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Frank Tell

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Daniel's Bernard Vrod Serves Presidents, Gets Wife Free Meals

An ex-pat of gloomy Brittany like so many classic French waiters, Bernard Vrod has been working under fellow farmboy Daniel Boulud for sixteen years, first as a waiter at Le Cirque and, these days, as a maitre d' at Daniel. We asked him to take us into the latter's hallowed halls and got tales of Secret Service shakedowns, fowl on the floor, and marriage proposals nearly gone awry.

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City's Chinese Brasseries Double

Fact: Chinatown Brasserie, an out-and-out Chinese restaurant without, happily, even a hint of French fusion, opened in August and has done a fairly brisk business ever since. Fact: Mainland, one of Chinatown Brasserie's primary rivals in the high-end-Chinese sweepstakes, announced last week that they're morphing into ...Ollie's Brasserie.

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The Latest Gourmet Food Cart Is Here

There are two types of New Yorkers, the Underground Gourmet has always thought. There are those for whom eating a street-vendor hot dog (a.k.a. dirty-water dog) is an urban rite of passage, not to mention a show of defiance in this age of culinary correctness. And then there are those for whom it is an indication of mental incapacity, a deviant act that should best be left to ne'er-do-wells and unsuspecting tourists or healthy adults caught up in an emergency situation — like being locked overnight in a bank vault with a cache of Sabretts. Jeremy Spector, the chef of Employees Only, falls into the latter camp.

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Fragrant Eggplants and Chiles That Don't Sting

The Union Square Greenmarket celebrated its 30th birthday this past Saturday, and fall officially begins at the end of the week. While the forward-thinking are canning tomatoes and hedonists are gorging on peaches and corn, farmers are talking about the Frost. Upstate farms could experience a nighttime freeze by October, but until then, the late-summer parade continues.

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Hollywood Desserts and Soho Goblins

This week in the magazine, Rob and Robin track two openings: the wildly successful Hollywood frozen-yogurt chain Pinkberry, and Goblin Market, a new Soho eatery named after lascivious young men in a poem by Christina Rossetti. Pinkberry, they report, is "the talk of the L.A. food blogs." We tracked down a few of those blogs.

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