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Bemelmans Bar

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The Hidden History of Starbucks; Café Carlyle Still Bumpin'

Astor Place: The building that houses Starbucks has such interesting history (saw a bloody theater riot in 1849 at what was once the Astor Place Opera House; held a barber shop where mobster Albert Anastasia got slaughtered while sitting in his chair) that Lost City has decided to target "kudzu-like chains" around town and attempt to uncover their past incarnations. [Lost City] Chinatown: Dumpling House has reopened and the renovations include tables and chairs! [Eater] East Village: Bar Veloce is returning to the space it once occupied before transforming into now deceased Room 4 Dessert. [Eater] Tribeca: Harrison Tavern has already closed after a July opening. Clearly, offering ranch-chicken pizza did not bring in herds. [Grub Street] Upper East Side: Café Carlyle has added a D.J.-hosted soirée Thursday through Saturday from midnight to 3 a.m. to its cabaret-night repertoire, and a new cocktail menu comes from the mixologist at Bemelmans Bar. [Zagat] West Village: Pichet Ong is renaming his dessert bar P*ong & Batch at the end of the month when he’ll be expanding the space to include a retail bakery. [Zagat] Williamsburg: Breakfast mecca egg (it's too cool to have a capital letter) deigns to open for dinner. [TONY]

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Sushi Comes to Prospect-Lefferts at Last

Flatiron: Hill Country has unveiled a special cocktail list that makes use of artisanal Texas vodka Tito’s (also found in house cocktails at Morandi). [Down by the Hipster] Long Island City: Even though its cheese soup is awfully cheesy, Bricktown Bagel Cafe is a welcome addition to the area for its comfy chairs and the mere fact that it’s not a liquor store. [LIC-NYC] Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Sushi Tatsu is opening a second location on Flatbush in the space that was China City. [Across the Park] Soho: Real-estate mogul Andrew Borrok plans to open a four-star restaurant next year with no concern for profits. [Eater] Upper East Side: If you’re an adult, it’s best to avoid Bemelmans Bar on weekend afternoons when the iconic hotel lounge hosts a "Madeline tea party" for grade schoolers. [NYDN]

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‘New Yorker’ Backs Up the Chowhounds; Sietsema Uncovers a Food Court’s Secrets

The New Yorker discovers Sripraphai, and though baffled by its vast and uneven menu, admits that the chowhounds were right to glorify the place. [NYer] Sietsema provides his readers with a major service this week, guiding them through one of the city’s best and most baffling food courts in the Flushing’s J&L Mall [VV] Rosanjin gets the two-star Bruni treatment in its first review, and seems to only have missed a third star by reason of anticlimactic later courses. Still, an auspicious start. [NYT]

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Per Se Mixologist Now Shaking Things Up at Bemelmans Bar

Earlier we told you that Bemelmans Bar had hired Per Se’s former mixologist Brian Van Flandern to snazz up the cocktail list that Dale DeGroff and Audrey Saunders built. This week Van Flandern has started quietly serving a few of his $19 concoctions, including a Dry Rye Cherry Sling that’s a variation of a drink he served at Per Se (save a buck!). If you want him to fix you one personally, he’ll be at the bar Tuesdays through Saturdays until early May; rest assured that by tomorrow, when the full cocktail list is implemented, you’ll be in equally capable hands with Jose Ortiz and Tommy Rowles: They’ve been behind the Carlyle’s bar almost 50 years each and two of the new drinks are named after them. —Daniel Maurer Earlier: Per Se Mixologist to Light a Flaming Lemon Peel Under Bemelmans’ Ass

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The Coffee Shop Open Again; Marcus Samuelsson Heading to Meatpacking?

With Gordon Ramsay, DB Bistro Moderne, and others, room service has recently gotten a lot more ambitious — though not necessarily successful. [NYT] The Coffee Shop is back in business after its brief and much-publicized closure. [NYP] Once they move into Sascha, the brothers behind PM plan to put Aquavit’s Marcus Samuelsson in charge of the kitchen. [Eater] Related: PM Owners to Open Harlem Restaurant, Bistro-Bakery-Club in Sascha Space

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Per Se Mixologist to Light a Flaming Lemon Peel Under Bemelmans' Ass

Sasha Petraske of Milk and Honey recently put his stamp on the drinks menu at the Carlyle Hotel’s Bemelmans Bar, but let’s face it, the place still isn’t what it was when it was helmed by legends Dale DeGroff and, later, Audrey Saunders. Brian Van Flandern, former head mixologist at Per Se, hopes to change that. Within six weeks, the star stirrer, known for making his own ginger beer and tonic water at Per Se’s stand-up bar, will unveil a revamped menu. Along with holdovers like DeGroff’s Whiskey Smash and Saunders’s Gin Gin Mule, it will include cocktails like a variation of his Flaming Dutchman — a concoction of cognac, sherry, gin, lemon juice, and bitters (finished off with a spectacular shower of lemon juice over an open flame). It's the same drink that prompted a Dutch company to rank him the No. 2 bartender in the world. And rest assured, the murals by Ludwig Bemelmans aren’t going anywhere, nor are the bartenders who’ve been there for years — some of the drinks may actually be named after them. —Daniel Maurer

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