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The Moondance Diner, Neglected in Wyoming, Now a Shell of Itself

Now here’s a sad story. Recently, we ran a feel-good piece about the sunny destiny of the Moondance Diner, extinguished by the greed of developers but sent by big rig to a sunny afterlife in the vastness of the West. Well, it would have been better for all concerned if we left it at that. But we’re in the news business, and though it pains us to report it, the place hasn’t come to a good end.

‘Exotic Spice’ Padma and ‘Ethnic Feast’ Marcus Samuelsson Among Most Stylish New Yorkers

Exotic Spices
When Esquire picked Bar Veloce’s Thomas Crowley one of the “Best Dressed Real Men in America” this month (and posed Simon Hammerstein and David Chang in pricey duds for its “Angry Young Men” spread), we realized that restaurateur style doesn’t stop at Batali’s clogs and Bobby Flay’s mom jeans. Now Us Weekly has posted its list of the “25 Most Stylish New Yorkers,” and we know a couple of the names.

Neighbors Take the Riding Crop to Forty Deuce

Ivan Kane
During an hour-long debate at last night’s Community Board 2 meeting, Ivan Kane didn’t get much love for Forty Deuce, construction of which he says he halted after the CB rescinded its initial recommendation to approve a liquor license. Among his statements that were met with jeers: “There are only eight bars within a 500-foot radius” (neighbors counted twenty), “The ticketed entry fee is sometimes $10” (“Your burgers are $10!”), “There are layers [regarding the dancers’ costumes]” (“What does that mean?”), “I felt this was a community that welcomed artists” (“Oh, please!”).

Drink Creator Doesn't Have Enough Energy for Bon Jovi's Lawyers

Jon Bon Jovi
We’d love to crack a Red Bull or two with the marketing geniuses who give energy drinks names like Cocaine (banned after much controversy), Mad Croc (also available in gum form!), Bong Water (no relation to Bong Spirit Vodka, sold in a bonglike bottle), Beaver Buzz, Sum Poosie, Who’s Your Daddy, and the like. (For a full list, hit up Energy Drink Ratings, a blog that has chugged all of these concoctions so you don’t have to.)

A Bacon Tribute Product We Can Get Behind

Despite our recent stance against all bacon-related products, which we continue to find too cute and not enough like actual bacon, we couldn’t help but sit up when we saw, on our own Best Bets, this bacon-flavored chocolate bar by Vosges. Normally, we would come down hard on such a thing, but (a) we hate to disagree with Best Bets and (b) it’s really good! We even singled it out for praise in our earlier post, so we’ll second the recommendation here. Hog Heaven [Best Bets] Earlier: Bacon Has Jumped the Shark

The Food Network Wants You, No Matter Who You Are

Are you bald, ill-tempered, sweaty, and have a propensity to throw knives? Or perhaps a well-groomed blonde with lots of oomph and a firm grasp of supermarket products? Do you like butter? Then there may be a place for you on the Food Network, whose wide net is being cast this Monday as they trawl for “The Next Food Network Star.” Tryouts will be held at Food Network Studios at Chelsea Market, September 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We're Picking Up Good Libations

Remember when Curbed announced that Libation was on the market for $5.5 million, prompting a flurry of mock-elegiac blog posts and even a rumor that it might become a downtown outpost of the 40/40 Club? Eight months later, the place is still alive with customers who line up on weekends. As of this week Libation is under a “new management” team that doesn’t plan to change much.

Uzbek Filmmaker Fights to Commemorate Katz's

With Katz’s future hanging by a thread, the time is right for a full-out documentary effort. And only one man is stepping up: the Uzbek-born filmmaker Yura Dashevsky, a Brooklyn resident who is trying to complete Katz’s: That’s All! A Documentary Project, a film record of the place and what it means to people.

Chris Noth and Fellow Wineheads Toast the End of ‘Sex and the City’

Chris Noth
If the New York Diet doesn’t give you enough celebrity dining talk, you might want to check out Penfolds's Website, where every month, a winemaker from the Australian company and GQ’s “Style Guy” Glenn O’Brien pour the good stuff for a celebrity guest. This month, Chris Noth asks what makes a wine “big” (get it? Mr. Big?) and, though the wine talk is illuminating (did you know Saddam’s favorite wine was Mateus?), our snippet of choice comes shortly before Noth and O’Brien toast the end of a certain TV show with a 2004 Chardonnay. “Manhattan looks like a bad imitation of Sex and the City,” Noth ponders. “Too many shoe stores, trendy restaurants, neighborhoods that have been raided by corporate-entity restaurants, and coffee shops. The meatpacking district — I can’t even go there. Everyone’s drinking cosmos and eating sushi.” So there you go: Don’t drink cosmos, silly Philistines — drink Chardonnay! Character [Penfolds; registration req.]

Caviar: Fashion Week's Latest Hideous Accessory

Caviar Cocktail
It’s been a while since we pandered to an overpriced food item–cum–publicity gimmick — the $1 million ice cream cone wasn’t actually edible — but since it’s Fashion Week, why not revel in the ostentatiousness that is the $25 “Lady of the Evening.” Granted, $25 wouldn’t be that much to pay for an actual “lady of the evening,” but this particular one is merely an Imperia vodka martini. It’s available at the Bryant Park Hotel’s Cellar Bar, so we’re assuming that by now more than a few models have downed the cucumber and caviar float and called it "dinner." Which, when you think about it, makes the price tag not so outlandish.

A (Near) Gary Robins Sighting

Gary Robins
Nothing against the articles, but it’s the ads in the Times dining section that we’re obsessed with. First there was Jeffrey Chodorow’s “Dear Mr. Wells” rant, followed by Jeffrey Chodorow’s “Dear Frank” letter, and now this intriguing tidbit buried at the bottom of an ad for a Macy’s Cellar cooking event in the August 29 edition:
Thursday, September 27, Executive Chef Gary Robins from the legendary and romantic restaurant One if By Land, Two if By Sea, prepares a perfect meal for special occasions!

Crobar Cleans House While Readying for Miami Makeover

Studio Mezmor
As Down by the Hipster reported recently, Miami’s Opium Group has purchased the Crobar/Studio Mezmor space, which has joined neighbors BED and Spirit in darkness. It remains to be seen whether it evolves into a satellite of one of Opium’s popular Miami clubs, Mansion and Prive, or whether there’s any truth to rumors on Clubplanet’s message boards that Opium will name and model the place (or its parties) after the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of raver nostalgia, Twilo and/or Tunnel. An Opium rep who answered the phone at Crobar’s number acknowledged the sale (and nothing else), but another rep refuted the Twilo/Tunnel rumor and told us, “It is not confirmed that we’ll be taking over the former Crobar space or any space in NYC at this time” — presumably because a CB hearing on the space’s liquor-license renewal won’t occur until next Tuesday. (The current license expires on October 31.)

New Book Celebrates Talismanic Trash

Food, even of the most exalted kind, is rarely long for this world. Occasionally, some baron of gastronomy will announce that the floorboards in his new restaurant were salvaged from the original automat, or some credulous soul will make the News of the Weird by seeing the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich. But food and cooking objects tend toward the ephemeral. Which is one reason we are so enjoying Taking Things Seriously, a new collection of essays about particular treasures. (Another is that we contributed one of its essays, about a damaged but durable old cast-iron skillet and what it means to us.)

And Milk & Honey’s Number Goes To...

We received some outlandish responses to our promise to award Milk & Honey’s new number to one lucky imbiber. Obviously this place has moved a lot of people in addition to simply giving them the booze sweats. In the end, we narrowed the contestants down to five or six. Let’s review, shall we? First, a couple of responses cracked us up, but we’re afraid a simple punch-line isn’t going to cut it:

I left my favorite Agent Provocateur panties under one of the booths! And without the number I may never see them again!!!
It’s very simple, I cannot endure another Wednesday night playing the Top Chef drinking game — when Padma speaks, chug until she finishes her sentence.

Milk and Honey Prompts Tales of Quiet Desperation

We’ve received a simply overwhelming amount of responses (some of them real tearjerkers — especially the photo of some guy’s girlfriend in a bikini) to our offer to give up Milk and Honey’s number to the imbiber who proves he needs it the most. What follows are some of the entrants who, though they didn’t push us over the edge, did move us, or at least piqued our interest. (It’s hard to be moved when someone tells us, “You would in fact be helping all of my dates sit thru my boring jokes and lame gossip”!)

Milk and Honey Grovelers: Step Up Your Game

We’ve received a torrent of e-mails begging us to disclose Milk and Honey’s secret new number, as we promised, but none of them have pulled at our heartstrings quite hard enough. Not surprisingly, there are a wide range of “romantic” pleas: a woman who “locked eyes with [her] future husband” there and wants to continue stalking the stranger; a woman who “has a hot date with a married man [she] cannot resist”; a married man (hopefully not the aforementioned one) who says he sings for famous people (sorry pal, you’ve just violated Sasha’s “no starfucking” rule) and wants to take his wife there; and finally a woman who pleads, “My boyfriend wants to go there and frankly, I’d eventually like him to marry me and father my children.” Frankly, until we hear whether the boyfriend wants the same, we have more sympathy for the guy who tells us he wants to be free from the clutches of his “douche-bag cousin” who always refuses to give up the number to him. Do you deserve a Moscow Mule more than these candidates? Plead your case by e-mailing us at grubstreet@nymag.com before 5 p.m. today and we might just hook you up. Previously:How Badly Do You Want Milk and Honey’s New Number?

Broken Water Pipe Closes Aureole

Charlie Palmer
Hold off on making any reservations at Aureole for a while. A broken water pipe has closed the restaurant until September 17, Charlie Palmer’s people tell us:
Aureole, Chef Charlie Palmer’s flagship property, is currently closed due to flooding caused by a broken water pipe suffered on Monday while the restaurant was closed for the Labor Day holiday. Aureole is scheduled to reopen on Monday, September 17, 2007. During the closure, Aureole’s phone line, 212-687-4600, is open for accepting reservations from September 17 forward.

Neighbors Aren’t Feeling Sting and Bowie’s Burlesque Club

In a bit of dog-bites-man news, it seems certain neighbors aren’t digging the idea of Forty Deuce, the burlesque club that’s due to replace Little Charlie’s Clam Bar at 19 Kenmare Street. Screams this flyer we found on Grand and Mott today: “OUR LITTLE ITALY / CHINATOWN / BOWERY / NOLITA COMMUNITY IS NOT GOING TO BE THE NEW ‘TIMES SQUARE’ FOR UPSCALE TRENDY LATE-NIGHT PARTY-GOERS.” Are these the same citizens-on-patrol who are trying to get the Box closed because it wasn’t the “cultural institution” it promised to be? We advise them to tune in here, because we hear something big — bigger even than Double Happiness’ upscale trendy makeover, maybe — is coming to the LitItChiBoNo neighborhood soon. Earlier: Bowie's Burlesque Club to Give the Box a Run for Its Money Double Happiness to Get $1 Million Makeover, Reopen to Privileged Few

How Badly Do You Want Milk and Honey’s New Number?

Milk and Honey reopens tonight after some aforementioned renovations and wouldn't you know it, we've clocked the new digits. We'll send them your way so long as you tell us why you want (no, need) them so very badly: Did you go on a first date with your current beau there and are itching to violate the (strictly enforced, let us tell you) one person per bathroom rule again? Simply wanting to celebrate autumn with fresh-pressed apple juice and bourbon ain't gonna cut it: Send your most impassioned plea to grubstreet@nymag.com and we'll choose a worthy imbiber in time for your next JDate. Earlier: Delete Milk and Honey’s Number From Your Phone; Prepare for New Petraske Project