Papaya King, the Upper East Side fixture known for its hot dogs and tropical fruit juices, is moving to a new location, across the street from its longstanding spot on the corner of 86th Street and Third Avenue. The manager, Mohammed Alam, said that there is no firm opening date, but they hope to open in the next two weeks. This seemingly ends a chapter in a long saga between the owners of the restaurant and Extell Development, a luxury apartment developer, which plans to demolish the one-story commercial building the hot dog restaurant called home for decades. Extell purchased the lot last summer for $21 million. The restaurant’s founder, Gus Poulos, was a Greek immigrant who started the business as a juice stand in Brooklyn called Hawaiian Tropical Drinks. He opened Papaya King on the Upper East Side in the late 1940s and added hot dogs to the menu. Relations between Extell, the restaurant’s former landlord, and its current owner were tense and had been tied up in litigation since 2020. CHRISTINA MORALES
Papaya King, 1535 Third Avenue (87th Street).
From Italian Dinnerware to Recipes
In 1983 Susan Gravely, the author of “Italy on a Plate,” traveled to Italy with her mother, Lee, and her sister, Frances. On that trip they discovered the distinctive, hand-painted ceramic dinnerware made in Vietri sul Mare, near Positano. Susan eventually began importing and selling it in the United States. Her new book details the successful entrepreneurial undertaking with a close look at Italian artisans — and not just pottery-makers, but food producers as well. Their recipes, and hers, including compelling regional dishes like pasta with walnut sauce, penne with sun-dried tomatoes and mint, chicken baked with olives and pine nuts, and pan-fried dandelion leaves, sharing the colorful book with recipes for American scalloped oysters and roast leg of lamb.
“Italy on a Plate: Travels, Memories, Menus” by Susan Gravely (Vietri Publishers, $48).
Squid Ink Pasta Without the Messy Prep
Yes, you can make black fresh pasta, with squid or cuttlefish ink, from scratch. Dried is far more challenging, to say nothing of finding and using flour made from heirloom Sicilian wheat. So Bona Furtuna, a producer of Italian food products based on a farm estate near Corleone, Sicily, has done the work for you, forming spaghetti, rigatoni and busiate, a traditional twisted shape, from dough made with local grains and nero di seppia, cuttlefish ink. The pastas take beautifully to seafood preparations. Alternatively, dress them with a quick sauté of burst cherry tomatoes and a flash of chile to serve hot or, in summer, as a salad with a chiffonade of fresh basil.
Bona Furtuna nero di seppia pastas, $12.95 for 500 grams (17.6 ounces), bonafurtuna.com.
Another Buzzy, Boozy Beverage
Move over, espresso martini. There’s competition for the suddenly trendy cocktail from another classic infused with joe. Chicago’s Dark Matter Coffee, sourced from Guatemala, is combined with Traverse City Whiskey, a Michigan bourbon, and bitters for a new take on the old fashioned. It was created by Charles Joly, a founder of Crafthouse Cocktails in Chicago, which makes ready-to-drink cocktails. The result is an earthier cocktail that delivers mellow fruitiness at a pleasant 25.6 percent alcohol. A twist of orange is a suitable garnish for the drink on the rocks. Warm a shot or two for your next affogato, or perhaps even flame it.
Crafthouse Cocktails Dark Matter Coffee Old Fashioned, $39.99 for 750 milliliters, reservebar.com, crafthousecocktails.com.
50 Years Later, ‘Diet for a Small Planet” Is Still Relevant
It’s been more than 50 years since Frances Moore Lappé’s pioneering book, “Diet for a Small Planet,” was published. For the occasion, and to endorse its continued relevance in encouraging environmental sensitivity, and, along the way, the impact it has had in the vegetarian movement, there will be a panel discussion with the author and three New York University professors — Marion Nestle and Amy Bentley in nutrition and food studies, and David Kanter in environmental studies. A question-and-answer period will be followed by a reception with refreshments. Attendance is free with a reservation, and is available in person and online.
“Diet for a Small Planet: 50 Years On with Frances Moore Lappé,” April 21, 2 to 5 p.m., Kimmel Center for University Life, Room KC 405/406, 60 Washington Square South (LaGuardia Place), steinhardt.nyu.edu.
Cacio e Pepe Meets Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese? Let me count the ways. Cacio e pepe? Ditto. From time to time, the two have formed a perfect union. Now Murray’s Cheese Shop has come up with its own version, ready to heat and eat. This comfort food, sharpened by pecorino and ground black pepper, has a creamy mac and cheese base of béchamel, Cheddar and mozzarella that drenches radiatore pasta. A 32-ounce portion, $28, enough for four servings, is shipped frozen, nationwide; at the Murray’s Cheese shops in New York City it’s also sold fresh, in a 16-ounce size, $11.99. It will be available until the end of June.
Cacio e Pepe Mac and Cheese, $28, murrayscheese.com.