Posts for May 23, 2012

Gold Coast Deli Closes; Brasserie Pushkin Begins Brunch

• From now until Labor Day, Pampano Botaneria will be hosting Summer Fridays, with $6 sangrias and $5 Mexican-style tapas. And with new specialty tacos every week, the Pampano crew is serving up Taco Tuesdays, at only $2 a shell. [Grub Street]

• From restaurants, drinking, and even ‘Destination Infatuations,’ the Immaculate Infatuation guys have your Summer guide to ‘killing it’ this season. [Immaculate Infatuation]

• Bay Ridge will bid farewell to Gold Coast Deli today after its final service. However, Gold Coast's owners will open a beer garden in Park Slope later this year. [Eater NY]

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Who Says Detroit’s in Trouble?

They've got a fucking hot-dog copter, so how bad can things be, really? [Detroit News via NYC Aviation]

Enormous Russian-Backed Restaurant to Open at 11 Times Square

Da!

Guy Fieri's new restaurant is getting some competition: A Russian restaurant group has signed a retail lease for a combined 25,000 square feet, spanning a portion of the first and entire second floor of the 40-story tower 11 Times Square. The Petersburg-based Global Food International Corporation operates 54 restaurants worldwide; the unnamed new endeavor will have an open kitchen and "will feature several partitioned eating areas serviced by traditional restaurant waitstaff." Oh, and each area will "feature different ethnic cuisines."

Penguins »

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Prime Burger Owners Confirm the Midtown Institution Will Close This Weekend

Bad news, burger lovers — and New Yorkers in general: Eater gets confirmation that Prime Burger, the old-school diner on 51st Street that is Americana incarnate, will shut its doors this Saturday. They first heard of the closing on Monday but didn't know which day would be the last. The restaurant may relocate, and can hopefully take its sixties-style charm with it. To vicariously appreciate the appeal of the current location, check out the video love letter from earlier this year, below.

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Beard-Winning Mississippi Chef John Currence Popping Up in NYC Next Month

Currence.

Here's a good one: City Grocery chef and owner (and all-around superstar southern chef) John Currence will hit NYC early next month with two of his deputy chefs and a boatload of Gulf Coast seafood for three nights of dinners at the next-gen supper club City Grit.

Hoppin' John risotto with crawfish! »

Six Privacy-Violating Technologies Bars Should Employ

Prepare to have your private parts scanned.Photo: Marianna Massey/Getty Images

The announcement of SceneTap, an app that uses facial detection software to count how many men and women of various age ranges are presently in bars and clubs, is creating quite a stir in San Francisco and elsewhere. Perhaps it was unwise to pick privacy-paranoid S.F. as one of their launch markets? The CEO just penned an open letter to the entire city insisting that the software doesn't identify anyone, and it's not creepy at all because it merely detects the gender and possible ages of bargoers so that people can quickly determine where the part-ay is at. (Let's ignore the obvious fact that if you are checking an app to identify which bar has the coolest crowd, you are going about things all wrong.) But we say why stop there? There are far more invasive technologies that bars could employ that would be way more useful for revelers.

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Feeling Mirth-ful?

Laughingstock or laughing all the way to the bank?

Groupon may be passé, but that isn't stopping anyone from trying to cash in on our collective appetite for restaurant discounts — the latest effort is something called Mirth, as TechCrunch writes. When you sign up, Mirth takes down your credit card number and then as soon as you dine somewhere more than once in a month, you become a "regular" and receive a 3 percent discount. At this point the restaurant also gets your info, so they can send you coupons and alert you to specials, which sounds potentially spammy, if you ask us. Grub readers, would you sign up for something like this? [TechCrunch]

Adrian Grenier on His New Mobile Kitchen Classroom Project

Grenier: legume lover.Photo: Michael Bezjian/WireImage

Last night, actor and co-op proponent Adrian Grenier was at Haven's Kitchen to launch his latest project: the Mobile Kitchen Classroom. The aim is to capitalize on the new wave of vegetable-garden programs at schools and teach kids to cook. First, the group is seeking to build out and plant a big garden at Bard High School Early College on the LES; after that, the "fully-equipped, professional teaching kitchen" will travel to schools for cooking demos and classes. Grub sat down with Grenier for a few minutes to talk about the ambitious-sounding plans.

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Welcome Back, Matilda

Welcome back!

Tomorrow's the big day of the Algonquin's reopening, and while the Oak Room cabaret's status is uncertain, one fixture will be back for sure: Matilda the cat. What's more, you can fête the feline's return with a Matilda package, as Hotel Chatter learns: For $329 and up, Matilda obsessives get accommodations, a welcome cocktail, breakfast, a Matilda coloring book, and more. Where you can squeeze in a meow-and-greet is up to the whims of the cat herself. [Hotel Chatter]

Super Foods: Watermelons Can Save Your Life

Despite burger prices skyrocketing as cookout season approaches, there’s still some good news to report from the backyard barbecue beat: Watermelon is a lifesaver! Or it can be, anyway. Pakistani news outlet Dawn.com reports that watermelon is loaded with natural chemicals and compounds that researchers at Florida State University have determined are beneficial for all sorts of reasons. (Lower blood pressure! Improved artery performance!)

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Expect Clover Machines and Champagne at NYC’s ‘Stealth’ Starbucks

Bonbons, but no branding, coming soon.

On Monday we broke the news that Starbucks will soon open its first non-branded, "stealth" location inside the Macy's flagship on 34th Street, and now the coffee company's spokesperson provides the Huffington Post with a few more details: Expect the so-called Herald Square Café to serve chocolate, wine, and Champagne, as well as coffee brewed in Clover machines with "exotic and rare" Starbucks Reserve beans. Spokesperson Zack Hutson emphasizes the new café will be a "unique experience," bereft of logos, and will march to its own little caffeinated drummer. Unlike the chain's two previous non-branded locations, customers will not even be greeted with an "inspired by Starbucks" message on its front door and coffee cups. Swanky, or covert? [HuffPo]

Earlier: ‘Stealth’ Starbucks Will Serve Beer and Wine Inside Renovated Macy’s

GoogaMooga Organizers Offering Full ExtraMooga Ticket Refunds

At least the weather was nice!Photo: Nicole Franzen

The fallout from this weekend's seemingly disastrous GoogaMooga Festival continues: Jon Mayers from Superfly, the company behind the fest, tells Time Out that the group will issue full refunds to everyone who paid the $250 required for ExtraMooga VIP tickets. "We did not deliver on the promise we made for the ExtraMooga," Mayers tells TONY. "That’s why we’re going to make it right.”

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Gastronomics: When Will $20 Cocktails Become the Norm?

Hey, Blue Curaçao is expensive!Photo: D. Hurst / Alamy, Donna Alberico/Getty Images

Cocktail prices in New York have pretty reliably stayed in the $12 to $17 range for the last several years, but there will come a day, sooner than you might think, that $20 becomes the regularly accepted price for a nice New York City cocktail in a moderately elegant setting. In fact, the trail has already been blazed; now it's just a matter of everyone else catching up.

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Controversia: Spanish-Language Pizza Deal Pisses People Off

People realize "pizza" is the same word in Spanish, right?

A Dallas-based pizza chain called Pizza Patrón plans to offer free pizza to anyone who orders in Spanish on the evening of June 5. The deal is called Pizza Por Favor, and according to USA Today, the order "can be broken Spanish. It can be first-time Spanish. But it has to be Spanish." Well obviously this is bothering people who think the deal is somehow discriminatory.

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Hang Onto Your Handbags at the Cobble Hill Trader Joe’s

Purse-snatching is still a concern at the Cobble Hill Trader Joe's, as DNAinfo reports. It's gotten so bad, police are doing stings now — when they left an open bag with cash in it lying around, sure enough, someone took the money. So basically, if you're stocking up on the last of the kosher chocolate chips, hold on tight to your wallets and cell phones, everyone. [DNAinfo]

Happy ‘SlurpFREE Day’

Whatever you call it, today's the day 7-Eleven gives away 7.11-ounce free Slurpees, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Don't forget you can now get a low-cal version — you can even RSVP on Facebook, um, if you want. [SlurpFREE Day/Facebook]

Tejal Rao Also Checks Out La Vara; Ryan Sutton Deems Neta ‘a Work in Progress’

This week, Adam Platt gave Brooklyn’s La Vara and Gwynnett Street two stars each. What did New York’s critic brigade eat this week? Let’s take a look.

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First Look at Mission Chinese, Now Spicing Up the Lower East Side

Mission Chinese bowed last night in the former Rhong Tiam space, and a walk-by revealed that, not surprisingly, the place was hopping. Not only does the spot have a cool hidden feel (check out our slideshow for photos of the takeout-shop entrance with dining room in back, down a long hall), but the fiery-tingly menu hits notes New Yorkers love. That classic, Chonqing chicken, is served here as wings, with nuggets of fried tripe accompanying; spring peas are stir-fried with chile and the surprise addition of pickled ramps; and red-oil dumplings are filled with lamb rather than beef or pork. But don't take our word for it — scope the menu and pics below.

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Plaza Food Hall Expands Today

A broccoli sub from No. 7.

The Times gets a closer look at the new vendors headed to the Plaza Food Hall (last fall, news broke that very un-Todd English places like Luke's Lobster, No. 7 Sub, and Sushi of Gari would open outposts in the expanded food hall). "We were surprised to be invited," No. 7 chef Tyler Kord tells the Times. "At first I thought it was a joke." No joke: Everything opens today. [NYT, Earlier]

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