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The Plaza Hotel

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Pastry Scoop

Nicole Kaplan is out at the Plaza and Johnny Iuzzini is behind the bar at PDT.

By Daniel Maurer

Socialista Back in Business; 2nd Avenue Deli Still Delivers

Socialista, now rid of that pesky hepatitis-A problem, is once again hosting celebs like Sting and Josh Hartnett. [NYP] Conflict-of-interest alert! The soon-to-be-new president of the Obesity Society had to step down after drawing criticism for his paid consultant work for the restaurant industry, for whom he produced a puzzling affidavit asserting that posting calorie info on menus could have a negative effect on obesity. [NYT] Good news: The 2nd Avenue Deli still delivers anywhere in town. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]

Charlie Trotter Details Emerge; Frank Bruni's Cross-Country Trip

The first details on Charlie Trotter’s still-unnamed restaurant on Madison Square Park emerge: It will have 80 seats as well as a bar and lounge. [NYT] Merkato 55 may be turning New Yorkers on to African cuisine, but there have been plenty of excellent, albeit under-the-radar, restaurants offering the continent’s cuisine for years. [TONY] Related: Merkato 55’s Most Popular Dish: Doro Wat The Modern’s new wine director, Belinda Chang, is the kind of sommelier we want to be someday: “I’m definitely obsessed with magnums. They’re so fun to pour!” [NYS]

Batali's Celebrity Cookbook; Gisele Offends Football Fans With Cabernet

For the second year in a row, Barilla has released a downloadable cookbook featuring Mario Batali’s recipes for cooking for celebs like Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci. You may have to fill out a stupid survey to access it, but for every download Barilla is donating $1 to America’s Second Harvest. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Food Network chef Robert Irvine, whose bulging muscles put together meals on Dinner: Impossible, turns out to be huge liar, having fabricated a past that involves being a knight in England and being a full-fledged White House chef. [St. Petersburg Times via Gawker] Irritable chef Gordon Ramsay likes to relax with a Sunday supper of roast beef, over which he likes to emphasize manners and social skills with his children. [WSJ]

At the End of the Day, Nicole Kaplan Likes Ring Dings

We told you on Wednesday that Nicole Kaplan was leaving Del Posto for the Plaza, and today we can tell you why: She’s not crazy about cooking Italian food. “I guess I just missed my style; I wasn’t loving Italian food as much as I thought I would. My style is American food with a strong French–training influence.”

Oak Room Gets New Operators; Illegal Fish Trade Grows

Night Sky Holdings, which formerly operated Windows on the World at the World Trade Center as well as the Rainbow Room, has signed a contract to run the Oak Room and the Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel. Also, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s former sous-chef Didier Virot will be helming the kitchen at the hotel’s other eatery, the Palm Court. [NYP] Sushi chef Hiroshi Nakahara has left New York’s BondSt to run the kitchen at a new outpost in Beverly Hills. [PR Newswire] Chipotle will be serving 200 million meals using naturally raised meat this year, a 40 percent increase from 2007. [The Grinder/Chow]

No Plaza for Graydon; Mr. Rachael Ray Drops $35K for Lunchbox

Graydon Carter won’t be taking over the Plaza’s Oak Room, so you’ll still have to head downtown to the Waverly Inn for that truffled macaroni and cheese. [NYP] Jean-Georges Vongerichten seeks the elusive fifth taste by serving “umami bombs” at his restaurants. [WSJ] Related: Waiter, There’s a Fifth Element in My Soup It’s possible that locally grown products have a comparable or even greater carbon footprint than food that travels long distances, so you can stop patting yourself on the back for being a greenmarket fanatic. [NYT] Related: Local Schmocal [NYM]