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Schiller's Liquor Bar

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In Praise of the Patty Melt

It’s not a burger. It’s not a grilled cheese. It’s just delicious.

By Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite

Is This the Lamest Winter Ever?

With restaurants and bars cutting back their hours and less people stepping out, can we still call ourselves the city that never sleeps?

By Daniel Maurer

New Novel Immortalizes Schiller’s Liquor Bar. Or Does It?

We’re currently reading Lush Life, novelist Richard Price’s tale of life and death on the LES. The plot centers on Eric Cash, the manager of Café Berkman, a thinly veiled take on Schiller’s Liquor Bar. At least, we think it’s Schiller’s:
On bright quiet mornings like this, when Berkmann’s was empty, delivered from the previous night’s overpacked boozy franticness, the place was an air palace, and there was nowhere better to be in this neighborhood than sitting in a lacquered wicker chair immersed in the serene luxury of a café au lait and the New York Times, sunlight splashing off the glazed ecru tiles, the racks of cryptically stencil-numbered wine bottles, the industrial-grade chicken-wired glass and partially desilvered mirrors, all found in various warehouses in New Jersey, by the owner, Harry Steele: restaurant dressed as theater dressed as nostalgia.
Does this sound like Schiller’s to you? Or is this a composite of other downtown nightspots? Your thoughts, please, in the comments.

Jennifer Garner Likes the Food at Fiamma More than Padma Did

The week’s most exciting celebrity sighting was that of beer-sippin’ McLovin at Diner. No other celebs were busted getting their underage drink on, but there were other surprises: Rachael Ray rolled into the Orchard with a posse bigger than Diddy’s, and Jennifer Garner liked the food at Fiamma so much she slipped into the kitchen to beg Fabio Trabocchi for recipes. We figure that makes up for supposedly getting dissed by Padma Lakshmi a couple weeks ago. (And yes, there a Padma sighting this week, too…)

Bourdain Showing ‘Iron Chef’ Some Love; Dévi Back in Action

The worst thing Tony Bourdain can say about the new Top Iron Chef is “that Ruhlman’s hair is the scariest and most offensive aspect of the show … In every other respect, the damn thing is pretty impeccable.” [Ruhlman] Related: Who Will Be Cut Next on ‘The Next Iron Chef’? Enterprising chefs Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur will have their recently acquired restaurant Dévi reopen by Monday. [Eater] Related: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook is uncomfortably similar to another cookbook published a few months before it, which also encourages moms to put spinach in brownies. [NYT] Related: Hey Jessica Seinfeld! What Up? [Daily Intel]

Squid Guts, Massage Parlors, and Discounted Wine

Dumbo: Superfine is hosting a Brazilian cocktail and dance party on Sunday night to benefit a “baptism ceremony for new students” of Capoeira Brooklyn. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: Squid guts at Menkui-tei in Cooper Square are not as delicious as they sound. [Eat for Victory/VV] Fort Greene: A bakery called Krumbs will open in the old Frosted Moon Emporium on Vanderbilt just near Myrtle. [Clinton Hill Blog] Lower East Side: Schiller’s wants you to know that it’s not a massage parlor. Oh, and delivery is discounted. [Eater] Midtown East: Crush Wine is taking 20 percent off all white bottles under $55 through this Friday. [Grub Street] West Village: Scott Bryan expects to have his kitchen at 10 Downing Street up and running by November. [Mouthing Off]

Smith and Mills: The Smallest Next Big Thing Ever

Last November we were the first to predict that the Beatrice would be the hipstaurant of the season. Um, we told you so? Now from Beatrice (and Employees Only) partner Matt Abramcyk comes another contender — this one occupying a former carriage house in the Tribeca nether lands. Smith and Mills is one of the smallest restaurants we’ve ever set foot in, but on this, its opening day, we don’t think it’s too early to say it may just be the next big thing.