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Craig Bero

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Danny Meyer Appoints Female Sommelier at the Modern; Pichet Ong Will Show You His Moves in the West Village

Brighton Beach: Brooklyn firefighter Jeffrey Scotto won the sixth-annual World Cares Center Iron Skillet Cook Off this week with this recipe for boneless rib-eye braciola and escarole salad. [NYDN] Chinatown: Zagat might recommend the soup dumplings at Goodies, but you’re in for a treat if you opt for something the staff is eating like “winter melon soup and a plate of stir-fried pork liver and stomach.” [VV] Midtown West: Danny Meyer has appointed a new executive sommelier, Belinda Chang, to oversee the wine program at the Modern and his restaurants in the Met. [NYS] Tribeca: Apparently Craig Béro has opened a Tribeca Time Machine called the Cosmopolitan Cafe around the corner from his other restaurant, the Soda Shop. [NYT] Union Square: From Quattro’s Game Farm’s stand at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturdays, “you can place an order, leave a deposit, and pick up your fresh bird on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.” [NYS] Upper West Side: Danny Abrams's second outlet of the East Village’s Mermaid Inn has opened on 568 Amsterdam Avenue near 88th Street, and you get a free cup of puddin’ with dinner. [NYT] West Village: Pichet Ong will give a demonstration at the next 4foodies, tasting on November 19. [4foodies]

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Tribeca Time Machine Opens for Dinner Next Week

Lower Manhattan seems to have found a one-man preservation crew in Soda Shop co-owner Craig Béro. Not long after refurbishing that restaurant’s eerie addition, Béro lent his restorative mojo to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and began renovating a space that what was once a ladies' lunch counter in the 1800s, and which has just opened as Cosmopolitan Café. Béro’s plan for instituting single-dish dinner service next week is as pleasantly anachronistic as the place itself.

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The Soda Shop's Blast From the Past

Craig Béro and Linda Donahue, the egg-cream aficionados behind The Soda Shop, have just opened a private dining space that's perfect for small holiday parties — and getting a taste of Tribeca's history. After breaking through to a decaying, walled-off space next door, the duo was inspired to decorate the room with artifacts salvaged from the surrounding ten blocks, many from construction-site dumpsters. Twisted cedar branches climbing up the brick allude to the horse stable that was probably once there, and Béro believes that the original, rustic-style fireplace was used by members of a small community of freed slaves in the late 1700s. The space is almost eerie, especially when Béro, a brooding foodie historian, begins telling you that he's currently reading The Murder of Helen Jewett, the story of an eighteenth-century prostitute bludgeoned to death less than three blocks away. But fear not: Cheeriness returns in one sip of a strawberry milk shake. — Alexandra Vallis

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