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Food

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David Cross Is Both 12 and 42 Years Old

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In the fall and winter, David Cross drinks red wine with "almost every meal." (In the spring and summer, apparently, it's beer.) We'd assume he means every non-breakfast meal, but, then, he also has chili for breakfast, so who knows? He even likes red wine with his favorite snack, pretzel rods dipped in Smucker's all-natural peanut butter, chunky. What else did he have red wine with last week? Find out in the latest New York Diet at Grub Street. Comedian David Cross Likes His Peanut Butter and Pretzels With a Glass of Wine [Grub Street]

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Mmm, Mmm, Good

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We know, we know. We never should have gone out in this weather dressed like that; of course we'd catch a cold. But what's done can't be undone, and now that we're sneezing and sniffling, what can we do? Grub Street to the rescue! In today's At the Market column, Zoe Singer rounds up the best chicken-soup options around the city and tops it off with a tip on the best seasonal oranges for fresh-squeezed OJ. Our sinuses are clearing up already. Chicken Soup for the House-Bound Soul [Grub Street]

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Scientific Proof: Manhattanites Are Superior to Queens Residents

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• As home sales slump in other cities, New Yorkers, wallets fat with Wall Street's big year-end bonuses, kick off 2007 with a surge in purchases of everything from tiny studios to whoppers like a $2.5 million home "in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn," the Times overexplicitly reports. [NYT] • Who's slimmer, Manhattanites or folks from outer Queens? Likely the former, according to a new Columbia study finding that New Yorkers who live near lots of stores and subways have lower body-mass-index levels than do those from more suburban parts of the city. [Medical News Today] • From Teaneck to Asbury Park, hundreds of gay couples show up at town halls in New Jersey today as the state becomes the third to offer civil unions. [NYP] • Bill Clinton "stands in" for his wife at an Albany summit of state black and Latino lawmakers, many of whom stay mum on whom they'll back for the Democratic presidential bid, HRC or her duskier rival, Illinois Senator Barack Obama. [NYDN] • Mary's Fish Camp, Artisanal, and, yep, good old Eisenberg's are among the venues offering the twenty best sandwiches in New York City, from fancy-shmancy grilled-cheese redos to old-fashioned egg salad. [amNY]

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Raw Foodie Sarma Melngailis Has a Secret

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What does one of New York's leading raw-food restaurateurs — Sarma Melngailis of Pure Food and Wine — eat in a week? You'd be surprised. It's not just vegan-friendly vegetable concoctions and "weirdo shakes," as she calls them; there's also some lamb and venison, too. "Here’s how I rationalize occasionally not eating raw-vegan," she explains at Grub Street. "I always want to try good food." What other good food did she eat? Head to Grub Street to find out. Raw Foodist Sarma Melngailis Drinks Grapefruit Sake Mojitos Before Noon [Grub Street]

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Parking Wars

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• A riot is brewing — or, more likely, the tabloids are picking up some easy populist points — over Mayor Bloomberg's failure to lift alternate-side parking rules during this week's snowstorm. [NYDN, amNY] • Guess which single mayoral action is "tragic and misguided", and will "degrade societal standards" — the smoking ban, LES rezoning, the 2012 Olympic bid? Wrong: it's those damnable free condoms, according to Cardinal Egan and Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio. [NYP] • We all know about the sex-offender registry, but what does one do with homeless sex offenders? Suffolk Country found one, vaguely medieval, solution: put them in trailers that are periodically rotated around the county. [Newsday] • MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry is even richer than we (and the IRS) knew: In addition to a jaw-dropping salary of $1.28 million a year, Lowry has been getting millions through a murky tax-exempt trust set up by the Museum's benefactors. [NYT] • And in parting, this, from today's OMG-straight-men-can-cook "trend" profile in the News : "I'm constantly bringing wild game back to my apartment, and my girlfriend and I sit outside and pluck it." Don't we all?[NYDN]

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You Will Never Be Hungry Again

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We had no mail at our apartment when we got home last night, but we're pleased to see that neither sleet nor snow nor dark of night keeps a Chinese-food delivery guy from the swift completion of his appointed rounds.

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Lady Godiva Was a Metro-North Rider

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Christmas may be the busiest time of the year for the Postal Service, but at the Godiva chocolate shop in Grand Central, the evening commute home on Valentine's Day seems to take the, um, bonbon. The crowd-control measures in place — corralling maybe 40 or so candy-craving commuters when we stopped by a few minutes ago — include a maze of rope lines and a system by which customers pick out their chocolates and then wait their turn to pay. Other last-minute lovers will appreciate Grub Street's roundup of what culinary canoodling spots had tables still available when they checked this afternoon, and the magazine provided a cheater's guide to Valentine's Day. See? We've got all your bases covered.

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Something's Fishy at Picholine

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So you've been to Picholine, and you've had the $80 three-course prix fixe, and you've loved the first course, chef Terrance Brennan's famous sea-urchin panna cotta, which you know to be one of only two items on the menu held over from the previous incarnation of the restaurant. But, still, you've always felt like you don't quite know the dish. And you've always wished Brennan would stop and explain it to you. Well, kids, now you're in luck: Grub Street's got a new Annotated Dish, and it's Picholine's sea-urchin panna cotta. Learn all about its fishy fabulousness at Grub Street. Picholine’s ‘Oceanic’ Sea-Urchin Panna Cotta [Grub Street]

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Extra! Extra! There Is Chick-fil-A in New York

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Rob and Robin deliver an astounding piece of news in their Sandwich of the Week update today: There actually is a Chick-fil-A branch — one, solitary outpost — in Manhattan. Even more astounding: It's located in an NYU food court, and the dedicated dining duo infiltrated said food court — sans student I.D. but avec verisimilitudinous knapsnack — to sample the wares. How was it? "Deliriously good," they report, "in a heavily seasoned monosodium-glutamate kind of way." Mmm … MSG. All the details are at Grub Street. Sneaking Past Security for the Sandwich of the Week [Grub Street]

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Celebrity Restaurateurs: They Get Slow Service Just Like Us!

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When Drew Nieporent — the man behind Nobu, Montrachet, and Tribeca Grill — is at the table next to you, it would seem worth following his lead. And so when we noticed him beside us (thanks, Times Magazine!) for brunch at Geoffrey Zakarian's Café at Country yesterday, we realized we were listening to our neighbors' conversation a little more closely than would normally be polite. He ordered the tartare of beef, and therefore so did we. His arrived, served in a Mason jar along with miniature French bread sticks, and looked damn tasty. We couldn't wait for ours. But wait we did: Almost an hour later, it still hadn't appeared. Nieporent's entrée hadn't either, and so we found ourselves discussing restaurant service with one of the legends of the business.

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The Gobbler's Guide to Avoiding Bad Meals

Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of bad New York restaurants? The Gobbler knows. In his Grub Street column this week, Adam Platt distills the nine signs you're about to have a really sucky meal. From maître d' inspections to the "truffles-truffled" dichotomy to warnings about the size of the desserts (anything bigger "than your mother's handbag" is to be avoided), the Gobbler's got the telltale clues. Check them out on Grub Street. Signs You're About to Have an Awful Meal [Grub Street]

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How to Make Eggs Like a Pro, and Other Adventures in Opening a Restaurant

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Former wd-50 pastry chef Sam Mason will be opening a joint of his own, Tailor, at the beginning of March. As he prepares for the big day, he's been chronicling his exploits for Grub Street. In today's installment, he considers tableware, purchases some kitchen machinery, and reveals how to make the most perfect soft-boiled egg. (Hint: You won't be able to do it at home.) Learn about it at Grub Street. Sam Mason and the Fabulous Egg Machine [Grub Street]

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On Super Bowl Sunday, Spotted Pig Staff Partied Like It Was 1999

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Where does Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman hold his holiday party? Not at the Spotted. When does he hold it? Not during the holiday season. And what does he serve? More food that you can imagine. This past Sunday — Super Bowl Sunday — Friedman threw a belated holiday party for his Pig staff at Del Posto, another eatery owned by part Pig owner Mario Batali. The feast was one of Dionysian excess — a roasted pig, mac 'n' cheese with black truffles, innumerable apps, cake "served by scantily clad babes." Rob and Robin have the complete menu — plus photos! — at Grub Street. Batali Helps Devise Insane Feast for Spotted Pig Staff [Grub Street]

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Beef Lifts Us Up Where We Belong

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Bad news for all the single people of New York: Valentine's Day is mercilessly creeping up on us. (Depressing, isn't it?) There are several gastronomic ways to mark the date, as the Underground Gourmet points out on Grub Street today. You could stay at home and order pizza; you could drown your sorrows in a vat of Häagen-Dazs; you could spend the evening with the gallant General Tso, who in such cases we have always found to be both an officer and a gentleman. Or if you're determined to celebrate your singlehood — and perhaps ensure that you remain that way — you could try the sandwich the Underground Gourmet has identified as Sandwich of the Week: the Breakup Burger. Find out all about it at Grub Street. Sandwich of the Week: Twisted Burger's Breakup Burger [Grub Street]

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The Models Are Skinny, The Media Is Fat

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Considering that we're living through a moment in which the entire fashion industry is taking a hit for whether its models are unhealthily skinny, we were very surprised to see that the organizers of Fashion Week have a very urgent message for us writer types: We're fat.

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Food Network Moves Feast for Catherine Zeta-Jones

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Less than a month before the Food Network Awards Show — when plans have been made, florists scheduled, hotel rooms booked — the Food Network is rescheduling the big event, pushing it up a day. Why? Because Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart have a conflict. Zeta-Jones, who plays a chef in the summer movie No Reservations, and co-star Eckhart were scheduled to be presenters at the show. But then Eckhart got an Independent Spirit Award nomination, and that ceremony is on the same day. And Zeta-Jones declined to do the gig without Eckhart. But the foodies are flexible. "We'd change the world for Catherine Zeta-Jones. She's a star," says Lee Brian Schrager, organizer of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, which hosts the awards. Among the big New York names who will have to change their plans: Gotham Bar and Grill's Alfred Portale, Momofuku's David Chang, and Aquavit's Marcus Samuelsson. Even Laurent Tourondel, who was scheduled to cook a Champagne barbecue at the Miami festival that now conflicts with the Food Awards, says he doesn't mind. But then Zeta-Jones probably needs no reservation at BLT Prime, either. —Alexandra Peers Feeding Frenzy [NYP]

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Susan Orlean Thinks You're Fat

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Long before politicians realized their idiotic public gaffes would be indexed forever in YouTube, writers faced a similar but somehow graver problem: ill-advised books published early in their career that stick around on shelves forever to haunt their authors. On Radar Online today, Claire Zulkey catalogues many of those wish-they-were-forgotten titles, hitting many of the greatest hits, like Lynne Cheney's sapphic romp and Scooter Libby's oddly bestial mystery. We were most interested, however, in a less well-known work that made the cut. New Yorker scribes Patricia Marx and Susan Sistrom — that's Susan Orlean to you — apparently once interrupted their careers to author the compelling The Skinny: What Every Skinny Woman Knows About Dieting and Won't Tell You!, which, according to Amazon commenters, is a "sick book by unhealthy women" filled with "tips on self-destruction." We'd love to ascribe this detour to youthful desperation, but the book was published in 1999 — one year after The Orchid Thief and while Marx was firmly ensconced in a career as a novelist and Saturday Night Live writer. The book's money quote? "Eat all you want, but never swallow. Spit always." And to think of all the money Si Newhouse has wasted on their expense accounts. Read in the Face [Radar Online]

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Gramercy Park's Park Chinois: Imitation Is the Highest Form

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A room at the Gramercy Park Hotel: $500. The steak-frites at Balthazar: $30. Being able to order the latter while staying in the former, at any hour: Priceless. Grub Street's Daniel Maurer is reporting that when Park Chinois, the hotel's restaurant, finally opens in the spring, its 24-hour room-service menu will offer facsimiles of classic dishes from many well-known New York restaurants. The list isn't close to final, but Grub Street's got the inside track on some likely contenders. Gramercy Park Room Service: 'This Next One Is a Nobu Cover' [Grub Street]

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Feeding the Paper Lions

If you pay attention to local foodie press, you've been hearing a lot about PrimeTime Tables, the new service that, essentially, scalps reservations at top restaurants. You've heard speculation about who's behind it, debates about its morality, doubts about whether it actually works. But you haven't heard what it's like to actually use the service. Until now. This weekend, Grub Street's Josh Ozersky pulled off a feat of participatory journalism the likes of which hasn't been seen since George Plimpton last suited up in Detroit. Read all about it on Grub Street. We Submit Ourselves to PrimeTime Tables [Grub Street]

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