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Clambake

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Prune Provides an East Village Kind of Clambake

You can’t get much of a clambake going at Brighton Beach, which is about as close as we at Grub Street get to the ocean these days. But we still pine for the crude pleasures of a summer ritual that has almost no presence in the daily life of New York. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune felt more or less the same way, and so came up with tonight’s special, a dish of steamed Manila clams, merguez sausage, and corn (for $23) meant to summon the experience, if not the setting. “I think it’s like a clambake,” she says, “just not in a pit of sand in the ground. But it has all the other elements, plus ones you wouldn’t normally find, like smoked paprika, cilantro, piquillo peppers.” But why Manila clams? That doesn’t seem especially traditional. “It isn’t,” Hamilton says. “But we love their saltiness, and they are the perfect size to open at just the right time it takes for the merguez to cook.”

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Varietal’s Kitchen Closes in Chelsea

Bronx: Italian pastry shop Egidio has a history steeped in family feuds, politics, and adultery; now a cannoli-wielding former owner has opened up shop nearby. [Lost City] Chelsea: Varietal has closed its dining room, though wine’s still being served at the bar. [Restaurant Girl] Great Small Works performing-arts group will host a Spaghetti Dinner this Sunday evening on the roof of the 14th Street Y. Besides bowls of garlicky pasta, ticket holders can look forward to “puppet theater [and] New Orleans brass band music.” [Blog Chelsea] Greenpoint: The Original Soup Man (a.k.a. the Soup Nazi) joins other chains on Manhattan Avenue and shocks customers by charging $9 for some selections. [Gothamist] Hell's Kitchen: Alex Garcia’s new restaurant, Gaucho Steak Co., at 752 Tenth Avenue, is now open for lunch and offering delivery. [Grub Street] Soho: Savoy’s Clambake Dinners start July 6 and run through the end of the month. [Restaurant Girl]

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