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San Domenico

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Tables Available at San Domenico; A Voce Mostly Booked

It’s 4 p.m., and that means it’s time to play Two for Eight. We just asked ten restaurants the best time they can squeeze a couple in for dinner; you need only make your chosen reservation. (As always, we make the calls but don’t guarantee the results.) Today: Gourmet Italian.

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A Rescue Plan for Restaurant Workers; No Fatty Crab for the UWS

The Restaurant Responsibility Act, just introduced in City Council, would keep eateries from abusing the help by tying operating permits to labor laws. [Gotham Gazette] Fatty Crab owner writes in to say that Eater has it all wrong about an Upper West Side location. [Eater] It’s salmon season in Alaska’s Copper River, and some of the city’s top fish cooks are spawning original dishes to take advantage. [NYDN]

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Almost as Good as Rodney Dangerfield: Back to School With Culinary Stars

This spring — a season which we’re glad to remind ourselves of as we enter drab February — the Institute of Culinary Education will be offering a roster of recreational classes that we heartily recommend, despite the fact that (full disclosure) self-deprecating Grub Street editor Josh Ozersky will be teaching one. Many friends of Grub Street — and a colleague, Gael Greene, who will head up “An Evening of Excess” — will be passing along wisdom on everything from blintzes to methylcellulose.

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Chef Odette Fada Refuses to Eat Anyone Else's Pasta

When she’s not commanding the kitchen of the venerable San Domenico, as she has done for over a decade, Odette Fada rummages for cheese, sausage, and foie gras in her fridge; goes for late-night dinners at Balthazar and Blue Ribbon; or stops in at her friends’ restaurants to enjoy off-the-menu items. Will you ever catch the Parmigiano Reggiano obsessive ordering pasta at one of these places? Probably not: “The only person here who can cook pasta,” she says, “is me!” We asked her what culinary pleasures she experienced this week.

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Life Among the Beau Monde

Two Intelligencer items caught our eye this week: a Keystone Kops farce involving truffles, bound for San Domenico, sniffed out by a Homeland Security dog at JFK; and tales of the media elite confronting their likenesses at Cafe Cluny's "demi-celebrity portrait gallery." Both stories have a melancholy note, suggesting as they do the emptiness of wealth and privilege — not that we don't still lust for truffles and fame ourselves. Truffle Kerfluffle at Border [NYM] Sketchy Café Society [NYM]

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Michelin's Explosive New Red Book

Michelin dropped its ratings bomb today, and it's safe to say that the New York restaurant world is, as usual, reeling. Though not as consequential as a Zagat snub, business-wise, the Michelin ratings are closer to the hearts of top chefs. (French chef Bernard Loiseau was widely believed to have killed himself over a Michelin downgrade.) The book is supposed to be in stores tomorrow (though our local Barnes & Noble says it's not even at the distributor yet). We do, however, know of some surprises. Messrs. Boulud, Bouley, and Takahama are no doubt having lousy afternoons.

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