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Falai

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Ciprianis May Lose Fifth Avenue Lease; New York May Lose Iconic Sign

The Cipriani family may lose the lease on its Fifth Avenue property because of their criminal case. [NYP] Just like the Moondance Diner, Jade Mountain’s iconic neon sign looks like it’s headed out of town. [Lost City] Will Goldfarb better get to work on that glyph, because apparently his new restaurant won’t be called Room 4 Dessert for legal reasons. [Eater] Related: Room 4 Dessert Is Dead, Long Live Room 4 Dessert

Hot Dogs Out, Halal In; More on Flor de Mayo’s Alleged Abuses

“The hot dog now is for tourists,” and halal food has taken its place as New York’s signature street fare. Watch the video. [NYT] Related: Cartography [NYM] Flor de Mayo allegedly paid one of its workers $90 for 72 hours of work in one week — and made him provide his own bicycle for deliveries. [Newsday] The Chinese government now realizes that exporting bad food is in fact bad for business. [Forbes]

Falai’s Left-Field Trio of Foie Gras Treats

Iacopo Falai impressed a lot of experienced eaters when he opened Falai, his small, eponymous restaurant on the Lower East Side, catching them off-guard with his very modern take on Italian food. This foie gras appetizer, rare enough on Italian menus, comes from out of left field. “There are more contrasting flavors and textures in this dish than any foie gras dish on the planet,” Falai boasts. “Start with the croquette and go clockwise. It’s warm and should be eaten right away. The chocolate I’d like to be last, because it gives a strong, savory end to the dish. There’s so much interaction here for the customer to discover.” As always, mouse over the different elements to read them described in Falai’s own words.

Car Plows Into Hop Kee; Neroni Keeps Spinning

A car plows into the venerable Hop Kee restaurant in Chinatown. The restaurant is damaged, and one person is hurt. [Downtown Express] Izakaya invasion! The city now boasts everything from simple sake joints with food to full-blown small-plate restaurants. [NYDN] The official Times take on the Neroni Affair includes this classic quote, in defense of the Desperate Chef: “If Marco didn’t want anyone signing checks, including Jason, he should have put the checkbook in the safe.” [NYT]

Anthos Broadsided, Gramercy Tavern Hammered

Bruni sympathetically reviews Nish, handing down two stars, but he seems less impressed than other critics (with the exception of Randall Lane). [NYT] Peter Meehan enjoys the tapas at Ostia, but suggests that the trend may have played itself out. [NYT] Alan Richman gives what may be the first totally negative write-up of Gramercy Tavern: Apparently the food is complicated and bland, the service undersupervised, and the room lacking in personality. A major blow to new chef Michael Anthony. [Bloomberg] Related: Everything Topsy-Turvy at Gramercy Tavern

Gay Waiter Literally Has It Shoved in His Face; Falai to Open More Casual Restaurant

Jean Georges waiter claims to have been abused by the restaurant’s homophobic staff — including a forced after-hours lap dance. We might have expected this at Mercer Kitchen, but … [Newsday] The Times considers the banana-cream pie as a Zeitgeist item, concludes that it unites the diverse population of Los Angeles. Also, it’s funny when people throw them. [NYT] Iacopo Falai set to open Caffe Falai, a more casual version of his restaurant later this week. Get there while it's still BYOB. [The Strong Buzz] New York has better bars and restaurants than London, says English op-ed. And they’re just figuring this out now? [Telegraph] Chinatown is the place to go for cheap, high-quality vegetables. Also, we would add, for cheap, high-quality fish, turtles, dumplings … [WNYC] Cook and cashier brutally shot at Brooklyn’s Happy House Chinese restaurant. [NY1] Whether to add other brands to your core business, or shed them: McDonald's versus Red Lobster. True inside-baseball, but interesting. [Foodservice Blog]

Ms. Gobbler's Turn: Her Favorite Restaurants

In pale imitation of great gastronome scribblers like Calvin Trillin and the late Johnny Apple, the Gobbler has written, perhaps too often, about his wife's taste in food and restaurants (just read his last review). Possibly also like them (the Gobbler doesn't know Mr. Trillin, but he met Apple during his gruff, un-cuddly, pre-foodie days), the Gobbler is often accused by his wife of egregiously distorting her views (you bet he does). Ms. Gobbler would like the world to know that her most-used word is not "yummy," that if given the choice, she'd prefer to eat at home, and that her favorite drink really is champagne. "Also, you always make me sound elfin," she told the Gobbler just a moment ago, "and I am not elfin." In a hasty (and desperate) attempt to clarify the record, I've asked Ms Gobbler to list her current favorite restaurants in town. It goes without saying that Mr. Gobbler approves of these fine establishments, too.

Most Influential Young Chefs Named, Presented With Tchotchkes

Move over, Bouley! Step aside, Jojo! You're so over. There's a new generation of "emerging tastemakers," at least according to Food Arts magazine and their friends at Sterling Meats. Sunday night, meat purveyor and magazine jointly fêted ten young chefs who, they predict, "will be influencing what, where and how we dine out on a national level." The chefs were presented with framed, diploma-like certificates and envy-inducing Masamoto cobalt-steel knifes.