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Gilt Groupe

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Gilt Shows Midtown East the Hand

Battery Park City: Flurt frozen yogurt looks almost complete on South End Avenue. [Eater] East Village: Wannabistro 26 Seats has just changed owners, but for now the menu will remain the same. [Grub Street] Flatiron: The Gansevoort people plan to open another hotel on Park Avenue South somewhere in the Twenties. [Down by the Hipster] Midtown East: Gilt will close for the last two weeks in August, before chef Christopher Lee debuts the fall menu. [Grub Street] Sunset Park: Sunset Park locals fight to keep out Papa John’s pizza: “I feel like this is the neighborhood’s last stand,” says one pie protester. [NYT] Upper West Side : Aix brasserie will host a six-course wine dinner next Monday night showcasing rosé. [Grub Street]

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Colors Workers Rebel; Whole Foods Getting Into Craft Beer

The workers of Colors, originally envisioned as a co-op for orphaned Windows on the World employees, have sued the restaurant and the advocacy group that runs it, claiming that in fact none of them actually own any part of it. [NYP] Related: Marxist Meals Served at Co-op Eateries Whole Foods will be opening up a craft-beer bar with tap brews sold in carryout growlers — in September. [NYS] Animal activism has come of age, which is good news for calves, old hogs, and other unlucky beings that might otherwise be facing unspeakable fates. [NYT]

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DiFara Fans All at Sea; Gray Kunz Enters the Small-Plate Wars

Brooklyn held hostage, day four: DiFara fans reeling from this latest, pointless blow from the Department of Health. “It hurts. It’s the best pizza in my life, ever.” [NYT] SliceNY uses the DiFara time-out to point out that, in recent months, the Saint of Avenue J has been burning his pizzas pretty badly around the edges. [SliceNY] Gray Kunz’s new small-plates restaurant, Grayz, joins a growing number of such restaurants run by lesser beings. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

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Cuozzo Hammers the Shake Shack; Much Hodgson Love for Insieme

Steve Cuozzo uses his bully pulpit in the Post to come down hard on the Shake Shack, calling the place out for insanely long lines and “a hamburger that’s an also-ran at best.” [NYP] Related: Kyle Dureau Wants Shake Shack to Be Open 24/7 As Much As You Do [Grub Street] Having weathered a major two-star review by Adam Platt, Insieme finally gets its first three-star one, from Moira Hodgson, who is impressed by how perfectly executed every dish is, lavishing special praise on one of the place’s more overlooked features, co-owner Paul Grieco’s wine list. [NYO] Related: Italian, Old and New [NYM] The Times gives Katz’s the full Frank Bruni treatment, and the place comes out of it with one star, much loving description, and an eerie semi-confirmation of our earlier report that the place might be sold. [NYT] Related: Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Katz’s? [Grub Street]

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Wild Salmon Starts Its Upstream Journey Strongly; Craftsteak Upgraded

Alan Richman has a few qualms about Wild Salmon – its reason for being, for example – but likes both the food (except for the sauces) and the service (when it’s not too friendly). Given how ready Richman is to knock restaurants, owner Jeffrey Chodorow has to feel pretty good about this one. [Bloomberg] Related: Wild Salmon Swims Into View. Yes, ‘Pun Intended’ [Grub Street] The newly revamped Craftsteak and Craftbar get rereviewed by Bruni, who awards the less than the white-hot former a much-needed second star, and the latter, “more or less back on track” after earlier troubles, a (borderline) single star. [NYT] Time Out’s Randall Lane lays four stars (out of six) on Gilt, finding Chris Lee’s cooking admirable all around, if less risky than that of his predecessor, Paul Liebrandt, who still keeps popping up whenever the restaurant is discussed. [TONY] Related: Gramercy Rehab [NYM]

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It's Not a Lou Reed Event Without Andy Rooney

Unnamed event honoring Lou Reed. W Union Square, 201 Park Ave. S., nr. 17th St., 7 p.m. That's not some postmodern title; this event does not seem to have a name. Bono, David Bowie, Steve Kroft, and others are scheduled to attend. You know what they say — not a lot of people bought Velvet Underground records, but everyone who did started a band and/or television newsmagazine.

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Urgent All Points Bulletin for Spring Vegetables

You don’t have to look far to see spring vegetables on menus all over New York. But look for local spring vegetables, and you may find they’re AWOL. Unseasonal weather has put the kibosh on many area sources, and for chefs that pride themselves on local ingredients, it’s a problem.

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Chefs Try to Take It to the Next Level in This Week’s Issue

Five established chefs take center stage in this week’s issue – or six, if you count Kurt Gutenbrunner, who, per In Season, has a way with white asparagus. The others? Michael Anthony, the Blue Hill Haute Barnyard prodigy who stepped into Tom Colicchio’s shoes at Gramercy Tavern; Christopher Lee, a major rising talent who filled big shoes at Gilt; Kerry Simon, a Las Vegas–based Vongerichten lieutenant who is now doing the food for a giant karaoke bar; and finally Marco Canora and Asian dessert master Pichet Ong, whose long-awaited debuts, Insieme and P*Ong, respectively, open this week. All this star power, along with two short lists that couldn’t be more different, awaits in this week’s magazine.

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I Am Stalking Gramercy Tavern’s Former Dessert Chef

Dear Grub Street,
I have been an occasional customer of Gramercy Tavern over the past several years. On a recent visit, I was greatly dismayed to find that my favorite dessert, a chocolate dacquoise, was no longer on the menu. It was explained to me that Gramercy has a new pastry chef and he has put his stamp on the dessert menu, apparently at the expense of my dacquoise. I was wondering if perchance you knew the name of the former pastry chef and whether he is working elsewhere.
Mark Raskin

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Give a Fast-Food Receipt, Get a MetroCard

The city, seeking to find out just how badly New Yorkers eat prior to implementing its new calorie-info law, is trading MetroCards for meal receipts. [Nation's Restaurant News] Akthar Nawab of E.U., Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, and Chris Lee of Gilt all talk about the challenges of taking over an established restaurant (getting reviewed too soon, finding the fuse box, etc.). [NYP] The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield is being named Food & Wine’s Best New Chef. [NYP]

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Nick Morgenstern Rips Gilt a New One

Former Gilt pastry chef Nick Morgenstern has given us the inside dope on his firing last week. According to Morgenstern, chef Chris Lee and hotel management are pinning the move on each other: “They’re doing a little dance, pointing at each other, and they don’t want to give me any severance,” he tells us. Meanwhile, he’s heard that Lee’s pastry-chef buddy David Carmichael (formerly of Oceana and the Russian Tea Room) was seen checking out Morgenstern’s kitchen while the chef was out of town. But why did he get canned, anyhow?

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Gilt’s Tradition-Defying Tuna Wellington

Overshadowed at first by his controversial predecessor, Paul Liebrandt, Gilt’s Christopher Lee is finally being recognized as one of the city’s most accomplished chefs. His signature dish, tuna Wellington, is characteristically inventive, intense, and well balanced. “I wanted to do a classic in a different light,” he tells us. Get his description of each painstakingly chosen ingredient by mousing over the arrows.

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Can Paul Liebrandt Make New York Safe for Molecular Gastronomy?

The details aren’t yet clear, but it seems that one way or another, Paul Liebrandt will soon be leading a restaurant in New York. (Snack asserts that it will be Montrachet, but Vogue’s Jeffrey Steingarten tells us that it will be a new venture with Drew Nieporent; the two are searching for a space.) Add to that the launch of Sam Mason’s Tailor, the buzz around Jordan Kahn’s work at Varietal, and the mainstreaming of tropes like foams, and it looks like molecular gastronomy will have another shot with New York diners.

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Chodorow Sure to Be Pissed Over New ‘Times’ Steakhouse Review

This one is bound to kill Chodorow. Bruni visits a steakhouse even more vulgar than Kobe Club and awards it one star: Robert’s Steakhouse, inside the Penthouse Executive Club. Adam Perry Lang, as most recognize, is one of the city’s top meat guys. [NYT] Meehan affirms that Kefi’s has terrific food at a bargain. He notes that it was strangely quiet the nights he was there, but that has changed, we’re told, since the Underground Gourmet gave the restaurant four stars. [NYT] Think of this less as a review of Gilt than an excuse for Steve Cuozzo to acknowledge Chris Lee, one of the city’s most underappreciated chefs, whose ill fortune it was to follow Paul Liebrandt and his alienating high-concept cookery. [NYP]

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Going for Gold in the Gilt Restrooms

First Le Cirque 2000 was out at the over-the-top opulent Palace Hotel and Gilt was in; then foam fiend Paul Liebrant was out, along with his wallet-busting lunches, and the more sedate Christopher Lee was in. We wondered how the bathrooms were surviving the changes (had the toilets been sold on eBay along with the bar?), so we slipped into the surprisingly shabby stairwell leading to a carpeted hallway.

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Hunger Gala to Help Feed Recently Fired Chef

Paul Liebrandt, the talented young chef recently handed the mitten at Gilt, will be back in action next Wednesday, cooking at the Action Against Hunger fall gala. Liebrandt, one of the few unemployed chefs in New York with his own Website, will be prepping the main course, chef Joe Murphy of Jean Georges will be doing the dessert, and Andy Gold of the Institute of Culinary Education is handling the appetizer. Though the focus, we admit, will probably be on the honorees, Susan Sarandon and Dr. Daniel Py, and the presenters, Christy Turlington and movie director Terry George. The event will be held at Capitale, the opulent former bank space where we so recently attended the Batali roast. We expect this to be far more dignified. And far more expensive. World Food Day Gala, November 15, Capitale

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No Love for Love; Another Arty Eatery; Tapas That Rock

In this week's reviews, Cuozzo draws his six-shooter on Tim Love and Ted Turner, Ryan Sutton drinks the $12 bottled water at Gilt, Andrea Strong's blood boils over the pricey wines at Devin Tavern, and more. Cuozzo to Tim Love and Ted Turner: "Welcome to New York: Now leave!" [NYP] Ryan Sutton takes the temperature at Gilt now that the foam has cleared and finds that "if Liebrandt's cuisine was hyperactive, [new chef Christopher] Lee's is hyper-restrained." Though the grub's a bit cheaper, there's still a $12 "you just got fleeced'' fee on bottled water. [Bloomberg] Julia Moskin visits the Morgan's dining room, the latest in arty eateries, and finds the nicest restaurant salad she's had in years. Of the beef Wellington: "Some dishes, like musicals, should never be revived." [NYT] Paul Adams contemplates the sublime porkiness of Momofuku Ssäm Bar [NYS] At Palo Santo, a Pan-Latin joint on a Slope side street, $25-and-Under (not the super-stingy Meehan we've been loving) unearths off-the-menu items like beef-cheek asopado. [NYT] Reeling from "Spain's 10," Augie taps the tapas at Boqueria and finds they rock almost as hard as Jane's Addiction doing "Ripple." [Augieland] Taking up the good fight alongside Meehan, Andrea Strong visits Devin Tavern and her blood boils over the $40-plus wine list: "This is not very tavern like. Come on." [Strong Buzz] Ignoring the Gobbler's advice on how not to get made, the Amateur Gourmet is exposed at Country. [Amateur Gourmet] Katie Julian weighs in on the Tasting Room and agrees with everyone else: Some dishes work (porcini topped with a fried egg and crispy pork skin), and others don't (raw matsutake-mushroom slices drizzled with "cheese-pumpkin juice"). [NYer] BlackBook delves into Haute Barnyard at Flatbush Farm. [BlackBook]

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