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Eric Ripert to Feed Reader Who May Lose Sense of Taste

Dear Grub Street,
Next weekend I’m getting surgery done on an impacted wisdom tooth which is growing very close to a central nerve. I’ve been told that if this nerve is damaged, there’s a chance I will lose a large part of feeling in my face – including a loss of my sense of taste. I’ve gone into “doomsday mode”, thinking of all the best flavors this city has to offer in an effort to get them ingrained into my gray memory. As of now I’ve got a reservation at Degustation, will be making at least three visits minimum to Ssäm Bar, and another to Sasabune. Are there maybe two or three dishes or places that should be added to this ever-growing list? Le Bernardin is in my sights of course, but understandably may be difficult to get into.
Facing My Final Hour

Sripraphai and DiFara Challenged Close to Home

Will the "aptly-named" Spicy & Tasty be the next Sripraphai? Making a rare trip outside of Manhattan (but somehow missing the signature tea-smoked duck), Bruni hails the pleasure-per-dollar ratio of "some of the most distinctive Sichuan cooking in any of the five boroughs." [NYT] Carroll Gardens' so-new-it's-not-even-open-yet homegrown pizza spot Lucali: not exactly DiFara, but on its way. [NYT] Oft-overlooked Escoffier time warp and Capote haunt Le Veau d'Or gets some love. [NYO]