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Crosby Re-Connection

The traveling sandwich circus has found a new location.

By Daniel Maurer

Rocked by Rocco

A Match.com columnist says he was the best she ever had.

By Daniel Maurer

Is ‘Top Chef’ Recycling Its Foul-Mouthed, ‘Faux’-Hawked Contestants?

Gawker agrees with us that Erik is the new Howie and points out that indeed all of this season’s chefs seem like rehashes of previous contestants:

Hung and Ilan have been combined into Dale, who is both Asian and smug. Erik, chrome-domed and prone to silver rings, is the new Howie. Spike, bluff and handsome, is the new C.J., and Stephanie, the winner or last night's challenge, is the new Lia.
Best Week Ever agrees the cheftestants overuse the word “motherfucker” and points out the still more hilarious ubiquity of fake mohawks: “Faux-hawks (or ‘foie-hawks’ as they shall henceforth be known when referring to Top Chefs) are clearly the secret ingredient to culinary success.” Sam Mason, you heard! Don’t miss the gallery. Related: 'Top Chef' Is Full of Motherfuckers [Gawker] The 10 Greatest Faux-Hawks in 'Top Chef' History [Best Week Ever] ‘Top Chef’ Is Back, and Adam Platt Isn't Happy About It [NYM]

Wireless Restaurateurs Ponder Laptop Etiquette

Yesterday Gawker lamented, “How sad and kind of pathetic is it that coffee shops and even bars have been taken over by computers and their zombie-eyed owners?” This got us wondering about the extent to which Wi-Fi–equipped restaurants welcome laptop users, so we rang up a few of them.

Rachael Ray Encounters a Setback in Global-Domination Scheme

Wait, what happened to the Rachael Ray bandwagon? The last thing time we looked, the peppy home-cooking guru was the poor woman's Martha Stewart. Well, maybe not: According to "Page Six" today, Ray’s syndicated TV show looks to be circling the bowl. “Anything below a 2.0 [Nielsen rating] is asking for trouble,” according to “an insider.” Perhaps Ray diluted her brand too much — we don’t want to see her interview Gene Simmons (like she did on Tuesday’s show) as much as we want to watch her prepare “jerky turkey burgers.” Warning to her staff: In these trying times, don’t bring Rach anything besides Starbucks. Just a suggestion. Update! CBS Television Distribution reps are sending out e-mails all over town disputing the Page Six story: “Page Six's report today that the Rachael Ray show is being taken of the air is completely false and in fact our show is growing and renewed through 2010.” Trouble Cooking for Ray Show [NYP] Related: Rachael Ray Doesn't Like Dunkin' Donuts Coffee Any More Than We Do

Anthony Bourdain Insults Alan Richman Right Back

Alan Richman’s review of Brasserie Les Halles yesterday on his GQ blog seemed a not especially subtle slam of Tony Bourdain. “When I phoned the restaurant to ask [Bourdain’s] role there,” the critic wrote, “I was told he acts as a ‘consultant,’ although it’s hard to know what a place that specializes in the hoariest of French dishes would need from an American who wasn’t much of a chef back in the days when he worked at being one.” Meow! Given how long Les Halles has been around and how universally understood its mediocrity is, there could be no other reason to review it than to lay the hurt on Tony Bourdain. Bourdain, though, is unfazed by the attack: He tells Grub Street, “It was like being mauled by Gumby. Afterwards, you’re not sure it even happened.” Kitchen Inconsequential [GQ]

Wine-Geek Heaven on the Way to the East Village

It’s been a while since we first got wind of it, but the Hearth's long-awaited spinoff wine bar, Terroir, is finally close to becoming a reality. The space, known in its former life as Bikes by George, will begin its transformation right after Thanksgiving, and co-owners Paul Grieco and Marco Canora hope to open the place by New Year’s. Grieco, the wine director, is a wine geek’s wine geek, which means he's got some lofty plans.

Dufresne, Goldfarb, and AvroKo Are ‘Unconventional Geniuses,’ in Case You Didn't Know

Last Supper
Liquor Marketing Gimmick #2,391— randomly hand out awards! Tonight Chopin Vodka honors eight “Unconventional Geniuses,” and among them are Wylie Dufresne, the AvroKo design firm, and (per the press release) “pioneer in the pastry movement” Will Goldfarb. Apparently a whopping three-eighths of today’s unconventional geniuses are associated with the restaurant world! (Non-chef picks include director John Cameron Mitchell and artist Kenny Scharf, if you're looking for perspective.) You’ll have to attend the party tonight at Peter White Studio to find out what the top-secret award looks like, but, as a point of reference, Johnnie Walker’s “30 Under 30” (none of them chefs) received personally engraved bottles of Johnnie Black. Dare to dream, unconventional geniuses!

Who Is Le Cirque's Mystery Ragamuffin?

Brave is the man who strolls into Le Cirque without a jacket: Woody Allen once made the front page of the Post when he was turned away after doing just that, and Frank Zappa, upon being forced to wear one, famously told Sirio, “This better be the best fucking meal of my life … If I don’t like this meal, you’re paying for the suit.” (They went on to become buddies.) We were intrigued, then, when the subject of yesterday’s Ask a Waiter column, Elli Jafari, told us that to this day, just one man is allowed to break the rules. “He normally wears a sweater and a vest,” is all she would give us. “He’s one of the richest people in New York City.” Any Le Cirque regulars — or astute hypothesizers — want to speculate as to who this frowsy fat cat might be? Here’s a clue: We hear his personal life isn’t so perfect. Your guesses in the comments below, please. Earlier: Elli Jafari Tells You How to Order Like a VIP at Le Cirque

Fancy Jell-O-Shot Movement Began in the East Village, Of Course

East Village: Looks like a haute-Jell-O-shot movement might be jiggling into town; Detour used to feature a seasonal special, and now avant-garde recipes like this one, which combines apple, bourbon, and bacon, are popping up. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine] Hell’s Kitchen: If you want to share a dessert with a pal at Kyotofu, expect to pay a $5 toll, per person. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown East: Alto did not disappoint Bruni like so many other fine restaurants, who’ve concluded many a meal by serving an even amount of petits fours to his odd-numbered party: “This is not a give-me-more-food complaint. This is a who’s-doing-the-arithmetic expression of befuddlement.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Upper East Side: Park Avenue Autumn will begin its winter transformations on November 27, and VIPs will get to taste the menu and see a sneak peek of the décor on that same night. [Zagat] West Village: There’s still time to book a Thanksgiving table, and now Anne Burrell has designed a special menu for Centro Vinoteca that includes brined-herb-crusted-turkey with polenta corn bread. [NYM]

1OAK and Touch Delayed, Clubland Remains Dormant

Community Board 4’s licensing committee met last night to again consider the curious case of the Butter boys’ new project 1OAK. The nitty-gritty on this one: The club’s space is licensed by the SLA to hold a piano bar (probably the plans of a previous tenant); Sartiano and Akiva have now submitted an alteration request reflecting their new plan for a restaurant. The request was met with a 4-4 deadlock that will be mulled over by full community board on December 5 — meaning the club won’t be opening quite as soon as we had hoped.

Breaking: Another Freakish White Truffle Comes to Town

We are so, so torn on the matter of the white truffle. Late last week, we professed our unconditional love for the fungi (and also learned that Alterna offers white-truffle haircare products) but, given that the Waverly Inn just raised their truffle macaroni and cheese to $85 and Le Cirque's massive truffle acquisition and the truffle shortage and the $1,000 truffle bagel and, you know, just the general deluge of "truffles are expensive and awesome"-related media as of late, we wondered if this whole white-truffle business had gotten a little bit out of control. Then our very own magazine came out on Monday, complete with more truffle talk, and we knew that there was no point in fighting. There's nothing we can do but accept the darling 'shroom, regardless of whether we could ever afford it in our lifetimes. And it's a good thing we've come to terms with the situation, because it just got a lot more intense.

Food Blog Awards Give Us Joy, Not Pain

Last week, the Wellfed Network gave out some food-blog awards. When we saw that we weren't among the nominees, our immediate response was rancor. But then we got that it was an award for individual bloggers, and we found a lot of pleasure in discovering some good ones. Among the winners we liked: Best Food Blog - New: Pinch My Salt. By a housewife in Sicily, this plain, recipe-centric blog has some of the most dazzling images around and is written in a totally simple and direct style that we wish we saw more of. Best Food Blog - Rural: Farmgirl Fare. Here at Grub Street, we hear a lot of talk about local cooking and seasonal ingredients, but this blog that is actually about life on a farm. Sometimes Farmgirl lays it on a little thick, but you do feel at times as if you're actually involved with her baby animals and various hay-related chores.