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Hill Country's Pit-Smoked Easter; Commerce Bartender No Fool

East Village: The dishes in Rhong-Tiam’s spice challenge (the prize for finishing the tasting menu is free dinner at a different Thai restaurant) aren’t as unbearably spicy as you’d expect, and the chef will give you a beer when you’re finished. [Gothamist] Flatiron: Hill Country's serving up a pit-smoked Easter dinner this Sunday. [Strong Buzz] Fort Greene: A boatload of restaurants in the neighborhood are offering prix fixe dinners for $23 next week for Dine in Brooklyn, including Chez Oskar, Olea, and Scopello. [Clinton Hill Blog] Harlem: A reader feels that Slice NY severely underrates Patsy's. [Slice NY] West Village: Commerce's bartender deals adeptly with douche bags. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

Cheap Lobsters, Dancing Girls Join Gordon Ramsay As Harbingers of Doom

Signs that a seafood restaurant may be in trouble, in order of severity: adding a $20 whole lobster to the menu; adding a free burlesque show; having Gordon Ramsay come into your restaurant to torment you for his reality-TV show, Kitchen Nightmares. We knew about number three, but now it turns out, via Metromix, that symptoms one and two have appeared at Black Pearl, the troubled seafood restaurant across from Hill Country. And you know what? Conditions sound pretty damn entertaining. As long as Ramsay, the burlesque show, and the lobster aren't physically connected in any way. Black Pearl Lobster & Burlesque Tuesdays [Metromix NY] Related: Gordon Ramsay to Inflict ‘Kitchen Nightmare’ on Black Pearl

Sleek Rooftop Bar Coming to the UWS; Easter Supper Served in Flatiron

East Village: Nomad on Second Avenue at 4th Street will spotlight Algerian wines and meze pairings for a month starting March 20, in honor of the restaurants third anniversary. [Grub Street] Flatiron: Lunetta will serve a prix fixe Easter supper that offers roasted-beet salad with fennel and orange, and braised rabbit with Robiola agnolotti. [Grub Street] Hell’s Kitchen: If the prices of your Broadway tickets get you down, a delicious, cheap meal at the new wine bar Gallo Nero is a good follow-up to a show. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Upper East Side: A new Persian restaurant called Shalizar is opening at 1420 Third Avenue between 80th and 81st streets. [Upper East Side Informer] Upper West Side: The Empire Hotel plans to unveil a China Grill Management–renovated rooftop bar by this May. [Zagat Buzz]

Gordon Ramsay to Inflict ‘Kitchen Nightmare’ on Black Pearl

Gordon Ramsay, apparently in the belief that New York will never tire of his angry-man shtick, has chosen to subject the Black Pearl clam bar to the patented humiliation of his Kitchen Nightmares series. Though we’d heard that Black Pearl was a candidate for the Ramsey treatment, recent word said the restaurant’s improvement had commuted the sentence. Guess not! Now there are trailers along 26th Street and managers at Hill Country (across the street) are both feeding the crew and being interviewed for background on Black Pearl. We never thought Black Pearl was such a disaster, though it was in a bad location for a clam bar. But then we don’t go around absorbing other people’s suffering as a way to feed our Galactus-like appetite for fame. At least, most of the time we don't. Related: Gordon Ramsay Even a Jerk on Other People's TV Shows

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]

Take a Walk Down Tin Pan Alley, Er, 28th Street

East Village: Right across from its iconic 1859 building, Cooper Union wants to build a corrugated, spiky new thing by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. Um…yeah, we'll skip the stupid, vaguely racist sushi joke. [NYO] Flatiron: The next time you walk down nondescript 28th between Broadway and Sixth, sing out "Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey?" or "In the Good Old Summertime" to commemorate that the block was once the famed Tin Pan Alley. There's no plaque or anything that denotes as much. And that's a sad song. [Lost NYC] Gowanus: Take a look at the residential-retail complex the Toll Brothers would like to build along the canal. Nothing like mixed-use magic alongside the miasma! [Gowanus Lounge]

Astoria Can Be Romantic; Kyotofu Explores Japanese Culture

Astoria: Joey recommends Bistro 33, Mundo, and L’Incontro among romantic V-Day options, but plans to offer more ideas for the nabe next week [Joey in Astoria]; Ethos is closed for renovations the next three weeks. [Grub Street] Chelsea: Bottlerocket’s naughty gift set includes a bottle of Nicolas Feuillate Champagne and condoms. New York: where even wine stores are full-service. [Grub Street] East Village: The owners of Hi-Fi are preparing to open the Bowery Electric in the old Remote Lounge space, and an unrelated wine bar will also be opening soon. [Zagat] Flatiron: If you can hold off on your chocolate binge until after Valentine’s Day (when he doesn’t call), there’s a tasting at Dessert Studio at Chocolat Michel Cluizel on February 19 hosted by 4-Foodies. [4-Foodies] Hell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu has launched a culture series that explores Japanese customs like the kimono and the tea ceremony on the third Wednesday of every month (starting the 20th). [Grub Street] Midtown West: The bar and lounge at the South Gate, the new restaurant in the Jumeirah Essex House, debuts tonight. [Eater]

Sparkling-Pink Sake Might Tickle Your V-Day Fancy in Hell's Kitchen; Commerce Opens Tomorrow

Chelsea: RUB and Swich are just two under-$10 lunch options in this list devoted to the nabe. [Gridskipper] East Village: A Spanish wine bar called Pata Negra opens Friday at 345 East 12th Street. [NYT] Flatiron: A Voce pastry chef Josh Gripper classifies himself as single and dangerous. [Restaurant Girl] Fort Greene: Don’t hold your breath waiting for lamb sliders from the French-Moroccan restaurant that was supposed to open on DeKalb Avenue; the space wasn’t completed, and the sign and menu have already been taken down. [Eat for Victory/VV] Hell’s Kitchen: If you want to explore dining options outside our comprehensive Valentine’s Day Guide, you could look to Kyotofu, which is serving a three-course dessert prix fixe promising a raspberry Valrhona-dark-chocolate fondue and Hou Hou Shu pink-sparkling sake. [Kyotofu] West Village: Commerce opens tomorrow in the former Blue Mill Tavern space and there will be a 20 percent discount on food through Monday. [NYT]; the last outlet of Flor’s Kitchen will shut itself down this Sunday citing problems with the landlord. [Eater]

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]

Hot-Chocolate Frenzy in Flatiron; Know You're Eating Sperm in Midtown

Astoria: Sunswick is having an Abitas beer promotion on Sunday with drink specials, but if you’re less concerned about game day, you could check out the renovation at Il Bambino. [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Naturally Delicious caterers, who also did this blogger’s wedding, will deliver a V-Day menu that includes baked oysters, lobster bisque, tenderloin, a cheese plate, and a Valrhona flourless chocolate cake to those who want to stay in but aren’t able to whip up our sexy stash of recipes. [A Brooklyn Life] Flatiron: City Bakery kicks off its monthlong hot-chocolate festival tomorrow, which highlights rotating "additional flavors, from Caramel or Banana Peel to the Chili Pepper or even Beer varieties." [Restaurant Girl] Midtown East: If you show up at Sakae Sushi and find that it’s closed for a couple of days, you can stop into nearby Yakitori East on 44th Street. Just remember: The winter specialty shirako that their menu dubs as "soft cod roe" is "rather beige globules of sperm sacs." [Gothamist] On February 12, eliminate "menstrual and sexual health concerns" through food at D’Or; let’s hope there’s chocolate involved. [Love Your Femme via Gridskipper] Union Square: Mesa Grill impresario Bobby Flay just got back from Greece and would fly there again for all that "delicious Greek olive oil and some lemon and some potatoes and Greek salad," but if he would just stay in New York, maybe Mesa Grill would have been able to hold on to more of its stars. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

BarFry’s Naughty Valentine’s Day Does Not Include Oil; Irving Mill Expanding in Flatiron

Astoria: Named for the spongy Latin cheese bread, Pao de Queijo has opened at 31-90 30th Street, between Broadway and 31st Avenue, and is serving a Brazilian mix of snacks and batidos. [Time Out] Flatiron: Irving Mill might be Gramercy Tavern lite, but the owners are ready to expand with an Italian wine bar. Who will be the next nearby inspiration? Bar Stuzzichini? [Eater] Tribeca: Brandy Library is hosting a New York whiskey tasting on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Upper West Side: Magnolia Bakery North officially opens on Monday, but eager cupcake fiends might want to try stopping by Saturday to see if there's a soft opening. [Cupcakes Take the Cake] West Village: Josh DeChellis will make you a "naughty doggie-bag" of after-dinner treats from BarFry for Valentine's Day, but, don't worry, no fried hot dogs, just good old-fashioned strawberries and squirt-bottle chocolate. [Eat for Victory/VV]