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Eater Mailbag: E.U., Magnolia, Craftsteak, Shanghai Pavilion

The Friday fun continues, here with four recent gems from the Eater Mailbag. Above, from our cam-phone inbox, Eisenberg's Shake Shack run-off marketing strategy. Not the dumbest thing ever, we'll say. And now, on to the mail.

1) If the rest of my neighbors think that a boarded up graffitied garbage strewn empty building is better than a nice restaurant where you can get a nice cup of coffee with fresh air and sunlight they really do need sleep. EU is far from a loud, drunken nightclub. I will do everything I can to keep it here. I have children who have grown up on East 4th Street and I finally have a place to take them that has decent food. My wife & I no longer have to take a cab to a place far away to enjoy creative cuisine. The rest of East 4th should take their head out of their a#* and be thankful someone is opening something with taste. Then when they wipe the uh....sh...sh...stuff ....from their eyes they'll see it is not a nightclub.

2) OK, perhaps it's not the traditional deathwatch but all I'm saying is: Magnolia Bakery. Sure, the patient is breathing, has a pulse, and looks healthy to the untrained eye. But have you tried the cupcakes? I taste shortning. Look at the queue - do any of those people actually live here? Someday, maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, the Sex in the City validation of bad cupcakes will seem about as relevant as buying a black Trans Am van because it's so damn cool on Knight Rider. It's a matter of time. Mark my words.

Ahead, the bad on Craftsteak an the good on UES sleeper Shanghai Pavillion.

3) Went to Craftsteak tonight and thought I'd pass along my snippy thoughts: 1) It's a good thing it was a corporate dinner and I wasn't paying. 2) The grade 10 wagyu was outstanding. but 4 oz for $60??? 3) is there really a need to refill my 10 oz water glass every five minutes so that it's 1/8th of an inch from the top? 1/4 inch would have done nicely, thank you (I kid you not). 4) every single side had way too much butter slathered on it. that said, the wild asparagus were excellent and well seasoned otherwise. the sugar snap peas were mediocre, and the mushrooms and spinach passable. 5) the wine list is fairly awful. and they're not fooling anyone in-the-know with the 4 crates of off vintage 3rd growth bordeaux on display in the wood crates. 6) speaking of wine, the waitstaff might think to check in to see if table wants to order red wine before the meat course. Especially if they understand that the head of the table is a "regular" (of the past three weeks) from a company that has a number of red wine brands.... and is entertaining potential clients. Finally gettig a bottle to the table 20 minutes into the course must have been embarassing to someone. Maybe tommy c needs some help from that topchef sommelier guy. 7) bar was relatively dead throughout the night ... dining room full from 8pm on....

4) there is a restaurant on the upper east side called shanghai pavilion that is one of the best chinese restaurants that i have been to in this city. it never seems crowded and i can not figure out why it has be so off of everyone's radar. i'm obsessed with restaurants, dining, cooking, greenmarkets and everything around food and consider myself to have very critical taste and this place seems to get no press.

Something you'd like to say? That's what the mailbag is for.

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