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Fort Greene

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Hill Country's Pit-Smoked Easter; Commerce Bartender No Fool

East Village: The dishes in Rhong-Tiam’s spice challenge (the prize for finishing the tasting menu is free dinner at a different Thai restaurant) aren’t as unbearably spicy as you’d expect, and the chef will give you a beer when you’re finished. [Gothamist] Flatiron: Hill Country's serving up a pit-smoked Easter dinner this Sunday. [Strong Buzz] Fort Greene: A boatload of restaurants in the neighborhood are offering prix fixe dinners for $23 next week for Dine in Brooklyn, including Chez Oskar, Olea, and Scopello. [Clinton Hill Blog] Harlem: A reader feels that Slice NY severely underrates Patsy's. [Slice NY] West Village: Commerce's bartender deals adeptly with douche bags. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

Rosé-Sparkler Tastings in Clinton Hill; Eat Cake, Not Dinner for Valentine’s Day

Chelsea: The former Daniele’s Piadina space on 22nd Street east of Sixth Avenue sat empty for two years, but it will reopen as a sandwich shop called Ashby’s on Monday. [Eat for Victory/VV] Clinton Hill: Gnarly Vines is hosting a rosé-sparkler tasting tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., and bottles of those sample selections are 10 percent off. [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: The ‘D’ Space Restaurant at Jay and Front streets serves Indian buffet, but will it raise the bar on local delivery options? [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: Shaffer City Oyster Bar & Grill will close February 23 and reopen in March as Flatiron Joe’s with cheaper American fare and a jukebox. [Zagat] Fort Greene: In her list of last-minute Valentine’s Day options, Danyelle Freeman recommends Cake Man Raven if you want to "just forget dinner and grab a few whopping slices of the decadent red velvet cake that made this bakery famous." [Restaurant Girl] Soho: In honor of this romantic week, it’s only right that bananas (and resulting desserts around town) are celebrated for being "not only insanely phallic but also brimming with potassium and B vitamins, which are necessary for keeping your sex drive going." But you don’t have to tell your date that after deciding to share Blue Ribbon Brasserie’s top-rated banana split. [Gridskipper] West Village: Pig's-feet and collagen temple Hakata TonTon has been closed by the Department of Health. [Eater]

Sparkling-Pink Sake Might Tickle Your V-Day Fancy in Hell's Kitchen; Commerce Opens Tomorrow

Chelsea: RUB and Swich are just two under-$10 lunch options in this list devoted to the nabe. [Gridskipper] East Village: A Spanish wine bar called Pata Negra opens Friday at 345 East 12th Street. [NYT] Flatiron: A Voce pastry chef Josh Gripper classifies himself as single and dangerous. [Restaurant Girl] Fort Greene: Don’t hold your breath waiting for lamb sliders from the French-Moroccan restaurant that was supposed to open on DeKalb Avenue; the space wasn’t completed, and the sign and menu have already been taken down. [Eat for Victory/VV] Hell’s Kitchen: If you want to explore dining options outside our comprehensive Valentine’s Day Guide, you could look to Kyotofu, which is serving a three-course dessert prix fixe promising a raspberry Valrhona-dark-chocolate fondue and Hou Hou Shu pink-sparkling sake. [Kyotofu] West Village: Commerce opens tomorrow in the former Blue Mill Tavern space and there will be a 20 percent discount on food through Monday. [NYT]; the last outlet of Flor’s Kitchen will shut itself down this Sunday citing problems with the landlord. [Eater]

Kellog’s Diner at Risk; the Definitive Banana Book

Cobble Hill: Trader Joe's seems to think it's opening a store on Court Street, even if a bunch of local bloggers don't. [McBrooklyn] Dumbo: Finally, the map to area eateries we’ve all been waiting for. [Gridskipper] East Village: Want to read a book about bananas? Dan Keoppel reads tonight at KGB from Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. Fort Greene: Neighbors are looking for a friendly bar to watch Super Tuesday results. [General Greene] Gowanus: Vandals have opened up the Whole Foods site on 3rd Street again. [Gowanus Lounge] Jackson Heights: Sweet tooths rejoice over Cannelle Pâtisserie on 31st Avenue. [Chow] Park Slope: Komboocha, a fermented tea, hits the co-op, but not everyone is psyched about it: “It’s expensive, tastes like crap, and claims to cure everything. Thus, it appeals to the rich and those addicted to Park Slopish consumer culture.” [Daily Slope] Williamsburg: According to renderings, Kellog's Diner will be wrapped up by a heinous new condo at Metropolitan and Union. [Curbed]

New Service Lets You Text for a Car From the Bar

A new Williamsburg-based service lets you request a car going from the Billyburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Boerum Hill, or Fort Greene areas simply by texting your coordinates to the number 767222 (SMSCab). We can think of a few situations in which this would be useful — say, the bar is loud, or you’re slurring your speech too much to be understood, or you don’t want to hurt your date’s feelings by actually speaking the words, “I’d like two separate cars, please” — but in general we just like the idea of not having to deal with spazzed-out dispatchers, radio static, and busy signals. But how does this brilliant theory work in execution?

Among Fort Greene Drinkers, the Hideout Won't Stay Hidden for Long

The Hideout
Behind three shiny black garage doors in Fort Greene there’s a signless, pseudo-speakeasy called the Hideout. Ring the bell at a door within a garage door, and a scrutinizing set of eyes peers through a tiny latch. If your entrance is granted, you’ll find a dimly lit, tin-ceilinged throwback. Mixologist Charlotte Voisey, who consulted for the Gramercy Park Hotel and the Dorchester in London, helped create the six-page cocktail menu. Signature drinks include the Poison Rose (gin, elderflower liquor, simple syrup, a rose-petal garnish, and edible gold flakes) and the Snow Mosquito (vodka, tequila, raspberries, blueberries, simple syrup, and fresh mint), along with $50 shots of Pappy Van Winkle and drinks mixed with 150-year-old Grand Marnier starting at $20. Bar snacks include square bowls of goldfish crackers and M&Ms imprinted with “The Hideout” — “We want to keep things signature,” explains co-owner (and record distributor) Qaseem Muhammad.

Fort Greene Restaurant Scene's Crescendo; De Niro Hotel So Close You Can Book It

Astoria: The Southwest restaurant that's been under construction near the Ditmars stop on 31st Street is named Mojave and opens tonight. [Joey in Astoria via Astorians] East Village: The Mermaid Inn reopens tomorrow after a one-week renovation, which may have been inspired by Time Out‘s mouse sightings. [Eater] Fort Greene: New restaurants the Smoke Joint and 67 Burger have joined older favorites like iCi and Thomas Beisl to build a thriving restaurant scene near the Brooklyn Academy of Music. [NYT] Tribeca: De Niro’s Greenwich Hotel is now taking reservations for the spring. [NewYorkology via Eater]