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Devi

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A New Food Emporium at South Street Seaport?; Join a CSA Today

Consultant Clark Wolf is in a rush to open artisanal-food stalls across from the old Fulton Fish Market by Memorial Day, but apparently this has nothing to do with the proposed New Amsterdam Public market. [Insatiable Critic] Related: Batali Shows a Little Leg to Sex Up New Amsterdam Public A lawsuit between a Queens Chinese restaurant and CW11, regarding Kaity Tong’s reporting on a mouse allegedly found in the food, is close to being thrown out since the lawyers can’t prove any malice on the newscaster’s part. [NYP] Grant Achatz, star chef of Chicago’s Alinea, may have beat his tongue cancer, but his sense of taste may not return for a year or two. [WSJ]

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Abrams Brothers Have Always Loved the UWS; Gay Talese Will Eat BBQ on the UES

Chelsea: The owner of the Cuban restaurant that replaced Havana Chelsea says he’s not trying to copy the former tenant: "It took years of grease to get on those walls and the smell of rotten wood and mice and stale water and dirt. We gutted the entire place, not even a tooth pick was worth saving." [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Greene Grape Provisions has opened with fresh fish and meats, and if you bring a receipt to their nearby wine store, the owners will take 5 percent off your purchase of their recommended pairings. [Clinton Hill Blog] Midtown East: Chocolatier Charbonnel Et Walker on the eighth floor of Saks sells a rich chocolate cupcake drenched in sticky toffee, which is well worth its $6 price tag and still "way cheaper than a pair of Chanel pumps" sold nearby. [NewYorkology] Midtown West: Brasserie Cognac is coming to 55th Street and Broadway. [Grub Street] Tribeca: Dekk seems closed indefinitely. [Grub Street] Union Square: In an unsurprising conclusion, Bruni finds that Indian and Italian restaurants are better equipped to satisfy vegetarians. Dévi is one example where even meat eaters may want to eat those vegetable-based dishes. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Upper East Side: Barbejew Steven Levy hopes his new BBQ joint, Smokin’ Q, which opens this week at 206 East 63rd Street, will succeed where twelve restaurants have failed since 1977. Levy may have an edge against predecessors, however, since writer Gay Talese, who included the doomed space in his memoir, plans to be the writer-in-residence. [NYT] Upper West Side: The Magnolia and Mermaid Inn uptown aren’t the first companies the Abrams brothers have introduced to the nabe; cupcake guru Steve owns "a construction company, high-end residential construction, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous sort of stuff. My clients are Samuel Jackson, Annie Leibovitz, Jeff Gordon." [NYO]

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Ilili Makes An Enemy in Steve Cuozzo; Bruni Picks on Grayz

Though the food sounded pretty good at Ilili, the place treated Steve Cuozzo so badly that the Cuozz was forced to pay them back with an atomic review — one that sounds richly deserved. [NYP] In one of his silliest reviews, Frank Bruni goes on for half the article complaining that restaurants don't always fit in neat categories, then punishes Grayz for it with a blistering one-star review. Odd. [NYT] Bruni's mini-review in Dining Briefs is much more logical and succinct: “That’s Belcourt: the predictable made surprising; comfort with a wink.” Meanwhile, on the undercard, Peter Meehan was mostly pleased with Graffiti, despite its minute size, and Marian Burros not so happy with Lucy of Gramercy. [NYT]

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Dévi's Hemant Mathur Keeps It Real With His Tandoor

Hemant Mathur of Dévi is the Yo-Yo Ma of tandoor cooking, a virtuoso whose instrument is the traditional clay oven. Many menu highlights come from it, from the lamb-stuffed tandoori chicken to the naan and roti breads — all of them delightfully marked by the searing heat of Mathur’s three-year-old modern clay oven.

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Rockabilly Bar in Progress on the LES; Dévi Reopens With a Discount

Astoria: “A lot of people in town are excited” about the 7-Eleven that just opened on 30th Avenue and 30th Street, so much so that the Slurpee machine may have broken from overuse. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: No more soft opening! Speakeasy from former Top Cheftestant Josie Malave opens tonight, and photos taken of the menu in the window reveal such inspired dishes as zucchini sticks and fettuccine with spinach and sun-dried tomato. [Clinton Hill Blog] Flatiron: Dévi reopens tonight, and the dinner menu will be 20 percent off through November 20. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Little Italy: Papabubble’s grand-opening party went well on Saturday; as you can see from these pics, the “walls were fully stocked with fresh candy, open jars with samples were everywhere, and … stateside Papabubble proprietors, even put on a little candy making show.” [Down by the Hipster] Lower East Side: Fat Baby and Spitzer’s Corner owners Rob and Will Shamlian seem well on their way to opening a rockabilly bar and restaurant at 133 Essex Street, minus a liquor license and a mechanical bull. [Eater] Sunset Park: Pepper and salt fish are tiny fish deep-fried in a batter that puffs up like funnel cake; they go well with abundant mini-shots of beer, and conveniently both are served at Ren Ren on Eighth Avenue every day until 3:30 a.m. [Eat for Victory/VV]

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Bourdain Showing ‘Iron Chef’ Some Love; Dévi Back in Action

The worst thing Tony Bourdain can say about the new Top Iron Chef is “that Ruhlman’s hair is the scariest and most offensive aspect of the show … In every other respect, the damn thing is pretty impeccable.” [Ruhlman] Related: Who Will Be Cut Next on ‘The Next Iron Chef’? Enterprising chefs Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur will have their recently acquired restaurant Dévi reopen by Monday. [Eater] Related: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook is uncomfortably similar to another cookbook published a few months before it, which also encourages moms to put spinach in brownies. [NYT] Related: Hey Jessica Seinfeld! What Up? [Daily Intel]

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Return of Dévi; It's the Year of the Deli

After all the hullabaloo over Dévi's closing, its chefs, Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur, have purchased the spot and will reopen it next month. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Related: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects Yolato takes a swing at the fro-yo competition by opening three Manhattan shops this week. [NYS] Related: The New Cold War: Frozen Yogurt Invades New York Del Posto's Nicole Kaplan says it straight: "I don't really like innovations." [amNY ]

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Tailor Open; Marcus Samuelsson in Cahoots With Starbucks

Put down your roman à clef! Tailor had its soft opening last night. [Down by the Hipster] Related: What to Read While You Wait for Tailor to Open — Sam Mason: The Novel Five recipes from Marcus Samuelsson's cookbook Discovery of a Continent: Foods, Flavors and Inspirations from Africa were developed by a team from Starbucks as part of a deal that also includes the introduction of baked items and coffee blends sold under the chef's name. [Eat for Victory/VV] The closing of Dévi makes Frank Bruni sad, and in his elegy to the restaurant, he ponders our take on Suvir Saran's motives. [Diner's Journal/NYT] Related: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects

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Suvir Saran Plans to Open New Restaurant This Spring

Suvir Saran
It didn’t take long for Suvir Saran to get wind of our post earlier today, and we received a letter from the always media-savvy, and admittedly charming, food personality. Mostly, the “saran rap” — if you will — conjured up images of bucolic bliss: “I am at my farm, tending to our chickens and tasting recipes…” it began. But midway through the lengthy epistle, we came across this little tidbit: “Hemant and I will open a new restaurant in NYC sometime spring of 2008.” (Hemant, of course, is Hemant Mathur, the brilliant but bashful chef who actually did the cooking in Dévi.) We speculated earlier today that Saran’s outside projects may have led to Dévi’s demise; given how long it takes to find a space, make a deal, and create a place, one would have to assume that the new place wasn’t conceived yesterday. Saran also confirms the existence of American Masala, although he didn’t, of course, describe it to us as an Indian Olive Garden. But who can blame him for that? Earlier: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects

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Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects

Suvir Saran
The sudden closing of Dévi has raised a lot of questions, few of which were answered by photogenic front man Suvir Saran’s gnomic utterances to Eater, who broke the story yesterday. But we have some intelligence that might help shed some light on the restaurant’s closing. Part of what Saran told Eater is surely true: The curtain dropped as a result of “operational differences between the restaurant’s owner and our staff.” What follows is some informed speculation on the causes of those differences, brought to us by sources close to Saran.

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