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Hell's Kitchen

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Pioneer Bar-B-Q Not Dead After All

Hell’s Kitchen: The last day to catch the Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center is tomorrow. [SpecialtyFood.com] Lower East Side: The East Side Company Bar’s Black Cherry Daiquiri makes for a spot-on summer libation. [Down by the Hipster] Red Hook: New owners plan to bring Pioneer Bar back, barbecue and all. [Eater] Soho: Learn about the science of cooking from author Harold McGee in a three-day, $1,200 course starting July 14 at the French Culinary Institute. [Food Section] Times Square: Celebrate Argentina’s independence from Spain tonight at Havana Central with a wine tasting hosted by Ellisa Cooper. [Grub Street] Upper East Side: The MTA will change its design for the Second Avenue subway line to avoid closing two Food Emporiums. [Gothamist] And 62nd Street has gained a casual Italian restaurant, Pane e Vino, and a 24-hour eatery called David’s. [New York Social Diary]

King Kobayashi Dethroned; Per Se Chef Moves On

Joey Jaws skewers Kobayashi in hot-dog contest, downing 66 HDBs for new record. [Major League Eating] Per Se's Mark Twersky becomes top chef at Alfama; Brian Goodman named exec chef at Parea. [NYT] Is the controversial farm bill responsible for childhood obesity and diabetes? [NYT] Daily News survey of two restaurants, writer's own eating habits indicates that servings of ratatouille may be on the uptick. [NYDN] Flushing is a hotbed of Korean chicken joints. [VV]

‘Top Chef’ Open Call to Be Held in Soho

Astoria: French-Asian restaurant Bistro 33 serves beer, wine, sake, and cocktails now that its liquor license has gone through. [Joey in Astoria] Boerum Hill: Smith Street may be getting a McDonald’s. [Curbed] Financial District: For $10, you can add an illegal lap dance to your lunch at Cordato’s Deli. [WCBSTV] Hell’s Kitchen: Port Authority’s 7-Eleven has transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart for the remainder of July to promote the new Simpsons movie and is even selling Blue Woo Hoo! Vanilla Squishees and KrustyO’s cereal. [7-Eleven] Soho: Pinkberry open at 41 Spring Street! [Eater] Open call for the next season Top Chef will be held at the French Culinary Institute on July 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Bravo]

Gertel’s Baked Goods Still to Be Had on the Lower East Side

Astoria: Greek restaurant Stamatis’s expansion across the street finally looks near completion, and the place looks nice. [Joey in Astoria] Coney Island: Takeru Kobayashi may have lockjaw, but you can still show your support on July 4 by wearing one of these Kobayashi T-shirts inspired by the Nathan’s and Bob’s Big Boy logos. [The Food Section] Hell's Kitchen: Rumor has it that Dunkin’ Donuts on Eighth Avenue near 36th Street is giving away free coffee and doughnuts while training its new staff today. [Grub Street] Lower East Side: You can still get Gertel’s pastries at Flicker’s Coffee and Tea Shop around the corner. [Lost City] Tribeca: Blue Crab Mondays are back at the Hideaway. [Gastro Chic] Upper East Side: Park Avenue Summer now boasts a create-your-own-cocktail bar. [Restaurant Girl]

Varietal’s Kitchen Closes in Chelsea

Bronx: Italian pastry shop Egidio has a history steeped in family feuds, politics, and adultery; now a cannoli-wielding former owner has opened up shop nearby. [Lost City] Chelsea: Varietal has closed its dining room, though wine’s still being served at the bar. [Restaurant Girl] Great Small Works performing-arts group will host a Spaghetti Dinner this Sunday evening on the roof of the 14th Street Y. Besides bowls of garlicky pasta, ticket holders can look forward to “puppet theater [and] New Orleans brass band music.” [Blog Chelsea] Greenpoint: The Original Soup Man (a.k.a. the Soup Nazi) joins other chains on Manhattan Avenue and shocks customers by charging $9 for some selections. [Gothamist] Hell's Kitchen: Alex Garcia’s new restaurant, Gaucho Steak Co., at 752 Tenth Avenue, is now open for lunch and offering delivery. [Grub Street] Soho: Savoy’s Clambake Dinners start July 6 and run through the end of the month. [Restaurant Girl]

Treats Truck Will Grace the East Village With Its Presence Tomorrow

Astoria: GoWasabi at 29-11 Ditmars Boulevard will serve sushi with a side of live jazz tonight. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: The Treats Truck is bringing its freshly baked (in Red Hook) sandwich-cookies, brownies, and crispy confections to Bond Street at Lafayette on Saturday. [The Treats Truck] Are you extremely kind, and do you love the smell of offal in the morning? Prune is looking for someone really nice to be their next hostess. [Eat for Victory/VV] Hell’s Kitchen: Terrance Brennan’s Artisanal Premium Cheese Center is holding a tasting course on cheeses of the newly trendy Pacific Northwest on Tuesday, June 19. [Artisanal Premium Cheese Center] Midtown West: Curry craziness has died down at Go!Go!Curry, but should rev back up if Hideki Matsui (its namesake of sorts) hits a homer any time soon. [Gothamist] Park Slope: The newly opened Hotel Le Bleu will house a restaurant with views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty; it’s aptly named Vue. [NewYorkology]

DiFara Fans All at Sea; Gray Kunz Enters the Small-Plate Wars

Brooklyn held hostage, day four: DiFara fans reeling from this latest, pointless blow from the Department of Health. “It hurts. It’s the best pizza in my life, ever.” [NYT] SliceNY uses the DiFara time-out to point out that, in recent months, the Saint of Avenue J has been burning his pizzas pretty badly around the edges. [SliceNY] Gray Kunz’s new small-plates restaurant, Grayz, joins a growing number of such restaurants run by lesser beings. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

Marco Pierre White Sets Himself on Fire With Flaming Cocktail

Just another night at the Spotted Pig: Marco Pierre White, trying to demonstrate a flaming cocktail to Mario Batali, Tony Bourdain, and friends, sets himself on fire, gets doused with wine and Champagne, and stabbed in the hand. [NYP] Related: Batali, Bourdain, and Ramsay Mentor to Finally Take on America? [Grub Street] There are so many high-end restaurants looking for good ingredients that the world will literally run out of them, a world-famous Australian chef claims. [Australian News] Utterly dependent as it is on illegal workers, the restaurant industry is lobbying hard against the new immigration bill in Congress. [Nation's Restaurant News]

One Restaurant Opening This Week Isn’t Enough for Alex Garcia

These are busy days indeed for Nuevo Latino chef Alex Garcia. Having just opened Carniceria in the space formerly occupied by Porchetta, Garcia is about to open another restaurant, this one on Manhattan’s West Side. Gaucho Steak Co., which goes live today, is an Argentine steak concept based on the chef’s smaller establishment, Gaucho Steak, in Montclair, New Jersey. “In Argentina, if you want steak, they have a place called a parilla, which is just a guy behind the grill,” Garcia tells us. “He’ll make you a steak, French fries, chorizo on bread, whatever you want. It’s really casual, and that’s what we’re trying to do.” That plan seems to run counter to the fairly elaborate kind of cooking that established Garcia as an avatar of new Latin American cooking at Novo and Calle Ocho. However just as at Carniceria Garcia has found a way to express his style through the appetizers, presumably he’ll do something similar at Gaucho Steak. No Alex Garcia restaurant is ever likely to be really reminiscent of “a guy behind a grill.” Earlier: Porchetta Reborn as Carniceria, With Alex Garcia at the Helm

New York’s Restaurant Jungle Grows a Little Lusher

When spring comes, branches and leaves appear in the most unexpected places. This week’s food coverage is like that: There are no huge openings, analogous to maples or firs springing up overnight, but rather a rich carpet of new sprouts and saplings. Rob and Robin glory in the pig-out that is Resto, the new Belgian restaurant on Park Avenue South; Gael Greene stops in to enjoy the immense, spanking-new Landmarc in the Time Warner Center; David Chang knows just what to do with the long-awaited, precious ramps in In Season; and other unexpected treats, from a waterside barbecue in one of the Short Lists to a slew of spring Openings fill out the foliage.

Batali, Bourdain, and Ramsay Mentor to Finally Take on America?

Marco Pierre White, the London restaurateur who became perhaps the first celebrity bad-boy chef and the youngest to earn three Michelin stars, may arguably have been the man responsible for teaching his onetime protégé Gordon Ramsay how to show his temper. “Perhaps I created the monster,” he confesses in his new memoir, The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness, and the Making of a Great Chef, out next week. Like Ramsay, White was a famous hothead, but don’t expect him to revive his practice of eighty-sixing customers if and when he takes on the American market (possibly as a partner of Mario Batali). We talked to White about his plans for expansion and his upcoming stint as the new host of Hell’s Kitchen.

Gold St. and Zipper Tavern Bring Much-Needed Help to Their Neighborhoods

Rob and Robin bring good news to two very underserved neighborhoods in this week’s Openings. The diurnal financial district gets a 24-hour brasserie complete with sushi bar in Gold St. Meanwhile the West Thirties, the grim border area between Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, welcome Zipper Tavern, a legitimate gastropub with its own house-made charcuterie. We assume the view of passing tumbleweeds out the windows only adds to the atmosphere. Openings: Provence, Resto, Gold St., Zipper Tavern

NYC ICY Set to Reconquer New York

It was a sad day for snow cones when artisanal water ice joint NYC ICY went under a couple of years ago. But now owner Jonathan Leeds tells us that not one but two NYC ICY locations will be opening in late May or early June— one in Brooklyn and a smaller one in Hell’s Kitchen. “It won’t be too different from the old place,” Leeds promises. “But we may let people in this time. We might even have a counter.” Counters? The places haven’t even opened up, and they’re already showing signs of decadence. NYC ICY, 628 Tenth Ave., nr. 45th St.; no phone yet. NYC ICY, 905 Church Ave., nr. Coney Island Ave.; no phone yet.

Mon Dieu! Hell's Kitchen Finally Gets Its Bistro

The stretch of Ninth Avenue between 50th Street and 56th Streets teems with affordable restaurants serving Vietnamese, Puerto Rican, Italian, and diner food. But there are no contemporary, Balthazar-style French brasseries. Until tomorrow. Brasserie 52 is small but polished, the menu packed with standards like escargot with garlic butter, foie gras mousse, and steak au poivre. The relatively expansive bar and vaguely Continental brunch fare (eggs Florentine, spinach salad with warm bacon dressing) might just make it a local standby. Brasserie 52, 772 Ninth Ave., nr. 52nd St.; 212-586-5005.

Hell's Kitchen Northeast's Holes-in-the-Wall for Hotshots

If the gangs who once ruled Hell's Kitchen could see the neighborhood now, filled with media hotshots and admen from places like Hearst, Random House, Time Warner, and Ogilvy, they'd no doubt shake down the few fancier restaurateurs and then duck into one of the tiny Asian or Middle Eastern joints for a cheap plate of stir-fry, noodles, or spicy kebabs. Behind the countless family-owned storefronts in the micro-micro-neighborhood centered around 53rd Street and Ninth Avenue, you can find some of midtown's most enlivening flavors and aromatic, well-spiced cooking.

New ‘Tenderloin District’; the Thai's Bitchin' in Hell's Kitchen

This week in the news you can use, you'll find guides to everything from sports grub to beets, plus an argument for why size matters. • On the heels of Planet Thailand's move to Chelsea, a roundup of chili-deploying joints in Hell's Kitchen. [NYT] • Ravioli and pierogies with beets sexify the "sturdiest of root vegetables." [NYDN] • Swear off Peter Luger after Alan Richman's thrashing? Check out the new "tenderloin district" around Penn Station. [AMNY] • Grub for sports fans, including all-you-can-eat wings at Blondies. That's right — they went there. [AMNY] • Size does matter: gems like the Little Owl versus trendy juggernauts (hello, Hawaiian Tropic Zone). [MUG] • We're also psyched about Ruby Tuesday: Chains like Japan's grill-it-yourself-joint Gyu-Kaku and tofu-cheesecake purveyor Kyotofu to take Manhattan. [TONY]

Film Center Cafe Totally Gets a Makeover!

Hell's Kitchen's Film Center Cafe, heretofore a coffee-and-wraps joint plastered with movie posters, has just gotten one of the fall's most dramatic, least expected renovations, at a cost of $2 million. (Tonight is the grand reopening.) The cheesy film memorabilia is all gone; expensive-looking Art Deco touches now define the room. The café's owners, a deep-pocketed group led by Robert and Enrico Malta, have also upgraded the cuisine. New chef Joseph Cacace, formerly of JUdson Grill and Gramercy Tavern, has created a menu of elevated comfort food (pork chops marinated in mustard and sage, wild-mushroom risotto with white-truffle oil), and there will be twenty wines available by the glass. Not that the Film Center has completely abandoned its roots: They've also hired a D.J., a restaurant feature somewhere on par with old movie posters.