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The Grand Tier Restaurant

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Bar Blanc Draws Its Deuce; Mia Dona Welcomed by Richman

Frank Bruni finds Bar Blanc fussy, mannered, overly fastidious — and very, very good. The two stars should take the sting out of his review for the place's owners. [NYT] Related: Raising the Bar Restaurant Girl hits Williamsburg’s Zenkichi and, between the room, the food, and the sake selection, seems to have a real find on her hands. [NYDN] Randall Lane joins in the general enthusiasm for Dovetail , but now he seems unwilling to go back to his five-star-granting ways and so ends up giving them only four — the equivalent, in traditional star terms, to a two-star review, which is not what this reads as. [TONY]

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Opera-House Restaurant Reopens With Burbella in Leading Role

As you might expect from a high-class operation like Grub Street, we're frequently out at the opera, taking in Roméo et Juliette, and getting hungry during the second act. Naturally, our thoughts drift toward the Grand Tier, the tall restaurant in Lincoln Center whose vast Chagall murals overlook the fountain. It's been closed for a while, but the place is now reopening under chef Michael Burbella, an alum of Gramercy Tavern and Gotham Bar and Grill. The score Burbella will be arranging has a tonic note of modern Mediterranean cooking, with a leitmotif of autumn flavors. The place, formerly open just to operagoers, is now open to anyone with tickets to Avery Fisher Hall or the New York State Theater.

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News Flash: Masa Is Expensive; David Burke Gambles in Vegas

From the clandestinely costly to the unabashedly so, the latest industry news is all about the Benjamins. • Zagat opens the lid on hidden fees like Del Posto's "straight up" martini charge. [Zagat] • Forbes runs down the country's priciest restaurants (Masa, of course, is No. 1). What they don't tell you is that the picks are apparently limited to one per city — or Per Se, Alain Ducasse, Gilt, Kuruma Zushi, and Daniel would've made the list. [Forbes] • The Hallo Berlin cart raises its prices (Dictator Special now $9). [Midtown Lunch] • The Met's Grand Tier Restaurant lets in the unwashed masses (well, Lincoln Center patrons, anyway). [NYS] • David Burke: Vegas, baby, Vegas! [Nation's Restaurant News]

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