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Sandwich of the Week: The No Mayo Tuna Sandwich at Henri Bendel of All Places

Eating for a living takes the Underground Gourmet to all sorts of strange and mysterious places — the Upper West Side, for instance — but none more sinisterly exotic than the typical department-store café. As anyone who’s ever lunched on frozen yogurt and cantaloupe at Bloomingdale’s Forty Carrots or nibbled miniature quiche at the American Girl Cafe can attest, these shopaholic fuel stations are not the manliest places to tie on the noonday feedbag. So how the UG found himself ensconced at a petite table at Henri Bendel’s new third-floor Chocolate Bar the other day, God and Ms. UG only know.

Nello Buys ‘Page Six’ on the Cheap; Jody Williams Trying Not to Sweat It

Nello’s Nello Ballan gives Richard Johnson a $1,000 gift, and fifteen "Page Six" mentions of Ballan’s restaurant later, the embattled gossip column has the devil to pay. [NYT] Jody Williams claims not to have read Frank Bruni’s review of Morandi, though she knows that people are laying odds on the date of her departure. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Related: Not So Bene [NYM] Restaurant-industry lobbyists express a not-unexpected disappointment with the federal minimum-wage increase passed by Congress, finding it “entirely out of place” in a war-spending bill. [Nation's Restaurant News]

Our Guide to Rooftop Bars, High and Low

It’s Memorial Day weekend, folks, which means that until Tuesday, we’re peace outtie in our leased Audi. If you’re not going to the Hamptons for the opening of Stereo by the Seashore this weekend, and you don’t feel like being cooped up at one of PDT’s pre-opening parties, allow us to suggest a rooftop bar — twenty of them, in fact, from the don’t-even-think-about-it Private Roof Club and Garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel to Mé Bar, where you can simply order pizza and crack a cheap beer in the glow of the Empire State Building. Heck, maybe we’ll stay in town after all … Bar Buzz: Rooftops Revisited

How to Feed Your Children Near the Rock Center Tree

The lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center, happening Wednesday at seven, is one of those traditions for tourists that we could never bring ourselves to despise. The tree rules. But if you take children with you to go see it, where are you going to eat? Here are three kid-friendly suggestions. You might want to make reservations now.

London-Style Loos Are Calling

When we heard that Gordon Ramsay's new joint was designed by David Collins, the man behind London's Nobu Berkeley and J Sheekey, we suspected the restrooms would be as high-flying as the 80-chef kitchen. Gord has threatened to ban anyone who photographs the food, but we chanced taking a camera into the loos.

Crisco Czar Lightens Up, Cuozzo Requests Bans of Everything But Trans Fat

Eater tries every which way of getting into the Waverly Inn short of just barging to a table. [Eater] Lard czar admits eateries have "valid concerns." [NYP] Cuozzo tells the city to ban transsexuals, not trans fats. Seriously. [NYP] Eaters turning to small, local farms; Willie Nelson presumably psyched. [NYT] Bruni ponders the meaning of "market price," chats with Danny Meyer "for a good 10 minutes without a moment of tension." [NYT] Blogs buzz over the City Bakery bread that need not be kneaded. [Chow] "Bordeaux guy" (and New York Magazine contributing editor) Jay McInerney, spotted at Cafe Cluny last night, likes his zins too. [NYS] On West 28th Street: Crobar to shutter? [NYP] On West 29th Street: Will the real Stereo please stand up? [NYP] * Correction, November 17, 2006: The no-knead bread is made by Jim Lahey at Sullivan Street Bakery, not City Bakery as originally stated.

Best of Times, Wurst of Times to End This Weekend

Confusingly, Oktoberfest happens mostly in September; it ends this coming Sunday. Rob and Robin recommended five top places to kick the month off with; since you've surely celebrated at each of those, here are five more to visit before the festival's all over.

Miserly Tim Love Sets Us Straight

The other day we wrote about what seemed like the biggest swindle since the sale of Manhattan — Texas chef Tim Love's paying, according to a newspaper report, over $1 million a year in rent for his new medium-size restaurant on West 21st Street, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. Mr. Love himself wrote in and told us that we'd been sold a bill of goods: "I was kinda surprised by that figure in the Star Telegram too … There seems to be an extra zero added in there, because that would definitely be a Texas-sized price. I plan on cooking here for a long time, and if my rent were that high, that might make things a little difficult. Oh and by the way, I think my space looks pretty nice! I appreciate your concern!" Maybe you can't believe everything you read.

Reading List: R.W. Apple

The death of R.W. Apple this morning, announced in an especially moving and candid Times obituary, hit us hard at Grub Street. In tribute, here are links to a few of our favorite Apple pieces from recent years.