Tag Archive | Meatball Factory

NYC's Hole Gallery Opens Pop Up Restaurant Hole Foods on 14th Street

Hole Foods Restaurant

While we were sorry to say goodbye to Chef Dave Martin’s woefully short-lived Meatball Factory, which shuttered its doors at the end of April, the space at the corner of 2nd Second Ave and 14th Street didn’t stay empty for long. In an exciting “Contemporary art gallery meets fun summer eatery” venture, the folks at The Hole Gallery have launched a pop up restaurant, cleverly named Hole Foods, which will serve a rotating menu of seafood and featured comfort food dishes in a vibrant, modern art gallery setting.

Creating a completely artist-designed space, Joe Grillo of the collective Dearraindrop has transformed the restaurant into a colorful den of artworks, with a neon drip mural (pictured above) across the ceiling, walls and floor, customized tables and tablecloths, painted furniture, video works, black light bathrooms (Yes!), a ceiling installation and interactive sound sculptures. He even made a customized chef suit and hat for the executive chef, Robert Rubba. Grillo has exhibited internationally and has his first big New York City solo show with The Hole this coming October.

We passed by the restaurant this past Sunday afternoon, feeling parched by the freakish late spring heat, and being excited to perhaps sit at the bar and enjoy a chilled and refreshing artsy cocktail. Alas, it was not be, as the Mother’s Day holiday found the place to be closed up tight. We did peek in the windows, however, and the place is pretty cool. The limited menu looks appealing also, but the big green B on the door makes us want to wait a few weeks to see if they can transform that into a much happier blue A. Hole Foods promises to fill their summer tenure with special art projects and performances, including a Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black night, with hostesses and servers in head to toe Karen Black make up (read: expect partial nudity). So, maybe the food isn’t what’s most important. We’ll see.

Hole Foods, a Three-Month Pop Up Restaurant, is located at 231 2nd Avenue (Northwest corner of 14th Street) in NYC and will be in Operation until August 5th, 2012. Phone 212-260-8015 for more information.

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Manhattan's Truffle Macaroni & Cheese Round Up!

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It is no secret that The Worley Gig is a huge fan of all delicious foods, and we try not to discriminate. But if we had to pick a favorite single food (rather than an entire ethnic cuisine, in which case Mexican FTW!) we would choose Macaroni & Cheese. Because, pasta and cheese baked together, yum. Over the course of the past year’s many restaurant reviewing adventures we have had the pleasure of sampling a current trend in Macaroni & Cheese preparation: the addition of truffles, or truffle oil, which elevates this humble comfort food dish into the culinary stratosphere. In this post we revisit five New York City restaurants featuring a Truffled Macaroni & Cheese dish on their menu. Feel free to pay any of them a visit and tell them we sent you!

Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel

Truffled Mac & Cheese
All Food Photos By Anne Raso

Midtown Manhattan’s finest east-side rooftop dining experience is found at Upstairs, a swanky open-air cocktail lounge (with awesome nighttime views of the Chrysler Building) located on the Penthouse level of the Kimberly Suites Hotel (145 East 50th Street).  On our first visit last summer, our heartiest mid-week appetite was more than satisfied by an order of rich and fragrant Truffled Macaroni & Cheese ($12), baked en casserole to a golden hue. Simply perfect.  Rating: A

The Meatball Factory

Truffled Mac & Cheese from Meatball Factory

Chef Dave Martin takes credit for starting the Truffled Macaroni & Cheese craze while he was a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef. His signature dish, a Black Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese ($11), is among the most popular items on the menu at The Meatball Factory (231 Second Ave at 14th Street). Chef Dave’s secret to achieving such delicious, cheesey-truffly baked goodness involves first cooking the cream base for the sauce until it develops its own “nutty” flavor, then slowly folding in both Fontina and Parmesan cheeses so that ingredients blend perfectly, preventing the sauce from “breaking.” This technique makes for a very creamy sauce and a unique integration of flavors that, when combined with the essence of black truffles, elevates this memorable creation high above “your Mama’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese” status. Rating: A-

Update: Sadly, the Meatball Factory Has Closed as of April 30, 2012.

Bahr Che

Black Truffle Mac & Cheese

At Bahr Che Wine Bar (tucked away at 26 Astor Place) their limited menu is enhanced greatly by the Lobster and Black Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese ($16.00) — one of the heartier choices on a menu punctuated by tiny salads. We especially enjoyed the big chunks of lobster tucked around tendrils of macaroni in a mild cheese sauce, but ultimately the dish called out for either more sharp cheddar cheese or extra seasoning (a few sprinkles of salt, even) to bring out the much desired black truffle essence. Rating: B-

DL

Ludlow Mac and Cheese

One of our favorite new dining spots on the Lower East Side is DL (95 Delancey Street) where they do their Ludlow Mac (Elbow macaroni, with creamy béchamel sauce and cheese) three ways, including a glorious Truffle and Mushroom ($15), version. This is a classically oven-baked dish with a crispy panko crumb topping and plentiful slices of fresh mushroom added, which goes a long way towards enhancing the rich and flavorful truffle oil-infused sauce. Rating: A

Sons Of Essex

SOE Truffle Mac And Cheese

Sons of  Essex is one of no fewer than three restaurants with the word Essex in its name that is also located on Essex Street (in this case, 133 Essex Street, between Stanton and Rivington). Sons of Essex is so enthusiastic about the Macaroni & Cheese trend that its menu even has a separate section dedicated to detailing the various types of Mac & Cheese that SOE serves. In addition to a daily Mac & Cheese special variety, each day of the week you can also get the Truffle Mac N Cheese ($16) made with elbow macaroni, Gruyere and a truffle cheese sauce, baked to achieve the crunchiest golden brown top you could ever ask for. Easily shared between two people, this dish answers the burning question, “What shall we have for an appetizer?” Rating: A+