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Chang Has Big Dreams for Vegas; Nobu to Cater

David Chang plans to open a Momofuku in Vegas where everyone “wants you to do well. [And] there are no government officials who go after you and none of the bull[bleep] that’s in New York City.” [NYP] Nobu heads to the Sundance Film Festival this January as the first push to establish a catering arm of the company. [NYP] Gordon Ramsay at the London, Insieme, and Toloache are some of the newer restaurants spicing up pre-theater dining. [NYT]

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Teach a Man to Make a Sandwich of the Week ...

Last week, the Underground Gourmet recommended Zingerman's Reuben sandwich kit as the perfect holiday gift for the sandwich nut on your list. This week — in acknowledgement of the fact that even Kate's Paperie cannot wrap a Reuben sandwich well enough so that placing it beneath a Christmas tree for several days would not run the risk of Taco-Belling the giftee — the UG has come up with a superb alternative gift idea. It's the new book, called Simple Italian Sandwiches (HarperCollins; $21.95), by Jennifer and Jason Denton, and it requires no refrigeration. As anyone who knows anything about Italian sandwiches is aware, Jason Denton is to panini, bruschetta, and tramezzini what Masa Takayama is to sushi, sashimi, and Kobe sukiyaki. The Dentons opened the West Village panini parlor 'ino back in 1998, and it's fair to say that they started the whole local craze for delicately balanced, deceptively simple Italian sandwiches, and that no one outside of the Boot does a better job of it.

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The Underground Gourmet Contemplates Panini, Head Injuries

In their guise as the Underground Gourmet, dynamic duo Rob and Robin weigh in this week with an enthusiastic review of Brooklyn 'ino-homage Bocca Lupo (translation: wolf's mouth). They single out the panini, calling it "perfect finger food, sparingly filled with sharp complementary flavors," but not before answering the Big Question: Do they ever see themselves opening their own restaurant? (Answer: Yes, if they were somehow left with "severely diminished mental faculties.")

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