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Meatpacking District

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Life Is Not Exactly Nirvana for Buddha Bar Employees

According to legal papers filed last week, meatpacking district restaurant-lounge Buddha Bar hasn’t exactly been following the Noble Eightfold Path when it comes to its pay policies. A server, bartender, busboy, and six other employees have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing owner David Kay, CEO Nina Zajic, and GM Peter Jastimi of numerous stingy practices: withholding portions of their tips, redistributing tips to employees who weren’t entitled to them, failing to pay minimum wage, withholding a portion of “service charges” that diners assumed were paid to waiters, and forcing employees to pay for walkouts, uniforms, and credit-card fees. By the looks of these papers, it looks like the restaurant’s giant Buddha is the only thing sitting pretty. Reyes, Goins, and Peralta v. Buddha Bar

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Amy Ruth's Taking Her Sweet Time in Brooklyn; Adour? Okay

Downtown Brooklyn: So much for a Valentine’s Day debut: Amy Ruth’s at the Fulton Mall isn’t even open yet. [Lost City] Hamptons: Restaurant Week begins March 20. Bargain meals at close to 70 participating restaurants seems like a good excuse to take advantage of any lodging bargains before warm weather sets in. [Restaurant Girl] Meatpacking District: Florent plans to give up the ghost on a high note, on Gay Pride Day at the end of June. [NYP] Midtown East: Citysearch calls Ducasse’s food at Adour "comme ci, comme ça." [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] West Village: The Beatrice team might expand to L.A. [Down by the Hipster]

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Scott Conant Returns With Scarpetta

Lost in the shuffle of this year's high-profile openings has been a major lingering question: What ever happened to Scott Conant? One of the city's top Italian chefs, Conant last year gave up both of his restaurants, L'Impero and Alto, to pursue a mystery project. (Michael White took over both places, to great acclaim.) Conant monkeyed around in the Hamptons, consulting for a friend, but only now is his next real project in view.

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New York Food Festival: If Not Meatpacking, Where?

New York Wine and Food Festival
The Times may have jumped the gun in pronouncing the New York Wine & Food Festival a done deal in the meatpacking district. Caryl Chinn, of event organizer Karlitz & Co., tells us that, Lee Schraeger’s statement in the Times notwithstanding, the festival has not gotten permission to close down Ninth Avenue, nor has it tried to: “It never was our intention to close down Ninth Avenue.” There’s still a good chance that the event will take place in the meatpacking district, but ideally along four contiguous blocks, much like at South Beach. “We’re also looking at different parks,” says Chinn. So there is a festival, and it is on Columbus Day weekend. But where should it be? Make your suggestions in the comments. Calling All Rock Stars in Aprons [NYT] Related: Meyer, McNally, Nieporent Respond to New NYC Food Festival All South Beach Wine & Food Festival coverage

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