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Sparkling-Pink Sake Might Tickle Your V-Day Fancy in Hell's Kitchen; Commerce Opens Tomorrow

Chelsea: RUB and Swich are just two under-$10 lunch options in this list devoted to the nabe. [Gridskipper] East Village: A Spanish wine bar called Pata Negra opens Friday at 345 East 12th Street. [NYT] Flatiron: A Voce pastry chef Josh Gripper classifies himself as single and dangerous. [Restaurant Girl] Fort Greene: Don’t hold your breath waiting for lamb sliders from the French-Moroccan restaurant that was supposed to open on DeKalb Avenue; the space wasn’t completed, and the sign and menu have already been taken down. [Eat for Victory/VV] Hell’s Kitchen: If you want to explore dining options outside our comprehensive Valentine’s Day Guide, you could look to Kyotofu, which is serving a three-course dessert prix fixe promising a raspberry Valrhona-dark-chocolate fondue and Hou Hou Shu pink-sparkling sake. [Kyotofu] West Village: Commerce opens tomorrow in the former Blue Mill Tavern space and there will be a 20 percent discount on food through Monday. [NYT]; the last outlet of Flor’s Kitchen will shut itself down this Sunday citing problems with the landlord. [Eater]

No Ssäm at Ssäm Bar; Neighbors Oppose Carroll Gardens Restaurant

Astoria: Oleput reopened. But does it have a liquor license? [Joey in Astoria] Carroll Gardens: Residents are opposed to a bar and grill next to Black Mountain Wine House. [Brooklyn Paper] East Village: Is ssäm off the menu at Ssäm Bar? [Eater] Gowanus: Look for a new coffee-and-sandwich shop called the Crooked Tail Café coming soon to Third Avenue and President Street. [Brownstoner] Greenpoint: One patron at Greenpoint Coffeehouse wants his anti-brunch message heard. [New York Shitty] Midtown: Combine dinner with people-watching at the food court at Grand Central Station. [Weblicist of Manhattan] West Village: The panini at ’ino are salty and sweet. [Gothamist]

The Spotted Pig Serves Pumpkin Salad, Plays ‘Pumpkin Soup’

Does the Spotted Pig have music cred? Yeah, maybe just a little bit. Owner Ken Friedman used to be an industry player, and his partner Jay-Z is, well, Jay-Z. We recall being kicked out of the upstairs alcove so that Franz Ferdinand could take it over after a show (front man Alex Kapranos is a fan of the lamb shank with crusted celery root). With these musician types having their run of the place, what’s playing on a quiet Tuesday night?

Cipriani Downtown Having a Bit of Work Done; Cupcake Glut Still Centered in the West Village

Astoria: La Guli Bakery at 29-15 Ditmars Boulevard serves gelato throughout the winter if you get an irrational craving in this blistery weather. [Joey in Astoria] East Village: La Palapa is offering Super Bowl catering packages if you decide to pass on the Tostitos and Chi-Chi’s salsa this year. [Grub Street] Forest Hills: Rouge Bistro has closed. [Grub Street] Hell’s Kitchen: Newish restaurants like Cooper’s Tavern and Go!Go! Curry mean you can finally find something to eat in the garment district. [NYT] Midtown East: "I could live — and dine out nightly — for more than 100 years, and I still don’t think I’d come to understand restaurants like Il Nido," says Bruni about the expensive, hit-or-miss Italian. But over 1,000 words later, he’s explained the survival of old-school inconsistent restaurants quite well. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Soho: Cipriani Downtown will be closed most of this week for renovations to the floor and bar area. [Eater] West Village: A cupcake bar called Sweet Revenge is opening this spring at 62 Carmine Street near Bedford Street, and the owner’s goal is to sex up the revered city sweets. [Crain’s NY via Eater]

BarFry’s Naughty Valentine’s Day Does Not Include Oil; Irving Mill Expanding in Flatiron

Astoria: Named for the spongy Latin cheese bread, Pao de Queijo has opened at 31-90 30th Street, between Broadway and 31st Avenue, and is serving a Brazilian mix of snacks and batidos. [Time Out] Flatiron: Irving Mill might be Gramercy Tavern lite, but the owners are ready to expand with an Italian wine bar. Who will be the next nearby inspiration? Bar Stuzzichini? [Eater] Tribeca: Brandy Library is hosting a New York whiskey tasting on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Upper West Side: Magnolia Bakery North officially opens on Monday, but eager cupcake fiends might want to try stopping by Saturday to see if there's a soft opening. [Cupcakes Take the Cake] West Village: Josh DeChellis will make you a "naughty doggie-bag" of after-dinner treats from BarFry for Valentine's Day, but, don't worry, no fried hot dogs, just good old-fashioned strawberries and squirt-bottle chocolate. [Eat for Victory/VV]

Jonathan Waxman Is So Over Farm Chickens

Jonathan Waxman can be said to have risen to stardom on the wings of chickens, and his culinary familiar has not abandoned him yet. Barbuto, the chef’s New York restaurant, received a one-star review from Frank Bruni this week, and, as at his eighties star vehicle, Jams, the chicken was the center of attention. We talked to him about poultry, serving Bell & Evans chicken, and just how much poulet de bresse costs.

Hallowed Slice Location Now in the Hands of Grom Gelato

This week we solved one of the great mysteries of Carmine Street — when will Beard Papa reopen? (This week!) Now it’s time to solve another: What’s going into the space on the corner of Bleecker that used to be the beloved Joe’s Pizza and then Abitino’s? Not another slice joint, it turns out. Nicolo de Rienzo, co-owner of Italian gelato chain Grom, tells us he just started construction on a new store that could open there by the end of April. Grom is also in talks to team with Eataly, the Italian supermarket that plans to install its first U.S. store in the Rock Center area at 18 West 48th Street. Cones of Bleecker, you’re on notice!

New Orleans Chef to Creolize Mas for a Night

Displaced New Orleaners and their culinary sympathizers have a treat in store for them Sunday night when Galen Zamarra does a New Orleans dinner at Mas with haute Creole chef Bob Iacovone of New Orleans’ Cuvée. Iacovone is one of the leading lights of modern New Orleans cookery, and the menu represents some of his takes on classic New Orleans dishes such as a blue-crab Napoleon, a crawfish bisque with vanilla crème brûlée, and a lacquered duck in pastry. Some of what Zamarra considers his most representative dishes from Mas are offered on the menu as alternates, but then of course, Bob Iacovone is only in town cooking for one day, and having eaten at Cuvée, we can testify that he’s innovative without violating the spirit of the city's traditional cookery. The menu is $79; call the restaurant to make reservations.

The Hidden History of Starbucks; Café Carlyle Still Bumpin'

Astor Place: The building that houses Starbucks has such interesting history (saw a bloody theater riot in 1849 at what was once the Astor Place Opera House; held a barber shop where mobster Albert Anastasia got slaughtered while sitting in his chair) that Lost City has decided to target "kudzu-like chains" around town and attempt to uncover their past incarnations. [Lost City] Chinatown: Dumpling House has reopened and the renovations include tables and chairs! [Eater] East Village: Bar Veloce is returning to the space it once occupied before transforming into now deceased Room 4 Dessert. [Eater] Tribeca: Harrison Tavern has already closed after a July opening. Clearly, offering ranch-chicken pizza did not bring in herds. [Grub Street] Upper East Side: Café Carlyle has added a D.J.-hosted soirée Thursday through Saturday from midnight to 3 a.m. to its cabaret-night repertoire, and a new cocktail menu comes from the mixologist at Bemelmans Bar. [Zagat] West Village: Pichet Ong is renaming his dessert bar P*ong & Batch at the end of the month when he’ll be expanding the space to include a retail bakery. [Zagat] Williamsburg: Breakfast mecca egg (it's too cool to have a capital letter) deigns to open for dinner. [TONY]

Beard Papa Is Back With a Brand-new Invention

Creampuff
As we noted yesterday, Beard Papa is returning to 5 Carmine Street later this week and a good thing is coming to those who’ve waited. It’s a little something known as the Cookie Crunch Puff. The Papa’s COO Craig Takiguchi isn’t holding back when he lauds this as a “new innovation” — perhaps the West Village store was acting as a laboratory of sorts while it was closed all these months, à la El Bulli? In any case, BP’s version of cookies and cream will debut at the Upper West Side and West Village stores first and then come to the others in the next two months. Earlier: Beard Papa Set to Reopen in West Village This Week

Want to Eat Josh DeChellis’s Food for Free? Here’s How.

The only thing we like better than eating Josh DeChellis’s Japanese-inspired small plates is eating them for free, and thanks to BarFry’s new happy hour, we all can! West Village drinkers sample DeChellis’s sophisticated fusion creations (the tempura program having been something of a letdown) between 4 and 6 p.m. and again after 11 p.m. “It’s a chance for us to experiment, to essentially recipe-test and see what people think. Then if it goes over, I may add it to the menu,” says DeChellis.

Beard Papa Set to Reopen in West Village This Week

The infamous Sixth Avenue Taco Bell ended up becoming a T-Mobile store, but around the corner on Carmine Street, one mystery has remained: When will Beard Papa reopen? As you’ll recall, Beard Papa reopened its Astor Place store back in October, but the West Village outpost has been shuttered since August. Now COO Craig Takiguchi tells us that location will reopen for business this Thursday or early Friday with debut products in tow. This is the biggest beard news since Letterman. Earlier: Astor Place Update: Beard Papa Up, Cold Stone Creamery Down

Tribecans Don't Want Buster's Garage Back; Drink and Win Big in Park Slope

Chelsea: The Bright Food Shop space will become a Qdoba, part of a chain of Mexican restaurants. [Crazy Fingers via Blog Chelsea] Midtown West: In honor of Rockefeller Center's 75th anniversary, the ice rink and the Rock Center Café are running a special that includes a two-course dinner and skate rental for $75. [Grub Street] Park Slope: Pacific Standard now offers a Frequent Drinker program, which awards points that can be traded for prizes like an All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Williamsburg including a subway ride and dinner at Fette Sau, a membership to BAM, or a Pacific Standard Tattoo. Yes, a real tattoo. [Gothamist] Tribeca: Residents are fighting the return of rowdy Texan haunt Buster's Garage. [Fight Busters via Eater] Upper East Side: Steven Salsberg and Erminia owner Nikola Camaj are opening a "socially and environmentally" correct wine bar on Monday in the former DT UT space. [Restaurant Girl]

Gary Robins to Try His Hand at ‘Rustic Elegance’ at Sheridan Square

Gary Robins
The mystery of Gary Robins’s new West Village restaurant has been solved. The former Biltmore Room and Russian Tea Room chef tells us that his new place, in the space that formerly housed Café Rafaella and Central Kitchen, will be a New American restaurant called Sheridan Square. There will be a wood-burning oven and a wood grill, and the menu, though something of a departure from Robins’s usual luxe style, will have “a little bit of rustic elegance to it.”

Ride the Kosher Subway in Midwood; Drink at Bed-Stuy's Rustik

Astoria: What happened here food-wise in 2007? Wine bars and the bloggers’ favorite new restaurant, Il Bambino. [Joey in Astoria]
Bedford-Stuyvesant: The Rustik Tavern opens on DeKalb this afternoon; look for a full menu soon. Points for quoting Hemingway on the menu. [BedStuy Blog]
Fort Greene: The proposed food co-op starts a blog. One step closer to reality! [Brownstoner]
Midwood: Shawarma has come, at long last, to America's first kosher Subway. [Grub Street]
Upper East Side: There are over 200 restaurants here, so don’t dine in the same place more than once. [Upper East Side Informer]
West Village: Josh DeChellis is doing a late-breaking party at BarFry with composed Japanese dishes and an open bar from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. for $75. Call the restaurant to reserve. [Grub Street]
Williamsburg: Long Island’s Bridge Vineyards to open a tasting room and wine bar on Broadway. [11211side]

Dona Back and Cheaper Than Ever; Bowery Boys Spend Millions on West Village Hotel

Bensonhurst: L&B Spumoni Gardens wants to cater your Christmas pizza dinner. [Lost City] Dumbo: A liquor store is going in at 102 Jay Street next to Bridge Apothecary. [The Real Deal via Dumbo NYC] Meatpacking District: Pizza Bar has closed just as Pop Burger rises. [Eater] Midtown East: Dona returns at 206 East 58th Street … and it will be cheaper! [Restaurant Girl] West Village: Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson have reportedly purchased the Riverview Hotel for $33 million. [Hotel Chatter via Down by the Hipster]

Holiday High Tea Returns to Midtown East; Avenue B New Dining Hotbed

Dumbo: An Eva Solo Oil/Vinegar Bottle, from Tivoli Home on 111 Front Street, made this list of gifts available in the neighborhood. [Dumbo NYC] East Village: Avenue B "has developed a thriving restaurant scene" now that Back Forty has joined the ranks of classics 26 Seats and Max. Even if there were tumbleweeds at Cantina the other night. [NYT] Food critic David Rosengarten has named Il Buco his pick for restaurant of the year in his weekly e-zine called Tastings. They do have great gift-worthy chandeliers. [Grub Street] Midtown East: The Four Seasons is serving high tea with a view of its lobby’s 24-foot Christmas tree from 3 to 5 p.m. daily until December 29. [Zagat] West Village: Little owl chef Joey Campanaro created this recipe for spinach gnocchi with pancetta beurre noisette and chanterelles. [Restaurant Girl]

Bar Blanc Is So Open; Good Chinese in Sunset Park? Try Crashing a Wedding

Dumbo: Admission to Taste of Spain at the Dumbo Arts Center from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight includes a wine tasting and tapas. [Dumbo NYC] Flatiron: Boqueria is throwing a "Cava fueled fiesta" for New Year’s Eve. [Snack] Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: The empty space on the corner of Flatbush and Beekman will become a Subway, and one blogger isn’t so upset: "At first we were disappointed that a big chain was coming in, but … some Subways even have full blown salads." Nice! Just like McDonald’s. [Across the Park] Sunset Park: Sietsema may have had to crash a Chinese wedding to figure this out, but dim-sum go-to Pacificana is also good for dinner. [Eat for Victory/VV] West Village: Bar Blanc seems to be in soft-open mode. [Eater]

Sexy East Villager Open for New Year's; Bar Blanc Opening Not Imminent

East 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]

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]