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Degustation Wine & Tasting Bar

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‘Esquire’ Escalates Chef-Fashion War With ‘Maxim’

Has it really come to this? Maxim and Esquire are going at it hammer and tongs to see who can print more ridiculous images of chefs as fashion models. Esquire started it, with a never-to-be-forgotten Simon Hammerstein–David Chang tough-guy shoot. This year, Maxim released its April spread early to get the jump on Esquire, but both mags shared a few models (formerly known as chefs): Michael Psilakis of Anthos, Neil Ferguson of Allen and Delancey, and Craig Koketsu of Park Avenue Winter. Psilakis, for his part, is even wearing similar suits in both spreads. (Did he leave the Maxim refrigerator and head straight to his Esquire lunch at Insieme?) Other chefs of note in the shoot include Ben Chekroun, the elegant maître d' of Le Bernardin, whom we interviewed for Ask a Waiter back in the day; San Domenico's affable wine director, Piero Trotta; and the boyish Wesley Genovart of Degustation, tucking into a plate of duck and soba noodles. We give Esquire the edge for shooting the dapper John McDonald at Keens. Though he’s more of a bon vivant restaurateur than a chef, Johnny Mac is a quintessential Esquire man. Man’s Gotta Eat [Esquire] Related: Chefs Put on Something a Little More Comfortable When Chefs Play Dress-Up

Bruni Hot for Small Baguettes on the Upper West Side

East Village: Anita Lo thinks Degustation isn’t getting enough attention. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Bao 111 will now be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. [Eater] Hell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu will be holding a seven-course dinner plus dessert paired with "six different types of specialty and esoteric sake" at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 17. [Grub Street] Richmond Hill: RIP 80-year-old Jahn’s Ice Cream. [Lost City] Upper West Side: Frank Bruni reveals he’s "hot for" small baguettes with butter and raspberry jam from Levain Bakery: "I demolish it in four or five bites, squeezing it so tight the jam drips from the edges, and I sometimes have to change my shirt afterward because of the jam stains." [Refinery 29]

Eric Ripert to Feed Reader Who May Lose Sense of Taste

Dear Grub Street,
Next weekend I’m getting surgery done on an impacted wisdom tooth which is growing very close to a central nerve. I’ve been told that if this nerve is damaged, there’s a chance I will lose a large part of feeling in my face – including a loss of my sense of taste. I’ve gone into “doomsday mode”, thinking of all the best flavors this city has to offer in an effort to get them ingrained into my gray memory. As of now I’ve got a reservation at Degustation, will be making at least three visits minimum to Ssäm Bar, and another to Sasabune. Are there maybe two or three dishes or places that should be added to this ever-growing list? Le Bernardin is in my sights of course, but understandably may be difficult to get into.
Facing My Final Hour

Room 4 Dessert Is Dead, Long Live Room 4 Dessert

In what might be the least surprising news of the summer, Will Goldfarb has told Grub Street that Room 4 Dessert, at least in its current location, is kaput. (The place has been closed for months, but Goldfarb has been promising it would reopen.) “We’re officially pulling the plug on 17 Cleveland Place,” the cake whiz tells us. “But we’re going to reopen, bigger and better, six months from today.” Goldfarb, theatrical as ever, refuses to disclose the location of the new place, except to say that it’s downtown “in another high-profile restaurant row.”

Sandwich of the Week: One Cheesesteak on Quotation Marks, Coming Up

The Underground Gourmet is not from Philadelphia, but if he were, according to a native Philly friend, his natural response upon being presented with Degustation’s new “cheesesteak” sandwich would be to either sue the chef for false advertising or wait for him outside the restaurant with a horsewhip. Of course, Philadelphians are born with Cheez Whiz running through their veins and that tends to cloud their judgment on such matters.

My Edgy, Broke Cousin Wants to Hit the Hot Spots!

Dear Grub Street,
My cousin is coming in next week from Indiana and wants to see the "hottest" NYC restaurants that he has read about on your Weblog and in New York Magazine. Where do you think I should take him? He likes “edgy” places and doesn't have a lot of money to spend (nor do I). Should we go to the Spotted Pig or Casa Mono? Momofuku Ssäm Bar? Where? Any advice would be great.

Time to Fill Out Our James Beard Brackets

The nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards, the Oscars of the restaurant industry, will be announced Monday morning. We’ll report on that as it happens, but for now, here are picks for the main categories from Adam Platt, Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld, and Josh Ozersky. Our choices are admittedly New York–centric (the awards go to restaurants across the country), but the ceremony is held here, and the city always looms large in the proceedings.