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Ed Levine

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Ed Levine Eats, But Not As Much As You’d Think

'Alex from Blondie and Brownie brought over some Elvis cupcakes topped with bacon, peanut-butter frosting, and [they] were banana cupcakes — this is what I'm subjected to all the time.'

By Alexandra Vallis

Ed Levine Ponders the Stars

"Easy" Ed Levine is going to start reviewing restaurants, but isn't sure he should have a star system. We say: Follow the 'New York' way.

Cheap Food Still Available in Astoria; Bronx Pizza Will Get Better

Astoria: Wow, cheap-eats prices may be going up in elsewhere, but at Omonia (the café that baked the elaborate wedding cake for My Big Fat Greek Wedding), you can get a $12 brunch that includes an entrée, dessert, a morning cocktail, and coffee, tea, or juice. (And it’s good.) [Foodista] Bronx: Peter Meehan found someone to drive him to Trattoria Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Avenue to try the margherita that’s been getting blog buzz as "the best Neapolitan pizza in New York City.” It’s good, he says, but needs work (and less sweet sauce). [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Slice’s Adam Kuban, Ed Levine’s, and DJ Bubbles also tried Zero Otto Nove and found potential not perfection. The grilled pizza from Coals at 1888 Eastchester Road was also dubbed "surprisingly good" during the same trip. [Slice] Lower East Side: Chubo has closed, and it looks like it’s going to be turned into a Japanese cooking school that will sell its pastries out of a flagship café by this summer. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Upper East Side: Chef Michael Vernon has left Geisha to consult on new Serafina restaurants. [Strong Buzz] Midtown East: The owner of now-closed Portofino Grille will open a steakhouse called Creston’s Bar & Grill in the same space come May. [Zagat Buzz] Upper West Side: Spigolo chef Scott Fratangelo loves Land Thai restaurant. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Williamsburg: The state of neighborhood pizza here is weak overall, evidence being leftover slices you don’t even want to eat. [A Brooklyn Life]

Charcuterie Continues to Wow on the UWS; Beer, Cheese, and Chocolate Go Together in the East Village

Chelsea: Cain’s Website is already “pimping” a London opening. [Down by the Hipster] East Village: Jimmy’s No. 43 is hosting a cheese, beer, and chocolate pairing on January 22. Luckily, cheese before beer, you're in the clear. [Gridskipper] Danal on 10th Street has given up the ghost. [Zagat] Hell’s Kitchen: Tasting World is hosting its first Wine Essentials course of 2008 on January 17. [Tasting World] Midwood: The Amateur Gourmet’s "Best Place I Should’ve Been To Already and Where I Should’ve Already Gone Back To" for 2007: Di Fara Pizza. There are surely too many out there who can relate. Upper West Side: Ed Levine is as wowed by Sylvain Gasdon’s charcuterie at Bar Boulud as we were. [Ed Levine’s New York Eats via Eater] West Village: David Page and Barbara Shinn have left Home to focus on their North Fork winery and have taken the wine-sensitive heart of the restaurant with them. [Eater]

Chain Restaurants Are Where It's At!

Ed Levine, over at Serious Eats, raises a good point today in his spirited defense of Houston’s: Why is everyone so down on chain restaurants? Easy Ed basically recaps a good meal he had at Houston’s, but we actually think he could have gone a lot further. Essentially every restaurant should aspire to be a chain restaurant, and every restaurant does.

Momofuku 2.0 Almost Ready; Return of Choco Jesus

New and improved Momofuku Noodle Bar set to open next week. [NYT] Related: Keeping Up With the Momofukus [NYM] More Greek chefs are invading New York; “gastro-taverna” Athens Tavern opens today with a menu from top Athens chef Yianni Baxevanis. [NYT] Related: Psilakis Isn’t the Only Chef Who Knows Greek The chairwoman of the board of trustees of the James Beard Foundation resigned yesterday saying that her role as host of the PBS series Chef’s Story would make the show ineligible for awards. [NYT]

Michelin's Madness Drives Ed Levine (and Us) Up a Wall

Ed Levine raises some points about Michelin today in what will no doubt be the first of many arguments and think pieces on the subject. There won’t be much debate, though, on the larger question about Michelin: Nearly everybody we know agrees that the book sucks. Unlike its French original, whose authority was well earned and absolute, and based on an army of incorruptible gourmands, the New York book seems more like the product of two Short Hills foodies passing the time on a red-eye airline flight. We haven’t seen the book itself, so we can’t say if the prose will be as insipid and amateurish as last year’s, which was straight from the South Bend Pennysaver, but we think we might get why Michelin is so weirdly arbitrary, a “combination of the Edsel and the Yugo” in Levine’s words.

Grant Achatz Getting Better; Bourdain Spreads Blood and Holiday Cheer

Grant Achatz writes Ruhlman that the tumor on the great chef's tongue has been diminished by about 75 percent, thanks to aggressive chemo. [Ruhlman]. In his upcoming No Reservations holiday special, Tony Bourdain cooks a Thanksgiving dinner with L.A. rockers Queens of the Stone Age and spends "a fair amount of time spraying stage blood onto [his] niece and nephew’s face." [The Grinder/Chow] Rickshaw Dumpling has officially opened. [Eater]