Pies-N-Thighs Will Survive in Williamsburg; Pastrami Queen Extends Reign toAstoria: Last-minute Valentine’s Day options from Joey. [Joey in Astoria] The Foodista’s include JJ’s Asian Fusion and Sushi Bar, which isn’t trying to do anything special for the holiday. [Foodista]
Brooklyn Heights: The bartender at Jack the Horse Tavern, Maxwell Britten, created a timely cocktail called Love Lane, which combines Prosecco, harvest syrup, house-made brandy, poached cherries, and rose water. Ladies on the town tomorrow take note: It’s a sexy drink, and he’s pretty cute. [Vittles Vamp via Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Chelsea: The owners of Pastrami Queen have opened a delicatessen in Chelsea Market called Friedman’s. [NYT]
Clinton Hill: June reopens tonight after dealing with multiple break-ins. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Little Italy: Gimme! Coffee has opened its first Manhattan outlet at 228 Mott Street between Prince and Spring streets. [NYS]
Upper West Side: Ruby Foo’s new lunch plan includes free wi-fi. [Zagat]
Williamsburg: Pies-N-Thighs seems to have already found a new home at 166 South 4th Street. [Eater]
Don’t Be an Ass, You’ll Be Made to Wait; Park Slope Gets Its BeerClinton Hill: John’s Donut Shop & Restaurant looks like an unassuming diner, but a recent visit revealed an actual wait. Do people know something we don’t know? [Clinton Hill Blog]
Dumbo: Water Street Restaurant is promoting $3 Draft Beers and a 2-for-1 Cheeseburger Special on Sunday. [Dumbo NYC]
Flatiron: If you get to Hill Country at 8 p.m. on a Saturday and come 9 p.m. you’re still waiting for a table, you’ve now struck “Shot o’clock,” according to GM John Shaw, “gratis shots for all at the bar.” [Eater]
Little Italy: This is proof that the city’s nightlife is still hot: “Degenerates of nyc in full swing at gold bar. 19 yr old Brazilians having makeshift photo shoots as the party floods into the D.J. booth to play with the new mac computers.” Only Bangkok could be hotter than that! [Down by the Hipster]
Park Slope: Beer Table, whose SLA woes were chronicled by the Times this week, will open Saturday. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Tribeca: A bit of diner rudeness has been spotted around town lately — stool-swiping, line-cutting, table-hogging — but there’s a bit of consolation (and warning to offenders): Nobu co-owner Richie Notar revealed “they get secretly punished with extra-long waits.” [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Edible Jewelry for ‘Commitmentphobes’; Midtown East Welcomes AdourEast Village: TKettle owner Andy Pan is still waiting for his partner BBQ Chicken to open, but “it’s killing me softly,” he says.
[Eat for Victory/VV]
Little Italy: Send a mixed signal to your love this Valentine’s Day with a candy ring from Papabubble. [TONY]
Lower East Side: Tomorrow night at Suba is a pata negra feast, which includes dishes made with “Ossabaw Island hogs, the ‘long lost cousin of the Pata Negra’” paired with Spanish wines. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Midtown East: Initial reactions to Adour are already mostly positive, but no one else has noticed the specially reserved handbag seating, yet. [Eater]
Rockefeller Center: On Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m., Morrell is hosting a tasting of La Caravelle Grand Cru to celebrate the Champagne’s ten-year anniversary. [Snack]
Little Chitaly Bakery and Bar Is Not As Gentrifying As It SeemsThe transformation of a Broome Street herbal-medicine shop into a twenty-seat daytime café and nighttime wine bar, Oro Bakery and Bar, might strike some as a sign of gentrification — especially with Papabubble across the street — but owner Dorina Yuen is actually a Chinese-American with deep neighborhood roots. She’s showing a commitment to proximity by using locally sourced ingredients for savory quiches and French country-inspired sandwiches including a jumbo shrimp rémoulade tartine, and a baguette of country ham with cornichons, butter, and fresh chive. During nighttime hours, the focus shifts from organic coffee to beers, sparkling sake, and ten wines by the glass. A bar menu coming later this month will soon include charcuterie, cheese plates, and pâté toast points.
Oro Bakery and Bar, 375 Broome St., nr. Mott St.; 212-941-6368.
Chris Eddy of Barmarché and industry (food) Goes After Forty Deuce SpaceWe’re hearing that Chris Eddy, partner in industry (food) and creator of Barmarché is seeking to open a sushi-fusion restaurant in the beleaguered Forty Deuce space. There was apparently no resolution about the liquor-license application at last week’s community-board meeting, but it seems neighborhood activists are wary. Since they’re already nervous about a 270-room Mondrian hotel with a “glamorous restaurant” going up at 150 Lafayette Street and perhaps leery of Eddy’s background “managing Manhattan’s well-known nightspots and high-profile restaurants such as Mercer Kitchen, Bond St., Lotus, and Bungalow 8” (per his bio), they weren’t all that happy about high-end sushi coming to the nabe. For our part, we think Eddy has proven himself to the neighborhood with Barmarché, a reliable, relatively low-key destination for great cocktails.
Cha Cha, Maker of World’s No. 1 Cannoli, in Juicing ShockerWe’ve been known to stop into Cha Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo for a Leonardo DiCaprio Frozen Titanic in a souvenir glass, though we’ve never actually seen Leo as the Website says we might. We do often see proprietor Cha Cha — friend of the Sopranos, former promoter of Tony Danza’s boxing career, and the “Unofficial Mayor of Little Italy.” In addition to the “#1 cannoli in the world” (natch), Cha Cha peddles gutbusters like a Mt. Vesuvius Tort consisting of three layers of brownies, cheesecake, and chocolate mousse — which is why we were shocked to hear, on WOR’s Joey Reynolds Show, that Cha Cha has become a health nut and a juicing fanatic and takes most of his meals through a straw. Basta! This is way more disheartening than yesterday’s revelations that Clemens juiced — Cha Cha, say it ain’t so!
Cha Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo [Official site]
The Underground Gourmet
Steve Schirripa Has No Problem With Little Italy, Steaks
In his new cable cooking show, Steve Schirripa’s Hungry (Lifeskool network, debuting December 6), Uncle June’s faithful manservant Bobby Baccalieri tours his favorite New York Italian kitchens and takes some sauce-splattered pointers from pals like Rao’s Frank Pellegrino and Peasant’s Frank De Carlo. Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld asked the man Tony Soprano immortalized as a “calzone with legs” to expound on his favorite pastime — eating on and off the set.
There are a lot of cooking shows out there these days. What distinguishes yours from the competition?
This is a real guy going into a real kitchen; I think after you watch this, you’re really going to learn how to make the meatballs from Rao’s. It’s a combination of talking, comedy, and how-to.
Who does the cooking at home?
My wife; I eat, she cooks. Which is why I’m doing this new show. They’re teaching me how to cook.
In one episode, you spotlight the Mulberry Street restaurant Il Cortile. Do you think that Little Italy gets a bad rap?
I think it does. First of all, it’s a lot of fun down there. There’s a lot of tourists, but Il Cortile is as good an Italian restaurant as any in the city.
L’asso Ropes in a Full Liquor LicenseWe didn’t think things could get any better at L’asso, the hipster’s go-to pizza place in Nolita. After all: Nutella pies! Marshmallow pies! But after over three years of tossing them into the wood-fired brick oven, L’asso finally has a liquor license. They’re adjusting from wine and beer slowly (last night our server didn’t know what a Dark and Stormy was, though it was on the menu), but once they come around, we’re confident there will never again be a reason to join the line at Lombardi’s.
Rockabilly Bar in Progress on the LES; Dévi Reopens With a DiscountAstoria: “A lot of people in town are excited” about the 7-Eleven that just opened on 30th Avenue and 30th Street, so much so that the Slurpee machine may have broken from overuse. [Joey in Astoria]
Clinton Hill: No more soft opening! Speakeasy from former Top Cheftestant Josie Malave opens tonight, and photos taken of the menu in the window reveal such inspired dishes as zucchini sticks and fettuccine with spinach and sun-dried tomato. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Flatiron: Dévi reopens tonight, and the dinner menu will be 20 percent off through November 20. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Little Italy: Papabubble’s grand-opening party went well on Saturday; as you can see from these pics, the “walls were fully stocked with fresh candy, open jars with samples were everywhere, and … stateside Papabubble proprietors, even put on a little candy making show.” [Down by the Hipster]
Lower East Side: Fat Baby and Spitzer’s Corner owners Rob and Will Shamlian seem well on their way to opening a rockabilly bar and restaurant at 133 Essex Street, minus a liquor license and a mechanical bull. [Eater]
Sunset Park: Pepper and salt fish are tiny fish deep-fried in a batter that puffs up like funnel cake; they go well with abundant mini-shots of beer, and conveniently both are served at Ren Ren on Eighth Avenue every day until 3:30 a.m. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Taco War Is On: ‘Authentic’ Newcomer Pinche Calls Out La Esquina
We consider Jeffrey Chartier, a partner in Soho Films, a brave man for opening Pinche taqueria a stone’s throw from La Esquina, but he is convinced the authenticity of his product will carry him (and hopes it’ll be the first in a chain). “This is the first real authentic taqueria in New York City,” he boasts, and make no mistake, that includes his neighbor. “La Esquina is nowhere near authentic as far as I’m concerned.” So how is Pinche different?
Cult Candy Shop Papabubble Introduces Itself to Little Italy
The first U.S. outpost of Papabubble (which also has locations in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Tokyo) was originally slated to open today, and though delays mean you’ll have to wait till this weekend for “sugar drops” and other colorful confections made on site, we’re happy to report that the cult candy shop’s sign, at least, has been unveiled. Workers are still puttering around the interior, but we spied weathered dark-wood floors, an elegant subway-tile wall much like Despaña’s down the road, and beakers full of glowing liquids behind the counter. No product in site just yet, but the Marie Belle chocolate store, just one block over on Broome, has to be very nervous about this. Papabubble opens Saturday night with a party, and everyone’s invited.
Papabubble, 380 Broome St., nr. Mott St.; Papabubble.com.
Is Da Domenico’s Down for Good?We were saddened to see that signs on the door of sandwich mecca da Domenico’s say it’s “TEMPORARILY CLOSED due to family problems.” Let’s hope the closure isn’t permanent, since Dom’s (as da Domenico’s was called back when it was on Lafayette Street) is one of Little Italy’s beloved institutions. Don’t believe it? Just look at some of the well wishes that about a dozen passersby have scrawled on owner Frank Migliori’s closing note: “I hope everything resolves itself for the good,” “We miss you!,” “Come back soon,” and the like. If only Ivan Kane could get that love from Little Italy residents.
Earlier: Chinatown/Little Italy Deli Dearth Comes to an End
Long Island Oyster Boom; North African Bakery Heats Up AstoriaAstoria: Patisserie la Brioche D’Or has just opened on Steinway at 25th Avenue and is baking up some French pastries and delicious North African treats. [Joey in Astoria]
East Village: Leaving the old classic Kiev sign above the new garish American Grill one is like a slap in to old schoolers who remember their old haunt. [Lost City]
Fort Greene: Mo-Bay Caribbean joint has given up the ghost, and a wine bar is taking its place. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Little Italy: San Gennaro’s fast-food frenzy ends today, but there are still a few restaurants in the area where you can eat a normal meal. [NYT]
Midtown East: Shinbashi sushi restaurant helped introduce raw-fish consumption to New York in the seventies. Now it can be found in the former Savannah Steak space on 48th Street. [Restaurant Girl]
Sagaponack: Townline BBQ impresses as being legitimately Texan, at least by Hamptons standards. [NYT]
Southampton: Long Island oysters are plump and sweet and now being sought after by restaurants from the Hamptons to Manhattan. [Newsday]
Boerum Hill Gains Food Cred; Aureole ReopensAstoria: Spanking-new spot La Dolce Italia Bakery has, ironically, replaced the old Modern Italian Bakery. [Joey in Astoria]
Boerum Hill: Five recent openings have contributed to the neighborhood’s growing food cred. [NYT]
Union Square: The Greenmarket is selling teeny baby peaches that were too sweet and adorable to just get knocked-off their trees. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]
Upper East Side: Aureole reopens this Friday and will treat each diner on Friday and Saturday night to a glass of house wine. [Eater]
West Village: Joey Campanaro is hiring staff who will serve and sell Pat LaFrieda ground beef at Market Table. [Eat for Victory/VV] Day-O has been closed for months with no signs of progress on blamed “repairs.” [Blog Chelsea]
Neighbors Aren’t Feeling Sting and Bowie’s Burlesque ClubIn a bit of dog-bites-man news, it seems certain neighbors aren’t digging the idea of Forty Deuce, the burlesque club that’s due to replace Little Charlie’s Clam Bar at 19 Kenmare Street. Screams this flyer we found on Grand and Mott today: “OUR LITTLE ITALY / CHINATOWN / BOWERY / NOLITA COMMUNITY IS NOT GOING TO BE THE NEW ‘TIMES SQUARE’ FOR UPSCALE TRENDY LATE-NIGHT PARTY-GOERS.” Are these the same citizens-on-patrol who are trying to get the Box closed because it wasn’t the “cultural institution” it promised to be? We advise them to tune in here, because we hear something big — bigger even than Double Happiness’ upscale trendy makeover, maybe — is coming to the LitItChiBoNo neighborhood soon.
Earlier: Bowie’s Burlesque Club to Give the Box a Run for Its Money
Double Happiness to Get $1 Million Makeover, Reopen to Privileged Few
La Esquina Laying Breakfast Eggs on Little ItalyEast Village: If you’re a police officer, a nurse, or another kind of emergency service responder, S’MAC will give you a 15 percent discount on your order now through Labor Day. [S’MAC]
Flatiron: The name of the new Gansevoort coming to Park Avenue will be … Gansevoort Park. [Down by the Hipster]
Harlem: More mega-chain fast food coming soon. [Uptown Flavor]
Little Italy: La Esquina now serves breakfast. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Midtown East: Tonight at the Mercedes Benz showroom, Adirondack Creamery and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory will dole out green-tea, kulfi-pistachio-cardamom, and almond-cookie ice creams (among other flavors) to ticket holders supporting Asian Women in Business. [AWIB]
Midtown West: On August 23, former Maya chef de cuisine Julian Medina is opening his own nouveau Mexican restaurant called Toloache at 251 West 50th Street. [Grub Street]
Double Happiness to Get $1 Million Makeover, Reopen to Privileged Few
Club promoter, artist, and former model Emma Cleary has purchased the bi-level space that currently houses Double Happiness and plans to reopen it, by New Year’s, only to those who can get onto the list. Her partner in the sale, brokered by Karma McDermett of Stevens & Co., is a managing director at JP Morgan. Cleary tells us the upstairs, which currently houses Palais Royale, will revert to its former incarnation as a restaurant (remember Wyanoka?) with Ulrich Sterling of 5 Ninth and SushiSamba turning out a ten-item menu of gourmet bar food. “Places like the Box and 205 are catering to the Lower East Side crowd,” Cleary says. “I’m going for more of the models, investment bankers, and celebrities.” Just how that will sit with the neighbors remains to be seen: At yesterday’s CB2 meeting, there were cries that the area outside of Double Happiness had become “party central,” causing Cleary to pen a missive, reprinted here for anyone who cares, laying out her plans for a $1 million swankification.
Old Frenchmen Pass Facial Inspection at GoldBar in Little ItalyBrooklyn Heights: “Closed by the Commissioner of Health” clearly taken lightly at Heights Cafe where diners have been spotted munching the mediocre fare. [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Chelsea: Richard Ruben, author of The Farmer’s Market Cookbook, will host classes at the Institute of Culinary Education starting June 1 that begin with an ingredient hunt at Union Square’s Greenmarket. [Blog Chelsea]
East Hampton: Restaurants open seven days starting this weekend, including Nick & Toni’s and Harbor Bistro. [Hamptons.com]
Fort Greene: Locals search for answers to the fate of the space at Lafayette and Cumberland Avenues, have high hopes for Thai but as yet no answers. [Brooklyn Record]
Little Italy: A two-way mirror intensifies the door policy at GoldBar, but if you have a face like an old Frenchman, you shouldn’t have a problem. [Down by the Hipster]
Prospect Heights: Flatbush Farm hosting another barbecue this weekend. [Eater]
Alfresco Alert: La Esquina Gets Sidewalk Seating
As if La Esquina weren’t sceney enough, everyone’s favorite mock taqueria now has first-come-first-serve sidewalk seating from 6 p.m. to midnight, essentially making it the Pastis of Little Italy and bringing the neighborhood, with the help of Bowie’s burlesque joint, one step closer to becoming the meatpacking district. By the way, while we’re on the subject: Please, people, it’s pronounced Es-KEE-na and not Es-QUEE-na. And (same people) don’t refer to empa-NA-das as em-PIÑATAs unless you’re actually planning to strike them with a bat to make meat rain from them. That’s all.
Little Italy Mobster Institution No Longer in the FamilyJames Famularo, one of the brokers responsible for dropping GoldBar onto Little Italy like a ton of bricks, brings us news that 19 Kenmare, the building housing neighborhood institution (and onetime mobster hangout) Little Charlie’s Clam Bar has been sold to David Zahabian, a landlord who also owns the building where the Puma store is located. This is the first time the old-time pasta spot has changed ownership since it opened in 1926, having been run by four generations of the Filipazo family ever since. Although Zahabian, who is not a restaurateur, will be running Little Charlie’s as of the closing (said to be in the $10 million neighborhood) a couple of days ago, it’s not a stretch to assume he’ll find a more experienced operator who may or may not shake things up, so you might want to put in that order of linguini and clam sauce fast.
Mirrors, Mirrors in the Stall at Umberto’s Clam HouseUmberto’s Clam House is best known as the place where mobster Crazy Joe Gallo was gunned down while eating scungilli with clam sauce; these days the pasta mill is a couple of blocks away from its original location and the only thing likely to kill you is the massive plate of butter-bombed linguine Alfredo (though just as cheesy maritime décor may well blind you). Still, after eating with our backs to the wall we decided to check out the restrooms in order to see a side of New York City to which only tourists are, well, privy.
Worst Celebrity Tip Ever; San Gennaro All Done?If the community board’s street-events committee has its way, the San Gennaro festival may get the boot from Little Italy. [NYDN]
Jeremy Piven is now banned from all Nobu restaurants for taking a table for twelve in Aspen and then tipping the waiter with an Entourage DVD. [Jewtastic]
A morbid look, inspired by the DeMarco’s tragedy, at the history of restaurant shootings and their aftermaths. [NYS]
GoldBar Doesn’t Want You to Steal Its Soul
We thought we had witnessed the height of GoldBar’s arrogance when we peeped the oil paintings of the owners opening night, but walking by recently, we noticed something else: The de rigueur velvet ropes have been replaced by gold chains barely fit for blinging out a sucka MC. We would’ve photographed them, but according to not one but two plaques, there is NO PHOTOGRAPHY PERMITTED. What does this place think this is, the Vatican? And what’s next, a no flip-flops rule? —Daniel Maurer
GoldBar Finally Emerges from the Vault
You might have heard a little bit about GoldBar lately. It’s the hottest thing since Death & Co. two weeks ago and until Star Lounge goes into soft launch … this weekend. We were pretty confident the décor of this Cain offshoot would be gold, and the involvement of skulls seemed likely. But until last night’s opening to “friends and family,” all details were little more than informed speculation. Now, finally, the truth can be told.
Is GoldBar Readying Its Blowtorches for Cain’s Biggest Spenders?The plot grows thicker in the curious case of Little Italy hot-spot-to-be GoldBar: A tipster says the owners of Cain (who are joined in the secretive opening by David Tetens, former operator of Lotus) have been tracking that bar’s biggest spenders so they can give them VIP cards for the new place. (“As for Cain tracking top clients, of course they do …” e-mails a publicist. “But are Cain clients getting VIP cards to GoldBar? NO.”) So what can we expect when it opens on February 1?
Cain’s Secret Project to Bring a Whole Lotta Bling to Little Italy
Cain’s owner Jamie Mullholland says he isn’t spilling the beans on his new Nolita joint Gold Bar until it opens in January, but James Famularo, broker for the space’s former tenant, Odea, reveals that designer Robert McKinley (PM, Cain) has completely draped what’s to be a Pangea-like restaurant and bottle lounge in its namesake element: Gold-leaf ceilings, gold chains separating railroad-style rooms (unlike Odea’s enclosed areas), and the coup de grace, 3,000 gilded fake skulls covering the walls. Plus, there will be captain chairs at a low-slung bar. In other news, trendsetter La Esquina and newcomer Bar Martignetti will soon have more company in their area: Famularo says he’s talking to major operators about four other spaces within a three-block radius. “A year ago all the calls we got were for the meatpacking and West Chelsea. Now it’s all for the Little Italy–Nolita area.” Lot attendants, we suggest you learn how to park an H2. — Daniel Maurer
Chef Goes From ‘Gag’ to GreatThis week, the food scribes turned in more raves than rants. Naturally, we lead with a rant.
• Frank Bruni, bucking the beau monde and betting odds, comes down with both feet on Freemans, the hipster hideaway beloved by downtown boulevardiers. (NYT)