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Hakata Tonton

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Red Hook Vendors Face Mystery Opponents; Pies-N-Thighs Scores New Location

The Red Hook ball field vendors are in a bidding war with two anonymous groups for control of the weekend food market. [Brooklyn Paper] Dylan Lauren, founder and CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar, used to have a diet consisting of “almost entirely of candy, frozen yogurt and vegetables,” but these days she’s paying hundreds of dollars per hour for personal training sessions that keep her slim. [WSJ] You only have until the end of the month to snag yourself an invite to the secret makeshift nightclub operating in a boutique on Sullivan Street. [Villager]

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Rosé-Sparkler Tastings in Clinton Hill; Eat Cake, Not Dinner for Valentine’s Day

Chelsea: The former Daniele’s Piadina space on 22nd Street east of Sixth Avenue sat empty for two years, but it will reopen as a sandwich shop called Ashby’s on Monday. [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Gnarly Vines is hosting a rosé-sparkler tasting tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and bottles of those sample selections are 10 percent off. [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: The ‘D’ Space Restaurant at Jay and Front streets serves Indian buffet, but will it raise the bar on local delivery options? [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: Shaffer City Oyster Bar & Grill will close February 23 and reopen in March as Flatiron Joe’s with cheaper American fare and a jukebox. [Zagat] Fort Greene: In her list of last-minute Valentine’s Day options, Danyelle Freeman recommends Cake Man Raven if you want to "just forget dinner and grab a few whopping slices of the decadent red velvet cake that made this bakery famous." [Restaurant Girl] Soho: In honor of this romantic week, it’s only right that bananas (and resulting desserts around town) are celebrated for being "not only insanely phallic but also brimming with potassium and B vitamins, which are necessary for keeping your sex drive going." But you don’t have to tell your date that after deciding to share Blue Ribbon Brasserie’s top-rated banana split. [Gridskipper] West Village: Pig's-feet and collagen temple Hakata TonTon has been closed by the Department of Health. [Eater]

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Mesa Grill Keeps One Star, Barely; Richman Rejuvenated by Dovetail

Mesa Grill loses a star, but this is one of the worst one-star reviews you'll ever read, even going so far as to compare it to gulag gourmet: “During one dinner the three slivers of chicken in the appetizer tacos were among the most shriveled, desiccated pieces of meat I’ve seen outside a bodega buffet at 3 a.m.” [NYT] Related: Salute the Gulag Gourmet Movement Now this is something cheering: Alan Richman found a tablecloth restaurant that got him genuinely excited. Dovetail's food, he says approvingly, is “exuberant and shocking” — in a good way. [Bloomberg] Paul Adams hits Cooper Tavern, a not particularly ambitious hotel restaurant recently given a "meh" review by Frank Bruni, and likes it a little better, although the fries are “pathetically poor” and the pork chop is “hardly going to be the talk of the city's pork chop grapevine.” We can testify that that part is true. [NYS]

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‘Top Chef’ Bitch Opens Restaurant; Gordo Looking for Victims

Former Top Chef contestant Dave “don’t call me a bitch, bitch” Martin (Season One) has opened his own restaurant on West 42nd Street called Crave, and he’s serving comfort food. [Zagat] Hakata Tonton is bringing its love of pig's feet to the West Village — even dessert has the collagen-packed delicacy. [Eat for Victory/VV] Alain Ducasse’s wine bar Adour at the St. Regis Hotel is set to open in January. [Decanter] Related: Essex House and St. Regis Restaurants: Maybe Next Year! Grape Nuts [NYM]

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Bruni Closes the Book on Tailor; Allen & Delancey Gets Good, Not Great, Notices

Bruni waited to be the last one to pronounce on Tailor, and his review pretty much recapitulates, albeit in wittier prose and with some much-appreciated Grub Street love, what everyone else has said: erratic brilliance, wee portions, and a killer cocktail program. The result: one star. [NYT] Allen & Delancey keeps impressing the critics, at least with chef Neil Ferguson's meat mastery. His fish, though, is strictly from hunger, according to Restaurant Girl. [NYDN] Randall Lane offers one of his most thoughtful and precise reviews of Allen & Delancey, finding fault only in flavor balances and the fact that the place has to close up at midnight. [TONY]

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Havana Chelsea, R.I.P.; Pigs Feet Run Amok in West Village

Chelsea: Havana Chelsea, one of the city’s top cubano sandwich spots, is no more. It will be replaced by Casa Havana. [Eat for Victory] Flatiron: Hampton Smoker blogger and barbecue savant Matt Fisher will be the pitmaster at Wildwood BBQ [White Trash BBQ] Lower East Side: ZoZos, Pizzeria De Santos give up the ghost. It’s a noodle bar town now. [American Madness] Related: Happy Valley Owners to Launch Pizza Empire Red Hook: Layla's, the replacement for the late, lamented Lillie's, is coming along. [Citysearch] SoHo: Provence has instituted happy hour, with $8 champagne and, more to the point, $2 oysters. [Strong Buzz] West Village: It’s all about pig feet at Hakata Tonton: “It’s as if chef/owner Himi Okajima watched the Bubba scene in Forrest Gump one day and replaced all mention of the word shrimp with pigs feet. Tonsoku carbonara, tonsoku rice ball, tonsoku consommé, sweet and sour pork with tonsoku…” [Gothamist]

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Improve Your Looks with Pork in the West Village; Five Guys Wreaking Havoc in Midtown

Clinton Hill: Chinantla deli on Myrtle Avenue is dingy as all hell but makes tacos “that may bridge the gap between ‘real’ and … American-style.” [Eat for Victory/VV] Dumbo: Two ICE graduates just launched a neighborhood dinner-delivery service called Nylon Cooks. [Dumbo NYC] Lower East Side: Owners of ápizz and the Orchard John LaFemina and Xeras are "on the prowl for [their] next project." [Eater] Midtown West: Newly inaugurated Five Guys Burgers and Fries on West 55th Street has lunch crowds waiting up to an hour and a half for their orders. [Eater] Tribeca: Marc Murphy supplied this very straightforward carbonara recipe, which he considers a signature dish at Landmarc. [Restaurant Girl] West Village: The Japanese restaurant that promises better skin and hair through its pork dishes, Hakata Tonton has opened at 61 Grove Street. [Gothamist]

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