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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]

An Early Look at Le Royale

Le Royale
Here we have interior shots of Le Royale, the Good Samaritan of a club that’s attaching some big ol’ jumper cables to our fair city’s nightlife. Tonight’s weekly Robot Rock party kicks off at 10 p.m., with Jamie Hince from the Kills joining resident D.J.'s Alex English and Dimitry. Granted, not as cool as Snoop Dogg reportedly appearing onstage with Reverend Run at Touch’s opening, but we have a feeling Royale’s musical chops go deeper — on December 21, Bloc Party front man Kele Okereke has at the turntables. And! A food program is set to come sometime next year — we can only hope it will include a Royale with cheese.

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]

Gusto Now Going to Look and Taste Like Centro Vinoteca

Chelsea: It doesn’t look good for those who are just getting used to the belly; pig’s ears are the latest trend, and even the version at stellar tapas spot Tía Pol was described by Peter Meehan as "crunchy and sticky with a funky pigskin flavor." [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Financial District: Don’t forget, the trial run for the proposed year-round seasonal market at South Street Seaport starts on December 16 (and Molto Mario will be there). [Grub Street] Park Slope: Tempo Presto is closing this Friday because the restaurant can’t keep up with the pricey rent. [Gowanus Lounge] Upper West Side: Dovetail‘s opening next week. [Zagat] West Village: Sasha Muniak must feel really good about the Centro Vinoteca formula; after tapping chef Anne Burrell to take over for Amanda Freitag, he plans to redesign the Gusto space by next year with help from Centro Vinoteca and Jean Georges designer Thomas Juul-Hansen. [Restaurant Girl] Andrea Strong unveils renderings of Jason Neroni’s new gig, 10 Downing. [Strong Buzz via Eater] Magnolia Bakery will be open regular hours every day this holiday season except for Christmas, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24, kids can pick up a cupcake that comes with a note to Santa. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Williamsburg: A benefit party at Supreme Trading tomorrow night promises an open Bass Ale Beer bar from 7 to 8 p.m. and "one of the most difficult cuisines to find in New York City: Rwandan." [Cakehead]

Shake Shack Instates Line-Cutting and Heat Lamps; There's Only One DB, and He's Not in Forest Hills

Carroll Gardens: Renovations seem to be happening at Jason Neroni's old haunt, Porchetta, but as of yet there are no reliable rumors about the new restaurant's pedigree. [Eater] East Village: Tasty Falafel’s eight-cent sandwich deal set for this Friday might come with more than you bargained for, like the roach pictured in this order. [Eat for Victory/VV] Flatiron: Shake Shack now accepts phone-in orders that allow burger fiends to skip to the front of the line; plus, Meyer has added heat lamps for those eating in the park. [Eater] Forest Hills: Little Danny Brown’s db Wine Bar & Kitchen at 104-02 Metropolitan Avenue just lost a trademark battle to the original DB, Daniel Boulud. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] West Village: The trick to scoring a table at tiny, cozy, exceptional restaurants like the little owl: Show up late like Charlie Rose. [Mouthing Off/Food&Wine]

Red Mango to Open December 6 With a Veritable ‘Free-Fro-All’

Official word has come that Red Mango’s first NYC location at 182 Bleecker — long a source of fascination — will open at 4 p.m. on December 6 with “FREE FROZEN YOGURT, GIFT CARDS, GIFT BAGS, MUSIC PRIZES” (emphasis theirs). Obviously they’re trying to trump Yolato which promised free fro-yo at their recent opening only to dole out sample sizes. So will Red Mango be fudging it, too? The publicist assures us “free frozen yogurt” means an honest-to-God half-cup (small-size) serving. We have this on tape (kidding). Gifts, meanwhile, will go to the first 50 people in line and will also be given to people throughout the day, especially people who can answer trivia questions like, “How many calories are in Red Mango?” That we’re not kidding about — so study up! Earlier: Cold War: Yolato Now, Red Mango in December, and MySpace Forever

Unruly Patrons Force Mas (Farmhouse) to Cut Late-Night Hours

Mas (farmhouse)
Mas (farmhouse) is giving us one less reason to love New York.* As of this Sunday, you will no longer be able to get a nice plate of American Hackleback sturgeon roe at 3 a.m., because Mas is cutting its hours to 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. Daily? Here’s the good news: Starting this week Mas will be open on Sundays, with a new room seating 25 people — available for à la carte service and private parties — that will make the restaurant 40 percent larger. Since this is truly the end of an era for industry types craving a good cocktail and some Gruyère-laced choux-pastry puffballs after a hard shift, we asked owner Galan Zamarra to tell us the new deal.

Jody Williams's Wine Bar Serving in the West Village

Greenwich Village: Send off truffle fever with a wine-sodden bang at Babbo’s December 3 Vintage series, which includes a white-truffle tasting menu with wine pairings discussed by Peter Jamros. [Grub Street] Hell’s Kitchen: Kyotofu is hosting a seven-course dinner-and-dessert sake pairing tonight at 7 p.m. [Grub Street] Midtown West: The Frederick’s space on West 58th Street will be transformed into Jour et Nuit, a French-American bistro offering, you guessed it, brasserie classics like croque monsieurs and moules frites. [Restaurant Girl] Soho: Fiamma is a little too liberal with its "Napkins of Shame," which according to Bruni are a "bit of patchwork that makes the table look clean again" to the embarrassment of the messy diner. The critic was subjected to one himself while on a date. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] The Vosges bacon-chocolate bar is accused of not reaching its potential and tasting "more like the barnyard than the pig and more like the rubber tree than the cocoa pod." [Chop Talk/Epicurious] West Village: Jody Williams is previewing her new enoteca and salumeria Gottino at Greenwich Avenue near Perry Street. [Eater] The chef’s main stage, Morandi, is also serving a Thanksgiving dinner of rosemary roasted turkey with fennel and bruschetta stuffing. Those looking for turkey alternatives can arrive early for regular breakfast. [Grub Street]