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Little Italy

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Pies-N-Thighs Will Survive in Williamsburg; Pastrami Queen Extends Reign to Chelsea

Astoria: Last-minute Valentine’s Day options from Joey. [Joey in Astoria] The Foodista's include JJ’s Asian Fusion and Sushi Bar, which isn't trying to do anything special for the holiday. [Foodista] Brooklyn Heights: The bartender at Jack the Horse Tavern, Maxwell Britten, created a timely cocktail called Love Lane, which combines Prosecco, harvest syrup, house-made brandy, poached cherries, and rose water. Ladies on the town tomorrow take note: It's a sexy drink, and he’s pretty cute. [Vittles Vamp via Brooklyn Heights Blog] Chelsea: The owners of Pastrami Queen have opened a delicatessen in Chelsea Market called Friedman’s. [NYT] Clinton Hill: June reopens tonight after dealing with multiple break-ins. [Clinton Hill Blog] Little Italy: Gimme! Coffee has opened its first Manhattan outlet at 228 Mott Street between Prince and Spring streets. [NYS] Upper West Side: Ruby Foo’s new lunch plan includes free wi-fi. [Zagat] Williamsburg: Pies-N-Thighs seems to have already found a new home at 166 South 4th Street. [Eater]

Don’t Be an Ass, You’ll Be Made to Wait; Park Slope Gets Its Beer Table Saturday

Clinton Hill: John's Donut Shop & Restaurant looks like an unassuming diner, but a recent visit revealed an actual wait. Do people know something we don't know? [Clinton Hill Blog] Dumbo: Water Street Restaurant is promoting $3 Draft Beers and a 2-for-1 Cheeseburger Special on Sunday. [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: If you get to Hill Country at 8 p.m. on a Saturday and come 9 p.m. you’re still waiting for a table, you’ve now struck "Shot o’clock," according to GM John Shaw, "gratis shots for all at the bar." [Eater] Little Italy: This is proof that the city’s nightlife is still hot: "Degenerates of nyc in full swing at gold bar. 19 yr old Brazilians having makeshift photo shoots as the party floods into the D.J. booth to play with the new mac computers." Only Bangkok could be hotter than that! [Down by the Hipster] Park Slope: Beer Table, whose SLA woes were chronicled by the Times this week, will open Saturday. [Eat for Victory/VV] Tribeca: A bit of diner rudeness has been spotted around town lately — stool-swiping, line-cutting, table-hogging — but there’s a bit of consolation (and warning to offenders): Nobu co-owner Richie Notar revealed "they get secretly punished with extra-long waits." [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]

Edible Jewelry for ‘Commitmentphobes’; Midtown East Welcomes Adour

East Village: TKettle owner Andy Pan is still waiting for his partner BBQ Chicken to open, but “it’s killing me softly,” he says. [Eat for Victory/VV] Little Italy: Send a mixed signal to your love this Valentine’s Day with a candy ring from Papabubble. [TONY] Lower East Side: Tomorrow night at Suba is a pata negra feast, which includes dishes made with “Ossabaw Island hogs, the ‘long lost cousin of the Pata Negra’” paired with Spanish wines. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Midtown East: Initial reactions to Adour are already mostly positive, but no one else has noticed the specially reserved handbag seating, yet. [Eater] Rockefeller Center: On Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m., Morrell is hosting a tasting of La Caravelle Grand Cru to celebrate the Champagne’s ten-year anniversary. [Snack]

Little Chitaly Bakery and Bar Is Not As Gentrifying As It Seems

The transformation of a Broome Street herbal-medicine shop into a twenty-seat daytime café and nighttime wine bar, Oro Bakery and Bar, might strike some as a sign of gentrification — especially with Papabubble across the street — but owner Dorina Yuen is actually a Chinese-American with deep neighborhood roots. She’s showing a commitment to proximity by using locally sourced ingredients for savory quiches and French country-inspired sandwiches including a jumbo shrimp rémoulade tartine, and a baguette of country ham with cornichons, butter, and fresh chive. During nighttime hours, the focus shifts from organic coffee to beers, sparkling sake, and ten wines by the glass. A bar menu coming later this month will soon include charcuterie, cheese plates, and pâté toast points. Oro Bakery and Bar, 375 Broome St., nr. Mott St.; 212-941-6368.

Chris Eddy of Barmarché and industry (food) Goes After Forty Deuce Space

We’re hearing that Chris Eddy, partner in industry (food) and creator of Barmarché is seeking to open a sushi-fusion restaurant in the beleaguered Forty Deuce space. There was apparently no resolution about the liquor-license application at last week’s community-board meeting, but it seems neighborhood activists are wary. Since they're already nervous about a 270-room Mondrian hotel with a “glamorous restaurant” going up at 150 Lafayette Street and perhaps leery of Eddy’s background “managing Manhattan’s well-known nightspots and high-profile restaurants such as Mercer Kitchen, Bond St., Lotus, and Bungalow 8” (per his bio), they weren’t all that happy about high-end sushi coming to the nabe. For our part, we think Eddy has proven himself to the neighborhood with Barmarché, a reliable, relatively low-key destination for great cocktails.

Cha Cha, Maker of World's No. 1 Cannoli, in Juicing Shocker

Cha Cha
We’ve been known to stop into Cha Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo for a Leonardo DiCaprio Frozen Titanic in a souvenir glass, though we’ve never actually seen Leo as the Website says we might. We do often see proprietor Cha Cha — friend of the Sopranos, former promoter of Tony Danza’s boxing career, and the “Unofficial Mayor of Little Italy.” In addition to the “#1 cannoli in the world” (natch), Cha Cha peddles gutbusters like a Mt. Vesuvius Tort consisting of three layers of brownies, cheesecake, and chocolate mousse — which is why we were shocked to hear, on WOR's Joey Reynolds Show, that Cha Cha has become a health nut and a juicing fanatic and takes most of his meals through a straw. Basta! This is way more disheartening than yesterday’s revelations that Clemens juiced — Cha Cha, say it ain’t so! Cha Cha's In Bocca Al Lupo [Official site]

Steve Schirripa Has No Problem With Little Italy, Steaks

Steve Schirripa
In his new cable cooking show, Steve Schirripa’s Hungry (Lifeskool network, debuting December 6), Uncle June’s faithful manservant Bobby Baccalieri tours his favorite New York Italian kitchens and takes some sauce-splattered pointers from pals like Rao’s Frank Pellegrino and Peasant’s Frank De Carlo. Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld asked the man Tony Soprano immortalized as a “calzone with legs” to expound on his favorite pastime — eating on and off the set. There are a lot of cooking shows out there these days. What distinguishes yours from the competition? This is a real guy going into a real kitchen; I think after you watch this, you’re really going to learn how to make the meatballs from Rao’s. It’s a combination of talking, comedy, and how-to. Who does the cooking at home? My wife; I eat, she cooks. Which is why I’m doing this new show. They’re teaching me how to cook. In one episode, you spotlight the Mulberry Street restaurant Il Cortile. Do you think that Little Italy gets a bad rap? I think it does. First of all, it’s a lot of fun down there. There’s a lot of tourists, but Il Cortile is as good an Italian restaurant as any in the city.

L'asso Ropes in a Full Liquor License

We didn’t think things could get any better at L’asso, the hipster’s go-to pizza place in Nolita. After all: Nutella pies! Marshmallow pies! But after over three years of tossing them into the wood-fired brick oven, L'asso finally has a liquor license. They’re adjusting from wine and beer slowly (last night our server didn’t know what a Dark and Stormy was, though it was on the menu), but once they come around, we’re confident there will never again be a reason to join the line at Lombardi’s.

Rockabilly Bar in Progress on the LES; Dévi Reopens With a Discount

Astoria: “A lot of people in town are excited” about the 7-Eleven that just opened on 30th Avenue and 30th Street, so much so that the Slurpee machine may have broken from overuse. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: No more soft opening! Speakeasy from former Top Cheftestant Josie Malave opens tonight, and photos taken of the menu in the window reveal such inspired dishes as zucchini sticks and fettuccine with spinach and sun-dried tomato. [Clinton Hill Blog] Flatiron: Dévi reopens tonight, and the dinner menu will be 20 percent off through November 20. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Little Italy: Papabubble’s grand-opening party went well on Saturday; as you can see from these pics, the “walls were fully stocked with fresh candy, open jars with samples were everywhere, and … stateside Papabubble proprietors, even put on a little candy making show.” [Down by the Hipster] Lower East Side: Fat Baby and Spitzer’s Corner owners Rob and Will Shamlian seem well on their way to opening a rockabilly bar and restaurant at 133 Essex Street, minus a liquor license and a mechanical bull. [Eater] Sunset Park: Pepper and salt fish are tiny fish deep-fried in a batter that puffs up like funnel cake; they go well with abundant mini-shots of beer, and conveniently both are served at Ren Ren on Eighth Avenue every day until 3:30 a.m. [Eat for Victory/VV]

Taco War Is On: ‘Authentic’ Newcomer Pinche Calls Out La Esquina

We consider Jeffrey Chartier, a partner in Soho Films, a brave man for opening Pinche taqueria a stone’s throw from La Esquina, but he is convinced the authenticity of his product will carry him (and hopes it’ll be the first in a chain). “This is the first real authentic taqueria in New York City,” he boasts, and make no mistake, that includes his neighbor. “La Esquina is nowhere near authentic as far as I’m concerned.” So how is Pinche different?

Cult Candy Shop Papabubble Introduces Itself to Little Italy

The first U.S. outpost of Papabubble (which also has locations in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Tokyo) was originally slated to open today, and though delays mean you’ll have to wait till this weekend for “sugar drops” and other colorful confections made on site, we’re happy to report that the cult candy shop’s sign, at least, has been unveiled. Workers are still puttering around the interior, but we spied weathered dark-wood floors, an elegant subway-tile wall much like Despaña’s down the road, and beakers full of glowing liquids behind the counter. No product in site just yet, but the Marie Belle chocolate store, just one block over on Broome, has to be very nervous about this. Papabubble opens Saturday night with a party, and everyone’s invited. Papabubble, 380 Broome St., nr. Mott St.; Papabubble.com.

Is Da Domenico's Down for Good?

da Domenico
We were saddened to see that signs on the door of sandwich mecca da Domenico’s say it’s “TEMPORARILY CLOSED due to family problems.” Let’s hope the closure isn’t permanent, since Dom’s (as da Domenico’s was called back when it was on Lafayette Street) is one of Little Italy’s beloved institutions. Don’t believe it? Just look at some of the well wishes that about a dozen passersby have scrawled on owner Frank Migliori’s closing note: “I hope everything resolves itself for the good,” “We miss you!,” “Come back soon,” and the like. If only Ivan Kane could get that love from Little Italy residents. Earlier: Chinatown/Little Italy Deli Dearth Comes to an End

Long Island Oyster Boom; North African Bakery Heats Up Astoria

Astoria: Patisserie la Brioche D’Or has just opened on Steinway at 25th Avenue and is baking up some French pastries and delicious North African treats. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: Leaving the old classic Kiev sign above the new garish American Grill one is like a slap in to old schoolers who remember their old haunt. [Lost City] Fort Greene: Mo-Bay Caribbean joint has given up the ghost, and a wine bar is taking its place. [Eat for Victory/VV] Little Italy: San Gennaro’s fast-food frenzy ends today, but there are still a few restaurants in the area where you can eat a normal meal. [NYT] Midtown East: Shinbashi sushi restaurant helped introduce raw-fish consumption to New York in the seventies. Now it can be found in the former Savannah Steak space on 48th Street. [Restaurant Girl] Sagaponack: Townline BBQ impresses as being legitimately Texan, at least by Hamptons standards. [NYT] Southampton: Long Island oysters are plump and sweet and now being sought after by restaurants from the Hamptons to Manhattan. [Newsday]