— Three Texans and one native New Yorker are gearing up to open a Tex-Mex restaurant on Avenue B between East Second and East Third streets called Avenida Cantina. The menu includes breakfast tacos, enchilada plates, wings, and a burger. It's slated to open tomorrow.
— Upper East Side restaurateur Joseph Allaham, the owner of kosher establishments Prime Grill and Prime Butcher Baker, is in a legal battle with the Lincoln Square Synagogue over a deal to help build and run the facility's catering hall. In the lawsuit, Allaham claims that construction delays cost him business. The synagogue, meanwhile, asserts that he owes the institution $330,000 in fees plus $1.5 million for the build-out. Allaham says that he recently received a notice from the synagogue asking him to have the case settled in a rabbinical court instead of a civil court, but he's resisting because one of the Lincoln Square rabbis is on the tribunal, so that would potentially be a conflict of interest. According to court papers, Allaham allegedly received a threat that his kosher license could be taken away if he failed to comply with the request to go to the rabbinical court.
— Black Tree BK is going to launch its chef's table next Tuesday, January 12. Chef/owner Sandy Dee Hall will serve a tasting menu (between seven and 14 courses) focusing on one theme or whole animal. Most of the ingredients will be sourced from within 300 miles of the restaurant. The dinners are $88 per person, with an optional $44 wine pairing. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 718-387-7612.
— Ligaya Mishan visits Ludlow Street newcomer Zing's Awesome Rice: "[T]he rice at Zing’s can surprise if you upgrade from white sushi rice to brown or, better yet, purple, whose bruised-looking grains are chewy within and almost crunchy without. Also known as forbidden rice, it was once believed to prolong life and was reserved for emperors, and has enough savoriness to make up for the occasional reticence of the secret sauce."
— Pratt Industries on Staten Island is now manufacturing pizza boxes made from the borough's trash. The organization handed out 1,000 boxes between nine pizzerias. If they're popular enough, Pratt Industries will try to sell them to other pizzerias in the NYC area.
— And finally, here's how Sushi Zen in Midtown prepares its fugu: