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Dish: Maoz, Birdies, Central Kitchen, D'or, Murray Street Grill

No lukewarm leftovers here—we've got some piping hot, fresh Dish for you today.

1) Birdies: A very informative tipster has the word on a new East Village fried chicken spot. "Birdies has opened in the space where Flor's Kitchen (on your closed list) was at 149 First Avenue. It's specialty is chicken and all types of southern sides (collard greens, yams, black eyed peas, mac and cheese, etc.) FYI, that same space was previously the original location of Black Hound Bakery which is now on Second Avenue. Before that it was the kitchen for a catering company owned by the Gracie Mansion chef for Mayor Koch. The chef was fired and the business closed when it was discovered he was diverting deliveries of provisions from Gracie Mansion to his catering business." Some how we've veered off topic. Must. Focus. (149 First Ave between 9th and 10th Sts, (212) 529-2512). [Eater Inbox]

2) Central Kitchen: The owners of new West Village tapas spot Tasca have just opened another restaurant, this one an American brasserie turning out dishes like tamarind-glazed spareribs and chorizo-and-shrimp ravioli. And to the primo Steven Hall PR blah blah we go: "Yes, the word 'brasserie' gets tossed around more than all the salads in suburbia. Yet Central Kitchen aspires to the classic New York style (that Blue Ribbon has set as golden standard). Seats up front at the bar are best for those who enjoy people-watching. If you enjoy chef watching (chefs are not people) then ask for a table in the main dining room. And if you enjoy wine watching, you'll be pleasantly impressed by the classic library floor-to-ceiling wall of wines, with the apropos library ladder." Anyone still awake? You guys in the back need a pillow? The place doesn't open officially until Monday, but smooth talkers can sneak their way in this weekend. (134 Seventh Ave South btwn Charles and 10th Sts, (212) 352-2230). [EaterWire]

2007_03_Maoz.jpg3) Maoz: Falafel joint Maoz is now open in Union Square and The Robs have a not-entirely-positive report, "An early tasting revealed the falafel balls to be mini-muffin-shaped, with a crispy exterior and fresh, nutty flavor, and the salads varying between humdrum winter tomatoes and pitted olives to pink pickled baby eggplants, herb-dappled couscous, and soft roasted cauliflower." All in all, it boils down to a new, not too exciting pita joint. And this warrants NY Mag photo treatment? Must've been a slow week. (38 Union Sq East at 16th St, (212) 260-1988). [Rob and Robin for Mutlets]

4) D'Or: Greg Brier (Aspen) and Vikram Chatwal (Dream Hotel) have a new lounge adjacent to their recently-opened restaurant Amalia. The decor is, we hear, "dilapidated Prague mansion" with "chocolate leather banquettes...perforated metal ceilings...[and] a luminescent, gold-faced bar." Maybe the duo believes Hell's Kitchen to be the next north Chelsea? (204 W 55th St btwn Seventh Ave and Broadway, (212) 245-1234). [Rare Daily]

2007_03_Hibino.jpg5) Hibino: We've been monitoring the process on their blog, and now the folks behind Hibino are finally ready to open the doors to their Japanese restaurant. Via the inbox, we have that the place will be "a new restaurant that serves Japanese comfort food featuring "Kyoto-style Obanzai" (daily home-style small dishes / tapas), new and traditional style Sushi, and fresh made Tofu at a reasonable price with generous portions." (333 Henry St at Pacific St, (718) 260-8052). [Eater Inbox]

6) Murray Street Grill: A text-message-like note from a reader, "New American Bistro,, read their ad in the Tribeca Trib. When with my family this Saturday night, had a great meal for a very nice price, then at around quarter to 10 they had a great blues band playing in a performance space away from there dinning room." (6 Murray St at Broadway, (212) 566-8200). [Eater Inbox]

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