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White Street Axes Dinner Service, the Controversy Over Chopped Cheese, and More Intel

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Bespoke Kitchen rises from the dead, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

[The dining room at Toro in Chelsea]
[Daniel Krieger]

— For a while, David Zinczenko and Dan Abrams were contemplating turning their Tribeca restaurant White Street into a private wine club or a spinoff of The Ainsworth. But now, the swanky restaurant — which originally featured Floyd Cardoz in the kitchen — is closed through the end of the year except for private parties. As Tribeca Citizen notes, it’s extremely unlikely that White Street will close for the last two busy months of the fall and reopen, business as usual, during one of the chilliest, slowest stretches of the year. Back in July Zinczenko told Eater: "We've been exploring a range of great possible partnerships for this gorgeous space....There are also a handful of other possible options." Stay tuned for more details on the future of White Street as they become available.

The chopped cheese sandwich — which likely originated from Hajji’s, a bodega in East Harlem, two decades years ago — has been the subject of much debate on the internet lately. Earlier this year, an online publication called Insider published a video explainer about the $4 sandwich, wherein the host remarks that it’s something "most New Yorkers don’t even know it exists," and "nothing revolutionary but still delicious." The video sparked a wave of backlash from Facebook commenters. YouTube personality Jeffrey Almonte filmed a response to the segment, arguing that the reporter was exhibiting "Columbus syndrome." The Spotted Pig team’s decision to serve a luxe, artisanal version of the sandwich at White Gold ignited more discussion about the appropriation of this bodega staple. Culinary historian Michael Twitty tells the Times: "This is a classic story....You create something in a state of want, a state of necessity, and then it becomes prime real estate in someone else’s hands."

New York’s Adam Platt awards three stars out of five to Greg Baxtrom’s Prospect Heights restaurant Olmsted: "[W]hat separates this stylized post-gourmet establishment from the rabble of other homegrown, seasonally attuned joints crowding the dining landscape these days is the level of skill, detail, and imagination that Olmsted’s proprietors and staff bring to their carefully stage-managed production." Platt is an especially big fan of the tomato schnitzel and the crawfish boil crackers.

The first permanent location of Smorgasburg fixture Wowfulls is coming to the East Houston space between Clinton and Attorney streets that previously housed Gem Pawnbrokers. Wowfulls specializes in Hong Kong-style egg waffle cones. No word yet on when it will open.

[Robert Sietsema]

— Here’s a dispatch from Eater critic Robert Sietsema: "Against all odds, and a marshal's notice posted in the window in late August, and another that warned the place would be closed to a week for some interior alterations, Bespoke Kitchen on Hudson Street reopened at the end of last week according to local residents. The place sure looks opened, with a pair of menus in the window, one offering a special Thanksgiving feast, the other pretty similar to the earlier menu of small dishes and customizable entrees."

Signage is now up on the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and East 10th Street for Tim Ho Wan. This will be the first U.S. outpost of the Michelin-starred dim sum chain, which is based in Hong Kong. This storefront previously housed a location of Spice.

— The SNL cast partied with Jay Z, Beyonce, and Solange at Il Bastardo after the show on Saturday night.

Guy Fieri’s Times Square donkey sauce emporium took home $17 million last year.

— Last month, Lady Gaga bumped a bunch of music students from the bill at The Bitter End on Bleecker Street, so she could have more time to set up for the show to promote her new album.

A vegetarian in the Hudson Valley filed a $5 million federal class action suit against Buffalo Wild Wings because she was served mozzarella sticks and fries that were cooked in beef fat. The suit argues that the chain is duping vegetarians "because Buffalo Wild Wings does not list beef tallow as an ingredient, disclose its use on the menu or reference using beef tallow."

— And finally, here’s a look at Jackson Heights Tibetan favorite Lhasa Fast Food: