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New York's Rat Crisis, Renovations at Lucali, and More Restaurant News

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One of Soho's oldest Italian cafes is now closed, plus more restaurant news and gossip.

[The dining room at Claudette.  A solid choice for dinner downtown this evening, especially if you want to eat something on the lighter side of the spectrum.]
[The dining room at Claudette. A solid choice for dinner downtown this evening, especially if you want to eat something on the lighter side of the spectrum.]

New York is in the middle of a "rat crisis." This city is so overrun with critters that Mayor de Blasio and his team are launching a new plan aimed at dismantling rodent habitats and food sources. As part of the new protocol, restaurants might be required to hose down their garbage when it's out on the street. The number of annual rat-related complaints has spiked to over 24,000 for each of the last two years. One particularly fed-up Upper West Side woman tells the Associated Press: "It's like the Burning Man of rats...They're just sitting there in a lawn chair waiting for you. I don't know what the city can do about this rat condominium. It's really gross." Pizza Rat could not be reached for comment.

And speaking of Pizza Rat, the "Pizza Rat BLVD" sign that briefly appeared on the corner of Franklin and India streets in Greenpoint is going to be part of the new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The show was filming in the area last week.

— The ovens are cool at Lucali right now:

Public service announcement #dontmakethesamemistake

A photo posted by Lucas Peterson (@staletwizzlers) on

No word yet on when the restaurant will return.  The phone line goes straight to a message about the pizzeria undergoing construction and renovations.

40-year-old Prince Street restaurant Caffe Borgia II quietly closed not too long ago. The owners of the cafe lost their lease. Jeremiah Moss notes that two other old-school Italian coffee houses — Caffe Dante and Cafe Figaro — also closed recently. Caffe Reggio is now the last of its kind in the Greenwich Village/Soho area, which once had many establishments like this.

The cold-weather versions of Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea opened inside Industry City in Sunset Park over the weekend. The market featured food stalls from 40 Smorgasburg regulars, plus a few new additions including an ice cream stand called WOWfulls, and an operation by the name of Pazzi Pasta. The Williamsburg version of Smorgasburg will stay open through November 21.

Police are looking for a worker who stabbed a customer inside the 48-N-6th-Deli in Greenpoint last night. After the altercation, the bodega worker fled the scene.

LES NIMBYS have started a flyer campaign to get neighbors to attend tonight's CB3 SLA subcommittee meeting and voice their concerns over the proposed liquor license application for Metrograph theater. This new two-screen independent movie theater is slated to have two bars — one on each floor — plus a kitchen and enough seating in the dining/drinking areas for about 70 people. One of the flyers note that this late-night venue could create "more foot/car traffic & noise to the residents of the area."

David's, the new East Village French restaurant from chef David Malbequi (BLT group, Rotisserie Georgette), is almost ready to open. Crooked Tree restaurateur Daniel Rivera and Summit Bar's Hamid Rashidzada are also partners in this new project in the old Paprika space.

Tracy Morgan, Larry David, Tina Fey, and various members of the current SNL team partied at Heartland Brewery on 43rd Street after Saturday night's show.

— A few frankfurter fans are trying to revive Feltman's, the long-gone Coney Island restaurant that's credited with serving America's first hot dogs. After a summer pop-up at Sycamore in Ditmas Park, the Feltman's team is now serving hot dogs out of the kitchen at Augurs Well, the bar next to Crif Dogs in the East Village. Eventually, restaurateur Michael Quinn wants to bring Feltman's back to Coney Island, but for now it's just a pop-up in the bar.

Signage in the window of 14 Delancey St. indicates that a new location of acclaimed patisserie Ceci Cela is coming to the storefront. The space  currently houses a stone store that's having a moving sale right now.

A new location of Chipotle is coming to 286 First Avenue near Stuy-Town.

— And finally, here's how to make fresh gnocchi like Lidia Bastianich:


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