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Otto

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Does the Name Chef Really Work in the Kitchen Anymore?

April Bloomfield
Dear Grub Street, I'm in New York on business for a little while and will have the opportunity to try a handful of restaurants while I'm here. What are some of the top spots in the city where the chef whose name is on the door is still in the kitchen? I've eaten at both Lupa and Otto, but I imagine Mr. Batali's clogs haven't graced either kitchen in some time (though the food and service at both were excellent, especially Frank behind the bar at Otto). It's not that I need to see a celebrity chef in person … I just want to try good food from good chefs who are still plying their trade. For example, my understanding is that Wylie Dufresne actually still works at wd-50 every day, and, as you recently mentioned in one post, Eric Ripert is always in the kitchen at Le Bernardin. Anywhere else? Thanks, Meet the Chef

La Marqueta Fights City Hall and Wins; Josh DeChellis Out at Sumile

Brooklyn’s La Marqueta, facing the same kid of pressure as the Red Hook vendors, wins another year and postpones getting the heave-ho from the 70-year-old market. [NYDN] Josh DeChellis has left Sumile Sushi to do a tempura restaurant at 50 Carmine Street. [NYT] Related: Josh DeChellis Dodges a Bullet, and Hits a Bullseye [Grub Street] This is a golden age of meatballs we’re living in. [NYT] Related: Men and Their Meatballs [NYM]

Batali and Bourdain Argue Over Adam Platt, the Egg Thief, and Much More

Marco Pierre White showed up at Borders last night for a book signing with two friends in tow: Mario Batali and Tony Bourdain. We sat down with the latter two for a few minutes before the event and picked their brains. In true style, Mario sent one of the store’s managers out for a bottle of vodka and some tonic at the start, but as the harried fellow didn’t arrive until the end, this discussion was conducted in cold sobriety.

Central Kitchen Down Until June in the West Village

Chelsea: The big pink cupcake may have gotten all the press up until now, but how do the cupcakes taste? [Blog Chelsea] A man who claimed to be the nephew of Dolce & Gabbana was arrested at Bungalow 8 and not by the fashion police. [Eater] Jamaica: Delta terminal 2 at JFK is getting a Balducci’s. [NewYorkology] Southampton: Cain drops its plans for the Hamptons. [Down by the Hipster] Upper West Side: P&G Corner Café getting harassed by its landlords; hence the no walls. [Lost City] West Village: New York toasts Italy this weekend. Maremma and Otto are among restaurants serving special tasting menus by the chefs. [Bene Magazine] A tipster says its lights out for Central Kitchen, but a message machine says they’ll be open by June. [Grub Street]

Danny Meyer Can’t Close a Deal in Central Park

Brooklyn Heights: Brutal attacks on plastic restaurant mascots has become an alarming trend. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Central Park: Danny Meyer’s having trouble closing the deal on Shake Shack No. 2. [Down by the Hipster] Clinton Hill: Pan y Mas is already shuttered; no word if it giving away too much free coffee was the culprit. [Clinton Hill Blog] But Community Supported Agriculture has finally found a new home at Christ’s Church on Clinton Street. [Brooklyn Record] East Village: Birdbath bakeries offer from 25 to 50 percent off your order if you ride a bike to get there. [Gridskipper] Flatiron: Tabla hasn’t given up on New Orleans; every bill includes a line for an optional Katrina-relief donation. [Gotham Gal] Greenwich Village: Otto hostess harangued a party of eighteen over the limit of its dining time throughout a two-hour, $2,000 dinner. [Eater] Little Italy: A mobster institution may no longer be in the family, but it looks like all debauchery won’t cease; the owner of L.A.’s Forty Deuce, Ivan Kane, will introduce burlesque to the Little Charlie’s Clam Bar space. [Eater] Red Hook: The land Brooklyn Brewery’s been scouting for a new operation is described as “toxic soup.” [Gowanus Lounge]