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Restaurant Openings & Buzz

Week of Dec. 5, 2005: David Burke at Bloomingdale's, Falai Panetteria, and Sigiri.

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Openings
David Burke at Bloomingdale’s
David Burke, veteran chef and inventor of the Cheesecake Pop and the Smoked Bacon Flavor Spray, is almost as well known for his zany packaged foods as for his whimsical, inventive cooking at davidburke & donatella. This week, the culinary showman gets a new stage at Bloomingdale’s, where he’s opening a two-part operation along the 59th Street corridor. The full-service Burke Bar Café will be open for breakfasts of chocolate-covered Cheerios and “bags o’ donuts,” morphing into a café at lunch and wine bar at night, with a list heavy on half bottles and fifteen selections by the glass. Expect such Burkisms as “cheeseburker” sliders, spicy potato-chip pizza, “millionaire’s meatloaf” with lobster whipped potatoes and lobster bordelaise, and roasted “angry hen in law”—most of which will also be available to go next door at Burke in the Box.
1000 Third Ave., entrance on 59th St.; 212-705-3800


Falai Panetteria
Before Iacopo Falai opened his eponymous Clinton Street restaurant, he was the pastry chef at Le Cirque. So it was inevitable, perhaps, that after settling into the Lower East Side’s restaurant row, he’d eventually open a bakery nearby. Falai Panetteria, kitty-corner from the restaurant, will be open from 7 a.m. on for croissants, pain au chocolat, bomboloni, and Falai’s irresistible sea-salted and oil-drizzled focaccini. In addition to all manner of Italian breads and pastry, Falai also plans to serve tramezzini, pizza, and salads at lunch, and long-cooked stews and baked pastas at night, along with the increasingly popular Venetian bar snacks called cicchetti.
79 Clinton St., at Rivington St.; 212-777-8956


Sigiri
Despite a thriving Sri Lankan community in Staten Island, Manhattan has always been deficient in Sri Lankan cuisine—especially now that the two remaining theater-district spots have served their last black curry. The newly opened Sigiri has leapt into the breach with a narrow, nicely appointed dining room semi-sequestered in the heart of the East Village’s Little India. The few tables tend to fill up with expats hungering for a taste of home—which in their case means hoppers, bowl-shaped rice-flour pancakes layered with egg or served with a variety of sambals, and pittu, a white-on-white molded and steamed rice-flour log flecked with coconut flakes and served with a pitcher of coconut milk.
91 First Ave., nr. Sixth St.; 212-614-9333


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