1) The Cuozz discovers the joys of the internet when coupled with flying insects, thanks to the Department of Health's "new" searchable restaurant inspection site, now up-and-running after "initially crashing from user overload." Surprises: Pampano is dirty, White Castle is clean, anthrax is scarier than mice.
2) FloFab notes that Zakarian's latest, Country, has finally finally finally opened. The critical take? "Elaborate." Tom Colicchio tones Craftbar down to sandwiches and salads, in-house talent Akthar Nawab leaves. Meantime, in the East Village, Jack and Grace Lamb refuse to give up with Jewel Bako Robato/Grace's Kalbi Bar and decide to head a little further culinarily west, planning to re-open in April with French and Spanish-inspired counter service. Their new resto, Degustation, is actually a concept they promised New York Times Magazine readers several years ago, but never delivered on.
3) Keil clarifies his David Emil and Tom Valenti report of last week, saying that they're just "in talks," openly mourns Grilled Cheese NYC (who isn't?), and brings the news that Junior's is bringing their (best, at least in the early '70's) cheesecake to Times Square.
4) Strong has more on Colicchio remaking Craftbar ("more of a neighborhood spot with a lower price point, more snacks—the return of the fried stuffed sage leaves—and lots of pasta"). Also: East 1st Street foodie haven The Tasting Room will be moving to new, larger digs in Nolita (Elizabeth between Houston and Prince) in the spring. Seating will jump from 35 to 100.
· Dirty Little Secrets [NYPost]
· Off the Menu [NYT]
· Junior's Gets a Growth Spurt [NYPost]
· The StrongBuzz [Andrea Strong]