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Chelsea

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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]

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BRGR Adopts Brandt Beef, Meat-lovers Rejoice

BRGR does pretty good business in Chelsea, but wanna-be burger barons need to step up their game in this meat-manic town of ours. So BRGR, with little fanfare, has raised the caliber of its product, becoming the city’s first restaurant to adopt Brandt hamburger. Brandt is one of the most innovative beef producers in the country — their steaks already appear at Porter House New York, Craftsteak, and Park Avenue Autumn.

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Chelsea, Now With Lap Pools!

Chelsea: New promo pics for the too-fabulous Yves (so French!) condo tell a smoldering story of love, lust, and on-site lap pools. [Curbed] Clinton Hill: Don't click here unless you're ready to see the dead, mutilated squirrel left in front of the home of this blogger. Revenge from a developer who got a snarky write-up? [Brownstoner] Downtown Brooklyn: The massive new real estate planned for the area may not be so massive overall...think 1.6 mil square feet of office space versus the 4.5 mil projected a few years ago. [NYO]

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Bella the Cat Has a New Life

Brooklyn Heights: Bella the Cat, who charmed passersby on the Brooklyn Bridge footpath in Cadman Plaza Park, is alive and well and living in bourgeois comfort in a home on Pineapple Street. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Chelsea: Residents of the Chelsea Hotel swear they saw blood-sucking ghouls in the lobby last night: the hotel's new corporate management. [Living with Legends] Clinton Hill: Pratt has taken over the Kentucky Fried Chicken spot! Less wings, more wingnuts. [Clinton Hill Blog]

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Shake Shack Opens Year-round; Five Guys On in Midtown

Flatiron: Shake Shack is hammering out a year-round plan that may kick off after the New Year and will include heat lamps. (It better!) [Eat for Victory/VV] Long Island City: Art-O-Mat sells nice neighborhood souvenirs like LIChocolate bars. [LIC-NYC] Lower East Side: New bar and restaurant Cafe Katja has earned some positive buzz for its touches like house-made pickles and sauerkraut and well-priced Austrian and German wine and beer. [Blog Chelsea] Midtown West: Five Guys Burger’s and Fries at 43 West 55th Street started serving today, a day ahead of schedule. [Midtown Lunch] Nolita: Katie Lee Joel’s favorite New York restaurant is Ballato’s on East Houston near Mulberry Street. [Restaurant Girl] Times Square: Top-notch steakhouse Del Frisco’s still has steak tips and mashed potatoes on its lunch menu for under $10, though the burger’s over $13. [Midtown Lunch] Upper East Side: Sassy’s Sliders at 1530 Third Avenue near 86th Street is the front-runner in this roundup of the city’s best mini-sandwiches, which also includes Burke’s burgers at Bloomingdale's and the Little Owl’s meatball version. [Gridskipper] West Village: The new bar replacing Luke & Leroy on Seventh Avenue South is having a soft opening tonight. [Imbible/Citysearch] Voyage has finally given up the ghost, and its prime Perry Street restaurant real estate with it. [Eater]

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Tadashi Ono’s Sashimi Knife Isn’t As Big As It Used to Be

How does a chef who never cooks ply his craft? One who rarely comes near a pan or a pot? Who neither stirs a stew nor lards a roast? Ask a sushi chef, as proper sashimi preparation is one of the most prized of gastronomical arts. And the sushi chef’s most valued tool is his knife, says chef Tadashi Ono of Matsuri: “Knife skill is very fundamental, the most important skill.” Ono uses a Masamoto yanagi (sashimi knife) that he bought in Tokyo in 1992. It was originally 30 centimeters (nearly a foot) long, but years of daily sharpening along its right side (as Tadashi is right-handed) have reduced its length by a third, but the knife is still razor sharp. “The surface of the knife is extremely important,” Ono says. “Sashimi must have a silky texture. In Japanese cooking we don’t do much to the ingredients, so they have to be presented in the very best way possible. A coarser knife would leave the fish mushy.” Masamoto knives, manufactured in Ono’s hometown of Tokyo (“We love them because they are our native product”) can be purchased at Korin Trading Company for $232, for a very good knife, or $398, for one similar to the grade Ono uses. But there is no acquiring the fifteen years of hard practice; that you have to get yourself.

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Wait, We Kind of Want One of Those Full-Body Umbrellas

Brooklyn Heights: The Fairway Shuttle made its first stop in the Heights today! What, you white people don't want to walk through Red Hook? [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Chelsea: Straight and gay couples have been walking around the city handing out condoms — underneath condomlike umbrellas. Extra points for this blogger who titles his post "It's Raining (Se)Men!" [Copyranter] Clinton Hill: Because of inclement weather, tomorrow's Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest in Clinton Hill will be delayed until Sunday, which gives you just that much more time on the "Dead Flower From Meerkat Manor" costume for your Chihuahua. [Clinton Hill Blog]

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Celebrity-Chef ‘Pop-Up’ Café Open in Midtown; Halloween Recipe From Stanton Social

Astoria: Freeze Peach is hosting a costume party Saturday at 8 p.m. and it’s BYO. [Joey in Astoria] Boerum Hill: Balsamic vinegar is available as a topping at the new ecofriendly ice-cream parlor Blue Marble, on Atlantic Avenue near Bond Street. [Bergen Carroll] Chelsea: Tekserv is hosting a Mac OS X Leopard release party tonight with free food and live jazz, and the winner of the leopard-themed costume contest gets an iPod. [Blog Chelsea] Clinton Hill: New restaurant Mariam at 975 Fulton Street features cuisine from Senegal, Kenya, and Guinea, but even though okra was “cooked down to an indiscernible sludge,” it doesn’t feel overextended; the spot will soon add Jamaican food to the menu. [Eat for Victory/VV] Flatiron: The Manhattan branch of Boerum Hill restaurant Lunetta opens Monday on Broadway at 21st Street. [Grub Street] Lower East Side: Essex Street’s newest Shamalian bar may have opened for a night this week, but it’s closed now. [Eater] Just in time for Halloween house parties, the Stanton Social has provided a simple recipe for pumpkin croquettes. [Restaurant Girl] Meatpacking District: The communal table at Los Dados is supposedly a hot singles scene. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown West: Bon Appétit’s “Pop-Up” café opened yesterday and features sandwiches and salads designed by Emeril, Giada, Govind, and Pichet Ong, plus desserts from Will Goldfarb. [Midtown Lunch] Related: Celebrity Chefs Flock to Former Home of Cheesy Celebrity Restaurant Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Papas & Sons market was busted Wednesday. “Word on the street is that someone in there was running numbers,” but no one’s talking. [Across the Park]

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The Coen Brothers Pony Up for the Heights

Brooklyn Heights: The figures are in: To say thanks for letting them shake up the hood while shooting a new Clooney flick here, the Coen brothers gave the Brooklyn Heights Association $10,000, and a few other groups one or two thou each. [Brooklyn Paper] Ditmas Park: In this fast-gentrifying hood, "Go back to Park Slope" is a four-letter word. [Ditmas Park Blog] Downtown Brooklyn: A Renzo Piano–designed complex of housing and office space is planned to take the place of City Tech's Klitgord Auditorium. With a name like that, maybe best that it come down after all. [McBrooklyn]

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Babbo and Le Bernardin Alums Take On the West Village; Grayz Serving Lunch

Chelsea: Cookbook author Judith Jones hosts a reading, book signing, and wine tasting tonight at Bottlerocket. [Bottlerocket] Harlem: Looks like a new café and bakery called La Perle Noir is coming to the corner of Lenox and West 131st Street. [Uptown Flavor] Long Island City: Tonight's free tasting at Vine Wine showcases wines of Spain. [Joey in Astoria] Midtown West: Grayz is now serving lunch. [NYS] Tribeca: Eric Ripert's A Return to Cooking includes lovely seasonal recipes but also pictures paintings from artist Valentino Cortazar, whose originals debut at the Hal Katzen Gallery at 459 Washington Street tomorrow. [Snack] West Village: Dell'Anima from former Le Bernardin chef Gabriel Thompson and onetime Babbo sommelier Joe Campanale opens today at 38 Eighth Avenue. [NYT]

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Trader Joe's Conquers Queens; Candy and Wine Pairing in Chelsea

Chelsea: Wondering which alcoholic beverage goes best with Halloween-themed Snickers? Head to Bottlerocket Sunday for a free wine and candy tasting from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. [Grub Street] Dumbo: The Treats Truck is hosting a Halloween party at the Pearl Street Triangle this Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. [Treats Truck] East Village: Aaah, the uses for bacon: Double Down Saloon serves a house-infused bacon-vodka martini with a Slim Jim garnish. [Restaurant Girl] Forest Hills: Trader Joe’s at 90-30 Metropolitan Avenue opens Friday at 9 a.m. [Super Vegan] Midtown East: The Grand Central Oyster Bar is closed today after a "minor explosion" in the kitchen. [Eater]

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Last Weekend at Red Hook Ball Fields; RUB Introduces Frito Pie to Chelsea

Astoria: You can ask the chefs from Bistro 33, at 19-33 Ditmars Boulevard, to prepare a special tasting menu — but be sure to request the chocolate-espresso-stout ice cream served on a warm fudge brownie for dessert. [Joey in Astoria] Chelsea: RUB has introduced the “open-face” and “sloppy” grease fest that is Frito pie to its menu and it’s best inhaled with a kindred Texas brew. [Gothamist] East Village: David Chang is looking for one experienced cook to join his team for Momofuku Ko, "a very unique operation, with the possibility of no servers." [Eat for Victory/VV] Greenwich Village: Anita Lo has released a recipe for Rickshaw Dumpling Bar’s kimchee-and-tofu dumplings. [Restaurant Girl] Red Hook: This is the last Sunday of the season for the ball-fields vendors. [Eat for Victory/VV]

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Is The Hotel Pennsylvania Outta Here?

Chelsea: Few care that the 1919 McKim, Mead and White–designed Hotel Pennsylvania will likely come down to make room for a way-high office tower. [NYO] Greenpoint: Sassy blogger Miss Heather and a local named Bert are in a nasty e-fight over the whether Miss H's blog helps or hurts the hood. [Newyorkshitty] Greenwich Village: It's official … Gray's Papaya on 8th Street has endorsed Bloomberg for president, "because he walks the walk and talks the talk." Sure, but does he bite the dog? [Blog Chelsea]

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Josie of ‘Top Chef’ Opens Restaurant; Schumer Opens a Second Front

Josie Malave’s restaurant Speakeasy in Clinton Hill has had its soft opening. [Eat for Victory/VV] One food editor learned some things from last week’s nose-to-tail feast Fergus Henderson–at–the–Spotted Pig including “Hung Huynh is much sweeter than the series might lead you to believe … Ilan Hall has a project up his sleeve … there’s no graceful way to eat a roasted pig’s head when Heath Ledger is sitting at the next table watching.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Related: Fergus Henderson to Cook Tomorrow at Savoy, Wednesday at the Spotted Pig Chuck Schumer has joined another foodie cause: In response to the recent Topps Meat contaminations, he has accused the USDA as being “toothless tiger” and plans to introduce legislation that would give the Department of Agriculture authority to close down plants that repeatedly fail inspections and order recalls. [NYP] Related: Senator Schumer Springs to the Red Hook Ball-Fields’ Defense

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Car Canoeing in Queens!

Brooklyn Heights: So the Coen brothers think they can disrupt the whole neighborhood for a month with their George Clooney film shoot and then make it up by donating to some community groups? We all know what the locals really wanted were backrubs from George. [Brooklyn Eagle] Chelsea: Twenty-nine years ago today, Nancy Spungeon was bludgeoned (by Sid Vicious?) in the Chelsea Hotel's Room 100 … an anniversary the inn's new corporate management likely won't be fêting. [Living With Legends] Cobble Hill: We hope the new owner of that building who tried to evict those two elderly sisters is happy now. Tragically, one's dead, and, more tragically, the other moved to Jersey. [Curbed] Corona: There's a lot of Dominican families here named Corona, but that's just a coincidence … as is anyone here getting wasted on Corona beer. [Junction Blvd] Greenpoint: Locals learn the hard way that if they want to instantly stop noisy after-hours construction, it's better to call the cops than the DEP. Uh … duh? [Newyorkshitty] Maspeth: Manhattanites won't complain about a few curbside puddles when they see these videos of cars swimming through the streets of Queens yesterday. Eau-trageous! [Queens Crap] Upper East Side: Unless those raccoons blocking your path as you run around the Central Park reservoir are foaming at the mouth, the Parks Department doesn't want to hear about it. [UES Informer]

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New Café Boulud Chef a Young Buck

Boerum Hill: Lazy artists have nothing better to do with their time than wait in line for the unopened Trader Joe’s. [A Brooklyn Life] Chelsea: Next Tuesday Del Posto will host a Wine. Dine. Donate. dinner with Epicurious to benefit America’s Second Harvest. [Gothamist] Meatpacking District: The Inn Lw12 has a new fall menu. [Grub Street] Upper East Side: Café Boulud’s replacement for Betrand Chemel is 28-year-old Food & Wine Best New Chef for 2007 Gavin Kaysen who’s riding into town all the way from Rancho Bernardo. [San Diego Tribune via Eater] From now through Sunday, the Garden Court Café at the Asia Society will feature a special Indian-French menu from Vikram Garg, executive chef of D.C.’s Indebleu. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

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Missing the Old ‘Treats’ of the Meatpacking District

Chelsea: It used to be the tranny hookers on 14th Street who advertised as "Not too fancy, always delicious!" Now it's just the Treats Truck. [Vanishing New York] Crown Heights: If the Slope's old armory gets to become a swank new athletic center, why not the one here? That's what council member Tish James wants to know… [Brownstoner] Dumbo: Remember 2005, when it wasn't completely certain the neighborhood was going the way of a bourgeois, sanitized, amenity-rich enclave? Seems so long ago… [DumboNYC] Hell's Kitchen: Time Out New York learns that the hood ain't just for thugs and tramps anymore, scoring it higher than the East and West Village. [Hell's Kitchen NYC] Park Slope: OMG, the new debit-card machines at the food co-op actually work. That's so awesome! [Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn] South Slope: What would this fifties family think if they knew that the home they vacated to make room for the Prospect Expressway is now the site of a dumpy unused park? That's a shondah. [Icky in Brooklyn] Upper East Side: What we love most about this high-profile battle between a laundromat and a customer is that the launderer apparently changed his name from Todd Ofsink to Todd Layne. Isn't having "sink" in your name a good thing for a launderer? [78thand2nd]

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Porta-Café Touching Down in Columbus Circle; La Marmite Back in Harlem

Astoria: Sorriso’s Italian Salumeriaa at 44-16 30th Avenue makes a serious Rosino Panino. “It may look like chicken, but those thick white slabs in the middle of the sandwich are actually house-made slices of fresh mozzarella (made three times a day) piled atop a generous helping of prosciutto cotto.” [Serious Eats] Chelsea: P.S. 11’s fall festival this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. features a ten-piece salsa band, free food, and a bake sale, plus it’s open to the public. [Blog Chelsea] East Village: Back Forty from Savoy chef Peter Hoffman is opening October 17. [Grub Street] Harlem: La Marmite restaurant has finally opened in its new location. [Uptown Flavor] Lower East Side: Now’s your chance to be the next Sam Mason: Thor is looking for its own rock-star pastry chef. [Eat for Victory/VV] Tribeca: The new home for Steak Frites will be the same space that was temporarily the doomed Charolais. [Eater] Upper West Side: From November 28 to December 29, Illy coffee will maintain a “Push Button House” in the Time Warner Center; the installation is basically a large shipping crate that opens to reveal a full-service café that premiered at the 52nd Venice Biennale. [NotCot]

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Car Elevators? What Is This, Shanghai?

Bay Ridge: If you don't want a Fedders nightmare going up next to your expensively preserved Victorian around here, you better be careful where in the hood you buy. [Bay Ridge Rover] Bedford-Stuyvesant: Former Essence honcho turned local Victorian innkeeper Monique Greenwood — a.k.a. the doyenne of the "new" Bed-Stuy — was on the Montel show yesterday. Reprazent! [Bed-Stuy Blog] Chelsea: According to this promo video, couples who move into an upcoming Eleventh Avenue luxury condo will be able to drive their cars in an elevator up to their own garage. But they will not have to be affectionate with each other. [Vanishing New York] Cobble Hill: Dumbo developer-king Dave Walentas is seeking to crack historic-district rules here with a super-tall building that he claims, uh, will enhance the hood's historic quality. [Cobble Hill] East Village: So cranky blogger Chris thinks nymag.com readers are skinflints because none have given to his E.V.-schools drive, eh? A whopping seven people from your own site have given, Chris. You ain't exactly Sally Struthers on the fund-raising front yourself. [East Village Idiot] Roosevelt Island: What does the local Toastmaster's Club toast to? Life on an isle filled with charmless seventies architecture? [Roosevelt Island] Upper East Side: At $30,000 a month, rentals in the refurbished Plaza may actually be more expensive than booking a room there for four weeks. What the helloise? [Curbed]

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Mermaid Inn UWS to Open Late Fall; Garifunan Cuisine Has Arrived … in the Bronx

Chelsea: Candy Camp confectionary classes for kids start Saturday at Sapa. [Cakehead] Clinton Hill: A confused source says the former Bodegas space will become Clinton Hill Bistro, but that’s what Bodegas had painted on its windows when it was open. [Clinton Hill Blog] Harlem: Doug E. Fresh talks chicken and waffles and the late-night feel of his second restaurant: "Hot Pot, the Caribbean spot I’m opening in December … Harlem’s always been known for its late-night style." [Uptown Flavor] Long Island City: Big Easy landmark Jacques-Imo’s New York branch has lost its uptown lease and will take refuge in Queens. [Joey in Astoria via Eater] South Bronx: If you’ve been craving Garifunan food (the cuisine of “Coastal Caribbeans of African and Native American descent”), head to newly opened and possibly only-one-of-its-kind Garifuna Star at 640 Prospect Avenue for “curry-esque soup and a fufu-esque plantain dish.” [Eat for Victory/VV] Upper West Side: Danny Abrams plans to open his second Mermaid Inn by the end of the fall. [Eater]

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