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Provence

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Havana Chelsea, R.I.P.; Pigs Feet Run Amok in West Village

Chelsea: Havana Chelsea, one of the city’s top cubano sandwich spots, is no more. It will be replaced by Casa Havana. [Eat for Victory] Flatiron: Hampton Smoker blogger and barbecue savant Matt Fisher will be the pitmaster at Wildwood BBQ [White Trash BBQ] Lower East Side: ZoZos, Pizzeria De Santos give up the ghost. It’s a noodle bar town now. [American Madness] Related: Happy Valley Owners to Launch Pizza Empire Red Hook: Layla's, the replacement for the late, lamented Lillie's, is coming along. [Citysearch] SoHo: Provence has instituted happy hour, with $8 champagne and, more to the point, $2 oysters. [Strong Buzz] West Village: It’s all about pig feet at Hakata Tonton: “It’s as if chef/owner Himi Okajima watched the Bubba scene in Forrest Gump one day and replaced all mention of the word shrimp with pigs feet. Tonsoku carbonara, tonsoku rice ball, tonsoku consommé, sweet and sour pork with tonsoku…” [Gothamist]

Former Gertel's Bakery Foe Turns Fallen Kosher Comrade on the Lower East Side

Hell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu has planned a sake dinner for August 26 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. that features five types of sake, a tasting menu, and cocktails for $60. [Grub Street] Lower East Side: Moishe’s bakery at 504 Grand Street will soon serve wholesale products from recently closed-out kosher competitor Gertel’s. [Lost City] Spitzer’s Corner began its soft opening this weekend and was already chock-full of jolly drinkers. [Eater] Midtown West: BLT Market (from this week’s Openings) won’t be serving dinner until Thursday, but here’s a peek at the interior to sate any premature curiosity. [Restaurant Girl] Sunset Park: The taqueria Tacos 2004 draws legions of immigrants who come to twirl the waitresses across a teeny dance floor. [NYT] West Village: Next Monday at 7:30 p.m. winemaker Alain Rochard of the Languedoc will host a four-course dinner and wine-pairing at Provence restaurant. [Strong Buzz]

Hottest Club in the Hamptons Run by Cheesemongers

Chelsea: Izakaya Ten now serves weekend brunch featuring shrimp-fried-rice omelettes, wasabi Bloody Marys, and “Chu-Hais” made with shochu and citrus juices. [NYS] Southampton: The owners of a Murray Hill fondue parlor are behind the Hamptons’ hottest new club. [Down by the Hipster] Lower East Side: Spitzer’s Corner, having been spurned by Sam Talbot, has finally gotten around to installing a chef: Le Bernardin veteran Michael Cooperman. [Restaurant Girl] Union Square: Reserve a spot for Italian Wine Merchants’ Saturday wine tasting dedicated to women winemakers; Batali-approved antipasti are sure to be served. [Eat for Victory/VV] Upper West Side: The ten-year-old dining room at Jean Georges will close for renovations August 20 through 28. [NYT]

Provence Chef Pink-Slipped; Pichet Ong to Open Cupcake Shop

Chef Lynn McNeely has been handed a pink slip after mixed reviews at the new Provence; no word on who the next chef might be. [Eater] Related: Provence Redux [NYM] Pichet Ong is opening a cupcake store next to P*ONG. “Vanilla, chocolate, yuzu and cinnamon will be my staples,” he says. “I want to add a little salt & spice to my take on them.” [Restaurant Girl] A tale of two bakeries under Health Department scrutiny: one, Magnolia, plays nice; the other, Delices de Paris in Park Slope, kicks back. Guess which one ends up closing. [NYO]

Slipping Into Summer via Beer, Barbecue, and Gardens

With July 4 behind us and a heat wave upon us, the magazine kicks into full summer mode this week. Adam Platt sips rosé in the garden room of the retooled Provence, the Insatiable Critic goes for gazpacho julienne at Park Avenue Summer, and the Robs introduce us to a trio of brand-new summer spots — a barbecue joint, a fish restaurant, and a beer bar — along with the offerings of the new Essex Street Market. Also, there’s news of a pizza boomlet — because some food is season-proof.

Late-Night Cookie Delivery Seeks Disciplined Help in the East Village

Clinton Hill: The laundromat space on Greene Avenue near Grand has been leased to a gourmet store that will offer charcuterie, cheeses, and fresh flowers. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: Insomnia Cookie specializes in late-night sweets delivery and wants a vehicle-equipped employee who can make it to NYU dorms without eating the booty (or trying to get some). [Eat for Victory/VV] Neighbors of Le Souk want the bouncers to stop chatting up girls and rein in the noisy crowds. [Villager] Long Island City: The owners of Italian restaurant Manducatis may be opening a 5,000-square-foot gourmet marketplace on Vernon Boulevard and even bringing gelato to the ice-cream war. [Joey in Astoria] Midtown West: The Copacabana closes its doors tomorrow night to make way for the number 7 subway line. [NYDN] Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: One can only dream that the now-closed Access Point space could be taken over by a falafel purveyor. [Across the Park] Soho: Provence has just introduced brunch service sweetened up by items like cherry mimosas and chocolate-bread French toast. [Restaurant Girl]

Landmarc Steals More Stars; Mercat Earns First Kudos

Frank Bruni inexplicably grants a star to a restaurant with zero ambience, overdone pastas, “tame entrées,” and a “loud” room that’s “dreary at night.” Which is what Adam Platt and everybody else said about Landmarc TWC, though without granting a star for the accomplishment. [NYT] Related: Off the Mark [NYM] Landmarc somehow coaxed three of six stars out of Randall Lane, despite comparable comments on uneven food and a room filled with rebars. The wine list seems to have been the saving grace. [TONY] Mobbed Mercat gets the Paul Adams seal of approval, its first major positive review, which compares it favorably to Boqueria and praises it for special authenticity. Only the desserts are denied praise, and at that point in the review, it hardly matters. [NYS]

Insieme Lauded (Except for Lasagne); Landmarc Squeaks By

The Times finds Provence beautiful, romantic, and well-intentioned, but barely worthy of a single star. A major disappointment for the Marc Meyer/Vicki Freeman team, who had been on a roll with Five Points and Cookshop. [NYT] In the Post, Steve Cuozzo — judiciously taking the long-term view as usual — makes the case that Amalia, FR.OG, and Insieme, “the best new Italian restaurant since L’Impero,” have overcome weak starts to become some of the city’s strongest places. [NYP] Paul Adams gives yet another admiring review to Insieme, though he found the much-praised lasagne underflavored and disappointing. His favorite dish: a chamomile farfalle. [NYS]

The Food War Between Old and New Continues

The attentions of New York’s food staff are divided between modernity and tradition. Gael Greene is vexed with Provence, a reopened French restaurant which was faithfully conventional even in its former incarnation. Rob and Robin, apart from their usual announcements of new places in Openings, extract from Anthos chef Michael Psilakis a comparatively novel recipe for mature dandelion greens. And Adam Platt finds himself caught in the middle of Marco Canora’s half-modern, half-classical menu at Insieme.

Richman Lambastes Landmarc; Has Sietsema Lost His Mind?

Robert Sietsema reviews what might be the most un-Sietsema-like place imaginable, a twee Williamsburg bistro called Juliette. “The snails in anise butter are fab, and so is the whole steamed artichoke flaunting a festive champagne vinaigrette.” Okay, call the FBI. The real Robert Sietsema has obviously been kidnapped. [VV] “Think too much and you'll find the place hard to like”: Alan Richman sees the new Landmarc for what it is – a stark, expensive, underachieving restaurant with few niceties of service or cooking – but still manages to find something nice to say about the steaks. [Bloomberg] Related: Will Landmarc's Downtown Cool Play Alongside Its Ritzy New Neighbors? [Grub Street] Frank Bruni had a high old time at Resto, so much so that he gave the place a shocking two stars. Expect all future reviews to react to this hyperbole by taking pains to note the place’s shortcomings.[NYT] Related: Brussels Sprout [NYM]