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Watchmen

  1. The In-box
    The Case of the Accused Prostitutes at Maze We make no judgments on Grub Street. We got this e-mail earlier today and read it with raised eyebrows and no great credulousness: My husband and I were at the New York restaurant, Maze @ the London Hotel tonight 12-18-07. We were so upset. He had four clients he was taking out. At one point one of the clients noticed that there were two prostitutes at the bar, trying to pick up men. When my husband’s guest complained to the staff, they became hostile and asked us to leave. When we talked to the hotel staff, they informed us that, “This happens all the time, You need to talk to the management of Gordon Ramsey.” We were very upset — how could they let that go on? It’s almost like they were getting a cut of their action. We will never dine at a Gordon Ramsey Rest. We spend $800, and had to watch a common prostitute pick up her johns. It was very ugly, shame on Gordon Ramsey and Shame on the London. Shame indeed! But we have no idea if it was even true. We can never tell prostitutes in hotel bars even when we’re talking to them, let alone from at a table faraway. So we asked the restaurant’s PR agency, who got back to us with this response.
  2. Neighborhood Watch
    Peter Hoffman Served a Rubber Band to His Mentor; Bloomberg to the Veggie RescueAstoria: La Flor de Puebla on Astoria Boulevard between Steinway and 38th Street makes a mean carnitas taco. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: Peter Hoffman of Back Forty (and Savoy) reveals to Frank Bruni that he “once served a watercress salad to Richard Olney, my mentor and culinary hero, only to discover upon going to his table to see how he liked it that we had also served him a rubber band.” [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Harlem: Only 3 percent of bodegas in the nabe carry leafy green vegetables, so Mayor Bloomberg’s coming to the rescue. No wonder Mizrahi loves him. [NYS via Uptown Flavor] Park Slope: The end of Donuts Coffee Shop on Fifth Avenue is near; Associated Supermarket is about to swallow up the landmark diner. [The Gowanus Lounge] West Village: It’s a Q&A kind of day: Centro Vinoteca and newly anointed Gusto chef Anne Burrell says her trademark “cowgirl skirts are a good luck charm when we do Iron Chef … I figure if all the old ladies in Italy wear dresses in the kitchen, why can’t I wear a skirt in NYC?” Though she may not have seen our kitchen fashions for the preening chef. [Restaurant Girl] Gusto is also hosting a Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, which includes this recipe for zuppa di pesce. [Eat for Victory/VV]
  3. The Orange Line
    Riding the V Line: Ben’s Best, the Pride of Rego ParkWe’re riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants along the way. Katz’s, the Carnegie, and the 2nd Avenue Deli are the pride of Manhattan, but Ben’s Best still belongs to Rego Park. Get off the V at 63rd Drive, walk past Wiggles strip club, and there you are.
  4. Ask a Waiter
    Frankie Marshall of Wakiya Wouldn’t Dare Replace Anna Wintour’s Napkin Frankie Marshall was a bartender (and a singer) for years before she became a server at Wakiya in the Gramercy Park Hotel. And what a place to serve! She waited on Adam Platt before he panned the restaurant in New York, and Frank Bruni, who hit it off with her and quoted her making a racy “tung” joke in his takedown of the restaurant. Now that the reviewers have moved on, she’s left to serve folks like Ron Wood of the Stones, who let her feel his cashmere sweater. “Jimmy Fallon kissed me [good-bye],” she says. “I was hoping for tongue, but he wouldn’t deliver.” Anna Wintour, on the other hand? Not quite as friendly.