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Tony May to Make San Domenico Bigger and Less ‘Stuffy’

We were able to reach San Domenico’s Tony May and ask him why he would move one of the city’s most-stable restaurant operations. May was very candid with us. “Everybody takes us for granted,” he says. “Everybody thinks we’re a little stuffy. So we want to move forward and put ourselves in a more contemporary environment and serve Italian cuisine in a way contemporary diners want it.” As for the proximate cause of the move, May was open about that too. “They say the life of a restaurant is its lease and ours was up. We need something bigger, and we’re getting it. The truth is that we need to do a much higher volume if we are going to pay the rents landlords want today as well as the other costs of doing business.” May promises Grub Street he'll let us know the new location of San Domenico once the lease is signed, which he expects to happen shortly. Adds Marisa May, Tony's daughter, “San Domenico will be around forever, but now we are moving forward into the 21st century.” Earlier: Breaking: San Domenico Moving From Central Park South

Adour’s Elegant Fish-and-Shellfish Double-decker

adour striped bass
Adour, Alain Ducasse’s much-discussed “wine bar,” has opened, and as our profile last month suggested, it’s not so much a bar as a more casual version of Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, the chef’s buttoned-up former venture. Today, we break down one of Adour’s debut dishes, striped bass and shellfish in a vin jaune d’Arbois sauce — a variation on a Ducasse classic created by his New York chef, Tony Esnault. As always, mouse over the different elements to hear them described in the chef’s own words.

What to Order at Mia Dona

Mia Dona, Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis’s new restaurant is open and busy, though still BYOB. We previewed the food in our video, but the menu turns out to be larger and significantly cheaper than expected. The gnudi with truffle-butter sauce, mushrooms, and crispy speck that was so popular at the old Dona is back, one of only two survivors from the old menu. Mia Dona skews Italian more than the old Dona did, but there are a number of Greco-Psilakisian numbers on it, as well, especially a grilled octopus with olives, Feta, and anchovy vinaigrette. The bar menu, meanwhile, is completely separate and includes a burger (as seen on our video), a pork belly BLT, and crispy baccalà that is the only other Dona holdover. Check out the dinner menu, part of our ever-expanding database, for yourself. Mia Dona Dinner Menu Related: Video: Inside Mia Dona’s Kitchen

Clubland’s Toughest Door Is in, Um, Times Square?

Clubs have long vied for celeb-studded Tuesday nights, so what’s the hottest one going these days? By one account, it’s Spotlight Live??? We were tempted to dismiss the Times Square karaoke complex as “strictly for the tourists” when it first opened, but that changed when we heard hip-hop stars were in the house during the recent Monday morning when a knife fight broke out. According to MTV.com, Beyoncé, Mya, Fantasia, Ne-Yo, and others have taken the stage for Tuesday’s “R&B Live” night. This week, when Diddy hosted a Bad Boy showcase, Fat Joe, Ray J, and Missy Elliott were in the audience, and Naughty by Nature and Danity Kane performed. We called the club looking to get in on the action, but were told it was a private event put on by an entertainment group affiliated with Universal Records. In other words, that door is tight. Related: Diddy, Beyonce, Ne-Yo Make 'Spotlight Live' New York's Hot Tuesday-Night Ticket Deadly Brawl in Times Square [NYDN] Carrie Jennings of Spotlight Live Doesn't Mind If You're Horrible at Karaoke

Video: Inside Mia Dona's Kitchen

Mia Dona
What will you be eating next month at Mia Dona, the new midtown restaurant from chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia? We suggest the meat loaf roasted to order with an egg tucked inside. Or the hamburger with the salsa verde and garlic confit. And what will the dining room look like? Too soon to tell with all the plywoodTM, but Psilakis points out the construction highlights. See what other treats are coming by watching Grub Street’s video preview of Mia Dona. Video Openings: Mia Dona [NYM Video]

No Ssäm at Ssäm Bar; Neighbors Oppose Carroll Gardens Restaurant

Astoria: Oleput reopened. But does it have a liquor license? [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Residents are opposed to a bar and grill next to Black Mountain Wine House. [Brooklyn Paper] East Village: Is ssäm off the menu at Ssäm Bar? [Eater] Gowanus: Look for a new coffee-and-sandwich shop called the Crooked Tail Café coming soon to Third Avenue and President Street. [Brownstoner] Greenpoint: One patron at Greenpoint Coffeehouse wants his anti-brunch message heard. [New York Shitty] Midtown: Combine dinner with people-watching at the food court at Grand Central Station. [Weblicist of Manhattan] West Village: The panini at ’ino are salty and sweet. [Gothamist]

Sake Sommelier Chizuko Niikawa of Sakagura Serves $100 Bottles to Jean-Georges

For three years Chizuko Niikawa has been a sake sommelier at hideaway Sakagura, the restaurant in the bowels of a midtown office building. In that time she’s served everyone from clueless first-daters to one of Japan’s most notorious soccer players (who apparently gets his feathers ruffled if he’s served vegetables) to a certain famous chef that she then knew only as Mr. Kakunko, a reference to his proclivity for dining at the bar with his favorite $100 bottle of sake for company. We asked her to clue us in about the art of sake.

Chris Cheung Looking to Bring ‘Evolutionary Asian Cuisine’ to Monkey Bar

We've always liked Chris Cheung, going back to the days when the young Long Island–born chef was trying to reinvent Asian fusion from the Chinese side at Almond Flower in Chinatown. (His exit from the place, and its epic aftermath, made some good Grub Street fodder.) Now that Cheung has taken over from Patricia Yeo at Monkey Bar, he’s trying to implement his style of “evolutionary Asian cuisine.” So what does that amount to?

Midtown Pop Burger Unveils Its Poppin' Façade

Pop Burger
The recently unveiled exterior of the soon-to-open midtown Pop Burger takes the prize. Looks good now, but wait till the backlighting! Clearly bubble wrap was the inspiration here, making it a real possibility that someone in the upstairs billiards lounge could try to pop one of those windows with a pool cue. Also slated to hit midtown in December and still in hiding in the IBM building: the first U.S. outpost of Roman mozzarella bar Obika.

First Look: Midtown's Mega Pop Burger Readies for Opening

A few months ago we broke news that a massive new Pop Burger was coming to midtown. You can now start salivating: As these construction shots testify, the place is now set to open the week of November 26. Again, we’re looking at a triple-decker — a first floor, open from 11 a.m. till 4 a.m. for takeout and dining; a second-floor lounge with a private entrance, and a third floor with a bar and billiards room. (It’s Playland for bankers!) The bar areas will be open from 5 p.m. till 4 a.m. And yes, midtowners, there will be delivery. Just be ready for your co-workers to hate you with an undying passion when the smell of these things wafts into their cubes. Related: Massive New Pop Burger Popping Up in Midtown