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Astoria

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Schnitzel Moving Into the West Village; Recession Makes Gael Greene Crave Sweets

Astoria: You think $12.95 is good for an all-inclusive brunch deal? Michael’s has a weekday three-course dinner deal for the same price. "This neighborhood never ceases to amaze." [Joey in Astoria] East Village: Pichet Ong is teaching a class at Astor Center tomorrow on sweets and science. [Zagat] A new stuffed-potato bar is coming to town, but there’s already one on East Houston Street near Avenue A called NY Stuffed Idaho. [Eater] Midtown West: Moylvos celebrates Greek Easter with “Breaking the Fast.” At midnight on April 27 they’ll host a parade to the local Greek church and offer a tasting menu that includes slow-roasted lamb with yogurt-Feta dumplings. [Restaurant Girl] Upper West Side: The Insatiable Critic samples the new sweetshops in town. [Insatiable Critic] West Village: 14th Street near Fifth Avenue is getting a schnitzel shop. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

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Reubens Are Totally Like Corned Beef and Cabbage, and You Can Find Them at Lots of Places

Astoria: Martha’s Country Bakery on Ditmars frosts its cupcakes wedding-cake-style (with fondant icing), and they’re open until 1 a.m. on weekends. [NewYorkology] A restaurant called Cellar 34 has opened at 34-02 Broadway, and the New Orleans–bred chef is adding Cajun and creole accents to some of the basic dishes. [Joey in Astoria] Boerum Hill: Lunetta is just one restaurant participating in Dine-In Brooklyn (March 24–31), when restaurants will offer three-course meals for $23. [Zagat Buzz] Brooklyn Heights: Seventy-two-year-old restaurant Armando’s will close after Sunday dinner. [Eater] Midtown East: If a Reuben is as close as you want to get to corned beef and cabbage on Monday, you can find a good one at Patrick Conway’s on East 43rd Street. [Gridskipper] Midwood: This photomontage follows the making of a Di Fara pie; though Domenico’s secret weapon might be revealed by the article's last line: "And then he’s off to the back room for a shot of grappa (I think that’s what it was), and it’s back to making pies." [Epi-Log/Epicurious]

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Pelaccio Focusing on Fatty ‘Cue; Bruni Gets the Fiamma Memo

Astoria: Leng Thai’s brown rice is delicious; they mix in red grains. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: A new bakery is supposed to open around June on Fulton near the Met. Baker: "When I was young, we’d go to the bakery every Sunday after church for a fresh loaf of French bread, soft and still warm from the oven. I’d love to re-create that here.” Blogger: "OMGYAY!" [Clinton Hill Blog] Murray Hill/Kips Bay: A former Sapa chef will head the kitchen at a new Pan-Asian restaurant called Prana, set to open in June in the old Scopa space. [Zagat] Soho: Fabio Trabocchi has written a personal note to Bruni and has worked with B.R. Guest to lower prices across the board at Fiamma (including dropping the price of the seven-course menu from $138 to $125). Sorry to those who ate at Fiamma last week. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Williamsburg: Zak Pelaccio’s project with Robbie Richter might be called Fatty ‘Cue. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Related: Breaking: Zak Pelaccio and Robbie Richter to Collaborate on Asian Barbecue in Williamsburg West Village: If you want to celebrate the Irish all next week, August will be "toasting the Irish" through March 21 by serving Guinness Extra Stout and specials like house-made corned beef and cabbage. [Strong Buzz]

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Cool Bar With a Cheesy Pedigree in Carroll Gardens; Terroir Set to Open

Astoria: Ovelia’s another stellar, cheap brunch option with a mix of Greek and American cooking: “Think French toast stuffed with Greek yogurt and honey or pancakes paired with homemade sausage — made from a family recipe.” [Foodista] Brooklyn: Domino's has started a marketing campaign that "offers speech lessons to Brooklynites who want to rid themselves of ‘annoying, fake’ accents" meant to appeal to "male college students across the country," and the borough is pissed. [NYDN] Carroll Gardens: The owners of Smith & Vine and Stinky Brooklyn are opening a bar-cum-café called the Jake Walk at 282 Smith Street this Friday. [NYS] East Village: Terroir opens tonight. [NYT] West Village: Mama’s Mudsliders’ beignets filled with chocolate cream "are light, ungreasy, deep-fried dough balls of delight." [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

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Cheap Food Still Available in Astoria; Bronx Pizza Will Get Better

Astoria: Wow, cheap-eats prices may be going up in elsewhere, but at Omonia (the café that baked the elaborate wedding cake for My Big Fat Greek Wedding), you can get a $12 brunch that includes an entrée, dessert, a morning cocktail, and coffee, tea, or juice. (And it’s good.) [Foodista] Bronx: Peter Meehan found someone to drive him to Trattoria Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Avenue to try the margherita that’s been getting blog buzz as "the best Neapolitan pizza in New York City.” It’s good, he says, but needs work (and less sweet sauce). [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Slice’s Adam Kuban, Ed Levine’s, and DJ Bubbles also tried Zero Otto Nove and found potential not perfection. The grilled pizza from Coals at 1888 Eastchester Road was also dubbed "surprisingly good" during the same trip. [Slice] Lower East Side: Chubo has closed, and it looks like it’s going to be turned into a Japanese cooking school that will sell its pastries out of a flagship café by this summer. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Upper East Side: Chef Michael Vernon has left Geisha to consult on new Serafina restaurants. [Strong Buzz] Midtown East: The owner of now-closed Portofino Grille will open a steakhouse called Creston’s Bar & Grill in the same space come May. [Zagat Buzz] Upper West Side: Spigolo chef Scott Fratangelo loves Land Thai restaurant. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Williamsburg: The state of neighborhood pizza here is weak overall, evidence being leftover slices you don’t even want to eat. [A Brooklyn Life]

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Athens Tavern: Open or Closed?

Athens Tavern? Does the name ring a bell? It opened less than a year ago to much hype, considered a potential rival to Anthos as the city’s most ambitious Greek restaurant. Chef Yiannis Baxevanis was the only Michelin-starred Greek chef not named Michael Psilakis, and the only one who actually had a restaurant in Greece. A Queens tipster reports that the restaurant has been closed a week, but owner Nikos Gregoriou insists that Athens Tavern is shuttered only temporarily while a new dishwasher is installed. "We will be open in a week," he says. "We just had to change some machinery." But our neighborhood source says neither the staff nor the vendors have been paid recently, and that there is major strife between Gregoriou and his partner. Moreover, Baxevanis appears to have left: He's currently working at a restaurant in Dubai. Gregoriou confirms that Baxevanis is gone (and has been replaced with an unnamed "lady") but was indignant when asked about owing staff and vendors money: "You come in and eat dinner with me next week, and then you can ask me those questions."

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Please Have Sex With My Dog in Williamsburg

Astoria: Voters here should be proud of Councilman Peter Vallone for protecting them against the hordes of parachute jumpers in the city. [NYS] Carroll Gardens: The MTA was removing asbestos from the Carroll Street subway station all weekend but didn’t bother to notify the neighbors or even close the hazmat-filled dumpster. [Gowanus Lounge] Clinton Hill: The health store at 478 Myrtle is perhaps overly ambitious: The grand opening sign is up, but the shelves are bare. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: Does the MTA’s fare hike improve service? Let’s ask the eight buses lined up on First Avenue this morning, all trying to stop at 14th Street. [East Village Idiot] Morningside Heights: The buds are just beginning on the cherry trees up here. We’re almost out of this wretched season. [Weblicist of Manhattan] West Midwood: A new rendering for a Brooklyn College dorm is out, and it doesn’t look at all like the previous one.[Brooklyn Junction] Williamsburg: Beneficent owner is posting flyers to get his Highland Western terrier laid. [New York Shitty]

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Belgian Room Closed for Underage Drinking; Park Avenue Winter Preparing for Its Spring Awakening

Astoria: Sweet shop Oleput is now offering a lot more savories in the form of small plates and panini. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Rustik Tavern has a warm interior, but the menu doesn’t sound too rustic: chili, wings, nachos, though for the last one the blogger liked "that it’s cheese sauce rather than real cheese." [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: Food writers including Kara Zuaro (I Like Food, Food Tastes Good), Phoebe Damrosch (Service Included) and David Wondrich (Imbibe) and Edible Brooklyn’s Gabrielle Langholtz will talk about — what else? — eating, at Powerhouse Arena next Tuesday. [A Brooklyn Life] East Village: Belgian Room has been closed for letting minors booze on Lambic. [Down by the Hipster] Soho: Vosges bacon chocolate now comes in the shape of flying pigs. But they can’t escape. [Snack] Upper East Side: Park Avenue Winter will turn into spring on March 26, just in time for Easter. [Zagat]

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‘Times’ Releases Ethnic Grocery List; Porter House Looking for a Stellar Wine Director

Astoria: McLoughlin’s on Broadway at 31st Street is featuring the German lager Spaten through February. [Joey in Astoria] Chelsea: Morimoto’s $24.07 prix fixe lunch deal is more filling and generous than you might expect. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Clinton Hill: If you’re too “bored by the fresh produce, too cold/lazy to trek to Fairway” to cook for yourself in winter like this blogger, here are some of the nabe’s good takeout options, including Luz and Bombay Masala. [Clinton Hill Blog] Columbus Circle: Porter House New York is looking for a new wine director now that veteran in the biz Beth Von Benz has moved on to new projects. [Grub Street] Lower East Side: This list of ethnic groceries includes Pueblo Deli at 129-135 Ridge Street where you’ll find “brittle, tasteless cassabe (a yuca bread Dominicans find neither brittle nor tasteless)” but also “‘merengue’ flavored Country Club soda, Induveca salami, Bay Rum Constanza antiseptic, and candles dedicated to saints or those who may become them.” [NYT via Serious Eats] Times Square: Cafe Edison has replaced its peachy-pink paint job with a nice soft tan color, and it’s “swell.” [Lost City] Upper East Side: Bardolino at 78th Street and Second Avenue suffered interior and exterior damage caused by a fire last week, but they’ll reopen this weekend. [Upper East Side Informer]

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Drink-Special Fakers in Astoria Get Called Out, But One of This Week's Openings Makes a Serious Cocktail

Astoria: Sabry’s at 24–25 Steinway whips up a shrimp and calamari tagine that’s “not only visually appealing but full of tomatoey goodness.” [Joey in Astoria] Fatty’s Cafe lied to Joey and Foodista about serving Valentine’s Day drink specials; everything was regularly priced. Not cool. [Foodista] Dumbo: A relatively budget kitchenware shop called Leader Trading Company has opened at 160 Water Street. [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: The Corpse Reviver at Hudson Valley–inspired Olana is a “smooth mix of Lillet, Tanqueray, Cointreau, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice in an absinthe-tempered glass.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown West: The head chef of the Chapati Roll/Biriyani Cart at 46th near Sixth Avenue "has returned after two and a half months in Bangladesh" and has added a vegetarian Aloo Gobi roll, with curried potatoes and cauliflower, to the short menu. [Midtown Lunch] Tribeca: Dennis Foy now serves a $24.08 three-course prix fixe lunch on weekdays and a weekend brunch featuring macadamia-nut granola, orange- and almond-dipped French toast, and pancakes with dulce de leche gelato. [Grub Street] West Village: Next Wednesday is Dominican Independence Day, and Havana Alma De Cuba will have a native Dominican rolling complimentary cigars to go with your mojito. [Grub Street]

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It’s Pancake Month — Where to Celebrate; New Fresco Financial District Will Be Huge

Astoria: Igloo, at 22-26 31st Street, serves brunch, and the fries are “hot and crisp, not soggy at all.” That would describe the ideal fry, no? [Joey in Astoria] Financial District: A second Fresco on the Go is set to open in May at 10 Hanover Square, only this version will be 8,000 square feet and "combine elements of a retail store, restaurant, and party space." [Zagat] Morningside Heights: It’s Pancake Month! And it’s no surprise that some of the best hot cakes in town can be found at Clinton Street’s sister restaurant, Community Food & Juice. [Gridskipper] Tribeca: The new sommelier at Cercle Rouge, Jorge Riera, comes from the late 360 in Red Hook, and he’s hosting a biodynamic-wine dinner on Monday with Loire Valley winemakers Chateau Tour Grise. [Grub Street] West Village: Le Gamin has been rechristened the New French now that one of the owners is out and there’s a new chef and a reworked menu. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

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Pies-N-Thighs Will Survive in Williamsburg; Pastrami Queen Extends Reign to Chelsea

Astoria: Last-minute Valentine’s Day options from Joey. [Joey in Astoria] The Foodista's include JJ’s Asian Fusion and Sushi Bar, which isn't trying to do anything special for the holiday. [Foodista] Brooklyn Heights: The bartender at Jack the Horse Tavern, Maxwell Britten, created a timely cocktail called Love Lane, which combines Prosecco, harvest syrup, house-made brandy, poached cherries, and rose water. Ladies on the town tomorrow take note: It's a sexy drink, and he’s pretty cute. [Vittles Vamp via Brooklyn Heights Blog] Chelsea: The owners of Pastrami Queen have opened a delicatessen in Chelsea Market called Friedman’s. [NYT] Clinton Hill: June reopens tonight after dealing with multiple break-ins. [Clinton Hill Blog] Little Italy: Gimme! Coffee has opened its first Manhattan outlet at 228 Mott Street between Prince and Spring streets. [NYS] Upper West Side: Ruby Foo’s new lunch plan includes free wi-fi. [Zagat] Williamsburg: Pies-N-Thighs seems to have already found a new home at 166 South 4th Street. [Eater]

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Bar Carrera Getting Bigger in the East Village; Did We Mention Bar Blanc Is Like a Bar But Better?

Astoria: Tell Astorya doesn’t seem to be reopening anytime soon. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Green Planet has opened with its shelves stocked with vitamins and drink mixes, but some still hope that actual produce could turn up. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The sliver of a Spanish restaurant Bar Carrera is expanding into the space next door. [Eater] Midtown West: South Gate has nifty, hand-held, touch-screen wine lists, which sound similar to the bar-top ones at Adour. [Zagat] West Village: Lucky couples (or specifically, husbands) who scored a table at One If by Land this Thursday will find the food finally on par with the carriage-house setting now that Picholine alum Craig Hopson is manning the beef Wellington and adding his own dishes — like Gruyère gnocchi with wild Burgundy snails — to the menu. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Danyelle Freeman labels Bar Blanc "an ambitious restaurant in a laid-back disguise," almost like a watering hole with restaurant-caliber cooking. [Restaurant Girl] Related: One If by Land Breaks Out a Bar Menu, and Not a Minute Too Soon

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Astoria Can Be Romantic; Kyotofu Explores Japanese Culture

Astoria: Joey recommends Bistro 33, Mundo, and L’Incontro among romantic V-Day options, but plans to offer more ideas for the nabe next week [Joey in Astoria]; Ethos is closed for renovations the next three weeks. [Grub Street] Chelsea: Bottlerocket’s naughty gift set includes a bottle of Nicolas Feuillate Champagne and condoms. New York: where even wine stores are full-service. [Grub Street] East Village: The owners of Hi-Fi are preparing to open the Bowery Electric in the old Remote Lounge space, and an unrelated wine bar will also be opening soon. [Zagat] Flatiron: If you can hold off on your chocolate binge until after Valentine’s Day (when he doesn’t call), there’s a tasting at Dessert Studio at Chocolat Michel Cluizel on February 19 hosted by 4-Foodies. [4-Foodies] Hell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu has launched a culture series that explores Japanese customs like the kimono and the tea ceremony on the third Wednesday of every month (starting the 20th). [Grub Street] Midtown West: The bar and lounge at the South Gate, the new restaurant in the Jumeirah Essex House, debuts tonight. [Eater]

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Hot-Chocolate Frenzy in Flatiron; Know You're Eating Sperm in Midtown

Astoria: Sunswick is having an Abitas beer promotion on Sunday with drink specials, but if you’re less concerned about game day, you could check out the renovation at Il Bambino. [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Naturally Delicious caterers, who also did this blogger’s wedding, will deliver a V-Day menu that includes baked oysters, lobster bisque, tenderloin, a cheese plate, and a Valrhona flourless chocolate cake to those who want to stay in but aren’t able to whip up our sexy stash of recipes. [A Brooklyn Life] Flatiron: City Bakery kicks off its monthlong hot-chocolate festival tomorrow, which highlights rotating "additional flavors, from Caramel or Banana Peel to the Chili Pepper or even Beer varieties." [Restaurant Girl] Midtown East: If you show up at Sakae Sushi and find that it’s closed for a couple of days, you can stop into nearby Yakitori East on 44th Street. Just remember: The winter specialty shirako that their menu dubs as "soft cod roe" is "rather beige globules of sperm sacs." [Gothamist] On February 12, eliminate "menstrual and sexual health concerns" through food at D’Or; let’s hope there’s chocolate involved. [Love Your Femme via Gridskipper] Union Square: Mesa Grill impresario Bobby Flay just got back from Greece and would fly there again for all that "delicious Greek olive oil and some lemon and some potatoes and Greek salad," but if he would just stay in New York, maybe Mesa Grill would have been able to hold on to more of its stars. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

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