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The Bowery Hotel

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Jennifer Garner Likes the Food at Fiamma More than Padma Did

The week’s most exciting celebrity sighting was that of beer-sippin’ McLovin at Diner. No other celebs were busted getting their underage drink on, but there were other surprises: Rachael Ray rolled into the Orchard with a posse bigger than Diddy’s, and Jennifer Garner liked the food at Fiamma so much she slipped into the kitchen to beg Fabio Trabocchi for recipes. We figure that makes up for supposedly getting dissed by Padma Lakshmi a couple weeks ago. (And yes, there a Padma sighting this week, too…)

Massive Pop Burger Opens in Midtown; Bowery Hotel Boys Considering Jane Street?

Cobble Hill: Looking for a classic cocktail at an old-school price? Sam’s Pizzeria on Court Street in Brooklyn offers "not just the Martini and Manhattan, but the Side Car, Rob Roy, Pink Lady, Black Russian, Stinger, Rusty Nail, and Singapore Sling," for only $6.50 a pop, though keep in mind "if you order one of these, there’s no telling what kind of drink you’ll get." [Lost City] East Village: Patricio Sandoval has returned from a trip to Oaxaca with a cache of recipes he’s now serving in a $30 prix fixe at Mercadito East and West. (Try the chile pasilla stuffed with pork picadillo.) [Grub Street] Midtown East: A massive new Pop Burger opened this morning at 11 a.m. [Eater] Midtown West: The Houses of Pita at 32 West 48th Street and 24 West 46th Street have both closed, though the owner is looking to reopen in new spaces. [Grub Street] West Village: Could Eric Goode and Sean Macpherson’s new project be a boutique renovation of the Riverview Hotel, and, if so, could downstairs tenant Armin Amiri and his club Socialista be in cahoots with the baller duo? Just a few rumors to whet your hip-hotel appetite. [Down by the Hipster]

Le Bernardin Pastry Chef a Fan of Mason; Tour East Village Dumpling Master's Lair

Astoria: A new wine bar on 35th Avenue at 30th Street called Rest-au-Rant features about 30 wines and beers — from Germany, New Zealand, Hawaii, Belgium, and France. [Joey in Astoria] Dumbo: Waterstreet Restaurant and Lounge hosts carolers and expects dancing till late tonight as part of a holiday shopping promotion throughout the nabe. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: A photo tour of the magical workshop of "Sun Le, the dumpling master who makes TKettle’s juicy little masterpieces." [Eat for Victory/VV] Lower East Side: Le Bernardin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis just had a great meal at Tailor and has "always been a fan of Sam Mason’s food." [Restaurant Girl] West Village: The Bowery Hotel’s Eric Goode and Sean McPherson are rumored to have closed a deal on another boutique hotel, at an unknown location. [Down by the Hipster]

Gemma Pulse Check: It's No Waverly

Planning to go to Gemma, the Bowery Hotel’s restaurant tonight? Though we’ve been told by the publicist that, until its grand opening on July 9, the restaurant is open only to guests as well as friends and family of Sean MacPherson, Eric Goode, John DeLucie, and designer Taavo Somer, the hotel’s receptionist must’ve reckoned us a friend, because she invited us to walk right in anytime between 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. For the moment, this is no Waverly Inn, despite the shared players; in fact, as long as you’re wearing shoes and a shirt, you shouldn’t have any trouble scoring a table tonight.

Five Guys and ‘Lovely Ladies’ Now Serving Burgers in Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights: Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries is open, staffed with “lovely ladies” and other employees responsible for an especially pleasant experience. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Fort Greene: Coffee plus muffins from Choice are available at new café Bidonville on Willoughby near Adelphi. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The Bowery Hotel's Italian restaurant Gemma opened Friday night and, though similar, is “800 times classier“ than Morandi inside. [Eater] Soho: Moondance Diner has closed to make way for condos, but rather than be demolished, the building will travel to Pennsylvania and become an exhibit. [NY1] Park Slope: Revered pizza haven franny’s has started serving pasta; recent specials have been dappled with house-made sausages and zucchini and herbs. [Eat for Victory/VV] Tribeca: The Department of Health has tagged Gigino’s on Greenwich Street, though the Wagner Park location remains open. [Grub Street]

Bowery Hotel's Second-Floor Bar: To Open or Not to Open?

When we first started asking after the Bowery Hotel’s second-floor bar in March (the one that was supposed to be the real destination rather than the “guests-only” lobby bar), we were told it wouldn’t open to the public until at least late April. After it had its first private event on April 17, we asked again and were told the grand opening was at least a month away. Now, two months later, we’re told by the same rep, “The second-floor space will be for private events only, and there are no plans to change that in the near future.” Someone better tell the front desk — when we called the hotel just now, we were told, “The goal is July. So far there’s no date in July, but that’s how it’s looking.” And would it be open to the public?, we asked. “Yes!”

Midwood Facing a Second DiFara Crisis As Health Department Revisits

East Village: Plans for the Bowery Hotel’s subterranean Japanese restaurant get scrapped for a spa. [Down by the Hipster] Drown your sorrows (or pickup takeout sushi) and head to Astor Wines for over 50 varieties of shochu, the Japanese alcohol that “goes down easy.” [Gridskipper] Fort Greene: The first South African restaurant in the United States, Madiba, has just been closed by the Department of Health. [VV] Long Island City: Junior’s Cheesecake and Harry’s Water Taxi Beach are among the participants in tomorrow night’s Taste of LIC to support the Chocolate Factory’s arts programs. [The Chocolate Factory] Midtown West: Starwood’s new (opening in 2010) green hotel overlooking Bryant Park will feature restaurants by Stephen Hanson. [Gothamist] Midwood: DiFara closed by the Department of Health for the second time since March. Dom, please just wear the hat. [Eater]

SushiSamba Manager Opening His Own Restaurant in Midtown West

Clinton Hill: A walk-through of the mysterious chocolate bar. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: Gemma in the Bowery Hotel looks set to open but will probably launch with private parties. [Down by the Hipster] Flatiron: Porky’s nabbed for selling alcohol to minors. [Blog Chelsea] Gowanus: Whole Foods spearheads construction on contaminated site. [Gowanus Lounge] Harlem: Manna’s, trying to become the Starbucks of soul food, opens its fourth location. [Uptown Flavor] Midtown East: Aquavit’s weeklong herring buffet to celebrate the fish’s migration starts June 11. [Grub Street] Midtown West: A former manager and the chef of SushiSamba on Park will open their own Japanese restaurant near the Ed Sullivan Theater. [Restaurant Girl] The kosher falafel joint House of Pita is opening “another location” two blocks from the original; it’s not clear if this means they’re moving or expanding. [Midtown Lunch] Soho: The opening of Lola Is Soul restaurant may be further delayed now that the owners have ousted weepy Top Chef alum Dave Martin. [Eater]

A Voce’s Alfresco Slurpees Come to Flatiron

Brooklyn Heights: Mike's Knife Sharpener, operating out of a truck, is back, spotted on Willow Street. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Dumbo: South Beach Wine & Food Festival may be re-created in this hood by next year, with help from the Food Network and Food & Wine. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: Gnocco's fine Roman-style pizza will now be available by the slice from noon to 4 p.m. [Grub Street] And the Italian restaurant Gemma, coming to the Bowery Hotel, looks to be on its way to an opening. [Down by the Hipster] Le Souk loses its liquor license, albeit temporarily. [Eater] Financial District: Gold St. debuts a menu of original cocktails including herbaceous recipes like a Lavender Martini and the Rosemary Cream. [Grub Street] Flatiron: A Voce to debut its new alfresco section, where you can repose in the sun and drink alcoholic Italian slurpees, among other things. [The Strong Buzz] Fort Greene: A new batch of local Devil's Doodad organic hot sauce is now available at the farmer's market. [Clinton Hill Blog] Harlem: Citarella's 125th Street branch now accepting food stamps. [NYM] Tickets now available for A Taste of Harlem held at City College's Great Hall on Wednesday, May 16. [Uptown Flavor] Park Slope: Unnamed market selling $22 chickens. [Dope on the Slope] Soho: To celebrate the arrival of new chef Wen Chen, Lucky Strike is offering a bizarre lottery that incorporates a Champagne bucket filled with table numbers, praying, and free meals for your entire party. [Gawker] Lure Fishbar will open for lunch and brunch starting Mother's Day weekend. [Grub Street]