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Belgian Room Closed for Underage Drinking; Park Avenue Winter Preparing for Its Spring Awakening

Astoria: Sweet shop Oleput is now offering a lot more savories in the form of small plates and panini. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Rustik Tavern has a warm interior, but the menu doesn’t sound too rustic: chili, wings, nachos, though for the last one the blogger liked "that it’s cheese sauce rather than real cheese." [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: Food writers including Kara Zuaro (I Like Food, Food Tastes Good), Phoebe Damrosch (Service Included) and David Wondrich (Imbibe) and Edible Brooklyn’s Gabrielle Langholtz will talk about — what else? — eating, at Powerhouse Arena next Tuesday. [A Brooklyn Life] East Village: Belgian Room has been closed for letting minors booze on Lambic. [Down by the Hipster] Soho: Vosges bacon chocolate now comes in the shape of flying pigs. But they can’t escape. [Snack] Upper East Side: Park Avenue Winter will turn into spring on March 26, just in time for Easter. [Zagat]

Clive Campbell Wants Slavery Reparations From Jay-Z, Of All People

Atlantic Yards: Activist Clive Campbell has filed a $5 billion suit against Bruce Ratner, Jay-Z, and Barclay's bank. He's suing for slavery reparations, because of alleged slave trade ties in the history of the bank. [NYO] Bedford-Stuyvesant: Cleaning your dog's poop is all about respect. Respecting yourself, that is. [Newyorkshitty] Dumbo: If you want your short film to play on the big screen at Brooklyn Bridge Park, now's the time to submit it to Movies With a View. No subtitles, please. [Dumbo NYC]

Drink-Special Fakers in Astoria Get Called Out, But One of This Week's Openings Makes a Serious Cocktail

Astoria: Sabry’s at 24–25 Steinway whips up a shrimp and calamari tagine that’s “not only visually appealing but full of tomatoey goodness.” [Joey in Astoria] Fatty’s Cafe lied to Joey and Foodista about serving Valentine’s Day drink specials; everything was regularly priced. Not cool. [Foodista] Dumbo: A relatively budget kitchenware shop called Leader Trading Company has opened at 160 Water Street. [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: The Corpse Reviver at Hudson Valley–inspired Olana is a “smooth mix of Lillet, Tanqueray, Cointreau, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice in an absinthe-tempered glass.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown West: The head chef of the Chapati Roll/Biriyani Cart at 46th near Sixth Avenue "has returned after two and a half months in Bangladesh" and has added a vegetarian Aloo Gobi roll, with curried potatoes and cauliflower, to the short menu. [Midtown Lunch] Tribeca: Dennis Foy now serves a $24.08 three-course prix fixe lunch on weekdays and a weekend brunch featuring macadamia-nut granola, orange- and almond-dipped French toast, and pancakes with dulce de leche gelato. [Grub Street] West Village: Next Wednesday is Dominican Independence Day, and Havana Alma De Cuba will have a native Dominican rolling complimentary cigars to go with your mojito. [Grub Street]

Bubbles in Your Vodka a Good Thing on the Upper East Side; House-Made Charcuterie Hits Cobble Hill

Chinatown: A stellar Chinese dessert discovery: “[F]laky green pastries that resembled caterpillars” flavored with durian fruit “came to the table piping hot filled with a bright yellow pudding.” Find them at Chatham Square (6 Chatham Square). [Gothamist] Clinton Hill: The food at Restaurant New Orleans is good, but the entire operation seems completely haphazard. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: The Red Deli at 264 Clinton Street near Verandah Place opens this week with “house-made charcuterie along with grab-and-go items like fried chicken.” [TONY] Dumbo: The D Space offering an Indian buffet is actually called Marrakesh Express, and the food is worth a try. [Dumbo NYC] Nolita: This list of spots to drink up free or cheap wine includes Le Jardin Bistro, where on Monday and Tuesday nights $12 adds all-you-can drink Bordeaux to your dinner. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Upper East Side: A new sparkling vodka called Camitz is for sale at Sherry-Lehmann, Astor Wines, and, in the near future, at Morrell’s, but you can try it in a cocktail at Park Avenue Winter among a few other restaurants around town. [Strong Buzz]

Rosé-Sparkler Tastings in Clinton Hill; Eat Cake, Not Dinner for Valentine’s Day

Chelsea: The former Daniele’s Piadina space on 22nd Street east of Sixth Avenue sat empty for two years, but it will reopen as a sandwich shop called Ashby’s on Monday. [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Gnarly Vines is hosting a rosé-sparkler tasting tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and bottles of those sample selections are 10 percent off. [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: The ‘D’ Space Restaurant at Jay and Front streets serves Indian buffet, but will it raise the bar on local delivery options? [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: Shaffer City Oyster Bar & Grill will close February 23 and reopen in March as Flatiron Joe’s with cheaper American fare and a jukebox. [Zagat] Fort Greene: In her list of last-minute Valentine’s Day options, Danyelle Freeman recommends Cake Man Raven if you want to "just forget dinner and grab a few whopping slices of the decadent red velvet cake that made this bakery famous." [Restaurant Girl] Soho: In honor of this romantic week, it’s only right that bananas (and resulting desserts around town) are celebrated for being "not only insanely phallic but also brimming with potassium and B vitamins, which are necessary for keeping your sex drive going." But you don’t have to tell your date that after deciding to share Blue Ribbon Brasserie’s top-rated banana split. [Gridskipper] West Village: Pig's-feet and collagen temple Hakata TonTon has been closed by the Department of Health. [Eater]

Kellog’s Diner at Risk; the Definitive Banana Book

Cobble Hill: Trader Joe's seems to think it's opening a store on Court Street, even if a bunch of local bloggers don't. [McBrooklyn] Dumbo: Finally, the map to area eateries we’ve all been waiting for. [Gridskipper] East Village: Want to read a book about bananas? Dan Keoppel reads tonight at KGB from Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. Fort Greene: Neighbors are looking for a friendly bar to watch Super Tuesday results. [General Greene] Gowanus: Vandals have opened up the Whole Foods site on 3rd Street again. [Gowanus Lounge] Jackson Heights: Sweet tooths rejoice over Cannelle Pâtisserie on 31st Avenue. [Chow] Park Slope: Komboocha, a fermented tea, hits the co-op, but not everyone is psyched about it: “It’s expensive, tastes like crap, and claims to cure everything. Thus, it appeals to the rich and those addicted to Park Slopish consumer culture.” [Daily Slope] Williamsburg: According to renderings, Kellog's Diner will be wrapped up by a heinous new condo at Metropolitan and Union. [Curbed]

‘Queen of Delancey Street’ Killed in Accident

Dumbo: From the offices of "legendary" Brooklyn Paper editor (and self-encourager) Gersh Kuntzman comes news that he's auctioning off his ankle cast, signed by (self-encouraging) beep Marty Markowitz, with proceeds going to Markowitz's Camp Brooklyn. The bid's up to $41! [eBay] Jamaica: Sure, Jamaica Center may look a bit rough, but you can still haggle over prices here, and find great real-estate deals posted to trees! [Queens Crap] Lower East Side: RIP to Josephine LaPlaca, the 83-year-old "Queen of Delancey Street," who was struck dead by a car Wednesday night at the dangerous intersection of Delancey and Allen. [Gothamist]

Don’t Be an Ass, You’ll Be Made to Wait; Park Slope Gets Its Beer Table Saturday

Clinton Hill: John's Donut Shop & Restaurant looks like an unassuming diner, but a recent visit revealed an actual wait. Do people know something we don't know? [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: Water Street Restaurant is promoting $3 Draft Beers and a 2-for-1 Cheeseburger Special on Sunday. [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: If you get to Hill Country at 8 p.m. on a Saturday and come 9 p.m. you’re still waiting for a table, you’ve now struck "Shot o’clock," according to GM John Shaw, "gratis shots for all at the bar." [Eater] Little Italy: This is proof that the city’s nightlife is still hot: "Degenerates of nyc in full swing at gold bar. 19 yr old Brazilians having makeshift photo shoots as the party floods into the D.J. booth to play with the new mac computers." Only Bangkok could be hotter than that! [Down by the Hipster] Park Slope: Beer Table, whose SLA woes were chronicled by the Times this week, will open Saturday. [Eat for Victory/VV] Tribeca: A bit of diner rudeness has been spotted around town lately — stool-swiping, line-cutting, table-hogging — but there’s a bit of consolation (and warning to offenders): Nobu co-owner Richie Notar revealed "they get secretly punished with extra-long waits." [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]

10 Jay to Get Five More Stories

Astoria: If a park designated as a "sitting area" has nowhere to sit, is that kind of like if a tree fell in the forest in that park — if there were a forest there — and no one heard it? Is it really a sitting area at all? Or even a forest or a park? Think about it. [Queens Crap] Bushwick: Get your knives out, the Argentines are coming! Uh, your steak knives, that is, because they make great steaks. Get it? [BushwickBK] Dumbo: That landmark building at 10 Jay Street where the raves used to be held in the early aughts? Those aren't cabanas going on the roof — it's added five stories! Is it going residential? [DumboNYC]

Historic Brooklyn Navy Yard Houses Get a Stay of Execution

Brooklyn Navy Yard: The Feds have indefinitely delayed plans to tear down ten nineteenth-century houses here in order to build a supermarket. Patina before potatoes! [Brownstoner] Dumbo: The waterfront Empire Stores warehouse is so decrepit that the park surrounding it has been closed for safety, and everyone's pointing fingers over who let the Civil War–era pile languish for so long. [Brooklyn Paper via Curbed] Elmhurst: This no-frills Queens hood isn't slated to do so well in the real-estate boom, but maybe it'll fare better than expected with loving testimonials like this: "At sunset, the dirty black bricks of the six-story apartment buildings turn deep red and almost dark pink. At night, it's peaceful." Ahhh… [NYDN via Queens Crap]

After Taco Bell, Rodents Take On Cobble Hill

Clinton Hill: What? You say you weren't at the Pratt annual antique steam-whistle concert on New Year's Eve at midnight? Like, where else could you have been? At least it was captured on this YouTube video. But, dude, it's not the same thing as being there. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: Is that a squirrel or a rat sunning himself in the window of that shamefully derelict Kane Street walk-up? Locals are bitterly divided over the answer. People, can we all agree that it's a rodent? [Lost New York City] Dumbo: Will the new owners of an old Water Street warehouse really build a theater and host a Korean film festival in there? We'll see, kimchee. [Brooklyn Eagle via DumboNYC]

People in Dumbo Still Read Books

Dumbo
Dumbo: Local, too-cool-for-school publisher powerHouse Books better watch out! Another indie publisher, Melville House, plans to open offices plus a bookstore and event space, just like pH did! [DumboNYC]
East Harlem: Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito, who fights for affordable housing here, is "vivacious enough to play herself in any television biopic." Shouldn't that be a requirement for the whole City Council? [NYDN]
East Village: Hygienic bohos, rejoice! Soap dispensers are returning to the women's restroom at Tompkins Square Park! [Suzannah B. Troy Artist]

Cloudy Future

As thousands of European budget travelers swarmed the rainy city and prepared to gaze at the big crystal ball in Times Square, many New Yorkers had already moved on to 2008. Bill Clinton worried about Mayor Bloomberg’s buying his way into the presidential race: “He could spend $1 billion and hardly miss it,” said the former president.

Dumbo Makes Its Mark

Carroll Gardens: Some people feel that the paltry number of holiday lights strung up on Court Street is really shameful. And they ain't too proud to blog about it. [Lost City] Dumbo: It just became the city's 90th landmark district! Those hulking industrial piles turned boutique lofts will be preserved into perpetuity! Huzzah! [NYS] East Harlem: Don Imus is kicking in a quarter-mil for an ecofriendly health center up here, saying it's shameful that such a small hood has such high asthma rates. [Newsday via Uptown Flavor]

Holiday High Tea Returns to Midtown East; Avenue B New Dining Hotbed

Dumbo: An Eva Solo Oil/Vinegar Bottle, from Tivoli Home on 111 Front Street, made this list of gifts available in the neighborhood. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: Avenue B "has developed a thriving restaurant scene" now that Back Forty has joined the ranks of classics 26 Seats and Max. Even if there were tumbleweeds at Cantina the other night. [NYT] Food critic David Rosengarten has named Il Buco his pick for restaurant of the year in his weekly e-zine called Tastings. They do have great gift-worthy chandeliers. [Grub Street] Midtown East: The Four Seasons is serving high tea with a view of its lobby’s 24-foot Christmas tree from 3 to 5 p.m. daily until December 29. [Zagat] West Village: Little owl chef Joey Campanaro created this recipe for spinach gnocchi with pancetta beurre noisette and chanterelles. [Restaurant Girl]

Bar Blanc Is So Open; Good Chinese in Sunset Park? Try Crashing a Wedding

Dumbo: Admission to Taste of Spain at the Dumbo Arts Center from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight includes a wine tasting and tapas. [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: Boqueria is throwing a "Cava fueled fiesta" for New Year’s Eve. [Snack] Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: The empty space on the corner of Flatbush and Beekman will become a Subway, and one blogger isn’t so upset: "At first we were disappointed that a big chain was coming in, but … some Subways even have full blown salads." Nice! Just like McDonald’s. [Across the Park] Sunset Park: Sietsema may have had to crash a Chinese wedding to figure this out, but dim-sum go-to Pacificana is also good for dinner. [Eat for Victory/VV] West Village: Bar Blanc seems to be in soft-open mode. [Eater]

Live Poultry Not Live for Long in Woodside; Champagne at Paradou

Dumbo: The Japanese publication Mapple released a guide to the nabe and recommends Jacques Torres Chocolate, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and Grimaldi’s as top picks. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: You don’t need to hunt down any Danish to track Frank Bruni; he’s a huge fan of Death & Co (and hopes the bar’s not really in trouble). [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Meatpacking District: A $25 Champagne tasting at Paradou next Tuesday also comes with snacks. [Paradou NYC] Midtown: A rare bottle of scotch fetched $54,000 at Christie's liquor auction last night. The Rob Roys we made with it were great. [Food and Wine] Woodside: For a truly hands-on holiday meal, you can head to Bismillah Live Poultry market in the warehouse quarter; choose your "turkey out of a flock of around 30, and off it went in a shopping cart to be slaughtered, scalded in hot water, and plucked by the staff. Fifteen minutes later it emerged in a bag, warm to the touch, its fat tail sticking out." [The Grinder/Chow]

Renzo Piano Forgot the Bike Racks

Times Square: If the New York Times building is so green, how come there's nowhere to park a bike? [Streetsblog] Atlantic Yards: Will the Yards eventually feel more like Madison Square Garden, or Newark? This blog captures the debate from the Brian Lehrer Show. [Atlantic Yards Report] Brooklyn Heights: The Wandering Stranger of Schermerhorn Street has disappeared! And has earned himself a poetic blog elegy. [Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn via Brooklyn Heights Blog]

Le Bernardin Pastry Chef a Fan of Mason; Tour East Village Dumpling Master's Lair

Astoria: A new wine bar on 35th Avenue at 30th Street called Rest-au-Rant features about 30 wines and beers — from Germany, New Zealand, Hawaii, Belgium, and France. [Joey in Astoria] Dumbo: Waterstreet Restaurant and Lounge hosts carolers and expects dancing till late tonight as part of a holiday shopping promotion throughout the nabe. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: A photo tour of the magical workshop of "Sun Le, the dumpling master who makes TKettle’s juicy little masterpieces." [Eat for Victory/VV] Lower East Side: Le Bernardin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis just had a great meal at Tailor and has "always been a fan of Sam Mason’s food." [Restaurant Girl] West Village: The Bowery Hotel’s Eric Goode and Sean McPherson are rumored to have closed a deal on another boutique hotel, at an unknown location. [Down by the Hipster]

Love and Herpes, in Greenpoint

Bowery: The first visitors to the New Museum this weekend were given candy, then yelled at for eating it. [Curbed] Dumbo: A black disabled woman is suing local megadeveloper Dave Walentas for shutting her out of a luxury rental, saying he excluded her based on quibbles like an outstanding cable bill of $1.61. [NYDN] Greenpoint: He wants her to know that his bedbug scare and her possible case of genital herpes are no reason they shouldn't have a torrid affair. Especially now that he's exterminated his bedroom. [Newyorkshitty]