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Casa Havana

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Abrams Brothers Have Always Loved the UWS; Gay Talese Will Eat BBQ on the UES

Chelsea: The owner of the Cuban restaurant that replaced Havana Chelsea says he’s not trying to copy the former tenant: "It took years of grease to get on those walls and the smell of rotten wood and mice and stale water and dirt. We gutted the entire place, not even a tooth pick was worth saving." [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Greene Grape Provisions has opened with fresh fish and meats, and if you bring a receipt to their nearby wine store, the owners will take 5 percent off your purchase of their recommended pairings. [Clinton Hill Blog] Midtown East: Chocolatier Charbonnel Et Walker on the eighth floor of Saks sells a rich chocolate cupcake drenched in sticky toffee, which is well worth its $6 price tag and still "way cheaper than a pair of Chanel pumps" sold nearby. [NewYorkology] Midtown West: Brasserie Cognac is coming to 55th Street and Broadway. [Grub Street] Tribeca: Dekk seems closed indefinitely. [Grub Street] Union Square: In an unsurprising conclusion, Bruni finds that Indian and Italian restaurants are better equipped to satisfy vegetarians. Dévi is one example where even meat eaters may want to eat those vegetable-based dishes. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Upper East Side: Barbejew Steven Levy hopes his new BBQ joint, Smokin’ Q, which opens this week at 206 East 63rd Street, will succeed where twelve restaurants have failed since 1977. Levy may have an edge against predecessors, however, since writer Gay Talese, who included the doomed space in his memoir, plans to be the writer-in-residence. [NYT] Upper West Side: The Magnolia and Mermaid Inn uptown aren’t the first companies the Abrams brothers have introduced to the nabe; cupcake guru Steve owns "a construction company, high-end residential construction, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous sort of stuff. My clients are Samuel Jackson, Annie Leibovitz, Jeff Gordon." [NYO]

Thor Loses Third Chef; Tribeca Can Thank Girl Scouts for the Completion of Ago

Chelsea: The old Bright Food Shop space will be replaced by Tommy’s Mexican Grill, seemingly from the owners of Tello’s, Mare, and Casa Havana, the latter of which is set to replace Havana Chelsea. [Blog Chelsea] Clinton Hill: Gnarly Vines boutique wine store has opened and is offering a promotional discount of 15 percent off full and mixed cases. [Clinton Hill Blog] Lower East Side: Thor’s third executive chef (after Kurt Gutenbrunner and Kevin Pomplun), Mark Spangenthal, has now abandoned the restaurant after realizing “that this marriage wasn’t going to work.” [Eater] Tribeca: One conjecture on De Niro’s source for the thousands of corks that protrude from Ago’s ceiling: They were acquired “from a branch of the Canadian girls scouts that collected and sold them for charity.” [Down by the Hipster] Upper East Side: The French Institute will host a Beaujolais Nouveau tasting party on November 15 in their new skyroom at 22 East 60th Street. [Zagat] The Pierre hotel will close at the end of December for an entire year during a $100 million renovation that includes revamping Cafe Pierre and its bar. [NewYorkology]