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West Village

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Hill Country's Pit-Smoked Easter; Commerce Bartender No Fool

East Village: The dishes in Rhong-Tiam’s spice challenge (the prize for finishing the tasting menu is free dinner at a different Thai restaurant) aren’t as unbearably spicy as you’d expect, and the chef will give you a beer when you’re finished. [Gothamist] Flatiron: Hill Country's serving up a pit-smoked Easter dinner this Sunday. [Strong Buzz] Fort Greene: A boatload of restaurants in the neighborhood are offering prix fixe dinners for $23 next week for Dine in Brooklyn, including Chez Oskar, Olea, and Scopello. [Clinton Hill Blog] Harlem: A reader feels that Slice NY severely underrates Patsy's. [Slice NY] West Village: Commerce's bartender deals adeptly with douche bags. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

At the Rusty Knot, There's a Bass on the Wall and ‘Barracuda’ on the Jukebox

Back when Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman first clued us in to the Rusty Knot, in the old West space, he said little more than, “We’re doing a little dive bar there — it’s going to have a pool table and a jukebox.” In this week’s issue, chef Joaquin Baca tells us what “dive bar” means (an addictive chicken liver, bacon, and avocado sandwich, it turns out), but he doesn’t say anything about the jukebox. All we can say is, don’t expect to hear Masta Ace or New Young Pony Club, like you might at the Pig.

Crikey! Are We Getting Madonna Back?

Madonna and Guy Richie may or may not be breaking up because Madonna "lost respect" for Richie when she found out he embellished his working-class roots. The upside: She may be moving to NYC! Matt Lauer has foolishly agreed to be roasted by the Friar's Club. Donatella Versace is appearing at Barneys today to tout her menswear line. Foxy Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and Representative Anthony Weiner totally acted like a couple during David Paterson's swearing-in ceremony in Albany yesterday. Mary-Louise Parker is bad at giving directions to people in the West Village, even though she lives there. Cindy Adams thinks both Andrew Cuomo and Michael Bloomberg will make runs for governor.

Schnitzel Moving Into the West Village; Recession Makes Gael Greene Crave Sweets

Astoria: You think $12.95 is good for an all-inclusive brunch deal? Michael’s has a weekday three-course dinner deal for the same price. "This neighborhood never ceases to amaze." [Joey in Astoria] East Village: Pichet Ong is teaching a class at Astor Center tomorrow on sweets and science. [Zagat] A new stuffed-potato bar is coming to town, but there’s already one on East Houston Street near Avenue A called NY Stuffed Idaho. [Eater] Midtown West: Moylvos celebrates Greek Easter with “Breaking the Fast.” At midnight on April 27 they’ll host a parade to the local Greek church and offer a tasting menu that includes slow-roasted lamb with yogurt-Feta dumplings. [Restaurant Girl] Upper West Side: The Insatiable Critic samples the new sweetshops in town. [Insatiable Critic] West Village: 14th Street near Fifth Avenue is getting a schnitzel shop. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

The La Palapa Party Bus Starts Rolling Today

East Village Mexican eatery La Palapa will not let a week's worth of renovations slow down the fiesta. Instead, they've hired a party bus and D.J. Juan Carlos to shuttle dinner patrons back and forth to their West Village location. On the way over they'll be serving antojitos like chile-and-lime-roasted peanuts and chicharrones with salsa valentina. Not good enough? A bartender dressed like Frida Kahlo will be serving complimentary margaritas, Cosmopolitans à la rosa, and Palomas (tequila and Mexican grapefruit soda). Bus trips start at 5 p.m. on Monday and will continue through the week. It all sounds a little uncomfortably like the start of our spring-break trip to Rosarito. We just hope for the sake of our T-shirts that it ends better. --Lauren Salazar

Spitzer’s Departure Bad for Moynihan Station, Too!

Cobble Hill: Just as young parents here suffer the creeping feeling that their edgy youthful coolness is slipping away between their fingers, along comes an Urban Outfitters to profit off all their insecurities! [Cobble Hill Blog] Clinton: Spitzer's resignation may put a further drag on the development of Hudson Yards and Moynihan Station, already slowed by the credit crisis. [Crain's NY] East Village: Lest you think Trader Joe's mania was dropping off, please note that the line to get in was back this weekend. No frozen organic brown rice for you, little low-income vegan! [East Village Idiot]

Amy Ruth's Taking Her Sweet Time in Brooklyn; Adour? Okay

Downtown Brooklyn: So much for a Valentine’s Day debut: Amy Ruth’s at the Fulton Mall isn’t even open yet. [Lost City] Hamptons: Restaurant Week begins March 20. Bargain meals at close to 70 participating restaurants seems like a good excuse to take advantage of any lodging bargains before warm weather sets in. [Restaurant Girl] Meatpacking District: Florent plans to give up the ghost on a high note, on Gay Pride Day at the end of June. [NYP] Midtown East: Citysearch calls Ducasse’s food at Adour "comme ci, comme ça." [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] West Village: The Beatrice team might expand to L.A. [Down by the Hipster]

BiCE’s New Milanese Bistro Open in Midtown West; Gary Robbins Preparing for West Village Debut

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Egg didn’t make this list of top southern eats, but Five Spot Soul Food at 459 Myrtle Avenue was picked as a fave since dishes like Kentucky Turkey Chops and Charleston Low Country Smothered Chicken "sound good" even if they’re not necessarily authentic classics. [Gridskipper] Chelsea: Klee Brasserie's open for brunch and dinner on Easter, and you can order the "Thinly Sliced Easter Ham & Bio Egg," which combines honey-glazed ham, deviled eggs, and capers, at both seatings. [Grub Street] Lower East Side: The new vegetarian restaurant Broadway East adds to its sustainability cred by featuring local beer and wine. [Zagat Buzz] Midtown East: The first soft-shell crabs of the season are now available at the Oyster Bar. [Grub Street] Midtown West: Bistro Milano from team BiCE has opened at 1350 Sixth Avenue, and sidewalk seating opening this spring will double the restaurant’s 70-cover capacity. [TONY] West Village: "Chef Gary Robins was the best thing to happen to the most recent Russian Tea Room relaunch. So, naturally, he was fired." But, you’ll be able to taste his cooking downtown this spring, when rustic restaurant Sheridan Square opens at 134 Seventh Avenue South. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

Temporary Hold on Trump Soho After New Accident Doesn't Appease Foes

Trump Soho
The much-maligned Trump Soho can’t seem to get it right. Just two months after a construction worker died after a catastrophic on-site fall, which grounded the condo project for weeks, work was again stopped by the city over the weekend after yet another accident. Glass panels came crashing down the condo-hotel on Saturday, “knocked loose by a chain attached to construction equipment on the 26th floor,” according to the New York Sun. Unsurprisingly, critics of the project are quick to pounce on this recent snafu. “It seems like no matter what happens, [the project] at most just gets a temporary delay. But the city just lets them continue ahead. You'd think in light of the recent fatal accident, the developers and construction company would be extra safe and extra careful,” says Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which is challenging Trump Soho on the grounds that the permits to build it shouldn’t have been issued by the city in the first place. “This project never should have been allowed in the first place, and if they cannot run their construction site safely, it should be shut down.” In response to the incident, Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to tighten construction safety and oversight on developers, but until all construction on Trump Soho stops for good, its vehement opponents are unlikely to be satisfied. — S. Jhoanna Robledo New accident stops work at Trump SoHo tower as wind wreaks havoc [NYDN] Earlier: Building Collapse at Trump Soho

Is There a Park Slope in Baghdad?

Dumbo: Last night was the first night that passersby could see Adriana Varella's giant Applied Kinetics projection installation at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. There are no pictures yet, so go tonight and see it yourself. [DumboNYC] East Village: A funny guerilla-marketing tactic for a Black Lips show has finally made our favorite advertising blogger smile! With black lips! [Copyranter] Park Slope: After a kind of annoying string of posts on a couple of real-estate blogs about what neighborhoods are the "Park Slope"s of other cities, this blog just gets right down to business: What is the Park Slope of Iraq? [Gowanus Lounge]

Taste a Whole Lot of Wine Tonight; Thai Red Bull Firing Up Elmhurst

Greenwich Village: If you can finish a "Can you take the heat?" tasting menu (which gets spicier with each course) on March 15 at Thai restaurant Rhong-Tiam on La Guardia Place, the chef will give you dinner for two at a new restaurant he’s opening called Kurve. [Grub Street] Elmhurst: You can find "those scary-looking little bottles of Thai Red Bull" at Sugar Club, a little Thai grocery and video store at 81-20 Broadway. (They have curry pastes, too.) [Gothamist] Hell’s Kitchen: The city’s first Wine Expo will be open tonight and tomorrow afternoon at the Javits Center; get excited about seminars on Argentine Malbecs (oh, and 600 WINES to sample). [New York Wine Expo] Midtown East: Construction seems under way for the Times-announced first U.S. outlet of Brussels-based chain Rouge Tomate. [Eater] West Village: The Waverly Inn has a secret cocktail on its menu, and they won’t tell you what’s in it. But maybe that’s why LeBron really wanted to go to the bathroom. [Down by the Hipster]

The Rusty Knot Will Knot Be Open Tomorrow

The Rusty Knot, Spotted Pig owner Ken Friedman's new west side bar, was jam-packed last night. Maybe a little too packed: Friedman has decided to close the place back up for a few days until he can figure out how to handle the crowds, which are much more intense than he bargained for. (Just last night, we saw Mary-Kate (or was it Ashley?) Olsen coming out the door, and Kate Krader of Food and Wine says Jay-Z and LeBron James were frolicking inside too. "Our friends ate & drank us dry last night. We'll open sometime next week," Friedman says. Related: Friedman Reveals a Little Bit (Just a Little Bit) About John Dory, Rusty Knot

Psilakis Hopes to Move Kefi by July; Collective Sausage in Soho

Clinton Hill: Some people like Sushi Okdol on Myrtle Avenue, others find it "meh," but the place will host children’s birthday parties. [Clinton Hill Blog] Midtown East: The owners of Burger Kings at 485 Fifth Avenue and 129 East 47th Street refused to sell $1 value meals because they say they were losing money on the company’s specials. The locations have been shuttered, but they’re suing BK for the right to charge more in Manhattan. [NYDN] Soho: Always wanted to make a "collective memory sausage"? You can on April 8, when the Umami Food and Art Festival kicks off at Roulette, 20 Greene Street. [Strong Buzz] Upper West Side: Michael Psilakis plans to move Kefi around July to open his fourth restaurant. [Gothamist] West Village: Anito Lo expects to have her barbecue spot, Q, around April. [Eater] Something’s happening to Minetta Tavern, but it might not be Keith McNally's doing. [Eater]

Cobble Hill Is All Afflutter Over Alex McCord

Chelsea: Jack White stopped by the Chelsea Hotel the other day*, in full fur-coat regalia, to soak up some of Bob Dylan's residual energy from the place in order to prepare for his upcoming album with the rock hero. [Living With Legends] Cobble Hill: This neighborhood blog is all excited that Alex McCord is one of the crackpot stars of The Real Housewives of New York City. They've started an open-comments thread. But no one has an opinion yet. Chime in! [Cobble Hill Blog] Gowanus: A new south Brooklyn neighborhood coalition, which includes residents of Red Hook, Gowanus, and Carroll Gardens, is preparing to fight for your right to gentrify! Or, you know, stop gentrification. As the case may be. [Gowanus Lounge]

Cool Bar With a Cheesy Pedigree in Carroll Gardens; Terroir Set to Open

Astoria: Ovelia’s another stellar, cheap brunch option with a mix of Greek and American cooking: “Think French toast stuffed with Greek yogurt and honey or pancakes paired with homemade sausage — made from a family recipe.” [Foodista] Brooklyn: Domino's has started a marketing campaign that "offers speech lessons to Brooklynites who want to rid themselves of ‘annoying, fake’ accents" meant to appeal to "male college students across the country," and the borough is pissed. [NYDN] Carroll Gardens: The owners of Smith & Vine and Stinky Brooklyn are opening a bar-cum-café called the Jake Walk at 282 Smith Street this Friday. [NYS] East Village: Terroir opens tonight. [NYT] West Village: Mama’s Mudsliders’ beignets filled with chocolate cream "are light, ungreasy, deep-fried dough balls of delight." [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

Catty Males Shake Beatrice; Charcuterie Mania

Clinton Hill: There are a few places in the nabe to find gluten-free products, but one celiac sufferer would like to find out about any others. [Clinton Hill Blog] Lower East Side: Video of a Tailor bartender doing his thing. [Snack] Midtown East: Former Savoy chef Matt Weingarten's year-long plans to start dinner service at Café St. Bart’s will come to fruition on May 5. [Zagat] Upper West Side: Bar Boulud may claim the top charcuterie in town (though Mia Dona’s stepping up), but you can also find some tasty stand-ins at Café d’Alsace and elsewhere, including Fort Greene’s Stonehome Wine Bar. [Citysearch] West Village: Spencer Morgan of the New York Observer supposedly slapped Hud Morgan from Men’s Vogue at the Beatrice Inn on Wednesday night because the latter didn’t respond to the former’s apology e-mail. A true New York noble. [Gawker]

Don't Skip the Bread at Commerce; Oh, Yoko, Save Café La Fortuna!

Bay Ridge: One of the city’s greenest cake shops, Little Cupcake Bake Shop, actually makes awesome cupcakes, too. [NewYorkology] Carroll Gardens: Frankies’ third location is sizable, but still at least a few months from being completed. [Eater] Upper West Side: Blossom at 466 Columbus Avenue is a candlelit vegan restaurant with a fireplace. [Gridskipper] Former John Lennon and Yoko Ono favorite Café La Fortuna is closing this Sunday. [Lost City] West Village: At newly opened Commerce, Andrea Strong "had the bread basket of the century," which included "about a half-dozen types of bread, all fresh baked in house that morning. There was a buttery mini brioche, an sourdough olive roll the shape of a fat bullet, a ciabatta and a sesame roll, and my favorite, and one that I think they should turn into a bar snack with mustards and cheese—the soft malt pretzel." Sounds like a good start. [The Strong Buzz]