Tag Archives: 10026

Upper West Side: Trader Joe’s to Open at 72nd and Broadway in 2010

Photo: safoocat via flickr.

Photo: safoocat via flickr.

Trader Joe’s says it will open a store at Broadway and 72nd Street sometime in 2010, according to a story reported in the Westside Independent.  Previously, a store official had told Food and Things that a TJ’s would not open on the Upper West Side, but Alison Mochizuki, a Trader Joe’s spokesperson, now says the store opening was never in doubt, despite the store rep’s previous statement.  For more on the new Upper West Side Trader Joe’s, click here.

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Pizza: Keste in the Village for Neopolitan Pizza

“How do you like the pizza?” asked the hot Italian guy sitting next to me after we had devoured our luscious pie at Keste, the Neopolitan pizza joint in the Village. When I told

Photo: By roboppy via flickr.

Photo: By roboppy via flickr.

him I thought the topping was delicious,  but objected to the soggy crust, he explained that Keste’s crust is prepared just the way they do it in Naples.

“We love this place,” he said as he and his girlfriend tucked into a classic Margherita pie.

Keste’s pizza, it’s true, is very different from the classic NY pie, like the one, for example, dished up at Sal and Carmines on the Upper West Side. There is the crust issue. But if you can get used to that, Keste’s toppings are divine, at least on the one pizza we tried. We ordered Salsiccia E Friarielli, a pie made with Italian sausages, Italian rapini, imported smoked mozzarella, and extra virgin olive oil. Rich and incredibly savory, this was some of the best pizza toppings I’ve ever tasted.

Photo: By roboppy via flickr.

Photo: By roboppy via flickr.

Authenticity is what Keste is all about. The cramped pizzeria is overseen by Rosaio Procino and his partner Roberto Caporuscio. The latter is the president of the APN (Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani) whose mission, says Keste’s web site, is “to protect and preserve the Neapolitan pizza tradition and promote the art of pizza making.” To learn more about what goes into a Neopolitan pizza, read Slice’s post on pizza making at Keste.

If you go to Keste while the weather is still summery, wear the coolest clothes you own. The night we were there, the small dining room was as hot as the blazing pizza oven. If there was AC, it was hard to tell. (Also, on a steamy night, avoid the restroom which is next to the tiny kitchen; sweat was dripping off my face by the time I got back to my table.)

Be prepared for a mob if you go any later than 6:30. Still, Keste turns over the tables quickly, and once inside, the service is quick and courteous.

Prices range from $9 to $18 for a pie. There’s also a few salads and dessert if you still have room after finishing off your satisfying and filling pizza.

Keste Pizzeria
271 Bleecker St.
New York, NY

HOURS :

MONDAY – THURSDAY : 12PM to 3:30PM and 5PM to 11PM

FRIDAY – SATURDAY : 12PM to 3:30PM and 5PM to 11PM

SUNDAY : 12PM to 3:30PM and 3:30 to 10PM

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Upper West Side: Kosher Israeli Gelato Screme Hits the Hood

screme-gelato-ice-cream

Five-thousand flavors of gelato?!  The mind boggles. But that’s what kosher Israeli gelato purveyor Screme is offering ice cream lovers on New York’s Upper West Side.

Ice cream is one of those universal foods. It literally melts across borders. You can find Italian gelato in India and Berlin.  You can it find it in the LI Railroad station concourse. Modern Italian gelato makers apparently made their way to the Holy Land, as well. There, one of them started Screme gelato, a popular chain throughout Israel.

Now, the Israeli concern has just set up shop at 69th Street and Broadway. Another store opened its doors last week at the Madame Toussaud’s in Time Square.

With 5 percent butter fat, Screme, like most gelato, is much lower in fat than traditional ice cream where fat content can reach 14 percent.  Prepared fresh every 20 minutes, a single scoop of Screme gelato is $5.00. More  elaborate creations made with waffles, pistachios or chocolate shavings can run you as high as $20.

Have you tried Screme?
Screme Gelato Bar

2030 Broadway at 69th Street (just opened)

Screme Gelato Bar

242 West 42 St., Madame Tussaud’s Museum, Times Square

877-972-7363 (just opened)

Screme Café

300 East 64th Street, New York  (opening Fall 2009)

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Upper West Side: New Whole Foods at Columbus & 97th Draws Mixed Response From Area Residents

Peering into the new Whole Foods opening Aug. 27th at 97th Street and Columbus Avenue, I can spot café tables and gleaming check-out counters.

Among the store’s offerings will be a stand-alone 1000-bottle wine shop—the first to grace any Whole Foods in New York—and a “grind your own” peanut butter station.

whole-foods-sign-june-071But the new store is drawing a mixed response from neighborhood residents. Along with its reputation for quality organics and healthy fare, Whole Foods appears to be dogged by its reputation as a high-priced emporium.

“I don’t think I’ll shop there. It’s too expensive,” said 33-year old Josh, who works in finance and who lives near the new market.“You have to have money to shop in that store,” agreed a woman parking her car alongside Park West Village, a complex of nearly 50-year old apartment buildings  now surrounded by five luxury rental towers, one of which houses the Whole Foods market.  Said Joel, a 33-year old advertising executive: “I’m nervous because it’s expensive” and “my wife will love it and go there every day.”

According to a Whole Foods spokesman, the store will be running weekly and bi-weekly specials. In addition, the Upper West Side store will offer consumers “value tours.” Employees will guide shoppers around the store to point out more economical options, like Whole Foods’ store brands and products that can be bought in bulk.

“In comparison to other supermarkets, our prices on like items are very competitive,” the spokesman insisted, pointing out that price june-2009-wholefoods-002comparisons between organic and conventional products are often difficult to make.

Putting Out the Welcome Mat

In fact, other neighborhood residents said they looked forward to the new store’s broad selection of healthy and organic offerings.

Pushing a baby stroller, Yani, 21, said she valued Whole Food’s reputation for “good, healthy food.” Others, like Leyda, a longtime resident of the neighborhood, admired the store’s sleek design.  It’s  “really nice,” she said.

And while tenants of Park West Village fought the construction of the new rental buildings, called Columbus Square, the arrival of Whole Foods appears to be winning favor, at least among some.

“A lot of people think Whole Foods is the only good thing about the project,” said a woman who answered the Park West Village Tenants’ Association hotline and who asked not to be identified.

Meanwhile, Whole Foods may have to contend with some ingrained shopping habits among Upper West Siders. Many area residents do their food shopping at a variety of stores while strolling up and down Broadway.

For example, longtime West End Avenue resident and mother of two, Marlene Lieberman, said that while she plans to patronize the new Whole Foods, she’ll continue to frequent local vendors like Zabar’s and Fairway.

Local Merchants Await the Newcomer

And how are neighborhood food merchants reacting to Whole Foods’ arrival?

Most, like Joon Ko, who operates his 17-year old fish market at 98th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, expressed confidence that their regular customers wouldn’t desert them.

Others are planning to directly challenge Whole Food’s bid for local customers’ loyalty.

Associated Foods, at 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, will be opening a new store with twice the square footage of the current space in a couple of months, according to Vinicio Ortiz, the store’s manager.

“We’re going to kill them,” he said, referring to his new competitor up the street.

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Upper West Side: Zabar’s Jumps the High Holidays Gun

Photo: via Flickr, rachel is coconut&lime

Photo: via Flickr, rachel is coconut&lime

Who can think of shtetl food like brisket and stuffed cabage when it’s 110 degrees in the shade?  But for Zabar’s, the venerable Jewish food emporium on Broadway, it’s apparently not too early to begin urging you to plan your New Year’s or Yom Kippur Break Fast menu.  So if cooking is not your thing on the High Holidays, check out their offerings.

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