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Mario Batali Arrives at the White House, Lena Dunham Gets an Odeon Tattoo, and More Intel

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Ichiran readies its debut, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

[The dining room at Pearl & Ash]
[Daniel Krieger]

Mario Batali is at the White House today preparing for tomorrow night’s state dinner, honoring Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy. First Lady Michelle Obama did some preliminary planning for this meal last month when she visited Babbo in Greenwich Village. Batali tells the Times: "These are some of my favorite people on the whole planet, and they’re asking me to cook for the final state dinner of the presidency, and, oh, by the way, it’s the Italians who are coming?...It doesn’t get better."  The menu is being kept tightly under wraps, but a White House rep says it will feature "traditional Italian dishes that have been ingrained in American cuisine."

The first New York City location of Japanese ramen chain Ichiran is slated to open later this week in Bushwick. Just like the other 60+ outposts, the menu at this restaurant will be devoted to tonkotsu broth, which guests will be able to order in varying degrees of richness. A large portion of the dining room will be devoted to single-person carrels where guests will place orders by filling out slips of paper and pushing a call button for a server to pick them up. Stay tuned for more info on this major addition to the local ramen scene later this week.

— Tribeca’s favorite daughter Lena Dunham got The Odeon’s signage tattooed on her butt. The caption on her Instagram reads: "And because I'm an officially deranged daughter of Tribeca, the Odeon neon sign now lives on my ass for life."

Tables for Two’s Daniel Wenger digs what chef Anita Jaisinghani is serving at Houston import Pondicheri: "[S]tarting at 7 a.m., you can sit in the airy café section drinking an iced Assam tea, tingly with cinnamon. Doughnuts and cookies, mesquite-laced or rose-scented, soon share tabletops with frankies, the so-called burritos of old Bombay: the tortilla is replaced with a flaky roti, and the filling, in the toothsome veggie frankie, includes tender button mushrooms, firm black garbanzo beans, and a cumin-spiked yogurt sauce."

The Humboldt & Jackson team is going to be operating a seasonal comfort food stand in the Uncle Louie G’s space at 341 Graham Avenue in Williamsburg this fall/winter, with a menu that might include mac and cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, and vegan chili. Like the original restaurant, the Humboldt & Jackson takeover will feature rotating special guests, including the crew from Rangoon Noodle Lab and Black Tap. The operation — which will roll Thursday, Friday, and Saturday — will start after Thanksgiving.

Evelyn Drinkery at 171 Avenue C has closed after four years in business. No word yet on what will happen to the storefront.

According to a Page Six spy, the staff of Le Coucou recently told publishing magnate Allan Block and his party to keep their voices down after they were loudly praising Donald Trump in the dining room. Update: A rep for Le Coucou sends a clarification: "The table was asked to quiet down for being very loud, not for the content of their conversation."

On the latest episode of Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert eat and quip their way through China's Sichuan province. rounds up the best lines.

— And finally, here’s a look at The Nomad’s magnificent dessert cart: