Sexy East Villager Open for New Year’s; Bar Blanc Opening Not ImminentEast Village: One of Gael Greene’s sexy-restaurant-picks, Strip House, made this list of New Year’s Eve dining options. [Restaurant Girl] Sakaya and its daily tastings are now just a day away. [Down by the Hipster]
Fort Greene: The new trattoria Caffe e’ Vino’s menu is so standard that it’s not doing a good jobs of tempting potential diners. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Union Square: The area “centered on Broadway south of Madison Square” was called Ladies Mile in the 1800s because of its concentration of retails shops. Nowadays, restaurants like Tocqueville, BLT Fish, and Bar Stuzzichini have made the locale a culinary destination. [NYT]
West Village: Bar Blanc is supposed to open on Saturday, but these pics of the unfinished space might tell a different story. [Eater]
The New York Diet
Singer-Songwriter Vanessa Carlton Indeed Loves Ruby’s in the Afternoon
In her single “Nolita Fairytale,” Vanessa Carlton sings about her love of “Ruby’s in the afternoon”— a reference to her favorite neighborhood hang. “It’s the best people-watching,” she says of Ruby’s. “Everyone looks like they’re out of an editorial shoot for some hip magazine. But it’s not posey.” Other favorites near the “Nolita flat on rent control” she famously exalts? La Esquina (“I love to get takeout or to just sit at the front taco bar”), Freemans (“I think it wins the devils-on-horseback competition with the Spotted Pig”), and N (“the best chorizo I’ve ever had”). We asked her whether this week found her at any of the above.
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Gael Greene’s Secrets of Restaurant SeductionIf there’s one thing you can count on Gael Greene to deliver, it’s tales of seduction by food — and her latest post has it in spades. This time, it’s from the male point of view, as Gael offers a “service feature on seduction,” courtesy of her friend Francesco, “the teflon Romeo, in and out of love constantly, an outright chauvinist pig, in fact, but as a pal, really fun, full of zest and unfailingly loyal.” Francesco’s advice includes the following helpful tips:
Food Writers Continue to Be Confounded by SteakDetails recently put out a list of “The Best New Steak Houses in America,” and it was not inaccurate. Most of the places across the country that delight enlightened meatheads made the cut: Cut in LA, Michael Mina’s butter-crazed Stripsteak in Vegas, and Robert’s (ill-served by an unrepresentative piece of choice beef in the picture) are indeed among the best going. But writers and diners alike are too happy to be served a big steak to gauge it accurately, which makes all steakhouse features unreliable at best.
Sam Mason Needs More Money; Hawaiian Tropic Zone Looking for Studly Men WithIn an effort to change its image as an “upscale Hooters,” Hawaiian Tropic Zone is hiring a beefy male staff “with personality.” [NYDN]
Does Sam Mason need a new financial backer to open Tailor? Those delays cost major cash. [Down by the Hipster]
China has formed a cabinet-level committee to monitor food safety but still calls the national coverage of tainted exports “viciously sensationalized.” [NYT]
Patricia Yeo Leaving Sapa, Opening Rib House; Something About a MonkeyPatricia Yeo, whose precise, eclectic fusion cookery and painterly platings brought Sapa wide renown, has finally left the restaurant. A source tells us that she has made the decision to start her own place with Strip House owners Peter and Penny Glazier (she announced plans to quit in 2005), an as-yet-unnamed Asian barbecue place, emphasizing ribs, in the space currently occupied by the Monkey Bar. We’re not putting on the bib quite yet, though: There has been no official announcement or opening date given.
Update: Yeo tells us that she will not be leaving Sapa as executive chef or partner (at least for now; our source believes it’s a matter of months): “I will probably be spending more time at Monkey Bar, at least pre-reviews. The main concept will be to resurrect old ideas, like ribs, with an Asian spin.”