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Escaping the Obligatory Turkey Feature

Cold Beard Soup
It’s November in the food-magazine business, so expect feature after endless feature about Thanksgiving, and every imaginable variation on recipes for turkey and stuffing. Gourmet gives a pretty complete account, including big Turkey Day features on the fancy version, the Asian version, the Italian version, and even the vegetarian version. Bon Appétit is about the same, taking the big-name approach: Bruce Aidells on turkey, and Michael Lamonaco on potatoes, among others. A profile of Aidells and his meat-minded kitchen is in November's Food & Wine, as well as such year-round delights as domestic cheeses and a new brand of whiskey out of Oregon. Saveur, thankfully, limits itself to a nice article about a West Virginia farm, and then dips in on such disparate topics as kale, heritage chickens, prosciutto from Iowa, and other Saveur-like topics. We’re grateful for the respite; Thanksgiving is early this year but not that early.

Rizzo's Square Pizza Rules in Astoria; Picholine Alum Takes on the West Village

Astoria: There was a bit of volatile reaction from our readers to the quality of Rose & Joe's Sicilian pies: “Any self-respecting pizza eater in Astoria will know that going anywhere but Rizzo’s for a square pie/slice is absolutely maniacal.” [Grub Street] East Harlem: If you have trouble finding “cuchifritos (a.k.a. Puerto Rican soul food), Mexican, French, Caribbean, and pizza” in the nabe, you can join NoshWalks for a food tour this Saturday. [Uptown Flavor] Flatiron: Gramercy Tavern jumps on the beer-for-dessert train by pairing stout with chocolate bread pudding. [NYDN] Park Slope: Another cupcake shop mobilizes to join the bakery front on Flatbush Avenue. [Eater] Upper West Side: Two food writers found a special of gnocchi with short-rib ragù and ricotta cheese at Ouest to be a perfect plate of food, and want it to make the fall menu. [Ed Levine Eats/Serious Eats] West Village: Picholine alum Craig Hopson moves into the kitchen of One if by Land, Two if by Sea, now that Gary Volkov is opening his own spot. [Restaurant Girl] Da Silvano may not have been taken out of the rat feature on Inside Edition, but his lawyer was given uncommonly ample on-air time to respond. [Gawker]

Chodorow and Valenti Scope UWS Hotel; Ramsay's Culinary Reputation Waning

Jeffrey Chodorow and Ouest chef Tom Valenti may both open restaurants in the boutique hotel On the Ave at Broadway near 76th Street. [NYP] Has Gordon Ramsay spread himself too thin? Harden’s annual guide has dethroned Ramsey’s eponymous flagship as its pick for highest overall rating in food, service and ambience. [The Guardian] Lower East Side neighbors were duped by the Box — they believed it was to be a “cultural institution.” Well, sort of depends on your definition of “culture.” [NYDN]

Tom Carvel’s Mysterious Death; Tom Valenti’s Awesome Uptown Digs

The old technique of force-feeding geese with a metal tube was the evil secret behind foie gras. Now there’s a new, gentler method: force-feeding them with a rubber tube. [NYT] Tom Carvel’s niece is convinced that her uncle, the late custard king, was murdered, and she wants his body exhumed. [The Journal News] Ouest chef Tom Valenti shows his museumlike 157th Street apartment to the world. [NYP]

Best Seats in the House: Where to Eat at the Bar

Even before the arrival of Joël Robuchon and his bar-centric L'Atelier, the ancient urban tradition of bar dining was undergoing a great renaissance. And why not? Eating while seated on a stool is a uniquely New York experience. It's convivial, expedient, and communal, but in a solitary way. The Gobbler has met Wall Street kingpins, ex–CIA agents, and loquacious bookies from Queens at restaurant bars. You don't have to deal with sniveling waiters or go overboard on tips, and it's often a convenient excuse for getting really, really drunk. Here are a few of the Gobbler's favorite barfly destinations.