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Nelson Blue

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‘Scruffy Loner’ Heath Ledger Ate Solo at Grotta Azzurra

As our sister blog Daily Intel has pointed out, this week was all about Tom Brady and Eli Manning sightings, with Tom and Gisele hitting the town (what else is new?) and Eli making it a quiet week. Michael Strahan also found a moment to sip chowder (question being, was it New York or New England style?). On a somber note, the Daily News uncovered Heath Ledger’s haunts in Soho: Spring Street Natural and Miro Café among them. The sighting we were most intrigued by, however, occurred in Park City, Utah: Sirio Maccioni eschewed trendier restaurants to hit Burger King. Now there’s a Whopper freakout we’d pay to see.

Perilla Found to be Basically Okay; Richman Loves Balthazar Even More Than The Good Fork

Perilla tried to be sober and sane, and what was the result? One star from Frank Bruni. But that’s still pretty good for a first-time effort, even by a ‘Top Chef.’ [NYT] It’s no surprise Alan Richman approves of Balthazar, given his fondness for insouciance in restaurants. He all but opens the floodgates of his enthusiasm for Keith McNally’s flagship. [Bloomberg] Related: Why Is Alan Richman So in Love With Brooklyn? In an apparent effort to differentiate the two once and for all, Andrea Thompson considers both the Farm on Adderley and Flatbush Farm in one column. But read closer, and only one entrée is mentioned at each place, a disservice to both. [NYer]

Vendors at Red Hook Ball Fields Postpone Opening

Brooklyn Heights: Brooklyn Pigfest, a major outdoor barbecue event at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, is slated for May 12. [The Food Section] Financial District: Front Street sees the soft opening of New Zealand gastropub Nelson Blue. [Eater] Midtown West: Haven't made it to Insieme? Jason Perlow's photo-essay chronicles, in loving and lingering detail, every course at Marco Canora's new restaurant. [Off the Broiler] Landmarc at the Time Warner Center makes a mean-looking burger. [Gothamist] Red Hook: A new stoplight at the intersection of Van Brunt and Sullivan streets should help ease traffic caused by Fairway. [The Brooklyn Paper] Opening day for the ball fields' food stands has been postponed, for one more week! [Gowanus Lounge] Flatiron: Eleven Madison Park declines to keep their trial pastry chef, Richard Bies; until they hire a permanent replacement for Nicole Kaplan, Daniel Humm himself is handling the dessert program. [Grub Street] Related: Nicole Kaplan Ditching Eleven Madison Park

Flatbush Farm Chef Takes Leave of the Barnyard

Eric Lind, the chef who opened Flatbush Farm, has left the Haute Barnyard hit. You may be disappointed to learn that neither of the two projects he’s consulting on center around seasonal foods: Stella Maris, a recently opened restaurant on Front Street, specializes in modern Irish cooking; Nelson Blue is a New Zealand–themed gastropub also on Front Street set to open in mid- to late April. Once he’s done downtown, Lind plans on another eatery of his own, likely in the “rustic, organic, country style” he established at Flatbush Farm. “This is the food that really appeals to me,” he tells us, “and the food that I like to eat.” He’s not the only one. Related: Haute Barnyard Take on a Classic SoCal Sandwich Flatbush Farm Takes Haute Barnyard to the Next Level