— Mark Bittman ended his Times food column over the weekend. He's stepping down from his post "to take a central role in a year-old food company," although no word yet on the name of the organization or what his role will be. The graphic accompanying his final piece for the Times is a drawing of Bittman literally taking a bow while flanked by a large prawn and a porterhouse steak wearing a toque.
— Adam Platt enjoys his time at Boston import O Ya despite the fact that the stereo is bumping classic rock and a meal for one costs north of $300:
After the oyster I enjoyed a slip of yellowtail, topped with uni harvested not from the usual sea-urchin farms out in Santa Barbara, according to my friendly sushi-ya, but by hand from the seaweed-rich shores of southern Hokkaido. Other seductive delicacies followed, including ocean trout garnished with rosy squares of puréed tomato confit; soft pats of freshwater eel flavored with, among other things, Thai basil; and an addictive little vegetable-sushi creation constructed with Italian summer truffles and a single, carefully fried fingerling-potato chip.
The critic gives the restaurant two stars, and notes that he probably wouldn't go back unless someone else was paying.
— After closing for some upgrades in August, the Sapphire Lounge on Eldridge Street has reopened as an entirely new club called Rumpus Room. Co-owner Gabriel Levy explains the inspiration: "The genesis of [Rumpus Room] for me was in spending summers as a teenager in a small town in France...There was a cool Eighties French club that had zebra and leopard print and it sort of bordered really cool and really cheesy."
— Is Whole Foods coming to the 200,000 square foot space at 28 Liberty St? That's a hot rumor that's floating around the Financial District/Tribeca right now.
— A WTC security guard was arrested this morning after getting into an altercation with a young man at the McDonald's at 160 Broadway. According to several reports, the victim allegedly put a French fry on the guard's head, which lead to an argument. The fight then moved out onto the street and the guard slashed the young man in the chest and face with a knife. The victim was rushed to Bellevue, and police apprehended the guard shortly after the incident.
— The Snowday food truck — which serves maple syrup-infused grilled cheese sandwiches and braised beef neck sliders — took home both the Vendy Cup and the People's Choice award at the Vendy Awards over the weekend. Proceeds from the truck go to Direct Change, a non-profit that trains and hires young people who spent time in jail.
— NY State Liquor Authority Commissioner Kevin Kim is co-hosting a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton this week. Tickets are $2,700 each.
— A new Vietnamese restaurant called "Bo Caphe" is coming to Cleveland Street near Spring:
[Photo: Kat Odell]
— Carnegie Deli was forced to close back in April when Con Ed workers discovered an illegal gas hook up in the basement. The restaurant remains dark, but the owners plan to reopen next month. They're currently searching for the deli's first "pickle mascot" to dress up like a clown and terrify guests while they eat.
— When A-Rod wants oysters and buffalo wings, he goes to...The Chester in the Meatpacking District.
— And finally, here's how to make salsa, guacamole, and tacos like Alex Stupak: