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Cupcakes

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Cipriani Downtown Having a Bit of Work Done; Cupcake Glut Still Centered in the West Village

Astoria: La Guli Bakery at 29-15 Ditmars Boulevard serves gelato throughout the winter if you get an irrational craving in this blistery weather. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: La Palapa is offering Super Bowl catering packages if you decide to pass on the Tostitos and Chi-Chi’s salsa this year. [Grub Street] Forest Hills: Rouge Bistro has closed. [Grub Street] Hell’s Kitchen: Newish restaurants like Cooper’s Tavern and Go!Go! Curry mean you can finally find something to eat in the garment district. [NYT] Midtown East: "I could live — and dine out nightly — for more than 100 years, and I still don’t think I’d come to understand restaurants like Il Nido," says Bruni about the expensive, hit-or-miss Italian. But over 1,000 words later, he’s explained the survival of old-school inconsistent restaurants quite well. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Soho: Cipriani Downtown will be closed most of this week for renovations to the floor and bar area. [Eater] West Village: A cupcake bar called Sweet Revenge is opening this spring at 62 Carmine Street near Bedford Street, and the owner’s goal is to sex up the revered city sweets. [Crain’s NY via Eater]

Balducci's Ruins Hanukkah; Dave Martin Can Paint, Too

Balducci’s made a big mistake by advertising boneless spiral ham as “Delicious for Chaunkah.” [NYDN] Contradicting his colleague, Frank Bruni defends the entrée, arguing that a “too-long sequence or too-broad collection of too-small plates is like being tickled and tickled and never flat-out hugged.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Le Bernardin’s James Beard–award–winning pastry chef enjoys a nice Snickers bar with almonds at the end of the day. [Restaurant Girl]

Magnolia to Lure Cupcake Crazies to the Upper West Side

Chelsea: Trestle on Tenth launches weekend brunch this Saturday with a fall menu that includes bacon-and-onion rösti and banana-stuffed French toast with vanilla syrup. Fort Greene: IHOP is making more New York moves: In addition to taking on Times Square, the chain will open an outlet on Livingston Street near Bond Street. [NYDN] Midtown East: Bloomingdale's has moved tangy fro-yo pioneer Forty Carrots from the basement to a larger, more befitting seventh floor space. [NYT] Sherry-Lehmann wine store has completed its relocation to Park Avenue at 59th Street. [NYT] Red Hook: You may have missed LeNell’s absinthe tasting (she drinks it up by the way), but she’ll host a tequila tasting this Sunday in honor of Mexican Independence Day. [LeNell’s] Upper West Side: A second Magnolia bakery will open on 69th Street at Columbus this winter, and owner Steve Abrams thinks he can keep it a secret from tourists. [Eater] Juan Cuevas has left Blue Hill to be the chef de cuisine at Ed Brown’s Eighty One, which should open in December. [NYS]

Rizzo's Square Pizza Rules in Astoria; Picholine Alum Takes on the West Village

Astoria: There was a bit of volatile reaction from our readers to the quality of Rose & Joe's Sicilian pies: “Any self-respecting pizza eater in Astoria will know that going anywhere but Rizzo’s for a square pie/slice is absolutely maniacal.” [Grub Street] East Harlem: If you have trouble finding “cuchifritos (a.k.a. Puerto Rican soul food), Mexican, French, Caribbean, and pizza” in the nabe, you can join NoshWalks for a food tour this Saturday. [Uptown Flavor] Flatiron: Gramercy Tavern jumps on the beer-for-dessert train by pairing stout with chocolate bread pudding. [NYDN] Park Slope: Another cupcake shop mobilizes to join the bakery front on Flatbush Avenue. [Eater] Upper West Side: Two food writers found a special of gnocchi with short-rib ragù and ricotta cheese at Ouest to be a perfect plate of food, and want it to make the fall menu. [Ed Levine Eats/Serious Eats] West Village: Picholine alum Craig Hopson moves into the kitchen of One if by Land, Two if by Sea, now that Gary Volkov is opening his own spot. [Restaurant Girl] Da Silvano may not have been taken out of the rat feature on Inside Edition, but his lawyer was given uncommonly ample on-air time to respond. [Gawker]

New Book Celebrates Talismanic Trash

Food, even of the most exalted kind, is rarely long for this world. Occasionally, some baron of gastronomy will announce that the floorboards in his new restaurant were salvaged from the original automat, or some credulous soul will make the News of the Weird by seeing the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich. But food and cooking objects tend toward the ephemeral. Which is one reason we are so enjoying Taking Things Seriously, a new collection of essays about particular treasures. (Another is that we contributed one of its essays, about a damaged but durable old cast-iron skillet and what it means to us.)