— Matthew Lightner, the chef that dazzled diners at Tribeca tasting menu restaurant Atera, is headed out to Napa, California to open a new three-story restaurant/bar project in the space that currently houses AvroKo's The Thomas. Lighter is actually working with the design/hospitality group to sparedhead its "West Coast culinary operations," Inside Scoop reports. The new Lightner/AvroKo restaurant, dubbed Ninebark, will open next year. Ryan Sutton awarded four stars to Lightner's cooking at Atera back in September. Danish chef Ronny Emborg took over the kitchen in May.
— Carmine's Original Pizza, a solid Greenpoint slice shop with amazing signage, is calling it quits. On Facebook, Carmine tells his loyal customers:
After 35 years of serving pizza in the great neighborhood of Greenpoint, I have decided that it is finally time to retire. I thank every person who ever walked into Carmine’s Original Pizza for your business, your conversation and your friendship. I will remember and miss you all. Each day was truly a pleasure because of you!
Here's one last look at that great signage:
No word yet on the exact closing date. The Carmine's Facebook page is flooded with memories and pictures from fans.
— Longtime Le Bilboquet maitre d' William Abadie is leaving that ultra-clubby Upper East Side restaurant to focus on throwing parties. The restaurant is hiring former La Goulue maitre d’ Craig Pogson to take his place. And, as it turns out, La Goulue is still planning a comeback somewhere on East 61st Street. The UES Frenchie closed in 2009 after 36 years in business.
— Workers were emptying the contents of Calexico Lower East Side yesterday. A sign note that it's "closed for renovations and repair," but Bowery Boogie guesses that it's probably dunzo.
— Tribeca Italian restaurant Il Giglio has closed for good after 26 years in business. A Tribeca Citizen commenter saw workers removing the booths and fixtures last week.
— After getting eviction notices, a string of delis and mom-and-pop shops on a block of Washington Heights have hung colorful "Gentrification in Progress Sale" signs. A fruit stand on the block has been rebranded as "The Nueva Frutera El Buen Hipster," with a sign advertising "Locally-Skimmed Pond Scum Smoothies, $7.99."
— And finally: Is David Chang planning a doughnut-wrapped fried chicken sandwich at Fuku?
And is he also planning a Juicy Lucy bun?
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