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Park Avenue Winter

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The Slumdog and Gossip Girl Effects

Park Avenue Winter’s ploy to ride the coattails (or skirttails, or whatever) of 'Gossip Girl' has totally paid off.

By Daniel Maurer

Wylie Wins Respect for Molecular Gastronomy With a Third Star; Bar Boulud Finally Gets a Good Review

In a landmark for molecular gastronomy in America, the movement’s top proponent, Wylie Dufresne, gets his third star for wd-50. A historic review, especially as Frank Bruni expresses the usual reservations about overly cerebral cooking. [NYT] Bar Boulud finally gets some respect from Alan Richman, who praises its blue-ribbon charcuterie and says of its much-maligned mains, “The worst that can be said…is that the recipes are relentlessly conventional — lamb stew, roasted chicken, boudin blanc. The best is that such a style of cooking is terribly missed.” [GQ] Restaurant Girl seems to have been distinctly unimpressed with about half of the dishes she tried at Adour, resulting in a lukewarm, two-and-a-half-star review. Ducasse’s latest is not getting off to a great start. [NYDN]

Belgian Room Closed for Underage Drinking; Park Avenue Winter Preparing for Its Spring Awakening

Astoria: Sweet shop Oleput is now offering a lot more savories in the form of small plates and panini. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Rustik Tavern has a warm interior, but the menu doesn’t sound too rustic: chili, wings, nachos, though for the last one the blogger liked "that it’s cheese sauce rather than real cheese." [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: Food writers including Kara Zuaro (I Like Food, Food Tastes Good), Phoebe Damrosch (Service Included) and David Wondrich (Imbibe) and Edible Brooklyn’s Gabrielle Langholtz will talk about — what else? — eating, at Powerhouse Arena next Tuesday. [A Brooklyn Life] East Village: Belgian Room has been closed for letting minors booze on Lambic. [Down by the Hipster] Soho: Vosges bacon chocolate now comes in the shape of flying pigs. But they can’t escape. [Snack] Upper East Side: Park Avenue Winter will turn into spring on March 26, just in time for Easter. [Zagat]

Bubbles in Your Vodka a Good Thing on the Upper East Side; House-Made Charcuterie Hits Cobble Hill

Chinatown: A stellar Chinese dessert discovery: “[F]laky green pastries that resembled caterpillars” flavored with durian fruit “came to the table piping hot filled with a bright yellow pudding.” Find them at Chatham Square (6 Chatham Square). [Gothamist] Clinton Hill: The food at Restaurant New Orleans is good, but the entire operation seems completely haphazard. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: The Red Deli at 264 Clinton Street near Verandah Place opens this week with “house-made charcuterie along with grab-and-go items like fried chicken.” [TONY] Dumbo: The D Space offering an Indian buffet is actually called Marrakesh Express, and the food is worth a try. [Dumbo NYC] Nolita: This list of spots to drink up free or cheap wine includes Le Jardin Bistro, where on Monday and Tuesday nights $12 adds all-you-can drink Bordeaux to your dinner. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Upper East Side: A new sparkling vodka called Camitz is for sale at Sherry-Lehmann, Astor Wines, and, in the near future, at Morrell’s, but you can try it in a cocktail at Park Avenue Winter among a few other restaurants around town. [Strong Buzz]

Park Avenue Winter Does Some Spring Cleaning, Lets Go of GM

After hearing a rumor that GM Santiago Pasentez was dismissed from Park Avenue Café after he was accused of discriminating against South Asian waiters, we called the restaurant and were told that indeed he no longer works there. Owner Mike Stillman clarifies, “It was sort of a mutual thing — not a firing in any sort of way.” A new GM has yet to be hired to oversee Park Avenue Winter's transformation into Park Avenue Spring, so dust off those résumés. Earlier: Park Avenue Café Waiter Says He Was Discriminated Against for Not Drinking Wine

Condos Eating Up Ethnic Restaurants; Eleven Madison Park Chef Bringing Some Bling to the UWS

Astoria: The café Oleput at 31-13 Ditmars has reopened, and they might have a liquor license. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Krumbs (or whatever the bakery will soon be called) is now open at 154 Vanderbilt between Willoughby and Myrtle, and mini–carrot cakes seem like a hit. [Clinton Hill Blog] Flushing: The legendary Chinese food court at J & L mall may be closed for good after a brief shutter this summer. The condo curse strikes again. [Eat for Victory/VV] Hell's Kitchen: Kyotofu’s hosting a winter sake pairing Monday with the theme "An Evening at an Izakaya, a traditional Japanese Pub.” It includes real food like miso-grilled ten-grain yaki-onigiri rice balls and shiitake-and-pork-yuba dumplings. [Grub Street] Park Slope: A new reason to join the CSA: Find a tiny frog in your lettuce and get a hilarious feature in the Daily News. [Gothamist] Upper East Side: A San Francisco restaurant critic goes to Park Avenue Winter and other top-billed New York restaurants and admits being "struck by a trend that seems to be taking root [here]: Market-driven menus. Of course, this is common to the Bay Area." [Between Meals/San Francisco Chronicle] Upper West Side: Eleven Madison Park chef Kerry Heffernan has outfitted the old Cafe Botanica with mirrors and glass to prepare for the opening of South Gate, his new restaurant slated for a mid-February opening. [Restaurant Girl]

Park Avenue Café Waiter Says He Was Discriminated Against for Not Drinking Wine

Parke Avenue Winter
A little over a week ago, we broke the news that Park Avenue Café (currently Park Avenue Winter) is being sued by employees who claim they were forced to participate in illegal tip-pooling and discriminated against because they were South Asian. The Sun now reports that a court has allowed former employee Mohammed Rahman to bring a suit on behalf of nonwhite employees at Park Avenue Café, but stopped short of allowing a class-action suit against parent chain Smith & Wollensky. One of the reasons Rahman claims he was given a hard time, and eventually fired, is that he didn’t drink alcohol and so couldn’t taste wine — which has to be the first time someone has been canned for not drinking on the job. Related: Park Avenue Winter Experiences Legal Discontent