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Zen Palate

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Danny Meyer Finds Manhattan Prohibitive, But a Shake Shack in a Sports Stadium? That He Could See

Considering that only banks can afford to rent ground-floor spaces in Manhattan these days, Danny Meyer has a bold suggestion: the waterfront! Discussing the future of public life with New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger at a forum of the Design Trust for Public Space, Meyer noted that rent pressures had grown absurd in the island's heart. (Starting rent for Union Square Café in 1985: $8 per square foot. Asking rent for the Zen Palate space on Park Avenue South: $300 per square foot.) His solution? "We have all these appendages to Manhattan called piers, and if the city took the opportunity to rent those spaces only to small businesses, that would be a vigorous signal," he said. Meyer said he'd learned that restaurants must echo their surroundings, which we realize means a new Union Square operation would have to carry themes from Whole Foods and Max Brenner. "If we ever do another Shake Shack, we'd want it to look like where it is. The fascination of doing something in a sports stadium jazzes me." Oh, yeah? Citi Field is looking better and better. —Alec Appelbaum Related: Hark! New Shake Shack to Open at Shea Stadium

Scott Conant Soon to Be Very Busy; the New Shake Shack

Scott Conant has lots to keep him busy until his next major restaurant project, including a book, a Home Shopping Network deal, and a pilot for a cooking show. [The Strong Buzz] Earlier: Scott Conant Takes Leave of Alto, L’Impero [Grub Street] A customer sues Zen Palate for serving her jagged little pieces of metal along with her meal. [NYP] The lines at Grom have grown even beyond Shake Shack proportions, stretching a whole city block. [Serious Eats] Related: Grom’s Gelato Conquers New York for Italy [Grub Street]

Saint Patrick's Day Not the Only Excuse to Drink This Weekend

Clinton Hill: Olivino Wines will host a free tasting tonight. [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: BoConcept's opening bash tonight offers free vodka to benefit children. [Brooklyn Record] Greenpoint: A vegetarian restaurant named William Howard Taft will open soon on Calyer Street. There's a story behind the odd name, but don't ask us to explain it. [Gowanus Lounge] Harlem: The sleek waterfront Hudson River Cafe is about to have its grand opening. [Uptown Flavor] But the DEN will give you a free cocktail or appetizer just for checking out Vanessa Williams's new modest-budget film. [Uptown Flavor] Prospect Heights: New fair-trade coffee at Prospect Perk tastes like ox, hippie, and doped-up poet. Which is, apparently, good. [dailyheights.com] Tribeca: There's a "forgotten-cask" Cognac tasting tonight at Brandy Library; freebies mean Single-Malt Saturday is canceled. Farther downtown, plans for a two-story restaurant may overshadow Pier 26 boathouse. [downtown express] Union Square: Zen Palate to open vegetarian burger chain. [VV]

‘MySpace Queen’ Tila Tequila Drinks Sprite With her Fugu, Likes Her Omelettes With Ketchup

Tila “Tequila” Nguyen, the “Madonna of MySpace” per Time magazine, met at least some of her 1.7 million virtual friends when she lived in New York City and “experimented with drugs and a hardcore lifestyle,” according to her bio. She eventually moved to Hollywood to start her career as an Internet celebrity, model, and singer, and by the time she was returning here weekly to host VH1’s Pants Off Dance Off she had moved on to vices like dirty-water hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, and mushroom pizzas. This week Tila flew in once again to promote her new self-released single and to pose for the cover of yet another magazine (“It’s the Baddass issue,” she explained). We asked her what she noshed on to get through the grind.