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Riding the V Line: A Turkish Oasis at Sip Sak

We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants and food stores near the subway. This week’s location is 53rd and Lex, the V’s last stop in Manhattan. It’s delis and hotels everywhere you look, and it doesn’t get much better as you head east on 53rd Street. But hang a right on Second Avenue, and pop into Sip Sak, Orhan Yegen’s one-of-a-kind take on Turkish fast food.

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Yakitori Totto to Get New Soba Sister

New York soba fans (more than you might think) will be pleased to hear that the city is getting a much-needed addition to its roster of buckwheat-noodle restaurants. The source is impeccable: Ryuichi “Bobby” Munekata, the owner of the Cheap Eats favorite Yakitori Totto and Aburiya Kinnosuke. “There are only three or four soba restaurants in New York, compared to hundreds of sushi places,” says Munekata. The planned location for Totto Yakitori and Soba, though, is directly atop one of its few competitors: Sakagura, which occupies the basement floor of the same East 43rd Street building. You’ll find Totto Yakitori on the ground floor, likely as of mid-December.

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925 Café and Cocktails Experiments With Annoying Numbers Conceit

925 Cafe
We’ve always kind of hated bars with numbers in the names — we can never remember whether it’s 320 Fifth or 230 Fifth. And don’t get us started on the East Village numbers game. But newcomer 925 Café and Cocktails has to be the most irritating one yet — the 925 doesn’t even refer to the street address (which is actually 800 Second Avenue, near 42nd Street), but rather to the fact that everything on the menu (including paninis and dreaded green-apple martinis) is priced at $9, $2, and $5. And here’s another gratuitous number: The place won’t let in males under 25, which is bizarre since operator Alexander Nicholas, also owner of Keats, is only 28 and has been working in bars since he was 16. Are any 24-year-olds willing to go to the place and tell us whether they’re actually turned away? We predict prom nights within a month. 925 Café and Cocktails; 800 Second Ave., nr. 42nd St. 925 Café and Cocktails [Official site]

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Hostess Fantasies May Come True in the EV; Pork and Funnel Cakes Find Each Other in Boerum Hill

Boerum Hill: Sunday’s Atlantic Antic Street Festival = live music + copious gut busters ranging from baklava and funnel cake to pulled pork and roasted corn. [Hell’s Half Acre] East Village: The Bourgeois Pig plans to move to a new location next week, which means the original space is that much closer to becoming a New World wine-and-beer bar serving homemade versions of Hostess snacks! [Imbible] Harlem: One of uptown’s favorite food carts, Super Tacos on 96th and Broadway, is a finalist at the Vendy Awards this Saturday. [Uptown Flavor] Midtown East: Nikki Beach restaurant and nightclub wants to lure you back in the morning with a weekend buffet brunch. [Grub Street] Soho: Joe on Greene Street near Prince introduces a Fall program of coffee-related classes including "Coffee & The Environment"; "How to Cup: Single Origin Coffee"; and "How to Cup: Exploring Roasteries" that will begin in October. [Grub Street] Upper West Side: Just the right bargain to make us think about how much mark-up we’ve been getting charged for wine: Order the $35 prix fixe on Sundays at Compass restaurant and any bottle you order is 50 percent off. [Grub Street]

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Chicken & Beer a Chelsea Favorite; Miraculous Iced Tea From Midtown East

Astoria: Check out photos of both the interior and the baked goods at newly opened coffeehouse the Soleil Cafe, on Astoria Boulevard South near 38th Street. [Joey in Astoria] Chelsea: There goes the neighborhood: a sushi restaurant at 23rd Street has been replaced by a new spot called Chicken & Beer. “What next, ‘Hamburgers and Crack?’” [Blog Chelsea] Klee Brasserie has added dishes like Lowenbrau sauerkraut with Kobe bratwurst and warm apple strudel to its menu in honor of Oktoberfest. [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Thirty-year-old Gourmet Kitchen closes for good on September 30. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The Joy of Sake (with all its tasty bites) is this Thursday. [NYM] Lower East Side: Rosario’s Pizza isn’t good but should be honored because “there should always be room in every NYC neighborhood for a basic slice joint.” [Lost City] Midtown East: New Japanese tea and sweet shop Tafu, on 51st Street near Third Avenue, not only serves extraordinary brews but also an imported thermos which keeps ice frozen for seventeen hours. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]

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Long Island Oyster Boom; North African Bakery Heats Up Astoria

Astoria: Patisserie la Brioche D’Or has just opened on Steinway at 25th Avenue and is baking up some French pastries and delicious North African treats. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: Leaving the old classic Kiev sign above the new garish American Grill one is like a slap in to old schoolers who remember their old haunt. [Lost City] Fort Greene: Mo-Bay Caribbean joint has given up the ghost, and a wine bar is taking its place. [Eat for Victory/VV] Little Italy: San Gennaro’s fast-food frenzy ends today, but there are still a few restaurants in the area where you can eat a normal meal. [NYT] Midtown East: Shinbashi sushi restaurant helped introduce raw-fish consumption to New York in the seventies. Now it can be found in the former Savannah Steak space on 48th Street. [Restaurant Girl] Sagaponack: Townline BBQ impresses as being legitimately Texan, at least by Hamptons standards. [NYT] Southampton: Long Island oysters are plump and sweet and now being sought after by restaurants from the Hamptons to Manhattan. [Newsday]

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Calling All Casseroles; Jonathan Waxman to Cook Southern on the UWS

Greenpoint: Casserole fanatic turned cookbook author Emily Farris is hosting a cook-off at Brooklyn Label on October 16. Register now! [Brooklyn Based] Midtown East: The Tao formula should fit right in on Lincoln Road in South Beach. [Down by the Hipster] Tribeca: Bubby’s owner Ron Silver is finally giving up his pie recipes in a cookbook out this month. [NYS] Upper West Side: Barbuto chef-partner Jonathan Waxman turns to southern fare this fall when he opens Madaleine Mae on Columbus Avenue at 82nd Street. [NYT] West Village: In comparing Bay Area restaurant trends to those in New York, critic Michael Bauer concedes: Blue Hill chef Dan Barber “does Chez Panisse one better by growing most of the food at his farm in Hudson Valley.” [Between Meals/San Francisco Chronicle]

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Chris Wilgos of Gilt Serves the Anonymous Superrich

Chris Wilgos
Under chef Christopher Lee, Chris Wilgos worked his way up from a runner to a captain at Philadelphia’s premier restaurant, the Striped Bass. When Lee replaced chef Paul Liebrandt at Gilt about a year ago, Wilgos followed. He’s been waiting tables and acting here ever since. We asked him about his wealthy clientele and those who yearn for Le Cirque.

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Herman Behr Mansion on Sale for $12 Million

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Councilman Al Vann, have you responded yet to those irate letters about that trash-strewn lot on Throop between Jefferson and Hancock? It sure looks pretty nasty. [Bed-Stuy Blog] Brooklyn Heights: The Herman Behr Mansion on Pierrepont Street, which has housed a survivor of the Titanic, prostitutes, and Franciscans monks, is on sale for $12 million. [Brooklyn Eagle via McBrooklyn] Greenpoint: Acid-tongued blogger Miss Heather can't decide which she hates more: this Fedders-type eyesore on North Henry Street or the Brooklyn Paper. [Newyorkshitty] Midtown East: Oh, no! This Sunday is the last day for Madison Avenue's Dahesh Museum of Art, which features nineteenth- and twentieth-century European artists. Dahesh, we hardly knew ye. [NewYorkology] Upper East Side: This area single gal is disgusted with new TV show Gossip Girl's depiction of her hood … and wants today's vapid girl teens to have more role models like Condi Rice. [Upper East Side Informer] Williamsburg: It's not fair that East River State Park closes so early that you have to watch the sunset through locked gates, is it? [I'm Not Sayin', I'm Just Sayin']

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Magnolia to Lure Cupcake Crazies to the Upper West Side

Chelsea: Trestle on Tenth launches weekend brunch this Saturday with a fall menu that includes bacon-and-onion rösti and banana-stuffed French toast with vanilla syrup. Fort Greene: IHOP is making more New York moves: In addition to taking on Times Square, the chain will open an outlet on Livingston Street near Bond Street. [NYDN] Midtown East: Bloomingdale's has moved tangy fro-yo pioneer Forty Carrots from the basement to a larger, more befitting seventh floor space. [NYT] Sherry-Lehmann wine store has completed its relocation to Park Avenue at 59th Street. [NYT] Red Hook: You may have missed LeNell’s absinthe tasting (she drinks it up by the way), but she’ll host a tequila tasting this Sunday in honor of Mexican Independence Day. [LeNell’s] Upper West Side: A second Magnolia bakery will open on 69th Street at Columbus this winter, and owner Steve Abrams thinks he can keep it a secret from tourists. [Eater] Juan Cuevas has left Blue Hill to be the chef de cuisine at Ed Brown’s Eighty One, which should open in December. [NYS]

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Flappers Seen at Harlem's Live-Poultry Market

East Village: Between securing a liquor license and finishing construction on what will be Sakaya sake store, the owners are blogging. [Down by the Hipster] Flatiron: A BBQ tasting at Hill Country is the next stop for 4-Foodies; the event includes meeting the chefs and leaving with swag. [4-Foodies] Harlem: “A few seemed comatose, their heads lolling, but most were lively” at La Granja live-poultry market on Amsterdam Avenue at 126th Street. The roasted results are so much better than supermarket chickens. [NYS] Lower East Side: Months of Craigslist ads must have done some good, Tailor has scored Room 4 Dessert veteran Pam Yung as the fifth member of its kitchen team. [NYS] Meatpacking District: Paradou’s next dirty bingo night is September 18: kinky prizes furnished by Kiki De Montparnasse. Midtown East: Condolences to those who like a good frisking before lunch, the afternoon buffet in the U.N. Delegates Dining Room will be closed to the public from September 25 – October 5 while the General Assembly convenes. [NewYorkology]

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Weekday Brunch in the West Village; Fine Dining on Henry Street

Brooklyn Heights: Henry Street has become a dining destination. [Brooklyn Paper] Midtown East: Donatella Arpaia’s father, Lello, will open an “elegant Italian place, which has fabric walls and flattering lighting” called Fiorini at 209 East 56th Street this Saturday. [NYT] Tribeca: The co-owner of Murray’s Bagels plans to open his own shop called Original Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish on Chambers at West Broadway by October. [Grub Street] West Village: Paris Commune is trying to woo its detractors by offering weekday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. [NYS] Williamsburg: DuMont Burger is expanding into a space next door in order to separate its takeout business from sit-down dining. [Eater]

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Squid Guts, Massage Parlors, and Discounted Wine

Dumbo: Superfine is hosting a Brazilian cocktail and dance party on Sunday night to benefit a “baptism ceremony for new students” of Capoeira Brooklyn. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: Squid guts at Menkui-tei in Cooper Square are not as delicious as they sound. [Eat for Victory/VV] Fort Greene: A bakery called Krumbs will open in the old Frosted Moon Emporium on Vanderbilt just near Myrtle. [Clinton Hill Blog] Lower East Side: Schiller’s wants you to know that it’s not a massage parlor. Oh, and delivery is discounted. [Eater] Midtown East: Crush Wine is taking 20 percent off all white bottles under $55 through this Friday. [Grub Street] West Village: Scott Bryan expects to have his kitchen at 10 Downing Street up and running by November. [Mouthing Off]

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Soho's Jerry's May Be Reincarnated in a New Space

Astoria: The owners of Sai Organics health-food store have opened an organic restaurant in the old Keystone Diner spot on 30th Avenue near 31st Street. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: The prices of Gemma’s rustic fare are shocking “and not in a Kobe/Gilt kind of way.” [Gastro Chic] Meatpacking District: PM may lose its liquor license soon if complaining neighbors sway the community board. [Down by the Hipster] Midtown East: Menchanko-Tei has been closed by the Department of Health. [Midtown Lunch] Soho: Jerry’s diner has closed, but the owner may be looking for a new space. [Eater] Tribeca: Peat Week at Brandy Library starts August 20 bringing a series of public “peated” Scotch tastings and special menu offerings. [Brandy Library] Pomodoro’s II on West Broadway at Murray Street will soon share its space with a Cheesesteak Factory Express. [Grub Street] West Village: Reservations by phone are required if you want to eat the last of the Chianina steak at Maremma only on offer through next Friday. [Grub Street]

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Jerry’s Saying Good-bye to Soho

Astoria: The newly opened Valverde at the corner of Steinway and 36th Avenue is offering up some fresh Mediterranean flavors. [Joey in Astoria] Boerum Hill: One Girl Cookies gets accused of price deception. [Chowhound] Midtown East: Brasserie, Café Centro, and Naples 45 have each developed tomato-centric menus that can be ordered now through September. [Grub Street] Midtown West: The Treats Truck will hold court at 38th Street and Fifth Avenue on Tuesday. [Treats Truck] Soho: Jerry’s diner will give up the ghost on Sunday after brunch service. [Eater]

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It's Hard Out Here for a Mascot

Brooklyn Heights: Yet another Montague Street restaurant mascot has been vandalized … and it sure looks creepy lying on the ground. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Chelsea: Um: Cool air was being force-fed into the Episcopal seminary here during shooting of a new TV show about an immortal detective yesterday. Huh? [Blog Chelsea] Clinton Hill: A former dry cleaner on Lafayette is accepting "proposal’s" [sic] for the space. [Clinton Hill Blog] Flatbush: Doesn’t this post-rainstorm pic remind you of how Tara looked when Scarlett finally got there from Atlanta? [Living in Victorian Flatbush] Harlem: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition hunk Ty Pennington will build a playground at P.S. 72 to help fight ADHD. Or something like that; we stopped paying attention. [HealthNewsDigest via Uptown Flavor] Midtown East: Developer Sheldon Solow faces off against locals as he launches the approval process for a massive riverside residential-commercial project between 35th and 41st Streets. [NYS] Williamsburg: When new buildings go up, taggers hit them fast to make sure they fit in with the graffitiscape. [Gowanus Lounge]

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La Esquina Laying Breakfast Eggs on Little Italy

East Village: If you’re a police officer, a nurse, or another kind of emergency service responder, S’MAC will give you a 15 percent discount on your order now through Labor Day. [S’MAC] Flatiron: The name of the new Gansevoort coming to Park Avenue will be … Gansevoort Park. [Down by the Hipster] Harlem: More mega-chain fast food coming soon. [Uptown Flavor] Little Italy: La Esquina now serves breakfast. [Eat for Victory/VV] Midtown East: Tonight at the Mercedes Benz showroom, Adirondack Creamery and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory will dole out green-tea, kulfi-pistachio-cardamom, and almond-cookie ice creams (among other flavors) to ticket holders supporting Asian Women in Business. [AWIB] Midtown West: On August 23, former Maya chef de cuisine Julian Medina is opening his own nouveau Mexican restaurant called Toloache at 251 West 50th Street. [Grub Street]

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Gilt Shows Midtown East the Hand

Battery Park City: Flurt frozen yogurt looks almost complete on South End Avenue. [Eater] East Village: Wannabistro 26 Seats has just changed owners, but for now the menu will remain the same. [Grub Street] Flatiron: The Gansevoort people plan to open another hotel on Park Avenue South somewhere in the Twenties. [Down by the Hipster] Midtown East: Gilt will close for the last two weeks in August, before chef Christopher Lee debuts the fall menu. [Grub Street] Sunset Park: Sunset Park locals fight to keep out Papa John’s pizza: “I feel like this is the neighborhood’s last stand,” says one pie protester. [NYT] Upper West Side : Aix brasserie will host a six-course wine dinner next Monday night showcasing rosé. [Grub Street]

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Free Tequila in Tribeca Tonight

Astoria: The Greek Orthodox feast of St. Irene Chrysovalantou began on Thursday but will continue through the weekend with celebrations and copious amounts of street food. [Joey in Astoria] Harlem: House of Seafood may be the next victim of “adverse possession,” by which small business are being pushed out by property managers to make way for gentrification. [Amsterdam News via Uptown Flavor] Meatpacking District: 4foodies, an online community site, is launching with a dinner Tuesday at 5 Ninth that includes a meet-and-greet with the chef. [4Foodies] Midtown East: The new Pret a Manger on Madison between 48th and 49th Streets is giving away a limited supply of free prepackaged lunches today to promote Monday’s official opening. [Grub Street] Sherry-Lehmann wine store is orchestrating a move from its longtime home at 679 Madison Avenue to Park and 59th; the plywood covering the construction is a fabulous shade of plum. [Lost City] Prospect Heights: Vanderbilt Avenue now boasts an old-fashioned ice-cream shop, the Old Brooklyn Parlor, that offers contemporary flavors like ginger crème brûlée. [Eat for Victory/ VV] Tribeca: Tonight at Brandy Library from 6 to 8 p.m., David Suro hosts a free tasting of Tequilas Siembra Azul. [Brandy Library] Upper East Side: Multiple local bars are registered for BuyYourFriendADrink.com, a service that allows you to purchase drinks and bar tabs in advance online. [Upper East Side Informer] Williamsburg: A new Pinkberry clone joins the fro-yo fray on Driggs Avenue near North 9th Street with a mango lassi flavor standing in for green tea. [Eater]

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Explosion Damage Damages ‘Damage’ Party

20070720closedanson_sm.jpg
Human beings build mental models for things. You don't really think about your commute into work; you just do it, the same as you do every day. This is why every now and then, when you walk to that same subway station to go someplace else, you get on that usual morning-commute train even though you mean to go the other way. Well, we have a model for party reporting, and last night we were set to cover the after-party for Glenn Close's new FX drama, Damages, which we were told was at Cipriani's. We assumed that meant Cipriani 42nd Street, so we left the office at the end of the day on autopilot. We saw some police barricades; we ignored them. We turned onto 42nd Street. There were a lot of bright lights. The street was blocked off. Wow, we thought, big premiere.

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