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Xi'an Expands to Kenmare, Empellon's 'Study in Salsa Verde,' and More Intel

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Tracy Obolsky is leaving North End Grill, plus more restaurant news and gossip.

[The dining room at Roberta's, an especially great choice for Friday lunch.]
[The dining room at Roberta's, an especially great choice for Friday lunch.]
Daniel Krieger

The tenth location of Xi'an Famous foods is currently in the works down in Little Italy. Bowery Boogie notices signage for Jason Wang's wildly popular Western Chinese restaurant chainlet in the window of the former Asiadog space at 66 Kenmare Street. No word yet on an exact opening date.

— The Modern kicked off its no-gratuity "Hospitality Included" service yesterday, but some patrons still left tips. One diner tells the Post: "We left it and ran. [The server] was very polite and did not want to accept it, but we felt she had made such beautiful wine choices and she needed to be rewarded for her extra effort."

Ligaya Mishan is pleasantly surprised by many of the dishes at vegan fast casual restaurant By Chloe: "Shiitake mushrooms are labeled as bacon, but it’s their natural subterranean, meaty essence that comes out when baked at high heat until they shrivel in on themselves, like a forest’s blackened, salty tears. They accent a kale and romaine salad whose miso-lemon-caper dressing and crush of almonds, enriched by nutritional yeast and maple syrup, winks at a Caesar without kowtowing to it." The critic recommends skipping the mac and cheese, the meatball sub, and the Thai salad.

— North End Grill's super-talented pastry chef Tracy Obolsky is leaving the restaurant next week. Obolsky has not yet announced any future projects.

— Lorne Michaels celebrated his birthday at '21' Club with Steven Spielberg, Fred Armisen, Jon Hamm, and Emma Stone.

— New York now has "a study in salsa verde." You can find it only at Empellon Cocina:

—The market portion of Dimes Deli on Division Street is almost ready. If everything goes according to plan, it should open early next month.

— Basera Indian Bistro in Hell's Kitchen was shut down on Monday after racking up a whopping 106 points during a DOH inspection. The restaurant reopened yesterday with a "Grade Pending" sign in the window. In other DOH news, Crepes & Delices on West 72nd Street was also shuttered after an inspection yesterday. The restaurant had 50 violation points. No word yet on when it will return.

The owner of Beer Culture in Hell's Kitchen is planning to open a new bar at 228 West 72nd Street called Gebhard’s Beer Culture. It's slated to open in April or May. West Side Rag also notes that a spinoff of Reunion Surf Bar is coming to 320 Amsterdam Avenue. Dubbed Playa Betty's, the new restaurant will serve "California-style beach food."

— Every Friday night for the foreseeable future, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., George Mendes will shuck oysters behind the bar at Aldea.  For the launch of this late-night special, tonight's guests will get one free oyster each and a cocktail made with Death's Door vodka.

— And finally, here are some rules to keep in mind next time you visit a steakhouse:

The Modern

9 West 53rd Street, Manhattan, NY 10019 (212) 333-1220 Visit Website

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