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Santogold Indulges in a Cookie (or Two or Three) While in the Studio

It’s been a happy New Year for Rolling Stone “Artist to Watch” Santogold (née Santi White), who just returned from a British tour with M.I.A. to see herself on the cover of this month’s Fader. What sort of challenges might 2008 bring? “I do these detoxes where for 20 or 30 days I can only eat organic fruits or vegetables,” she says. “It makes you not even really be able to eat greasy food — you can, but it feels disgusting. By the end of the year [after not doing the detox for a while], I tend to crave fried food and chocolate all the time.” That doesn’t mean you’ll find her eating cheesesteaks like she did growing up in Philly (she now lives in Bed Stuy and has been a pescatarian for twelve years), but this week she did hit the vending machine at the Soho studio where she’s recording her debut self-titled album, out in April.

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East Village Face-off as CBGB Tells DBGB to Cease and Desist

Clinton Hill: Il Torchio, an enoteca and Italian tapas joint at 458 Myrtle Avenue, is under construction; the exposed-brick interior and outdoor space look promising. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: CBGB, DBGB: We get it. [Eater] Greenwich Village: Grey Dog Coffee’s University Place location opens Thursday. Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. [Eater] Nolita: Vig Bar’s temporary close had something to do with a change of management and a lot to do with the State Liquor Authority, but it’ll be back serving downtown bankers by Thursday. [Down by the Hipster] Park Slope: FreshDirect messed with the wrong groups when it temporarily, and possibly accidentally, raised its delivery minimum from $50 to $100. [Gowanus Lounge] West Village: From 4 p.m. until close tomorrow, the Blind Tiger will feature Christmas-themed beer from England’s Ridgeway Brewery including Very Bad Elf, Seriously Bad Elf, and another favorite, Santa’s Butt, all for no apparent reason. [Blog Chelsea] Maremma is cooking up purebred Chianina steaks starting this Thursday evening for one week only. [Grub Street]

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An Ice-Cream War Breaks Out in Astoria

Astoria: A new dessert contender triggers ice-cream price wars. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: S’MAC is celebrating its first birthday Tuesday with $1 macaroni and cheese. [S’MAC] Financial District: As a follow-up to its winter chocolate weekends, the Exchange Hotel has introduced sundae-themed packages that include pints of ice cream delivered to your room nightly. A sundae bar, tonight only, kicks off the gluttonous launch. [NewYorkology] Flatiron: Shake Shack closed at 3 p.m. today for a private fund-raiser and will reopen in the morning. [Eater] Greenwich Village: Grey Dog Coffee’s second location, on University Place, should be up and running by July. [Eat for Victory/VV] Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: New bar Lime hopes to attract a Caribbean following once it opens. [Across the Park]

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Epicurean Gentrification; New Orleans Fights Back; Kids Equal Liquor License

Essex Street Market not just for obscure South American root vegetables anymore: "Epicurean gentrification" under way. [NYT] Fire-struck Medina reopening after a year and a half; London sushi chain to land in financial district. [NYT] $4.25 mil gets you Hamptons hot spot Star Room. [NYP] Alan Richman now No. 1 on New Orleans shit list: "I'd like to throw him in the back room at Tipitina's with all the Neville brothers and see if he still thinks Creoles don't exist." [NYT] Related: Richman Kicks New Orleans While It's Down Grey Dog Coffee plays the kid card to clinch liquor license for new location. [Gothamist] Caterer Marcey Brownstein opens up a place in Chelsea; possibly the only time you'll see muffulettas and edamame on the same menu. [Strong Buzz]

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Lower West Village Offers Niche Lunches for Its ‘Creatives’ and Carpenters

Where the West Village edges into Tribeca, you'll find publishing and advertising execs in the Saatchi Building, government employees off Houston, and union carpenters and hip-hop studio workers. Lunch-wise, nearly all ethnicities are well represented, and independently owned niche foodie destinations far outnumber franchises. Jane Jacobs, the famed urban planner who lived nearby, would be proud. Welcome to the micro-micro-neighborhood around the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Leroy Street.

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