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Puglian Restaurant Coming to East Village

The corner of Avenue B and 11th Street has a troubled history for restaurants. Paolina, despite fresh, authentic, inexpensive Italian food, went out of business there, and then Matt Hamilton’s Uovo, despite favorable reception, also closed, thanks to its lack of a liquor license. Now comes a third try, La Scarpetta, a traditional Puglian restaurant from Pasquale Martinelli. Martinelli was the chef at Bellavitae, a restaurant beloved by Adam Platt, so there’s some hope, but at the current East Village rents, and with the presence of something approaching a curse, we have to wonder if it will play. Fate has to be kind, but if we were Martinelli, we’d be more worried about the community board. They’re throwing liquor licenses around these days like they were manhole covers.

Drink Japan Without Leaving Little Italy

Sake has been the next big trend for so long that we’ve been loathe to recognize it now that it’s actually arriving. If, like us, you're utterly mystified by the stuff (not being able to read the bottle is part of it), check out the Joy of Sake next week. The city's biggest sake event will hit the Puck Building on Thursday featuring 300 different sakes, at least a third of which aren't available outside of Japan. The restaurant lineup looks good too: Seventeen restaurants are creating dishes meant to be paired with sake, including wd-50, Sakagura, and 15 East. Tickets are $75 in advance, $90 at the door. Joy of Sake [Official Site]

BLT Fish Is Just a Little Tacky; Corn Strippers Now in SoHo

Astoria: Tonight is trivia night at Dillinger’s on 30th Avenue, which means $5 pitchers. [Joey in Astoria] Brooklyn Heights: Uncommon Grounds is closed for renovations, and it looks like the coffee shop’s application to set up outdoor seating will get approved. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Coney Island: Since Thor Equities can’t start developing any time soon, the company has handed out leases to eight vendors to keep the fryers operating until next fall. [Lost City] East Village: Some pork hater tagged the entrance of Vanessa Dumpling with the word "LARD." [East Village Idiot] Red Hook: LeNell’s is hosting a bourbon festival on the 23rd with a tasting, discounts, and even alky ice-cream made on the spot. [LeNell's] SoHo: Wondering how to get those kernels off the cob? Sur La Table sells a Corn Stripper that actually works. [Serious Eats] Tribeca: Ceci-Cela may still be cranking out croissants on Chambers Street, but there’s a "Store for Lease" sign in its window. [Grub Street] Union Square: Bruni extols the virtues of BLT Fish, but warns would-be diners that the upstairs and downstairs spaces differ greatly, and the Laurent-Tourondel cookbook listing on the menu is tacky. [Diner’s Journal]