has found a way to fill my Monday night void. Last night, Anfora hosted its first Raclette Cheese Night. Each Monday, the wine bar will serve raclette in true Swiss style, with heat lamps for melting and plates of bread, boiled potatoes, pickles and charcuterie for dipping. Sommelier Joe Campanale will be pouring unusual white wines, from producers like Jacques Puffeney, to pair with the cheese. I can’t think of a better way to shake off my post-Monday-night-football blues—and get excited for my upcoming snowboarding trip to Switzerland.

Chefs

Tim Love's New Year's Resolution

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Yesterday, Texan chef Tim Love of the Lonesome Dove and Love Shack and sommelier star Joe Campanale of NYC’s L’Artusi, Dell’anima and Anfora braved New York City’s freezing temperatures and windchill at 8 a.m. to run the New York Road Runner’s Fred Lebow Classic 5-mile race in Central Park with me. I was fairly certain that they’d wimp out due to the cold (or the excess of wine at Ten Bells the night before) but both showed and finished strong. Over post-race refueling (stops included Ess-a-Bagel; Maialino and the Breslin) Love told me that he and his wife had made a new year’s resolution to run 1,000 miles in 2011. They've even worked up a schedule. In order to achieve the goal, they'll need to log 2.8 miles a day.


Restaurants

Michael Voltaggio Comes to Sundance

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© Ryan Tanaka

Restaurant openings are crazy – just ask Michael Voltaggio who is consumed with his upcoming Los Angeles restaurant Ink. But he’s still going to this year’s Sundance Film Festival to cook at the VIP café The Lift in the heat of the action on Main Street. That’s great news for all of Sundance’s hard-working celebrities (and anyone else with a credentialed VIP pass like filmmakers and studio execs) who historically haven’t had a lot of great food options at the festival.

© Isaac Brekken
Jesse Eisenberg was one of the regulars at The Lift at Sundance last year.

For those lucky VIP pass holders, Voltaggio will be serving both breakfast and lunch. For breakfast: bacon and eggs with Japanese flavors  (poached eggs and braised pork belly with burnt scallion oil and soy caramel). For lunch, his version of chicken shawarma, with pressed chicken thighs, yogurt spheres, fried chickpeas and black-garlic puree. My question: how do I get a Sundance VIP pass?

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