Patrón Ice Pops Up

Leave the red-, white-, and blue-flavored ice pops for the kids this summer and treat your adult taste buds to some delicious Patrón-infused cocktail popsicles in inventive flavors like peach basil.

Batali Pens Vegetarian Cookbook; Poultry’s a Food-Poisoning Risk

• Mario Batali is working on a vegetarian cookbook. [Detroit Free Press via NYDN]

• Poultry is the leading cause of food poisoning, followed by beef, finds a new Centers for Disease Control study. [HuffPo]

• Molecular-cuisine restaurants, like Copenhagen's Noma, are increasingly adding elements of locavorism. [WSJ]

• The Center for Science in the Public Interest plans to report Ben & Jerry's to the Food and Drug Administration unless the ice cream drops the "all natural" claim from its packaging. [Eatocracy/CNN]

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Aspiring Novelist Katie Lee Leaves No Carb Behind

Lee snacks on a croissant at Ballato.Photo: Melissa Hom

Katie Lee has been really into tacos lately. "I went to Mexico for a month earlier this year and ate all kinds of good food," she says. "I make fish tacos now, and I'm all about the sauces." The trip was research for her first novel, about a girl who falls in love with surfing and moves south of the border. "I always thought that if I wrote a novel, it would be about food," Lee says. "Maybe a girl who works in a bakery, a cook, this or that. But then I started surfing last summer and I was like, I found my story!" But that doesn't mean the book will be food-free. "Surf culture and street-food culture go hand-in-hand," she points out. Now back in the States, find out what she ate this week in our latest New York Diet.

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Open Bar Burlesque at Macao Trading Co.; Bobo Adds a Dinner Feast

Fort Greene: A Subway is coming to 713 Fulton Street. [Brownstoner]
Harlem: 5 & Diamond hosts a dinner of Portuguese-inspired food paired with French wine on August 30. The menu includes grilled octopus, mariscada, leitão assado, and flan made with a recipe from chef David Santos's aunt. The cost for the 35-person dinner is $85 per person; 646-684-4662 for reservations. [Grub Street]
Lower East Side: Chef Mark Barrett of Henry's guest-chefs for a $40 prix fixe dinner at Alias on August 16. The event kicks off with cocktails at 7 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:30. Reservations can be made by calling 212-505-5011. [Grub Street]

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Former Roberto Passon Will Become Lime Jungle

Photo: Shanna Ravindra

Last week it was reported that Giuliano had closed less than a year after its predecessor, Roberto Passon, was renamed after chef Giuliano Matarese. Now owner Enrico Malta tells us it’ll reopen as a sister location of Lime Jungle, just three blocks away. The menu will be the same (with the addition of a whole red snapper) but unlike the original takeout location, this one will boast a bar serving organic wines and flavored margaritas, as well as a graffiti mural created by a waiter-artist at another Malta spot, Bocca di Bacco. Malta isn’t worried about cannibalizing the original Lime Jungle, which will stay in business after its spinoff opens on Monday or Tuesday: "If people want to eat in, they'll go to 50th Street. If they prefer to eat at home, they'll go to 53rd Street. If Duane Reade can open a store on every other corner, we can too."

Lime Jungle, 741 Ninth Ave., nr. 50th St.; 212-582-5599

Le Cirque Has (Literally) Gone to the Dogs

A Grub Street reader was upset to read today’s "Page Six" item about Marco Maccioni letting his “giant” mutt, Darla, eat at the bar at Le Cirque (something that also didn’t sit well with a customer who had just shelled out $424 for dinner). Says our tipster: “I was having a private event at Le Cirque, and I asked them if I could bring my wonderful dogs (two well-behaved pit-bull mixes). I’d bring them in the freight entrance and keep them upstairs. They said, ‘Absolutely not — we’re a fine-dining restaurant.’ I’m sure they don’t turn [away] Joan Rivers and Spike.” Woof!

Have A Thursday Afternoon Farm To Table Zen Break

Photo: Courtesy Kate Gross

Chuck Sudo alerts us to the work of Kate Gross, a photographer who got started taking pictures of farms when she began working the Kinnikinnick Farm booth at Green City Market. Her images capture a gritty yet tranquil picture of everyday life on small family farms that is strangely soothing. They've also led her to become more and more involved with farming and with helping city folk better appreciate where their food comes from; she now has a blog, Dishes and Dirt, and is trying to launch a resource website about local food and farming called Ingather. You can bliss out with more examples of her work at Chicagoist.

Local Photographer Looks to Create Local Farm Resource Website [Chicagoist]
Dishes and Dirt

Little Squirt Drinks Big Sis’s Breast Milk, May Get Book Deal

If you found kiddie culinary camps annoying, this may or may not make up for it. Remy Mumby, the Lansing, Michigan, 10-year-old behind Food Oddities (a sort of middle schooler’s take on Bizarre Foods) tells Esquire’s Eat Like a Man blog in his first interview that he’s being courted by publishers and talent agents. Before you get outraged, take one look at the wee one struggling to eat a scorpion (“my mind is telling me not to do this”) and balut (“this is so grotesque … I was told there would be no blood in there — there’s blood everywhere!”) and you’ll see why there’s money in this. Though Remy did get some unhappy letters about his attempt to pull a Daniel Angerer and drink his big sister’s breast milk, which he deemed “sweet, light, and pleasant.” Watch the amazing video here (and the rest at Esquire) and take his disclaimer into account: “There’s nothing wrong with sampling breast milk from my point of view. It’s a legitimate food source. I won’t feel guilty for trying it. Besides, I’m only nine. How guilty do you want me to feel?” By the way, unlike this guy, Remy draws the line at eating household pets.

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Tables Available at BLT Bar & Grill; Pulino’s and the Lion Mostly Booked

It's time to play Two for Eight. We just asked nine restaurants the best time they can squeeze a couple in for dinner; you need only make your chosen reservation. (As always, we make the calls but don't guarantee the results.) Today: New & Buzzy.

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Fresco by Scotto Gets Sued

Fresco by Scotto is the latest to be hit with a minimum-wage and overtime lawsuit. Click through to see server Gary Gilliam’s complaint that he was paid for fewer hours than he worked, didn’t get overtime pay, and was forced to share tips — though you’ve probably memorized this boilerplate by now. [PDF]

Landmarks in Flux: Arby’s Leaves Gage & Tollner Building, Coffee Shop Readies New Diner

Photo: Shanna Ravindra

A couple of iconic locales are on the blogs today: Brownstoner notices that just seven months after its much-hyped opening, Arby’s has left the landmarked Fulton Street building that famously belonged to Gage & Tollner. Eater hears that Coffee Shop’s project in the former Empire Diner space will open in mid-September and will serve “American food, with a more upscale focus and price point to match.”

Fulton Mall Arby’s Calls It Quits [Brownstoner]
New Empire Diner Restaurant Scheduled to Open Next Month [Eater NY]

First Look at Whitmans’ Downstairs Dining Room, Opening Tonight

Tiny East Village counter joint Whitmans has been slinging burgers for a few months now, but tonight marks the opening of the restaurant's decidedly more sit-down-oriented — though no less meat-friendly — downstairs dining room. With seating for 26, the rustic room nearly triples the restaurant's capacity and is decked out with chicken-print wallpaper, reclaimed New Hampshire barn wood, and windows recovered from the old New York Times building.

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SLA’s Latest Self-Improvement Plan: Outsourcing!

Good news, bars and restaurants: It’s now going to be easier for the State Liquor Authority to take your money! Or process it, anyway. The ever-improving SLA has announced via a press release that it’s speeding up the processing of fines and fees by outsourcing it to Wells Fargo: “Under this partnership, Wells Fargo will retrieve SLA mail, prepare the deposit, and provide the remittance documents and reports for the SLA. Wells Fargo will scan the approximately 13,000 items the SLA currently processes each month, as well as process the nearly $55 million a year in fines and fees the SLA generates on an annual basis.” The agency says this will decrease human error (and theft) and allow for the redeployment of employees so they can “focus on reviewing liquor license applications and getting businesses open and operating.”

BYO Aboard a Seventy-Year-Old Fuel Tanker

Now that everyone and his sister in from out of town goes to the Frying Pan, allow us to introduce you to a booze-friendly boat that isn’t overrun. She’s the Mary A. Whalen, a retired thirties fuel tanker that’s docked at Red Hook’s Pier 9B. A nonprofit, Portside New York, is currently restoring the 172-foot-long tanker with plans to open it as a cultural center with a simple café and canteen, but until August 24 it’s playing host to tours, music performances, film screenings, talks, and (aboard an adjacent ship) even a pirate-themed burlesque show. If you just want to get some friends together and enjoy the postcard view of Lady Liberty, you’ll want to take advantage of so-called TankerTime.

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User Reviews: Hill Country Should Hold the Barbecue Sauce

We have full faith in the culinary opinions of our stalwart critics, Adam Platt, Rob Patronite, and Robin Raisfeld, but sometimes what we really want to hear is what the average diner has to say. So we turn to's restaurant user reviews for guidance. This week: Hill Country, Los Pollitos II, Bar Stuzzichini, Abe & Arthur's, and Grimaldi's Pizzeria.

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Health Department Closes Birdbath for Sandwich Crimes

We were surprised to discover (via the Health Department’s website) that the Seventh Avenue South location of the hyperconscientious Birdbath Bakery was closed after a Tuesday inspection. It reopened today. Inspection results indicate that the bake shop racked up 83 points in part because it couldn’t present a Food Protection Certificate, there was evidence of mice, and food-contact surfaces weren’t properly sanitized. But an employee tells us that the main reason for the closure was that Birdbath had started transporting savory items (salads, pizzas, sandwiches) by rickshaw from City Bakery and didn’t have adequate refrigerators for keeping them at the Department’s required temperature of 41 degrees or below. For now, it’s back to scones and cookies.

White, Telepan, Batali, and Boulud Lend Recipes to Bon Appétit Pop-up Café

Bon Appétit has released the details of its annual pop-up café, from September 12 till 16 in the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall. From 9:00 to 10 a.m., there’ll be pastries from Michael Laiskonis (Le Bernardin), Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito (Baked NYC), and Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar). From 5 till 9 p.m., a wine bar will offer small plates from Otto and Daniel Boulud’s restaurants. And during lunchtime, 11 a.m. till 3 p.m., the following chefs will offer to-go soups, sandwiches, and salads.

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Breaking: Ice Cream Is Unhealthy

Bad news for those who thought Baskin-Robbins' Fudge Brownie 31° Below is a health food: the shake-like product tops a list of the 40 Deadliest Ice Creams, weighing in at 1,900 calories and 1,350 milligrams of sodium. Other ice cream treats plotting your demise include Friendly's Caramel Brownie Fudge Sundae (1,410 calories) and the Toffee White Chocolate Crunch Vanilla Bean Large Shiver from TCBY, which, in addition to containing 1,600 calories, is also a real, corporate-approved product name. [Daily Beast]

Gender-Bending Club Kid Bites Off Male Model’s Ear

Here is a thing that happened, according to the Daily News, on Sunday night:

James Leahy, who also goes by the name Jane Lane, is out on bail after chomping off the ear of a male model inside Highbar, a trendy midtown hot spot on W. 48th St. "I reached for my ear and it was not there," said a traumatized Ronnie Brown, 25, whose left lobe was sewn back on after the Sunday night attack. "It looks like a dog mangled it ... It's inhuman, it's animalistic — it's in a league of its own," said Brown, who is worried he'll lose his modeling gigs. [Leahy, 26] was released without bail and has told pals he was just defending himself. Brown said that's nonsense and that things got physical when Leahy tossed a glass at him. Leahy did not return calls but a woman who identified herself as his grandmother defended him: "You don't do something like that without provocation - believe me," she said ... Leahy describes himself in his blog as an "absolute monster, a drag-terrorist."

Party promoter Michael Formika-Jones defended Leahy. "Right now, everybody has heard Ronnie's side of the story," he told the News. "There are two sides to every story — even Lorena Bobbitt had her side of the story." Ear biting ... Drag-terrorists ... Jane Lane ... Modeling gigs ... Grandmothers ... Did we mention this happened on a Sunday night? New York is the best city in the world.

'I reached for my ear and it was not there,' says model Ronnie Brown after clubgoer chomps it off [NYDN]

Grimaldi’s Says It’s Not Going Anywhere

Despite facing eviction proceedings brought forward by his fed-up landlord, Grimaldi's owner Frank Ciolli tells the Post he's staying put, and he's got the money to pay his $44,000 in back rent. "I'm sure Marty Markowitz and Mayor Bloomberg would be upset," he said about the restaurant's alleged closing. "We bring a lot of tourists to Brooklyn." Ciolli is also said to owe the city nearly $12,250 in back taxes. [NYP]

Top Chef: Restaurant Wars!

The producers spared us the usual five minutes of nonsense at the start of Top Chef last night to save space for everyone's favorite challenge: Restaurant Wars! But first, the Quickfire, which featured the classic blindfolded tag-team cook-off. Kevin picked Kenny, Kelly, and Amanda to join him on the blue team, while Ed picked Tiffany (duh), Angelo, and last-man-left Alex for red. For a second we thought it was weird that Kevin would pick Kelly before Angelo, but then we remembered how much the producers love the Battle of Kenny and Angelo and realized he was probably forced to.

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