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The Orchard

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Rent the Orchard Space

The Lower East Side restaurant is on the market, but you can still eat there.

By Ben Leventhal

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…)

Improve Your Looks with Pork in the West Village; Five Guys Wreaking Havoc in Midtown

Clinton Hill: Chinantla deli on Myrtle Avenue is dingy as all hell but makes tacos “that may bridge the gap between ‘real’ and … American-style.” [Eat for Victory/VV] Dumbo: Two ICE graduates just launched a neighborhood dinner-delivery service called Nylon Cooks. [Dumbo NYC] Lower East Side: Owners of ápizz and the Orchard John LaFemina and Xeras are "on the prowl for [their] next project." [Eater] Midtown West: Newly inaugurated Five Guys Burgers and Fries on West 55th Street has lunch crowds waiting up to an hour and a half for their orders. [Eater] Tribeca: Marc Murphy supplied this very straightforward carbonara recipe, which he considers a signature dish at Landmarc. [Restaurant Girl] West Village: The Japanese restaurant that promises better skin and hair through its pork dishes, Hakata Tonton has opened at 61 Grove Street. [Gothamist]

How to Buy New York Food Gifts Without Pants

Cyber Monday has now surpassed Black Friday as shopping day of the year, and the reason is obvious: You don't have to put on pants searching for gifts online. Some of the best stores on earth are in New York, particularly when it comes to food, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use their Websites. Have your party supplies delivered or gifts sent to far-off, NYC-deprived friends. To those ends, here's five food categories and the merchants that have them on lock.

How to Score a Lower Eastpacking District Liquor License

Liquor licenses are at such a premium in the Lower Eastpacking District that one beer-bar owner told us that a batty community-board member vowed she wouldn't recommend him for one until the Iraq war came to an end. So when we heard that Darin (cousin of Steve) Rubell of Mercadito and Joshua Boyd of Plan B were opening GalleryBar with all the liquid fixings, we were a little doubtful. Rubell concedes that the upstairs art space, which opens December 15 featuring the work of painter Kevin Berlin, comes with a backstory that might spark envy among his embattled neighbors (the Orchard, say). To hear Rubell tell it, after evicting 13 Little Devils, their "very smart" landlord transferred the liquor license to a corporation and then sold it, license included, to Rubell and Boyd. Et voila: A rustic basement lounge where you'll be able to quaff booze and order paninis provided by Bruschetteria. — Daniel Maurer

Iron Sous-Chef Busts a Move; A Man Tells of His Meatballs, Liquor License

• Bruni dropped in on a restaurant wearing a fanny pack and riding a scooter? No wonder he needed some R&R. [Eater] • davidburke & donatella gets a new chef de cuisine (Eric Hara, doing bacon-wrapped duck) and pastry chef (Monica Bellissimo, standing by her egg cream in an eggshell). [NYO] • Some October-November openings via ZagatWire: The former Tocqueville space is turning Japanese; Anne Burrell, sous-chef to Batali on Iron Chef, takes over the kitchen at Centro Vinoteca. [Zagat] • John LaFemina of Ápizz and the Orchard recounts the joy of applying for a liquor license in an excerpt from the forthcoming A Man and His Meatballs. [Eater]