Free Gelato at Grom; Dollar Oysters at BoboPlus: Tequila shots for moms at Rodeo Bar in Gramercy, and a lecture on stir-fry at the Museum of Chinese in America in Soho, all in our daily roundup of neighborhood news.
Indian Buffet Pulls a Fiamma, Raises Prices in MidtownIt’s not just on the highest plane of fine dining that critics, customers, and restaurants wage their unceasing war against each other: The same drama, played out in miniature, occurs everywhere. For evidence, look no further than Zach Brooks’s encounter, on Midtown Lunch, with Spice Fusion, an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet that raised its price $1 after the blogger praised it. Yes, it’s the Fiamma saga all over again, but we’ll have to see how this plays out. Will Spice Fusion’s corporate parent issue a press release vowing to lower prices? Or will the guy who hands out flyers on 48th Street just continue to thrust them wordlessly into the hands of passersby? Only Midtown Lunch will know.
First Fiamma, Now Spice Fusion Follows Accolades With Price Hike [Midtown Lunch]
Related: Fiamma Prices Drop After Bruni Post
Crosby Connection Will Rise Again; Los Dados the Last Breath of MeatpackingMeatpacking District: With the wave of recent restaurant and nightlife closings, this area seems doomed, but Los Dados and long-delayed Merkato 55 might be able to salvage the hip destination, at least “on its western perimeter.” [Zagat]
Midtown East: Midtown Lunch finagled a sneak peak of Sakae Sushi’s conveyor belt and loses his cool: “If you’ve been to an outlet overseas, you may end up disappointed by the first US location which lacks some of the uniqueness or ‘cool’ factor of the locations in Asia. That’s because they felt a more subdued location would be more appealing to the clientele of Midtown.… Even when we get something cool, we get screwed.” [Midtown Lunch]
Park Slope: Lebanese Laila has closed, which doesn’t seem like a surprise since it was across the street from “the better, cheaper Olive Vine.” [TONY]
South Slope: The Fourth Avenue soup man has officially given up his spot in preparation for a new fancy condo. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Upper West Side: China Fun is getting in on the New Year shill fest: Submit 500 words (or fewer) on why you want to celebrate the Year of the Rat at China Fun (firstname.lastname@example.org), and you could win a banquet for eight.
West Village: After losing its lease, Italian sandwich destination Crosby Connection is moving from its hole-in-the-wall to an actual restaurant space a couple of blocks away. [The Gluttoness]
Dave Pasternack Serves Fancy Food But Prefers Not to Eat ItToday over at Midtown Lunch, Dave Pasternack, the chef and co-creator of Mario Batali’s highbrow fishery Esca, sits down for a quickie profile. There’s nothing particularly revelatory (that angle was more than covered in a lengthy New Yorker profile from 2005), but we just couldn’t wrap our heads around one little thing:
Favorite Kind of Food: I mean, I like everything — but my favorite is ethnic food. I find it more intriguing. I’ve worked in fancy restaurants for 25 years, but my favorite foods are still Chinese, Thai, Indian … pretty much everything.