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Schnitzel Moving Into the West Village; Recession Makes Gael Greene Crave Sweets

Astoria: You think $12.95 is good for an all-inclusive brunch deal? Michael’s has a weekday three-course dinner deal for the same price. "This neighborhood never ceases to amaze." [Joey in Astoria] East Village: Pichet Ong is teaching a class at Astor Center tomorrow on sweets and science. [Zagat] A new stuffed-potato bar is coming to town, but there’s already one on East Houston Street near Avenue A called NY Stuffed Idaho. [Eater] Midtown West: Moylvos celebrates Greek Easter with “Breaking the Fast.” At midnight on April 27 they’ll host a parade to the local Greek church and offer a tasting menu that includes slow-roasted lamb with yogurt-Feta dumplings. [Restaurant Girl] Upper West Side: The Insatiable Critic samples the new sweetshops in town. [Insatiable Critic] West Village: 14th Street near Fifth Avenue is getting a schnitzel shop. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

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]

Litchi Brownies Turn Up in Gramercy; Cassoulet and Cornmeal Cake in Tribeca

Boerum Hill: The ricotta that Lunetta sous-chef Betsy Devine makes with help from Rachel Mark from Hudson Valley Fresh milk would make for a great locavore cannoli. [Gothamist] Gramercy: Amai Tea and Bakehouse (and its dessert blogger owner, Kelli Bernard) makes a mean litchi brownie. [NewYorkology] Midtown West: Pure Food and Wine’s Matthew Kenney has transcended “‘tastes good for healthy food’ expectations” at his fast-food organic restaurant, Free Foods NYC, which is “like a Vermont country store” on West 45th Street. [Restaurant Girl] Tribeca: Cercle Rouge is adding cassoulet, potatoes cooked in duck fat with garlic and porcini mushrooms, cornmeal-orange blossom cake, and other dishes from their chef’s native Toulouse from March 3 to 9. [Grub Street]

Johnny the Tofu-Maker's Wobbly Treat Blows Into the East Village; Chinantla Tacos Tastier Than Ever in Bed-Stuy

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Grungy bodega Chinantla, known for its Eat for Victory–approved $2 tacos, has just undergone a massive clean-deli renovation. The tasty tacos haven’t just survived the transition; they’re better. [Brooklyn Based] Chelsea: Trestle on Tenth highlights the wines and cheeses of the Jura region (which extends through France and Switzerland) in special pairings on offer March 4 to 9. [Grub Street] East Village: You can find high-quality prepackaged tofu by Kyoto’s "Johnny the Tofu-Maker, Blowin’ in the Wind" at Sunrise Mart, and the jiggly treat is so creamy you might want to forgo a sprinkling of soy sauce for a drizzle of honey. [Gothamist] Hell’s Kitchen: Zanzibar has a new bar menu that’s served Monday through Saturday until 2 a.m. and includes Mediterranean meze and Asian appetizer platters. [Grub Street] Meatpacking District: 4-Foodies hits up Sue Torres's communal Mexican spot Los Dados for its next tasting event on Monday, March 10. [4foodiesusa.com] Midtown West: Trying to decide between a Five Guys burger and one from Burger Joint? This handy midtown-hamburger slideshow should help. [Zagat] Tribeca: David Bouley pulled back his application for a liquor license for Brushstrokes in response to community opposition, postponing, not bowing out of, the fight. [Eater]

Drink-Special Fakers in Astoria Get Called Out, But One of This Week's Openings Makes a Serious Cocktail

Astoria: Sabry’s at 24–25 Steinway whips up a shrimp and calamari tagine that’s “not only visually appealing but full of tomatoey goodness.” [Joey in Astoria] Fatty’s Cafe lied to Joey and Foodista about serving Valentine’s Day drink specials; everything was regularly priced. Not cool. [Foodista] Dumbo: A relatively budget kitchenware shop called Leader Trading Company has opened at 160 Water Street. [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: The Corpse Reviver at Hudson Valley–inspired Olana is a “smooth mix of Lillet, Tanqueray, Cointreau, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice in an absinthe-tempered glass.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown West: The head chef of the Chapati Roll/Biriyani Cart at 46th near Sixth Avenue "has returned after two and a half months in Bangladesh" and has added a vegetarian Aloo Gobi roll, with curried potatoes and cauliflower, to the short menu. [Midtown Lunch] Tribeca: Dennis Foy now serves a $24.08 three-course prix fixe lunch on weekdays and a weekend brunch featuring macadamia-nut granola, orange- and almond-dipped French toast, and pancakes with dulce de leche gelato. [Grub Street] West Village: Next Wednesday is Dominican Independence Day, and Havana Alma De Cuba will have a native Dominican rolling complimentary cigars to go with your mojito. [Grub Street]

Bar Carrera Getting Bigger in the East Village; Did We Mention Bar Blanc Is Like a Bar But Better?

Astoria: Tell Astorya doesn’t seem to be reopening anytime soon. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Green Planet has opened with its shelves stocked with vitamins and drink mixes, but some still hope that actual produce could turn up. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The sliver of a Spanish restaurant Bar Carrera is expanding into the space next door. [Eater] Midtown West: South Gate has nifty, hand-held, touch-screen wine lists, which sound similar to the bar-top ones at Adour. [Zagat] West Village: Lucky couples (or specifically, husbands) who scored a table at One If by Land this Thursday will find the food finally on par with the carriage-house setting now that Picholine alum Craig Hopson is manning the beef Wellington and adding his own dishes — like Gruyère gnocchi with wild Burgundy snails — to the menu. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Danyelle Freeman labels Bar Blanc "an ambitious restaurant in a laid-back disguise," almost like a watering hole with restaurant-caliber cooking. [Restaurant Girl] Related: One If by Land Breaks Out a Bar Menu, and Not a Minute Too Soon

Astoria Can Be Romantic; Kyotofu Explores Japanese Culture

Astoria: Joey recommends Bistro 33, Mundo, and L’Incontro among romantic V-Day options, but plans to offer more ideas for the nabe next week [Joey in Astoria]; Ethos is closed for renovations the next three weeks. [Grub Street] Chelsea: Bottlerocket’s naughty gift set includes a bottle of Nicolas Feuillate Champagne and condoms. New York: where even wine stores are full-service. [Grub Street] East Village: The owners of Hi-Fi are preparing to open the Bowery Electric in the old Remote Lounge space, and an unrelated wine bar will also be opening soon. [Zagat] Flatiron: If you can hold off on your chocolate binge until after Valentine’s Day (when he doesn’t call), there’s a tasting at Dessert Studio at Chocolat Michel Cluizel on February 19 hosted by 4-Foodies. [4-Foodies] Hell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu has launched a culture series that explores Japanese customs like the kimono and the tea ceremony on the third Wednesday of every month (starting the 20th). [Grub Street] Midtown West: The bar and lounge at the South Gate, the new restaurant in the Jumeirah Essex House, debuts tonight. [Eater]

Hallo Berlin Gets Into the Takeout Game

Felix Miller, day manager at Hallo Berlin, tells us that a Hallo Berlin Express will open at 744 Ninth Avenue, near 51st Street, and that it will be a pilot for future takeout spots around the city. “It’s pretty much something that hasn’t been done with a German restaurant or food,” says Miller, though we have to say Mandler’s has a similar concept. The space, which used to house a slice joint, will have a counter where you can watch wursts being made (the ones that are available at the Hallo Berlin cart as well as others), a couple of beers on tap, and seating for about twenty until midnight. It will open in late March, presumably with a sausage party.

Duck Necks Compete With Chicken Wings This Sunday; Midtown East Looking for Desperate Singles

Bedford-Stuyvesant: If you don't want to brave a sports bar Sunday but still want to catch the game, this restaurants-with-flat-screens list includes yet-to-open Rustik Tavern, which will be up and running by kickoff. There will only be a limited menu, but owner Frantz Metellus promises: "If I don’t have nachos, I’m nothing.” [Brooklyn Based] Chelsea: Trestle on Tenth thinks it has the Super Bowl chicken-wing-tradition beat: braised and fried crispy duck necks with a garlic and anchovy dip. They're not as adventurous as castrating a sheep with your teeth à la Giant Grey Ruegamer, but definitely easier to get your hands on; just pick up a few pounds on game day. [Grub Street] Cobble Hill: "The natives are getting restless" that Trader Joe's hasn't opened, and the store's PR company offers few answers. [Brownstowner] East Village: Gramercy Tavern's Haute Barnyard guru Michael Anthony is doing a Farm to Chef dinner at the Astor Center tomorrow night. Farmers, writers and activists aplenty will be present. [Grub Street] Flatiron: Pinkberry on 26th Street at Third Avenue is now open. [Eater] Midtown East: The Helmsley's Annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Ball hopes to attract "the recently dumped and 'disenchanted,' as well as the happily single and those looking for love," or you could just come to see the Ice-Carved Anti-Cupid Satan Oyster Bar (and make fun of the desperates). [Grub Street] Midtown West: "Today, the food you find on most bars is the salty kind: chip, pretzels, etc. As anyone in the bar biz knows, these are … meant to make you thirsty, so you order more liquor," but Keens is one of the last spots to offer sobering snacks of the bygone era: hard-boiled eggs, and they're free. [Lost City]

Bar Boulud's Wine-Tasting Table, Chop Suey's Dining Room Both Half-Full

Spot Check
The first time we dropped in on a batch of new restaurants to take head counts, we hit the East Side. Then we threw it over to the West Side. Last Friday we took it uptown to see what’s doing above 42nd Street. It wasn’t easy hitting half a dozen spots between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., but luckily we were navigating familiar territory — Mermaid Inn? Magnolia Bakery? Blue Ribbon Sushi? Zak Pelaccio’s new spot? It’s like we never left downtown.

Abrams Brothers Have Always Loved the UWS; Gay Talese Will Eat BBQ on the UES

Chelsea: The owner of the Cuban restaurant that replaced Havana Chelsea says he’s not trying to copy the former tenant: "It took years of grease to get on those walls and the smell of rotten wood and mice and stale water and dirt. We gutted the entire place, not even a tooth pick was worth saving." [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Greene Grape Provisions has opened with fresh fish and meats, and if you bring a receipt to their nearby wine store, the owners will take 5 percent off your purchase of their recommended pairings. [Clinton Hill Blog] Midtown East: Chocolatier Charbonnel Et Walker on the eighth floor of Saks sells a rich chocolate cupcake drenched in sticky toffee, which is well worth its $6 price tag and still "way cheaper than a pair of Chanel pumps" sold nearby. [NewYorkology] Midtown West: Brasserie Cognac is coming to 55th Street and Broadway. [Grub Street] Tribeca: Dekk seems closed indefinitely. [Grub Street] Union Square: In an unsurprising conclusion, Bruni finds that Indian and Italian restaurants are better equipped to satisfy vegetarians. Dévi is one example where even meat eaters may want to eat those vegetable-based dishes. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Upper East Side: Barbejew Steven Levy hopes his new BBQ joint, Smokin’ Q, which opens this week at 206 East 63rd Street, will succeed where twelve restaurants have failed since 1977. Levy may have an edge against predecessors, however, since writer Gay Talese, who included the doomed space in his memoir, plans to be the writer-in-residence. [NYT] Upper West Side: The Magnolia and Mermaid Inn uptown aren’t the first companies the Abrams brothers have introduced to the nabe; cupcake guru Steve owns "a construction company, high-end residential construction, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous sort of stuff. My clients are Samuel Jackson, Annie Leibovitz, Jeff Gordon." [NYO]

‘Times’ Building Gets Restaurant, Staffers Get Bar

The next restaurant at the base of the New York Times building promises to bring a brace of Milanese swagger to the tower’s inner lobby. Montenapo by BiCE, run by the 80-year-old upscale chain and named for a Milan street full of fashion-design firms, faces architect Renzo Piano’s inner birch-tree courtyard and expects to cater parties in the ballroom space under the building’s auditorium. And while the name may evoke the rag trade, interior designer Studio A is charged with crossbreeding garden-gazing and table-hopping. But a mod look will not necessarily translate to faddish food. “I can’t do anything better than Italian food,” says BiCE CEO Roberto Ruggeri. “Call it northern Gallian classica with influences from American bistro.”

A Sausage-Fest Welcome in Chelsea; Gramercy Tavern Recipes

Chelsea: On January 15–20, Trestle on Tenth will begin its own yearly tradition of Metzgete, a Swiss winter celebration of sausage, choucroute, and wine. [Trestle on Tenth] Flatiron: Adam Shepard hasn’t yet been able to clone the success of his Boerum Hill original at Lunetta, in the old Mayrose space, but Frank Bruni thinks he’s capable of making the necessary adjustments. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Gramercy: Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony provided this recipe for East Coast blackfish over spaghetti squash, but we have his recipe for fork-crushed purple majesty potatoes in our database. [Restaurant Girl] Hells Kitchen: How is this world going to stop mispronouncing chipotle as "chi-POLE-tay" if restaurants like Kevin St. James on Eighth Avenue can’t even spell it right? [East Village Idiot] Midtown West: Our In-box submission claiming there are prostitutes at Maze has inspired a call for the best restaurants that attract good ol’ traditional gold diggers. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Upper East Side: Agata & Valentina Ristorante has permanently closed, but the original gourmet shop is still lively. [Eater]

Still Waiting on ’beca Restaurant; New French Place at Radisson Martinique

Chelsea: Order your Gallete des Rois, the traditional Epiphany cake, now from Gavroche. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown West: Stavros Aktipis will open a new French restaurant in the Radisson Martinique hotel called Martinique Bistro. [NYS] Park Slope: Online buzz builds for Pepe’s Pizza and Panini, and now it’s getting the message-board treatment. [Brooklynian via Brownstoner] Tribeca: The Duane Street Hotel is open, but the ’beca Restaurant’s doors will be closed for at least the next couple of weeks. [NewYorkology/Grub Street]

Bar Boulud Opens, and It’s No Mere Wine Bar

We just returned from a first look at Bar Boulud, and our immediate reaction: dumbstruck awe. Here we thought the place was supposed to be a wine bar! In fact, it’s a full-scale restaurant with three private dining rooms, a huge kitchen, a separate charcuterie kitchen, and enough dried sausages and glistening terrines on display to get any gourmand hot and bothered. Even the design elements are special: The place is a wine shrine, with a vaulted ceiling (to suggest wine cellars), limestone floors (likewise), and white oak tables (an allusion to wine barrels). Along the walls is a series of framed photographs of wine stains made by Daniel Boulud and artist Vik Muniz. They look like red suns floating, Rothko-like, on their white backgrounds, and are slightly hypnotic. But so are the pork products!

New Kosher Bistro Drops in Midtown West; Gribene Lovers Wanted on the East Side

Chelsea: Ellisa Cooper returns to Bottlerocket on January 8 to kick off her Tuesday-night Explore Wine Series. [Bottlerocket] East Village: Pyramid Club might become the city’s first "drag landmark." [Villager] Midtown West: The owner of Le Marais and "Bourdain’s former boss at Les Halles," Jose Meireilles, has transformed his Spanish joint Tintol into a kosher bistro called the Clubhouse Cafe. (Tapas lovers can expect Tintol to make a comeback at an undisclosed downtown location.) [Eater] Murray Hill/Kips Bay: 2nd Avenue Deli is hiring! So lovers of gribenes may have found their dream job. [Eat for Victory/VV] Lower East Side: Two thieves stole $50,000 from a safe in the Hotel Rivington but were later apprehended. [NYP]

Bradley and Freitag Planning a ‘Lusty’ Menu for the Harrison; Hot Chestnut Pancakes in Midtown West

Astoria: Bar 36 at 36-05 30th Avenue hosts Martini Thursdays, where it’s "$2 off every martini on their menu (or create your own). Can’t beat the free snacks, too!" [Joey in Astoria] East Village: You’d be hard-pressed find a better, more satisfying "fantastic when it was hot but … made for a mean late night snack as well" deal than bär-bo-ne’s nightly five-course fresh pasta tasting menu. [Gluttoness] Flatiron: Eisenberg’s has been serving tater tots as latkes, but "the owner talked about getting in some big latkes soon. Let’s hope so … A place like Eisenberg’s deserves to have the best latkes." [Lost City] Midtown West: Norma’s has added new breakfast items to its menu, including hot chestnut pancakes and a chocolate waffle with peanut-butter-toffee-crunch filling, but don’t expect to get in and try them until the tourist exodus in January. [Eater] Tribeca: With chef Amanda Freitag at the helm, Jimmy Bradley plans to strive "for a bold, lusty, soulful menu at the Harrison." Saucy! [Restaurant Girl] Upper East Side: On weekdays through December, Zoë Townhouse at 135 East 62nd Street is offering a 15 percent discount off bottles of wine from noon to 7 p.m. [Grub Street] Williamsburg: From these pictures, the opening of the Peter Luger annex, which would significantly expand the restaurant, seems imminent. [Eater]

American Grill Rejected by the E.V.; Second Ave. Deli to Open in January

Astoria: The “Sophia Loren” pie at Michael Angelo’s II on 23rd Avenue near 29th Street is said to blow away the neighborhood’s pizza competitors, and with the not-so-innovative toppings of mozzarella, tomato, basil, and sauce. [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Lucali overwhelmingly won an albeit mini-poll for the hood’s best pizza parlor. [Bergen Carroll] Chinatown: The owners of new restaurant U-Choose Express on Mott Street have decided to decorate their space with an old sign from fifties diner Lonnie’s Coffee Shoppe that was uncovered during renovation. [NYT via Lost City] East Village: After only five months American Grill is giving up the ghost. Did its blintzes really fail to lure 4 a.m. drunks away from Odessa, was it flat-screen overdose, or just the constant reminder of Kiev’s death by gentrification that did the mod diner in? [Eater] Hell’s Kitchen: Artisanal Premium Cheese Center is hosting a sake and cheese tasting on December 5 to “showcase the lovely synergies that superior Sakes and exquisite (Artisanal Premium) Cheeses share.” [Artisanal Cheese] Midtown East: They may be hoisting their sign today, but the 2nd Avenue Deli probably won’t open until January. [Eater] Midtown West: Bruni’s first impression of Brasserie 44 (after, he notes, Rob and Robin’s) : It looks Scandinavian. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Sangria 46 at 338 West 46th Street will feature a different sangria each day for the twelve days before Christmas starting on December 13 with three-berry rosé. [Grub Street]

A Sloppy Joe Sanctuary Opens Near MSG

Heading up our short list of new hotel restaurants this week was Cooper’s Tavern, a new meatery over in the New Yorker Hotel, and as such a welcome option for post–Knicks games, for those few fans who will actually have an appetite after watching the team this season. As Rob and Robin point out, Cooper’s is one of few restaurants here that attempts a serious Sloppy Joe, this one courtesy of braised short ribs. (No words on whether a can of Manwich sauce goes into the mix.). Hot-dog quartets and seafood melts round out the bar sandwich menu, but there’s other stuff too, some of it looking pretty high-end, and priced accordingly. But somehow after you watch the Knicks' offense, we bet Sloppy Joes will suffice. Cooper’s Tavern: New Yorker Hotel, 481 Eighth Ave., at 35th St.; 212-268-8460. Short List: Dining-Room Service [NYM]