— Dan Kluger's as-yet-untitled Eighth Street restaurant is now slated to open in early winter. The former ABC Kitchen chef will be serving seasonally driven vegetable-focused food, and many of the dishes will be meant for sharing. The chef tells the Robs: "It is essentially my ABC." Does that mean that Klugersaurus Rex will serve a version of ABC's famed popcorn crunch sundae on Eighth Street? Only time will tell.
— So far, 13 establishments in Brooklyn and Manhattan are slated to participate in the first-ever Black Owned Restaurant Month. Starting on September 9, each restaurant will offer a $35 three-course menu for three days each week. This month-long event evolved from a list of 100 black-owned restaurants on the blog I Don't Do Clubs.
— MePa leviathan 1Oak can't serve booze for the next few days because it got in trouble with the SLA. According to Page Six, the owners were forced to pay $125,000 to settle "numerous SLA violations," and as part of the deal, the club can't serve alcohol till Wednesday. No word yet on where Leo DiCaprio will entertain his movie star friends and models in the interim.
— First Avenue Caribbean/West African restaurant Le Marecage is closed, and a marshal's note hangs on the door. The restaurant opened last fall and it was the subject of a positive Hungry City review in March.
— The East Village location of Caracas Arepa Bar has been closed for the last two weeks because of an issue related to the building's gas supply. DNAinfo reports that the owners hired Roto-Rooter to fix the problem, but the company didn't file the paperwork with ConEd in a timely fashion, so the restaurant remains closed. If everything goes according to plan, Caracas will reopen this week.
— A 65-year-old deliveryman for China Garden in Bath Beach is in critical condition after getting hit by a truck yesterday.
— Hana Japanese Sushi at 111 Rivington St. was shut down by the DOH last week. During two visits, inspectors found evidence of vermin and improperly maintained food surfaces. No word yet on when it will open.
— Critic Adam Platt and restaurateur Gabe Stulman appear in a new CBS This Morning segment about noisy dining rooms. Platt quips: "I already have hearing loss." And Stulman argues: "You can't come to a restaurant to be alone. This is something that brings people together, and it's something that continues to encourage social interactions — and I love that."
I didn’t mind the swampy green kale matzo-ball soup (spiked with okra and galangal), or the semi-spicy mapo eggplant, or even the brightly colored monkey bread, served, for extra effect, in a small flowerpot. I won’t be reordering the $28 "corn boil" (which requires you to eat a lot of slippery roughage wearing a plastic bib), but Cohen’s famous tomato cake with smoked feta is almost worth a special trip.
Plattypants also awards two stars this week to East Village Indian newcomer Babu Ji.
— After reading Ryan Sutton's dual review of Stephen Starr's MePa restaurants, The Awl's Matt Buchanan shares his thoughts on the intersection of wealth, dining, and taste in 2015 in a post titled "When Young Money Gets Hungry." It's absolutely worth a read if you care about these things, and the "tags" page of this post is just as good as the prose:
— And finally, here's how to make ice cream like Sam Mason: