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Centro Vinoteca

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Anne Burrell to Get Food Network TV Show

Anne Burrell’s rapidly rising star is about to go up a little higher. The Centro Vinoteca chef, poised to create an all-new menu for Gusto, is about to get her own cooking show on the Food Network. Secrets of a Restaurant Chef is to premiere on June 29 at 10:30 a.m. and will feature Burrell, previously known to TV viewers as Mario Batali’s spiky-haired Iron Chef assistant, making rustic Italian recipes, some of which, like brined pork chops, they can enjoy if they hightail it over to the restaurant. 10:30 am is pretty early to be thinking about pork chops, but we plan to watch with rapt attention.

Peter Hoffman Served a Rubber Band to His Mentor; Bloomberg to the Veggie Rescue in Harlem

Astoria: La Flor de Puebla on Astoria Boulevard between Steinway and 38th Street makes a mean carnitas taco. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: Peter Hoffman of Back Forty (and Savoy) reveals to Frank Bruni that he "once served a watercress salad to Richard Olney, my mentor and culinary hero, only to discover upon going to his table to see how he liked it that we had also served him a rubber band." [Diner's Journal/NYT] Harlem: Only 3 percent of bodegas in the nabe carry leafy green vegetables, so Mayor Bloomberg's coming to the rescue. No wonder Mizrahi loves him. [NYS via Uptown Flavor] Park Slope: The end of Donuts Coffee Shop on Fifth Avenue is near; Associated Supermarket is about to swallow up the landmark diner. [The Gowanus Lounge] West Village: It's a Q&A kind of day: Centro Vinoteca and newly anointed Gusto chef Anne Burrell says her trademark "cowgirl skirts are a good luck charm when we do Iron Chef … I figure if all the old ladies in Italy wear dresses in the kitchen, why can't I wear a skirt in NYC?" Though she may not have seen our kitchen fashions for the preening chef. [Restaurant Girl] Gusto is also hosting a Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, which includes this recipe for zuppa di pesce. [Eat for Victory/VV]

Gusto Now Going to Look and Taste Like Centro Vinoteca

Chelsea: It doesn’t look good for those who are just getting used to the belly; pig’s ears are the latest trend, and even the version at stellar tapas spot Tía Pol was described by Peter Meehan as "crunchy and sticky with a funky pigskin flavor." [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Financial District: Don’t forget, the trial run for the proposed year-round seasonal market at South Street Seaport starts on December 16 (and Molto Mario will be there). [Grub Street] Park Slope: Tempo Presto is closing this Friday because the restaurant can’t keep up with the pricey rent. [Gowanus Lounge] Upper West Side: Dovetail‘s opening next week. [Zagat] West Village: Sasha Muniak must feel really good about the Centro Vinoteca formula; after tapping chef Anne Burrell to take over for Amanda Freitag, he plans to redesign the Gusto space by next year with help from Centro Vinoteca and Jean Georges designer Thomas Juul-Hansen. [Restaurant Girl] Andrea Strong unveils renderings of Jason Neroni’s new gig, 10 Downing. [Strong Buzz via Eater] Magnolia Bakery will be open regular hours every day this holiday season except for Christmas, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24, kids can pick up a cupcake that comes with a note to Santa. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Williamsburg: A benefit party at Supreme Trading tomorrow night promises an open Bass Ale Beer bar from 7 to 8 p.m. and "one of the most difficult cuisines to find in New York City: Rwandan." [Cakehead]

Amanda Freitag Leaving Gusto for Harrison, Anne Burrell Taking Over

Amanda Freitag is leaving Gusto, her popular West Village perch, and moving downtown to the Harrison, where owner Jimmy Bradley tells us she was his first choice. “We’re going to go in a new direction,” Bradley tells us. “We were doing French cookery in a New American style, but with Amanda the menu is going to be lusty, soulful, rustic Mediterranean-inspired cookery.” The changeover should happen in January. As for Gusto, it will come under the control of Anne Burrell, the chef at Gusto’s sister restaurant Centro Vinoteca. With Centro packed nearly every night, the time is right for Burrell to expand her authority.

Fancy Jell-O-Shot Movement Began in the East Village, Of Course

East Village: Looks like a haute-Jell-O-shot movement might be jiggling into town; Detour used to feature a seasonal special, and now avant-garde recipes like this one, which combines apple, bourbon, and bacon, are popping up. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine] Hell’s Kitchen: If you want to share a dessert with a pal at Kyotofu, expect to pay a $5 toll, per person. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown East: Alto did not disappoint Bruni like so many other fine restaurants, who’ve concluded many a meal by serving an even amount of petits fours to his odd-numbered party: “This is not a give-me-more-food complaint. This is a who’s-doing-the-arithmetic expression of befuddlement.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Upper East Side: Park Avenue Autumn will begin its winter transformations on November 27, and VIPs will get to taste the menu and see a sneak peek of the décor on that same night. [Zagat] West Village: There’s still time to book a Thanksgiving table, and now Anne Burrell has designed a special menu for Centro Vinoteca that includes brined-herb-crusted-turkey with polenta corn bread. [NYM]

One Star and Thirteen Recommended Dishes for Centro Vinoteca; BLT Market Takes Its Lumps

Another somewhat capricious Frank Bruni review: He gives Centro Vinoteca one star, praising nearly everything he ate (there are thirteen recommended dishes) but complaining about the noise and crowds on the first floor and presumably on that basis withholding a second star. [NYT] Danyelle Freeman is so not impressed with BLT Market. According to her, the ingredients themselves aren’t even that good! But she likes the place enough to give it two stars anyway. [NYDN] The usually harder-to-please Alan Richman, on the other hand, had a much higher estimation of the place, except for the part about it smelling like shit. But that, he hopes, will pass with the warm weather. [Bloomberg]

From Peanuts to Enotecas

What if you were a 60-year-old church congregation in North Carolina and had somehow found a pipeline to the fast-paced New York restaurant scene via your salted peanuts? And then you hear from Rob and Robin that another North Carolina church congregation was moving in on your action? Wouldn’t you feel upset? Or how about this: You meticulously design a restaurant, down to the last detail, and then have to change everything three months later. Or what if you opened a good Italian restaurant that Adam Platt liked, but he only gave you one star because, well, he’s Adam Platt? What then? These and other hypotheticals are answered in this week’s issue of New York.

Bruni Finds Bar Stuzzichini Good Enough; Sietsema Worships Insieme

Frank Bruni gives Bar Stuzzichini one star, praising its small plates (which give him his obligatory Zeitgeist paragraphs at the top) and then pointing out that the room and service are basically that of a “midtown mess hall.” The moral? Aim low, price right, and execute, and the critics will give you the guarded praise you need to stay open. [NYT] Here's one we never would have predicted in a million years: Insieme getting the panegyric it deserves from Robert “horsehead soup in the Bronx” Sietsema. Interestingly, the one thing he didn't like was the lasagne, which was the place's proudest boast when it first opened. [VV] We predicted recently that it was just a matter of time before someone came down on Wakiya, but we never dreamed it would be Danyelle Freeman. She hits the place hard, mostly for the “dull” and “skimpy” food but, not a killer at heart, gives them credit for service, cocktails, and soup dumplings. But it won't be long before another, meaner critic really lets it fly. [NYND]

Red Hook Vendors Safe for Season; Fro-Yo Knockoff Welcomed in Jackson Heights

Astoria: Does Joey take a cut of Sicilian slice sales, or is Rose & Joe’s really worth a special trip? Let us know what you think of their square pies at grubstreet@nymag.com. [Joey in Astoria] Chelsea: Toast Timbo at a Pier 60 fund-raiser tomorrow night offering copious amounts of food and drink in memory of a young victim of Traumatic Brain Injury. [Timbo Fund] Dumbo: Blanc & Rouge pits Bordeaux against Burgundy in tasting on September 26. [Dumbo NYC] Greenwich Village: BBQ on University closed without warning last night, but there is hope its greasy treats and fishbowls of fluorescent libations will return to another Eighth Street space. [Eater] Harlem: There’s interest in pinpointing what’s lacking for restaurants in the nabe. [Uptown Flavor] Jackson Heights: The next shameless knockoff to touch down in Queens: Yogurberry. [Eat for Victory/VV] Red Hook: The Parks Department grants ball-field vendors extended permits letting them finish the season ending October 21. And maybe longer; Senator Schumer says that he “looks forward to eating goat tacos, ceviche and spicy corn on the cob at the ball fields for years to come.” [City Room/NYT] West Village: Centro Vinoteca has a full new lunch menu highlighted by polpette burgers and "cubano toscano" sandwiches.

Franny’s Gets the All-Purpose Two Stars; Southern Hospitality Praised for Its BBQ

Franny’s is the recipient of one of Frank Bruni’s periodic low-end caprices, and gets awarded an absurd two stars as a result. [NYT] Paul Lukas, a pretty serious student of barbecue, delivers the verdict on the new barbecues, and the surprise is that Southern Hospitality has some pretty damn good Memphis ribs. Hill Country, it goes without saying, gets lauded as the best BBQ in town. [NYS] Related: Insatiable Critic: Southern Hospitality “Rivulets of delicious grease are a common theme” is the key note to Paul Adams's review of Borough Food and Drink. Mmmm…grease…. [NYS]

Chodorow and Valenti Scope UWS Hotel; Ramsay's Culinary Reputation Waning

Jeffrey Chodorow and Ouest chef Tom Valenti may both open restaurants in the boutique hotel On the Ave at Broadway near 76th Street. [NYP] Has Gordon Ramsay spread himself too thin? Harden’s annual guide has dethroned Ramsey’s eponymous flagship as its pick for highest overall rating in food, service and ambience. [The Guardian] Lower East Side neighbors were duped by the Box — they believed it was to be a “cultural institution.” Well, sort of depends on your definition of “culture.” [NYDN]

Batali Protégé Goes for Her Share of the Limelight

Iron Chef America fans know Anne Burrell as Mario Batali’s sous-chef on the show. (Spotted Pig customers know her as a regular.) The question now is whether she can actually cook when not doing Super Mario’s bidding. Her Centro Vinoteca is opening up this week with recognizably Batalian food: plenty of pork, robust flavors, and the kind of “why not” aesthetic that results in, say, deep-fried gnocchi in lamb ragù (“they’re like tater tots,” the chef says) or a poussin crusted with pancetta and rosemary paste.

Blue Ribbon to Conquer Columbus Circle by Mid-August

Brooklyn Heights: Montero’s earned “duty watch bar” status from the British Royal Navy when its seamen passed through Brooklyn last week. [NYT] Columbus Circle: Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill should open simultaneously with Thompson Hotel’s new Six Columbus by the middle of August. [Down by the Hipster] Elmhurst: Always wanted your tacos open-face, deep-fried, and splattered with crema? Try the memelitas from Taqueria Coatzingo at 40-18 82 Street. [Gothamist] Flatiron: Tabla and Tamarind are only a few of the restaurants extending their Summer Restaurant Week menus through Labor Day. [GoNYC via NewYorkology] Fort Greene: Former Top Chef contestant Josie Smith-Malave has left Island restaurant to prepare for a fall opening of her next project, the Speakeasy. [Eater] Harlem: Gentrification is apparently a lesser evil than filth: A Taste of Seafood restaurant relocates from dingy to spiffy new digs. [Uptown Flavor] Midtown East: Two sake masters from Japan will host a tasting that also features shochu and snacks at Sakagura next Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. [Eat for Victory/VV] West Village: Centro Vinoteca won’t be opening until the 20th or 21st at the earliest, the restaurant’s representatives say. [Grub Street]

Iron Sous-Chef Busts a Move; A Man Tells of His Meatballs, Liquor License

• Bruni dropped in on a restaurant wearing a fanny pack and riding a scooter? No wonder he needed some R&R. [Eater] • davidburke & donatella gets a new chef de cuisine (Eric Hara, doing bacon-wrapped duck) and pastry chef (Monica Bellissimo, standing by her egg cream in an eggshell). [NYO] • Some October-November openings via ZagatWire: The former Tocqueville space is turning Japanese; Anne Burrell, sous-chef to Batali on Iron Chef, takes over the kitchen at Centro Vinoteca. [Zagat] • John LaFemina of Ápizz and the Orchard recounts the joy of applying for a liquor license in an excerpt from the forthcoming A Man and His Meatballs. [Eater]