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Telepan IN at Oceana, the Rise and Fall of Joey Pepperoni, and More Intel

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Steve Cuozzo loves iPic, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

[Tijuana Picnic on the Lower East Side]
[Daniel Krieger]

Bill Telepan, the nice guy chef who owned and operated Telepan on the Upper West Side for a decade, is now running the kitchen at Oceana in Midtown. Telepan, a champion of the farm-to-table movement, is not the most obvious choice to helm a high-volume Midtown seafood restaurant. But he’s got decades of experience cooking in major New American restaurants around the city — including stints at acclaimed establishments like Gotham Bar & Grill, Judson Grill, and Ansonia — so it will be interesting to see how things evolve now that he’s in the kitchen.

— The East Village dollar pizza wars have officially ended now that Joey Pepperoni’s on First Avenue near 14th Street is closed. Its mortal enemy, 2 Bros across the street, closed two years ago. At the height of the pizza wars, local standby Vinny Vincenz started offering buck slices — now it’s the only pizzeria on the block.

— Post curmudgeon Steve Cuozzo gives a thumb’s up to iPic, the Seaport’s new movie theater-restaurant hybrid: "I was dubious about the new movie theater’s promise of a ‘complete night out’ in a theater seat and skeptical of the mention of ‘celebrity’ chefs of whom I had never heard. But then I tried the plump, sweet, iodine-free shrimp and equally plump, harissa-sparked turkey sliders while watching ‘Sully,’ and I was a believer."

— The Bromberg brothers say that, despite plans to close Blue Ribbon Bakery, business in their restaurant group is booming. Bruce Bromberg tells Grub Street that the real estate market is a tough nut to crack for restaurateurs right now: "What you have to do in spaces, and the amount of permitting, and the realities of building out spaces in Manhattan … it’s not like it’s unobtainable to do smaller projects and interesting projects and passion projects, but it’s definitely become more difficult, and it tends to push you towards considering the bottom line." Blue Ribbon Bakery’s lease is up at the end of November.

Marguerite Preston visits Astoria newcomer Salvatoria Kitchen & Bar for the Voice: "The best options are drinking food — dishes meant for sharing over icy bottles of pilsner or a pitcher of sangria. That includes simple snacking options like the tamal elote con crema, a supple, sweet-corn tamale with a side of salty crema, and picadas — bite-size morsels of chorizo, chicken, steak, fried cassava, feta cheese, avocado, and more, served on a platter with toothpicks and a wedge of lemon."

According to paperwork in the window, the owners of Empire Biscuit on Avenue A owe approximately $29,000 in back rent. As EV Grieve notes, the biscuit sandwich shop was only open for a short stretch this year, and a sign that reads "peelin potatoes" has been hanging in the window for the last seven months. The owners have till Tuesday to pay up or surrender the space.

Dumbo’s famed floating restaurant The River Cafe is now serving weekday breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Proprietor Buzzy O’Keeffe tells Flo Fab that he wants to offer something "in the style of the grand hotels of Europe."

— The lights are off and nobody’s picking up the phone at Long Island City tavern Re Pub Lic 50.

— And finally, here’s a look at the mighty muffaletta at Ends Meats: