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Downtown Cipriani

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Downtown Cipriani Closed for Operating Sans Sidewalk License?

Downtown Cipriani is “closed for renovations,” Eater reported yesterday, but the eagle fish-eye of our photographer Melissa Hom shows there may be more to the story. Was the most conspicuous sidewalk café in the city operating without a license? We’re not sure how long this went on, but the restaurant wasn’t on the city’s September 16, 2007, list of legally operating sidewalk cafés. That didn't prevent Cipriani from parking a replica of the Wall Street bull outside for bankers to play on. No longer, it seems. And somewhere a Lamborghini weeps. Updated: Cipriani spokesman Chris Giglio writes in a statement, “The sign is a bit misleading. Downtown Cipriani is not required to have a sidewalk café license to have tables outdoors. Nor was it forced to close. A discrepancy in the positioning of several tables and patrons led to Cipriani agreeing to close for three days. We are under construction and will reopen shortly freshly renovated and ready to host our valued patrons.” Earlier: Cipriani Downtown on Hiatus [Eater]

Ben Stiller Crashes a Party at Fiamma, Penélope Cruz Makes Out at Socialista

Claire Danes
Every Friday a notable New Yorker tells us where they’ve been eating, but where are the rest of them chowing down? Starting this week we’ll sort through the gossip columns à la Ils Vont (RIP) to tell you who’s been seen where (casual sightings only — boring galas, vodka launches, and pluggy appearances don’t count). We’ll eventually compile a ranking of restaurants most often visited by celebs. Not that you care about that sort of thing! Oh, but if you do, won’t you please leave your own sightings in the comments?