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Carroll Gardens

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Hot-Chocolate Frenzy in Flatiron; Know You're Eating Sperm in Midtown

Astoria: Sunswick is having an Abitas beer promotion on Sunday with drink specials, but if you’re less concerned about game day, you could check out the renovation at Il Bambino. [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Naturally Delicious caterers, who also did this blogger’s wedding, will deliver a V-Day menu that includes baked oysters, lobster bisque, tenderloin, a cheese plate, and a Valrhona flourless chocolate cake to those who want to stay in but aren’t able to whip up our sexy stash of recipes. [A Brooklyn Life] Flatiron: City Bakery kicks off its monthlong hot-chocolate festival tomorrow, which highlights rotating "additional flavors, from Caramel or Banana Peel to the Chili Pepper or even Beer varieties." [Restaurant Girl] Midtown East: If you show up at Sakae Sushi and find that it’s closed for a couple of days, you can stop into nearby Yakitori East on 44th Street. Just remember: The winter specialty shirako that their menu dubs as "soft cod roe" is "rather beige globules of sperm sacs." [Gothamist] On February 12, eliminate "menstrual and sexual health concerns" through food at D’Or; let’s hope there’s chocolate involved. [Love Your Femme via Gridskipper] Union Square: Mesa Grill impresario Bobby Flay just got back from Greece and would fly there again for all that "delicious Greek olive oil and some lemon and some potatoes and Greek salad," but if he would just stay in New York, maybe Mesa Grill would have been able to hold on to more of its stars. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

No Ssäm at Ssäm Bar; Neighbors Oppose Carroll Gardens Restaurant

Astoria: Oleput reopened. But does it have a liquor license? [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Residents are opposed to a bar and grill next to Black Mountain Wine House. [Brooklyn Paper] East Village: Is ssäm off the menu at Ssäm Bar? [Eater] Gowanus: Look for a new coffee-and-sandwich shop called the Crooked Tail Café coming soon to Third Avenue and President Street. [Brownstoner] Greenpoint: One patron at Greenpoint Coffeehouse wants his anti-brunch message heard. [New York Shitty] Midtown: Combine dinner with people-watching at the food court at Grand Central Station. [Weblicist of Manhattan] West Village: The panini at ’ino are salty and sweet. [Gothamist]

Carroll Gardens One Step Closer to Cocktails

Carroll Gardeners are one step closer to their very own cocktail lounge today. Word from Alan Harding and Jim Mamary is that, while the recommendation for a liquor license won’t be assured until the full community board meets, the land-use committee voted in their favor yesterday. Harding, who is not a partner at present, will create a menu that doesn't require a kitchen. “It’s a huge challenge, but you can do some great things without a gas-fired kitchen. We’re going to be as fancy and creative as we can.” Given the kind of success Jimmy’s and Marlow and Sons have with a limited kitchen, this may be the future of cocktail cooking. In the meantime, the lease is secured and Mamary and Harding predict a “late-spring” opening. Earlier: Carroll Gardens May Get a Swank New Cocktail Lounge — Pending CB Approval Tonight Related: Jimmy's Secret Chef Performs Culinary Miracles in the East Village

Carroll Gardens May Get a Swank New Cocktail Lounge — Pending CB Approval Tonight

Does Alan Harding, the king of Carroll Gardens, have a new project up his sleeve? We hear talk of an “upscale cocktail lounge” on Hoyt Street near Union Street’s Black Mountain Wine House. A neighborhood foodie tells us that this new venture depends on the community board, which will vote on the liquor license tonight. Sure enough, right there on CB6’s land-use committee agenda tonight is “Discussion and formulation of recommendation on an on-premises liquor license application submitted to the State Liquor Authority on behalf of 415 Union Street Inc. at 303 Hoyt Street (Block 430, Lot 78) between Union/Sackett Streets.” Will Brooklyn Social or another neighborhood competitor try to protest? Find out tonight.

Embattled Bistro Now Serving ‘Nouveau African’ at Korhogo 126

Korhogo 126
The saga of Bouillabaisse 126, described here last summer, seems to have had a happy ending. The Carroll Gardens restaurant, a French bistro formerly haunted by the ejection of partner Neil Ganic, has quietly become one of the city's most interesting French-African fusion restaurants. Under former Les Enfants Terribles chef Abdhul Traore, it's now Korhogo 126, and attempting to convey the flavors of the Ivory Coast via the refinements of French technique. Escargot are pressure-stewed and served with star anis and tomato under puff pastry, African honey sweetens an endive-and-pear salad, and the ratatouille is “served with West African, Wolof-inspired rice infused with tomato, onion, and Senegalese spices and sautéed vegetables.”

Carroll Gardens to Get ‘Fine Dining Without Being Fine Dining’

Ryan Angulo, the talented chef de cuisine who has helped Chris Santos make Stanton Social such a hit, is taking his knives and heading off to make his own show in Carroll Gardens. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant will be going in to 458 Court Street, down the street* from Frankies 457 Spuntino, and aims to serve “upscale, well-developed food that’s still kind of casual…fine dining without being fine dining,” Angulo tells us, mentioning Prune, Frankies, and San Francisco’s Zuni Café as models for the kind of thing he wants to do. “We don’t want to price anybody out. We want to make sure to get the neighborhood clientele included.” The place is looking at a possible mid-March/early-April opening. *Correction: The original version of this item said Angulo's restaurant would be across the street from Frankie's 457.

Shake Shack Instates Line-Cutting and Heat Lamps; There's Only One DB, and He's Not in Forest Hills

Carroll Gardens: Renovations seem to be happening at Jason Neroni's old haunt, Porchetta, but as of yet there are no reliable rumors about the new restaurant's pedigree. [Eater] East Village: Tasty Falafel’s eight-cent sandwich deal set for this Friday might come with more than you bargained for, like the roach pictured in this order. [Eat for Victory/VV] Flatiron: Shake Shack now accepts phone-in orders that allow burger fiends to skip to the front of the line; plus, Meyer has added heat lamps for those eating in the park. [Eater] Forest Hills: Little Danny Brown’s db Wine Bar & Kitchen at 104-02 Metropolitan Avenue just lost a trademark battle to the original DB, Daniel Boulud. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] West Village: The trick to scoring a table at tiny, cozy, exceptional restaurants like the little owl: Show up late like Charlie Rose. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine]

American Grill Rejected by the E.V.; Second Ave. Deli to Open in January

Astoria: The “Sophia Loren” pie at Michael Angelo’s II on 23rd Avenue near 29th Street is said to blow away the neighborhood’s pizza competitors, and with the not-so-innovative toppings of mozzarella, tomato, basil, and sauce. [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Lucali overwhelmingly won an albeit mini-poll for the hood’s best pizza parlor. [Bergen Carroll] Chinatown: The owners of new restaurant U-Choose Express on Mott Street have decided to decorate their space with an old sign from fifties diner Lonnie’s Coffee Shoppe that was uncovered during renovation. [NYT via Lost City] East Village: After only five months American Grill is giving up the ghost. Did its blintzes really fail to lure 4 a.m. drunks away from Odessa, was it flat-screen overdose, or just the constant reminder of Kiev’s death by gentrification that did the mod diner in? [Eater] Hell’s Kitchen: Artisanal Premium Cheese Center is hosting a sake and cheese tasting on December 5 to “showcase the lovely synergies that superior Sakes and exquisite (Artisanal Premium) Cheeses share.” [Artisanal Cheese] Midtown East: They may be hoisting their sign today, but the 2nd Avenue Deli probably won’t open until January. [Eater] Midtown West: Bruni’s first impression of Brasserie 44 (after, he notes, Rob and Robin’s) : It looks Scandinavian. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Sangria 46 at 338 West 46th Street will feature a different sangria each day for the twelve days before Christmas starting on December 13 with three-berry rosé. [Grub Street]

Wise Hooters Girls Loose in Midtown West; Gael Greene Down With Park Avenue’s Gimmick

Boerum Hill: The owners of Gravy have surrendered the struggling space to their adjacent beer garden Trout and are now serving “fish shack fare.” [Brownstoner via Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Carroll Gardens: Nino’s Pizzeria on Henry Street has closed, possibly another victim of Lucali’s favoritism. [Bergen Carroll] Fort Greene: iCi is hosting a winemaker dinner on October 25 with guests Emmanuel Guillot-Broux from Macon and Laurent Tibes of Clos des Camuzeilles in Languedoc. [Grub Street] Long Island City: Central restaurant and bar is hosting Greek Aid on Friday to raise money for victims of the country’s recent fires. [Joey in Astoria] Midtown West: Hooters unveiled its 2008 calendar last night where the cover girl had these wise words: “I started off with a small picture, then split the back cover with another girl, finally made it to Ms. February and now I’m on the cover. I’ve made it. I’m at the very top of my profession.” [Gawker] Upper East Side: “There is definitely a slightly Home Depot feel to the AvroKO switch on Park Avenue: the screw-on wall panels, the tacky little leatherette placemats … the reversible chair backs’ upholstery reversed…” But Gael Greene loves it anyway. [Insatiable Critic]

Primehouse Opening in Flatiron; Trabocchi Siphoned Former Staff to Soho

Carroll Gardens: New wine bar Black Mountain Wine House on Union Street is filled to the brim with lovely sipping ladies. [Eat for Victory/VV] Flatiron: Diddy has closed Justin’s because it’s not big enough. [NYP] Stephen Hanson’s steakhouse, Primehouse, opens Monday. [Zagat] Harlem: Fall registration is open for free proper-dining lessons at “New York City’s only tuition-free etiquette school for children,” the Development and Finishing Institute. [Uptown Flavor] Soho: New Fiamma chef Fabio Trabocchi “brought with him 12 members of the staff of Maestro, in McLean, Va., his previous employer" in order to ease his New York transition. [NYT] Upper East Side: David Burke's Hudson Valley Foie Gras ‘PB&J’ Tourchon is pushing it. [NYO] Williamsburg: The best way to be sure your beef is prime is to eat at a top steakhouse, and lucky for you, according to “Amy Rubenstein, whose family owns Peter Luger, the shortage is over.” [NYP]

Why Is Alan Richman So in Love With Brooklyn?

Given that Alan Richman has become a kind of professional debunker, the Amazing Randi of the food world, it was with some relief that we read his critical overview of Brooklyn in the new issue of GQ. The verdict: Brooklyn rules! Gramercy Tavern, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and the cities of Las Vegas and New Orleans, all victims of his scorn over the last few years, must be fuming.

Location of Secret Bar Revealed in Soho

Astoria: Family Corner diner at 31-02 31st Street serves buffalo burgers. [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: The Gowanus Yacht Club has refired its grill after a community-board-induced hiatus. [Eater] Chelsea: The space under construction on 22nd Street will open the first week in August as Cafe 50 with a comfort-food menu and a full bar. [BlogChelsea] Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Don’t try stopping into Lenny’s for roti; the sign’s the same, but the inside’s been usurped by a real-estate firm. [Across the Park] Soho: Location of secret bar Upstairs revealed to be above Cafe Bari. [Down by the Hipster]

Carroll Gardens Has Its Own Empanada Lady

Carroll Gardens: The nabe has an Empanada Lady. [A Brooklyn Life] Clinton Hill: Pillow Cafe, known for its peanut-butter smoothies, is serving alcohol, but, let's hope, not PB shooters. [Eat for Victory/VV] Harlem: Twenty blocks is an unheard-of trek for a Venti Caramel Macchiato; residents near the impending Starbucks at 145th Street wait with bated breath for the opening. [Uptown Flavor] Morningside Heights: Columbia students have gained a Chipotle at 110th and Broadway, and it will kick off its opening on Wednesday, June 27, with a fund-raiser for the university’s athletics. [Grub Street] Nolita: Protest notices have been posted in response to the opening of burlesque club Forty Deuce in the former Little Charlie’s Clam Bar space. [Eater] Williamsburg: Monkey Town’s new chef Ryan Jaronik, from three-star restaurant Masa in Boston, debuts his menu next week. [Grub Street]

Po Opens This Week in Carroll Gardens

Carroll Gardens: The Brooklyn outlet of Po in the West Village is opening this Thursday. [The Gowanus Lounge] Chelsea: Del Posto spared from further hassles by the Related Companies, who’ve just purchased the property and will honor the restaurant’s original lease. [Newsday] Fort Greene: Smoke Joint barbecue spearheads a mysterious expansion that looks more promising than mere extra seating. [Eat for Victory/VV] Harlem: New Asian-influenced Mexican restaurant China de Puebla has launched weekend brunch. [Grub Street] Prospect Park: Those looking for free-range dinner should keep their eyes peeled; a rogue chicken on the loose has not yet been apprehended. [The Gowanus Lounge] Tribeca: The menu’s posted, the griddle’s fired up: The New York City Hot Dog Company on Chambers and Church is open! [Grub Street]

Fatty Crab, Upper West Side Edition?

Carroll Gardens: Faan has average food but festive décor, and it’s the only decent delivery in the neighborhood. [Brooklyn Record] But a new French bistro is coming to town. [Lost City] Fort Greene: The Greene Grape showcases its rosé selection with a series of tastings tonight through Sunday. [Clinton Hill Blog] Midtown East: A photomontage of Bon Chon’s Korean fried chicken. [Gothamist] Union Square : Mario Batali will team with Crocs, the maker of his trademark rubber clogs, and come up with an even more durable line to debut later this summer. Until then, the regular versions are available at Paragon Sports. [The Food Section] Upper West Side: Could the Chodorow-Pelaccio agreement culminate in a Fatty Crab taking over the old Fish’s Eddy space? [Eater]

Porchetta Reborn as Carniceria, With Alex Garcia at the Helm

The ghost of Jason Neroni has been banished from Porchetta. The Carroll Gardens restaurant is coming back today as Carniceria, a Latin American steakhouse helmed by Novo and Calle Ocho chef Alex Garcia. Garcia’s menu will center on Uruguayan free-range beef, but he also plans on sophisticated Nuevo Latino appetizers, including oxtail empanadas with tomato escabèche and rosemary Malbec sauce, and a seviche of scallops lightly poached in white wine. “We wanted to change direction and distance ourselves from what happened with Jason,” owner Marco Rivero tells us. Carniceria will be having a soft opening between 7 and 9 p.m. tonight and will formally open this weekend. Earlier: Porchetta Survives the ‘Desperate Chef’

Wild Salmon Starts Its Upstream Journey Strongly; Craftsteak Upgraded

Alan Richman has a few qualms about Wild Salmon – its reason for being, for example – but likes both the food (except for the sauces) and the service (when it’s not too friendly). Given how ready Richman is to knock restaurants, owner Jeffrey Chodorow has to feel pretty good about this one. [Bloomberg] Related: Wild Salmon Swims Into View. Yes, ‘Pun Intended’ [Grub Street] The newly revamped Craftsteak and Craftbar get rereviewed by Bruni, who awards the less than the white-hot former a much-needed second star, and the latter, “more or less back on track” after earlier troubles, a (borderline) single star. [NYT] Time Out’s Randall Lane lays four stars (out of six) on Gilt, finding Chris Lee’s cooking admirable all around, if less risky than that of his predecessor, Paul Liebrandt, who still keeps popping up whenever the restaurant is discussed. [TONY] Related: Gramercy Rehab [NYM]

Porchetta Survives the ‘Desperate Chef’

The rumors of Porchetta’s demise were premature. Jason Neroni, infamous first for lobbying for a Beard Award and then for forging his employer’s name on checks, was thought to have brought the whole operation down, but owner Marco Rivero tells us that the new kitchen head is as good as hired and should be signing a contract in the next day or so. He projects that the restaurant will reopen on May 7 with a new menu and a new lease on life. Neroni, meanwhile, lurks in the shadows … Earlier: Neroni Signed His Own Checks and Is Back on the Street for Now, Source Claims Porchetta Owners Claim Neroni Forged Their Signature

Porchetta Owners Claim Neroni Forged Their Signature

More info is filtering in on the Neroni Affair. Steven Hall, who has taken on the role of Neroni’s defender, passes along an admission from the Desperate Chef that, yes, he was fingerprinted, but that he was neither arrested nor Mirandized; authorities merely took a Polaroid of him, not the infamous mug shot. Neroni has affirmed that he often signed Marco Rivero’s name to checks with the owner’s permission, but Rivero’s wife and business partner, Shannon, denies this. “Jason signed his last two paychecks when he thought he was going to be fired, to make sure he got the money coming to him. Prior to that, of course not. I don’t know anybody that would let an employee do that.” Shannon reiterates that although she and her husband have no desire to hurt Neroni or, worse, get caught in an endless tabloid story, they have no intention of dropping the charges. Earlier: Jason Neroni Arrested, Taken Into Custody Neroni Is Indeed Free — for a Few Days, Anyway

Neroni Signed His Own Checks and Is Back on the Street for Now, Source Claims

Some possible clarification on the arrest of ex-Porchetta chef Jason Neroni for larceny has come our way, courtesy of the restaurant's former publicist Steve Hall. According to Hall, Neroni claims that he merely signed his own check, something he has done many times. But owner Marco Rivero doesn’t see it that way, hence Neroni’s arrest for petit larceny. Neroni has, Hall claims, been released from custody. However, as Hall's full letter indicates, the Neroni saga is far from over.