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Clubland’s Toughest Door Is in, Um, Times Square?

Clubs have long vied for celeb-studded Tuesday nights, so what’s the hottest one going these days? By one account, it’s Spotlight Live??? We were tempted to dismiss the Times Square karaoke complex as “strictly for the tourists” when it first opened, but that changed when we heard hip-hop stars were in the house during the recent Monday morning when a knife fight broke out. According to MTV.com, Beyoncé, Mya, Fantasia, Ne-Yo, and others have taken the stage for Tuesday’s “R&B Live” night. This week, when Diddy hosted a Bad Boy showcase, Fat Joe, Ray J, and Missy Elliott were in the audience, and Naughty by Nature and Danity Kane performed. We called the club looking to get in on the action, but were told it was a private event put on by an entertainment group affiliated with Universal Records. In other words, that door is tight. Related: Diddy, Beyonce, Ne-Yo Make 'Spotlight Live' New York's Hot Tuesday-Night Ticket Deadly Brawl in Times Square [NYDN] Carrie Jennings of Spotlight Live Doesn't Mind If You're Horrible at Karaoke

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Video: Inside Mia Dona's Kitchen

Mia Dona
What will you be eating next month at Mia Dona, the new midtown restaurant from chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia? We suggest the meat loaf roasted to order with an egg tucked inside. Or the hamburger with the salsa verde and garlic confit. And what will the dining room look like? Too soon to tell with all the plywoodTM, but Psilakis points out the construction highlights. See what other treats are coming by watching Grub Street’s video preview of Mia Dona. Video Openings: Mia Dona [NYM Video]

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No Ssäm at Ssäm Bar; Neighbors Oppose Carroll Gardens Restaurant

Astoria: Oleput reopened. But does it have a liquor license? [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Residents are opposed to a bar and grill next to Black Mountain Wine House. [Brooklyn Paper] East Village: Is ssäm off the menu at Ssäm Bar? [Eater] Gowanus: Look for a new coffee-and-sandwich shop called the Crooked Tail Café coming soon to Third Avenue and President Street. [Brownstoner] Greenpoint: One patron at Greenpoint Coffeehouse wants his anti-brunch message heard. [New York Shitty] Midtown: Combine dinner with people-watching at the food court at Grand Central Station. [Weblicist of Manhattan] West Village: The panini at ’ino are salty and sweet. [Gothamist]

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Sake Sommelier Chizuko Niikawa of Sakagura Serves $100 Bottles to Jean-Georges

For three years Chizuko Niikawa has been a sake sommelier at hideaway Sakagura, the restaurant in the bowels of a midtown office building. In that time she’s served everyone from clueless first-daters to one of Japan’s most notorious soccer players (who apparently gets his feathers ruffled if he’s served vegetables) to a certain famous chef that she then knew only as Mr. Kakunko, a reference to his proclivity for dining at the bar with his favorite $100 bottle of sake for company. We asked her to clue us in about the art of sake.

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After Taco Bell, Rodents Take On Cobble Hill

Clinton Hill: What? You say you weren't at the Pratt annual antique steam-whistle concert on New Year's Eve at midnight? Like, where else could you have been? At least it was captured on this YouTube video. But, dude, it's not the same thing as being there. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: Is that a squirrel or a rat sunning himself in the window of that shamefully derelict Kane Street walk-up? Locals are bitterly divided over the answer. People, can we all agree that it's a rodent? [Lost New York City] Dumbo: Will the new owners of an old Water Street warehouse really build a theater and host a Korean film festival in there? We'll see, kimchee. [Brooklyn Eagle via DumboNYC]

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Dumbo Makes Its Mark

Carroll Gardens: Some people feel that the paltry number of holiday lights strung up on Court Street is really shameful. And they ain't too proud to blog about it. [Lost City] Dumbo: It just became the city's 90th landmark district! Those hulking industrial piles turned boutique lofts will be preserved into perpetuity! Huzzah! [NYS] East Harlem: Don Imus is kicking in a quarter-mil for an ecofriendly health center up here, saying it's shameful that such a small hood has such high asthma rates. [Newsday via Uptown Flavor]

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Chris Cheung Looking to Bring ‘Evolutionary Asian Cuisine’ to Monkey Bar

We've always liked Chris Cheung, going back to the days when the young Long Island–born chef was trying to reinvent Asian fusion from the Chinese side at Almond Flower in Chinatown. (His exit from the place, and its epic aftermath, made some good Grub Street fodder.) Now that Cheung has taken over from Patricia Yeo at Monkey Bar, he’s trying to implement his style of “evolutionary Asian cuisine.” So what does that amount to?

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Midtown Pop Burger Unveils Its Poppin' Façade

Pop Burger
The recently unveiled exterior of the soon-to-open midtown Pop Burger takes the prize. Looks good now, but wait till the backlighting! Clearly bubble wrap was the inspiration here, making it a real possibility that someone in the upstairs billiards lounge could try to pop one of those windows with a pool cue. Also slated to hit midtown in December and still in hiding in the IBM building: the first U.S. outpost of Roman mozzarella bar Obika.

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First Look: Midtown's Mega Pop Burger Readies for Opening

A few months ago we broke news that a massive new Pop Burger was coming to midtown. You can now start salivating: As these construction shots testify, the place is now set to open the week of November 26. Again, we’re looking at a triple-decker — a first floor, open from 11 a.m. till 4 a.m. for takeout and dining; a second-floor lounge with a private entrance, and a third floor with a bar and billiards room. (It’s Playland for bankers!) The bar areas will be open from 5 p.m. till 4 a.m. And yes, midtowners, there will be delivery. Just be ready for your co-workers to hate you with an undying passion when the smell of these things wafts into their cubes. Related: Massive New Pop Burger Popping Up in Midtown

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Jeffrey Chodorow Still in the Steak Game With Latest Restaurant

The Observer has the dope on Jeffrey Chodorow’s latest restaurant in the Empire Hotel: It’s to be a “classic American steakhouse.” Not a surprising choice, given how hassle-free, popular, and profitable steakhouses are — when they’re not Kobe Club, anyway. Jay-C is in Italy for a week, but as soon as we can get ahold of him, we’ll have the details. Given the ambition of his latest ventures, we’d be surprised if this is just another meatery. Chodorow to Open 'Classic Steakhouse' in Empire Hotel [NYO]

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At Least Your Super Didn't Scald You With Acid

East Village: The rise of the yunnie, or Young Urban Narcissist, wasn't the launch of Sex and the City. It was the 1994 opening of Bowery Bar. [Vanishing New York] Greenpoint: The best way to find an apartment in this hot hood? Get off your ass, come out here, walk around, and ask, moron! Oh, and be polite. [11222] Midtown: Wasn't it just a matter of time before the public library at Fifth and 53rd was sold to a high-end hotelier? Especially given that midtown is the new red-light district. [Curbed] Park Slope: Next week, local merchants will start offering free yellow umbrellas customers can borrow when it's raining, then return on an honor system. Hey, wait … it rains in Park Slope? [Gowanus Lounge]

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Napa Mom Shows New Yorkers How to Live

video
Maryann Thatcher, a stay-at-home mom and vinter from Napa, visits New York to stock up on hats. She also gets her hair colored the right way, takes long baths, and shops at Bergdorf. This sounds so fun, Thatcher makes us want to take a vacation in New York. To learn more secrets of luxury tourism, watch the video. Video Look Book: Maryann Thatcher

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Target! Must You Brand Everything?

Bedford-Stuyvesant: It's nice that Target funded the beautiful redesign of this community garden … but obnoxious that they put all those big red dots up in there. [Bed-Stuy Blog] Dumbo: Sorry we didn't notice this the other day, but are they building a little penthouse atop the iconic clock tower of One Main Street? [Brownstoner] Forest Hills: Did you guys know that the hood apparently has a really cool, retro Adidas sneaker named after it? These are probably sooo what the homies were wearing in the Summer of Sam. [Overstock via Forest Hills 72]

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Riding the B Line: Pay Homage at the Carnegie Deli

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: Carnegie Deli Our stop last week should have been the last on the B line before transferring to the V and the joys of Queens, but we’re staying on this train for one more stop, efficiency be damned. Get out on 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue and visit the Federal Reserve of deli foods: the one, the almighty Carnegie Deli.

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My Meal at Le Bernardin Makes Me Want to Keep My Sense of Taste!

Facing the Final Hour (not his real name) wrote the Grub Street branch of the Make a Wish Foundation, asking where he should go in what could well be his final days with a sense of taste. We put him in touch with Eric Ripert, who agreed to cook the unhappy man a Doomsday Meal. We asked for a recap of the meal, and Facing the Final Hour delivered.

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A New Sofrito, Somewhere in Manhattan

Jimmy Rodriguez, the man behind the late, legendary Jimmy’s Bronx Café wants to open an outpost of his midtown joint Sofrito — same concept, same Puerto Rican menu. “I’m looking all over the city for something next year,” he tells us. He has considered a former club space in Chelsea, but he’s still open to anything below 96th Street.

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Cheapest Plaza Room: $775 a Night

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Please don't let something tacky occupy this empty storefront and set back this nicely gentrifying block! (cries a blogger). I mean, is that really wood-paneling? [Bed-Stuy Blog] Glendale: Furious folks in this Queens burg, which provided the exterior of Archie Bunker's TV house, say that too many buses passing through caused a water main to break, cutting off the agua supply. [NYDN] Harlem: The W hotel-condo planned for Frederick Douglass Boulevard looks like a Lego's miscarriage on acid. [Harlem Fur] Midtown: The soon-to-be-100-years-old Plaza Hotel is booking rezzies after January 1 starting at $775 a night. Maybe if you hawk all your Heloise first-editions on eBay… [Newyorkology] Park Slope: Who is torching all the cars around here? That's wicked mean. [Brownstoner] West Village: This outspoken young Jewish gay is disgusted that Marc Jacobs — another outspoken young Jewish gay — is taking over his hood. [West Village Kid]

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iPods at Stoop Sale!

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Get your cut-rate iPods at Saturday's Quincy St. stoop sale! [Bed-Stuy Blog] Chelsea: What was that suspicious parcel outside the Hotel Chelsea that prompted cops to cordon off the street yesterday? Sid Vicious's care package from the beyond? [Blog Chelsea] Little Italy: Judging from the look of this wiseguy as he's caught cleaning up San Gennaro's street filth with eco-hostile bleach, the photog may want to contact Witness Protection. [Curbed] Maspeth: New housing here is taking a curious (and, well, tacky) turn for the maritime. [Queens Crap] Midtown: In which two ever-metastasizing juggernauts converge: East 42nd St. will soon house the first bank-Starbucks combo. Talk about caffeine withdrawal. [NYP] West Village: Though a gaggle of protesters are no match for Trump's ever-rising SoHo spire, they're pissing all over plans for One Jackson Square at the corner of Eighth and Greenwich. Literally. [Jeremiah's Vanishing New York] Williamsburg: Demolition has begun at a former cabbage processing plant on Roebling St. that smells notoriously farty. But with an oil field across the street, will workers strike the oozy stuff when they start to dig? [Gowanus Lounge]

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Gordon Ramsay’s Exhausts, Neighbors Still Fuming

Given how much grief Gordon Ramsay has had lately (a seared testicle, lawsuit, etc.), we thought we’d add to it by inquiring after the status of his battle with his New York neighbors. Last year, they were up in arms about the noise and stench Gordon Ramsay at the London brought to them, and this year, they are too. “Imagine your house being inundated with dirty bacon and duck smells,” says resident Karen Sharf. “We cannot sleep and cannot basically breathe in our apartments.”

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