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Midtown East

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Long Island City Gets a Breakdown

Naked butts in Prospect Heights, Pope dreams in Mott Haven, and a touching tale of man and squirrel out of Prospect Park. What other fun-size borough bites await in our daily Neighborhood Watch?

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Toxic Wind Blows From Gowanus

Construction in Gowanus blows a fetid wind across the land, babies terrorize Upper East Siders, and Chelsea residents tear apart Barnes & Noble with their bare hands in our daily roundup of neighborhood news.

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Inside an Apartment in the New Plaza

New York’s real-estate writer S. Jhoanna Robledo recently toured an apartment in the newly renovated Plaza, and our cameras went along. Once the crown jewel of New York hotels, the Plaza went condo in 2005, and its permanent residents enjoy all the amenities of hotel living. This two-bedroom rental is only $16,500 a month, and comes with a mosaic-tile bathroom and maid service. And if you want a drink, the Oak Bar is right downstairs. Video: Inside the Plaza

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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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BiCE’s New Milanese Bistro Open in Midtown West; Gary Robbins Preparing for West Village Debut

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Egg didn’t make this list of top southern eats, but Five Spot Soul Food at 459 Myrtle Avenue was picked as a fave since dishes like Kentucky Turkey Chops and Charleston Low Country Smothered Chicken "sound good" even if they’re not necessarily authentic classics. [Gridskipper] Chelsea: Klee Brasserie's open for brunch and dinner on Easter, and you can order the "Thinly Sliced Easter Ham & Bio Egg," which combines honey-glazed ham, deviled eggs, and capers, at both seatings. [Grub Street] Lower East Side: The new vegetarian restaurant Broadway East adds to its sustainability cred by featuring local beer and wine. [Zagat Buzz] Midtown East: The first soft-shell crabs of the season are now available at the Oyster Bar. [Grub Street] Midtown West: Bistro Milano from team BiCE has opened at 1350 Sixth Avenue, and sidewalk seating opening this spring will double the restaurant’s 70-cover capacity. [TONY] West Village: "Chef Gary Robins was the best thing to happen to the most recent Russian Tea Room relaunch. So, naturally, he was fired." But, you’ll be able to taste his cooking downtown this spring, when rustic restaurant Sheridan Square opens at 134 Seventh Avenue South. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

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Taste a Whole Lot of Wine Tonight; Thai Red Bull Firing Up Elmhurst

Greenwich Village: If you can finish a "Can you take the heat?" tasting menu (which gets spicier with each course) on March 15 at Thai restaurant Rhong-Tiam on La Guardia Place, the chef will give you dinner for two at a new restaurant he’s opening called Kurve. [Grub Street] Elmhurst: You can find "those scary-looking little bottles of Thai Red Bull" at Sugar Club, a little Thai grocery and video store at 81-20 Broadway. (They have curry pastes, too.) [Gothamist] Hell’s Kitchen: The city’s first Wine Expo will be open tonight and tomorrow afternoon at the Javits Center; get excited about seminars on Argentine Malbecs (oh, and 600 WINES to sample). [New York Wine Expo] Midtown East: Construction seems under way for the Times-announced first U.S. outlet of Brussels-based chain Rouge Tomate. [Eater] West Village: The Waverly Inn has a secret cocktail on its menu, and they won’t tell you what’s in it. But maybe that’s why LeBron really wanted to go to the bathroom. [Down by the Hipster]

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The (Other) Midtown Cafeteria You Wish You Could Eat In

It’s not a Frank Gehry cafeteria, but the company mess in the subbasement of 6 East 43rd Street is a better locale for breakfast or lunch than, say, your desk. If you work in the building (for unglam companies like the New York State Dental Association, Children for Children, or Emigrant Savings Bank), you are entitled to eat at the Sea Level Café, a 160-seat grotto with three 700-gallon fish tanks for walls, stone-terrazzo floors, and twenty-foot ceilings. Don’t bring your wallet — Sea Level uses your building I.D. as a debit card. This gleaming lair arrived via an inopportune 2006 elevator ride by Janet Martin, Emigrant’s chief administrative officer. “I said, ‘My God, this is gross. Then we realized we had asbestos so guys came in in white suits and did abatement and lo and behold! Over the years with piping they had built ceilings down and down — now I had twenty-foot ceilings.” So Martin got the nod to create a salubrious feeding station for tenants and their employees. “I love the ocean and scuba, so I picked two sand terrazzo colors for the floor, and walls are blue glass made to go lighter and lighter and lighter,” says Martin. “For the ceiling we came up with fixtures behind barriers on one- to three-foot heights like the bubbles when you’re scuba diving.”

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Psilakis Hopes to Move Kefi by July; Collective Sausage in Soho

Clinton Hill: Some people like Sushi Okdol on Myrtle Avenue, others find it "meh," but the place will host children’s birthday parties. [Clinton Hill Blog] Midtown East: The owners of Burger Kings at 485 Fifth Avenue and 129 East 47th Street refused to sell $1 value meals because they say they were losing money on the company’s specials. The locations have been shuttered, but they’re suing BK for the right to charge more in Manhattan. [NYDN] Soho: Always wanted to make a "collective memory sausage"? You can on April 8, when the Umami Food and Art Festival kicks off at Roulette, 20 Greene Street. [Strong Buzz] Upper West Side: Michael Psilakis plans to move Kefi around July to open his fourth restaurant. [Gothamist] West Village: Anito Lo expects to have her barbecue spot, Q, around April. [Eater] Something’s happening to Minetta Tavern, but it might not be Keith McNally's doing. [Eater]

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Cheap Food Still Available in Astoria; Bronx Pizza Will Get Better

Astoria: Wow, cheap-eats prices may be going up in elsewhere, but at Omonia (the café that baked the elaborate wedding cake for My Big Fat Greek Wedding), you can get a $12 brunch that includes an entrée, dessert, a morning cocktail, and coffee, tea, or juice. (And it’s good.) [Foodista] Bronx: Peter Meehan found someone to drive him to Trattoria Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Avenue to try the margherita that’s been getting blog buzz as "the best Neapolitan pizza in New York City.” It’s good, he says, but needs work (and less sweet sauce). [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Slice’s Adam Kuban, Ed Levine’s, and DJ Bubbles also tried Zero Otto Nove and found potential not perfection. The grilled pizza from Coals at 1888 Eastchester Road was also dubbed "surprisingly good" during the same trip. [Slice] Lower East Side: Chubo has closed, and it looks like it’s going to be turned into a Japanese cooking school that will sell its pastries out of a flagship café by this summer. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Upper East Side: Chef Michael Vernon has left Geisha to consult on new Serafina restaurants. [Strong Buzz] Midtown East: The owner of now-closed Portofino Grille will open a steakhouse called Creston’s Bar & Grill in the same space come May. [Zagat Buzz] Upper West Side: Spigolo chef Scott Fratangelo loves Land Thai restaurant. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Williamsburg: The state of neighborhood pizza here is weak overall, evidence being leftover slices you don’t even want to eat. [A Brooklyn Life]

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