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Moonstruck Expansion, Non-Wine Sommeliers, Gael Remembers Vergé, and More A.M. Intel

Fresh from the bubbling grease trap: six pieces of restaurant news and gossip to start your day.

Daniel Krieger

— Moonstruck — a diner that has been home to many teary, awkward, NYU break-ups over the years — is expanding to the former Ethos Mezze East Village space at 167 Avenue A. Elsewhere in the East Village, the owner of Tompkins Square Bagels says that he plans to open his new location at 184 Second Avenue in December.

New York now has all sorts of "sommeliers" that don't serve wine, but rather tea, hot sauce, mustard, etc.

— 25 Starbucks locations in New York will soon sell cookies from French bakery La Boulange.

— Arthur Avenue favorite Palombo bakery is opening a new location near Yankee Stadium today.

— The owner of Square Diner, a greasy spoon survivor on Leonard Street, tells Tribeca Citizen how the scene at the restaurant has changed over the last decade and a half: "Our business was mostly lunch back then, workers in the neighborhood. Now all the offices have been converted to high-end luxury condos and our slowest days—Saturday and Sunday—have turned into our busiest. "

As a tribute to recently deceased French icon Roger Vergé, Gael Greene re-publishes a travel piece she wrote in 1976 about cooking with the chef in Napa:

An academic exercise quickly blossoms into a house party, escalating finally into sensory blitz. Buttery croissants at breakfast. Sublime cheese at lunch. Vergé's tarte tatin made with High Tree's own walnuts. We are learning the technique of his fragile vegetable timbales, the simple sorcery of bass fillets napped in Vermouth spiked cream. The princely côte de beouf is served in slices sauced with a silken "bordelaise" of California Cabernet flavored with shallot and a hint of vinegar. Vergé's lobster fricassée stuns the mouth with its exquisite pool of butter, cream and golden Sauternes.

Check out Gael, Roger, and their crew:

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