— Anthony and Tom Martignetti, the proprietors of Pizza Beach and The East Pole, are planning two new restaurants on the Upper East Side. The brothers are turning the old Sicaffe space at 964 Lexington Ave near East 70th Street into an all-day cafe/wine bar with pastries and sandwiches. The second project is a restaurant with a menu of "elevated home-cooking" in the former Flight space at 1479 York Avenue near East 78th Street. The Martignettis are pitching this one as a sister restaurant to The East Pole.
— Tonight and tomorrow night, chef Kobe Desramaults from Belgium's acclaimed In de Wulf will be cooking with Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske at Contra on Orchard Street. The tickets for the collaborative meal are $190. Here's the poster:
Reservations can be made by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
— And speaking of Contra, Bloomberg critic Tejal Rao gives two stars to its sister restaurant, Wildair: "The plates are fairly easy to share, if you’re sharing, though you won't be nudged one way or another. There’s a halved head of dressed romaine, or sometimes it’ll be butter lettuce, covered with an intricate network of dill and pistachios, bright and fluffy as a patch of happy, flowering moss. An appetizer portion of grated potato pancake, crisp at the edges, capped with sea urchin, is sliced up like a dollhouse cake."
— Zarela Martinez, the restaurateur who operated Midtown Mexican trailblazer Zarela, is raising money on IndieGoGo for an album that she's trying to record with musician Humberto Flores. Martinez was hit by a taxi many years ago and she was later diagnosed with a form of Parkinson's disease. Singing was part of her rehabilitation process. The campaign notes: "Half of what I earn from this album will be given for Parkinson's research."
— East Village ice cream parlor Mikey Likes It has an impressive mural on its metal gate that's inspired by A Christmas Story. The shop is also serving a flavor called Christmas Story, which is made with egg nog and carrot cake chunks.
— Ligaya Mishan loves many of the dishes at Malaysian coffee shop Kopitiam on the Lower East Side: "A dark, briny sambal of belacan (fermented shrimp paste) and crushed dried shrimp sends a pulse through a stir-fry of ikan bilis (anchovies) and peanuts over coconut rice in nasi lemak. A lighter sambal, leavened by turmeric, lemongrass and kalamansi, counters the funk of dried shrimp tucked into cylinders of sticky rice called pulut panggang."
— Peter Grunauer, the proprietor of four-star 80s restaurant Vienna 79, is working on a new project at 1578 First Ave in Yorkville. Dubbed Grunauer, the new restaurant will primarily serve Viennese fare, but the food will be influenced by other European cuisines as well. Grunauer tells DNAinfo: "You don’t have to stick to Vienna and you can reach out different areas — a little bit of Hungary, Italy, Southern Germany, French....It’s called the European Union. You don’t cook one niche in Europe." It's slated to open at the end of January. Another Vienna 79 veteran, Thomas Ferlesch, recently opened a Viennese restaurant in Flatbush called Werkstatt.
— A new Italian restaurant is coming to the old Perbacco space at 234 E. Fourth St. No word yet on who's behind this new restaurant, but it's going by the name Il Mago for now.
— Bruce Willis and a bud had dinner at Strip House in Midtown yesterday. Mr. Die Hard offered his unfinished bottle of wine to the staff at the end of his meal.
— Chipotle is expanding to Long Island City for the first time ever. The chain has not announced the exact address of the new shop, but it should open next year.
— And finally, here's everything you need to know about Blue Smoke's new white wings: