Can Downtown Support Another Steakhouse?Grimly optimistic developer Larry Silverstein announced today that Capital Grille, the steak chain with a midtown location, has signed a ground-floor lease in his 120 Broadway tower. By luring the D.C.-based operation to join neighbors like Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, Silverstein said, “downtown has become a true beckon for foodies.” (We think he meant beacon, but he said “beckon.”) In the same speech, Silverstein said 86 percent of lower Manhattan’s new businesses have come from outside the financial sector. But since there are already at least six other steakhouses in the neighborhood, can all those new nonfinancial (and presumably, more edamame-inclined) sectors keep them all in business? Silverstein argues that the influx of spendthrift apartment owners around Wall Street will attract more prominent retail, which will make the area a perfect business hub. Hmm. Sounds like Soho to us, a neighborhood that has yet to open, much less support, even one fratty meatery. —Alec Appelbaum
Chinese Restaurant, After-hours Spot Finally Goes to Sleep
The China Room, known to financial-district lunchgoers as a humdrum Chinese restaurant and known to hipsters as the location of a popular after-hours techno party, will close tomorrow. A manager tells us it’s because business has dropped off. The restaurant’s poor location — practically hidden away in the basement of an office building — better served the early-morning revelers than the deeper-pocketed lunch crowd. Yes, there are still other places to score a 5 a.m. bottle of Tsingtao, but nevertheless, we’re sad for the loss.
Earlier: Blind Item: Name That After-hours!
Yet Another Haru Opens, Appropriately on Wall StreetWhether Haru’s reputation as the Dos Caminos of the sushi trade is deserved, the chain keeps growing: This week the latest sushi megastore opens up, with all its ridiculous (and surprisingly good) specialty cocktails intact. This one is in the Beaver Building downtown and will likely mint money as fast as the other Harus. Like its parent, Benihana, Haru has found the perfect formula: good sushi, big menu, big bar, and lively atmosphere. Even though the food is better at Chanto, the dull atmosphere keeps people away (in a bad-for-business cycle). Successful Japanese restaurateurs know that Americans prefer big cocktails to kaiseki or soba noodles. All you have to do is ask Rocky Aoki, if you can find him behind his mountains of yen.
*Correction: Haru does not yet have a liquor license. The restaurant’s reps say it should come “any day now.”
Gusto Now Going to Look and Taste Like Centro VinotecaChelsea: 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]
Chris Cheung Swings in to Monkey Bar; Astoria’s Greek Restaurants ChallengingAstoria: The nabe’s Greek tapas offer a light respite from overstuffing on leftovers. [NYT] A & D Meat on 31st Street now sells organic beef. [Joey in Astoria]
Hell’s Kitchen: Not only does Bis.Co. Latte on 47th at Tenth Avenue make over 40 varieties of biscotti, but the bakery also offers seasonal soups and daily gelati. [Blog Chelsea]
Financial District: Flames Steakhouse is now an Italian restaurant called Giardino D’oro, though the chef hasn’t changed. [Restaurant Girl]
Midtown East: After dispensing with Patricia Yeo, the Monkey Bar has installed promising chef Chris Cheung, who so memorably left Almond Flower this past summer. [Eater]
Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: Lime might not be open yet, but the bar is planning a fund-raiser for a nonprofit preschool. [Across the Park]
Brooklyn’s Top Bed-and-Breakfasts; Free Cupcakes in the Financial DistrictBedford-Stuyvesant: Akwaaba Mansion at 34 Macdonough Street made it to the top of this list of Brooklyn bed-and-breakfasts. [Gridskipper]
Financial District: Crumbs has opened a bakery at 87 Beaver Street between Hanover Street and Wall Street, and to celebrate the shop will give away 1,000 cupcakes this Friday starting at 7 a.m. [Snack]
Harlem: Among its other delicacies, Fairway sells flagels, which are “to the bagel what nuggets are to fried chicken. When toasted, they are delightfully crunchy, but the inside still has the chewiness a bagel should — “just less of it” — because they’re flattened, of course. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Jackson Heights: The city’s first Tibetan street-food cart is up and running near the 74th Street stop. [Gothamist]
Lower East Side: Six Point Ales debuted a new flavor called 8 Days of Wheat at the Whole Foods Beer Room last night, and the first impression is that “it’s pretty darn good.” [Down by the Hipster]
Upper West Side: Senor Swanky’s has put its space on Columbus Avenue between 84th and 85th up for rent. So line up, if you just happen to have a business plan that incorporates giant chile peppers and underage drinking. [Eater]
Blind Item: Name That After-hours!
What Chinese restaurant by day sometimes operates as an after-hours club, complete with smoke machines and vest-wearing barkeeps? A couple of clues: It’s hidden away in the basement of a Financial District office building and LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy was spotted there late Saturday morning. Click on the headline and leave your suggestions in the comments.
‘Top Chef’ Open Call to Be Held in SohoAstoria: French-Asian restaurant Bistro 33 serves beer, wine, sake, and cocktails now that its liquor license has gone through. [Joey in Astoria]
Boerum Hill: Smith Street may be getting a McDonald’s. [Curbed]
Financial District: For $10, you can add an illegal lap dance to your lunch at Cordato’s Deli. [WCBSTV]
Hell’s Kitchen: Port Authority’s 7-Eleven has transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart for the remainder of July to promote the new Simpsons movie and is even selling Blue Woo Hoo! Vanilla Squishees and KrustyO’s cereal. [7-Eleven]
Soho: Pinkberry open at 41 Spring Street! [Eater] Open call for the next season Top Chef will be held at the French Culinary Institute on July 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Bravo]
An Ice-Cream War Breaks Out in AstoriaAstoria: A new dessert contender triggers ice-cream price wars. [Joey in Astoria]
East Village: S’MAC is celebrating its first birthday Tuesday with $1 macaroni and cheese. [S’MAC]
Financial District: As a follow-up to its winter chocolate weekends, the Exchange Hotel has introduced sundae-themed packages that include pints of ice cream delivered to your room nightly. A sundae bar, tonight only, kicks off the gluttonous launch. [NewYorkology]
Flatiron: Shake Shack closed at 3 p.m. today for a private fund-raiser and will reopen in the morning. [Eater]
Greenwich Village: Grey Dog Coffee’s second location, on University Place, should be up and running by July. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Prospect-Lefferts-Gardens: New bar Lime hopes to attract a Caribbean following once it opens. [Across the Park]
Will Goldfarb Is Changing the World, One Kiosk at a Time
The last time we checked in, Will Goldfarb, the Room 4 Dessert chef, had just begun convincing restaurants around town to outsource their dessert program to him. Now the ultracaffeinated cake whiz has colonized Battery Park, beating out some major rivals to develop and operate two lunch kiosks there. The stands won’t be open until late summer, but Goldfarb has typically high-concept plans for both. Former Thor chef Kevin Pomplun will run the kitchen, producing high-end sandwiches (a sous-vide chicken club; an oil-packed Sardinian tuna with tarragon mayo on ciabatta) and Goldfarbian desserts (pistachio panna cotta, hot chocolate mousse).
Hello, Five Guys Burgers; Bush Versus OverfishingThe Five Guys burger chain, which has fanatical adherents in Washington D.C., came to New York without anybody knowing it. And the burgers at its Queens location are outstanding. [Serious Eats]
All we have to do to replenish the ocean’s devastated fish populations is to leave them alone, which is well within the power of our unpopular president. [NYT]
Shock jocks JV and Elvis have, predictably, been fired for their idiotic Chinese-restaurant phone prank, in which they called up live to ask for “shrimp flied lice” and “some old dung.” [WNBC]
Restaurant High Trains Chefs of the Future; Les Halles Takes a BeatingWelcome to Food and Finance High, which trains New York’s future chefs and restaurateurs. They diligently study the work of Dave Thomas, the origins of pizza, and read Fast Food Nation in preparation for the job market. [NYT]
Les Halles is taking a beating: They’ve got a Department of Health closure uptown and construction troubles downtown . [NYP]
The Red Hook ball fields, home to one of the city’s greatest gatherings of Central and South American food vendors, may finally see the trucks roll in this Sunday. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Downtown Restaurants Pandering to the Plebian MassesThe financial district, of course, bustles during the day and turns into a ghost town at night. That’s bad news for its many restaurants and good news for people who like ghost towns: Tonight through Thursday, 38 downtown restaurants — including MarkJoseph Steakhouse, SouthWest NY, and Harbour Lights, among others — will be offering $30 prix fixe dinners (not accounting for tax, tip, and drinks). Do like the hedge-funders do and light your after-supper cigar with all the money you save!
To see a list of participating restaurants, visit the Downtown Alliance’s Website.
Working Lunch: Financial District EastNobody wants to walk more than three blocks for lunch during the workday. In this series, we’ll comb the city’s micro-micro-neighborhoods in search of affordable spots for dining with co-workers, eating solo, or just getting takeout.
Today: The area around the intersection of William Street and Liberty Street.