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Financial District (Nyc)

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It’s Pancake Month — Where to Celebrate; New Fresco Financial District Will Be Huge

Astoria: Igloo, at 22-26 31st Street, serves brunch, and the fries are “hot and crisp, not soggy at all.” That would describe the ideal fry, no? [Joey in Astoria] Financial District: A second Fresco on the Go is set to open in May at 10 Hanover Square, only this version will be 8,000 square feet and "combine elements of a retail store, restaurant, and party space." [Zagat] Morningside Heights: It’s Pancake Month! And it’s no surprise that some of the best hot cakes in town can be found at Clinton Street’s sister restaurant, Community Food & Juice. [Gridskipper] Tribeca: The new sommelier at Cercle Rouge, Jorge Riera, comes from the late 360 in Red Hook, and he’s hosting a biodynamic-wine dinner on Monday with Loire Valley winemakers Chateau Tour Grise. [Grub Street] West Village: Le Gamin has been rechristened the New French now that one of the owners is out and there’s a new chef and a reworked menu. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

Wing Woes on First Avenue; French Bistro Tougher Than Gun Shots in Brooklyn

Ditmas Park: Patois and Sweetwater owner Jim Mamary is opening a French bistro at the corner of Newkirk Avenue and Argyle Road, and his progress hasn’t been hampered by a recent shooting nearby: "You can’t open up a flower shop on a strip nobody would walk on. It’s us guys who take the risks. Restaurants take the risks.” [NYT via Eater] East Village: Despite having encouraged wing reservations for yesterday’s big game, Atomic Wings lost track of orders and left customers waiting one to two hours for what turned out to be cold Buffalo not-so-goodness. [Grub Street] Financial District: A new Mexican cantina called Mad Dog and Beans has brought fish tacos and chiles rellenos to Pearl Street. [Zagat] Soho: Palacinka has lost its lease. [Eater] West Village: L’Impero alum chef Michael Genardini will be in the kitchen of a rustic Italian eatery called I Sodi, which should be ready this March in the former Puff & Pao space. [TONY]

The Palm Coming to Chambers Street

The Palm, having launched satellite steakhouses everywhere from Atlanta to Atlantic City, will soon have a third restaurant right here in the 212. The restaurant confirmed a tip that a third Palm is coming to the financial district — Chambers Street, to be exact. We’re still working on the address but thought you would like to know, because there aren’t enough steakhouses popping up in Manhattan these days. Related: Can Downtown Support Another Steakhouse?

Four Seasons Bringing Hotel and Restaurant to Ground-Zero Area

With the hype starting to swirl over which restaurateur will snag space in the Freedom Tower, Crain’s brings news that the Four Seasons will be erecting an 80-story structure designed by Robert A.M. Stern to contain a hotel, condos, and a restaurant. The city’s tallest residential tower will open in 2011 at 99 Church Street, a block from ground zero. Taking inflation into account, we predict the martinis will be at least $30 by then. Four Seasons Inks Deal for Downtown Hotel [Crain's NY] Related: Robert A.M. Stern Likens New Larry Silverstein Development to the ‘Titanic’ [Daily Intel]

Can Downtown Support Another Steakhouse?

Larry Silverstein
Grimly optimistic developer Larry Silverstein announced today that Capital Grille, the steak chain with a midtown location, has signed a ground-floor lease in his 120 Broadway tower. By luring the D.C.-based operation to join neighbors like Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, Silverstein said, “downtown has become a true beckon for foodies.” (We think he meant beacon, but he said “beckon.”) In the same speech, Silverstein said 86 percent of lower Manhattan’s new businesses have come from outside the financial sector. But since there are already at least six other steakhouses in the neighborhood, can all those new nonfinancial (and presumably, more edamame-inclined) sectors keep them all in business? Silverstein argues that the influx of spendthrift apartment owners around Wall Street will attract more prominent retail, which will make the area a perfect business hub. Hmm. Sounds like Soho to us, a neighborhood that has yet to open, much less support, even one fratty meatery. —Alec Appelbaum

Chinese Restaurant, After-hours Spot Finally Goes to Sleep

The China Room, known to financial-district lunchgoers as a humdrum Chinese restaurant and known to hipsters as the location of a popular after-hours techno party, will close tomorrow. A manager tells us it’s because business has dropped off. The restaurant’s poor location — practically hidden away in the basement of an office building — better served the early-morning revelers than the deeper-pocketed lunch crowd. Yes, there are still other places to score a 5 a.m. bottle of Tsingtao, but nevertheless, we’re sad for the loss. Earlier: Blind Item: Name That After-hours!

Yet Another Haru Opens, Appropriately on Wall Street

Whether Haru’s reputation as the Dos Caminos of the sushi trade is deserved, the chain keeps growing: This week the latest sushi megastore opens up, with all its ridiculous (and surprisingly good) specialty cocktails intact. This one is in the Beaver Building downtown and will likely mint money as fast as the other Harus. Like its parent, Benihana, Haru has found the perfect formula: good sushi, big menu, big bar, and lively atmosphere. Even though the food is better at Chanto, the dull atmosphere keeps people away (in a bad-for-business cycle). Successful Japanese restaurateurs know that Americans prefer big cocktails to kaiseki or soba noodles. All you have to do is ask Rocky Aoki, if you can find him behind his mountains of yen. *Correction: Haru does not yet have a liquor license. The restaurant's reps say it should come "any day now."

Gusto Now Going to Look and Taste Like Centro Vinoteca

Chelsea: It doesn’t look good for those who are just getting used to the belly; pig’s ears are the latest trend, and even the version at stellar tapas spot Tía Pol was described by Peter Meehan as "crunchy and sticky with a funky pigskin flavor." [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Financial District: Don’t forget, the trial run for the proposed year-round seasonal market at South Street Seaport starts on December 16 (and Molto Mario will be there). [Grub Street] Park Slope: Tempo Presto is closing this Friday because the restaurant can’t keep up with the pricey rent. [Gowanus Lounge] Upper West Side: Dovetail‘s opening next week. [Zagat] West Village: Sasha Muniak must feel really good about the Centro Vinoteca formula; after tapping chef Anne Burrell to take over for Amanda Freitag, he plans to redesign the Gusto space by next year with help from Centro Vinoteca and Jean Georges designer Thomas Juul-Hansen. [Restaurant Girl] Andrea Strong unveils renderings of Jason Neroni’s new gig, 10 Downing. [Strong Buzz via Eater] Magnolia Bakery will be open regular hours every day this holiday season except for Christmas, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24, kids can pick up a cupcake that comes with a note to Santa. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Williamsburg: A benefit party at Supreme Trading tomorrow night promises an open Bass Ale Beer bar from 7 to 8 p.m. and "one of the most difficult cuisines to find in New York City: Rwandan." [Cakehead]