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Cipriani Downtown Having a Bit of Work Done; Cupcake Glut Still Centered in the West Village

Astoria: La Guli Bakery at 29-15 Ditmars Boulevard serves gelato throughout the winter if you get an irrational craving in this blistery weather. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: La Palapa is offering Super Bowl catering packages if you decide to pass on the Tostitos and Chi-Chi’s salsa this year. [Grub Street] Forest Hills: Rouge Bistro has closed. [Grub Street] Hell’s Kitchen: Newish restaurants like Cooper’s Tavern and Go!Go! Curry mean you can finally find something to eat in the garment district. [NYT] Midtown East: "I could live — and dine out nightly — for more than 100 years, and I still don’t think I’d come to understand restaurants like Il Nido," says Bruni about the expensive, hit-or-miss Italian. But over 1,000 words later, he’s explained the survival of old-school inconsistent restaurants quite well. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Soho: Cipriani Downtown will be closed most of this week for renovations to the floor and bar area. [Eater] West Village: A cupcake bar called Sweet Revenge is opening this spring at 62 Carmine Street near Bedford Street, and the owner’s goal is to sex up the revered city sweets. [Crain’s NY via Eater]

Richman Flings Feces at Monkey Bar; Soto Drops the Sushi Ball

Alan Richman gives it to Monkey Bar, and means it to stick. He gets that the place is supposed to be fun, but the bottom line is that the food sucks: “The dishes are incoherent and the food is thuddingly heavy. No focus. No finesse. Lots of salt.” [Bloomberg] Soto seems to have shot itself in the foot, dazzling Frank Bruni with its composed dishes, “vibrantly seasoned and intricately composed works of culinary and visual art,” but disappointing with the sushi, and screwing up the service (proof that lack of anonymity doesn’t matter). Now they have to settle for the same catchall two-star rating as Franny’s. [NYT] Randall Lane seems to have bestowed four (of six) stars on Wakiya more out of a sense of duty than anything else — the restaurant described in his review sounds infuriatingly stuck-up, and the food, by his account, spotty at best. Wakiya is still getting the benefit of the doubt, but it can’t hold up for long. Something tells us that a slam is coming. [TONY] Related: We Catch Wakiya’s First Guests on the Street

Just In: Curry Craziness in Midtown

Reports from the scene of the newly opened Go!Go! Curry indicate that lines for the first branch of the Japanese takeout joint are at lengths unseen since the days of Beard Papa's opening. "Over 40 people in line," said one curry craver about half an hour ago. "I had to get lunch elsewhere." We just called the restaurant to discover the line is still down the block. "Maybe you will wait 30 minutes," we were told. Is it worth it? Well, it's true that servings of curry over rice (with your choice of shrimp, chicken, pork, etc.) are just 55 cents until 9:55 tonight, but wait till nightfall and you'll get even more bang for your half-buck: The Website attempts to curry favor by informing us that there's free parking on 38th Street after 7 p.m.! Go!Go! Curry, 273 W. 38th St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-730-5555.