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Noho's Mystery Food Court, Reservations at Nishi, and More Intel

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Claudette's chef was arrested last week, plus more restaurant news and gossip from around NYC.

The bar at Mother of Pearl
The bar at Mother of Pearl
Daniel Krieger

— Last week, Essex Street restaurant Cabalito Papuseria announced plans to expand to a new mystery food hall somewhere in Noho. And now, EV Grieve notices that a new market is being built in the space on the corner of Bowery and Great Jones Street that formerly housed Downtown Auto & Tire. The DOB permits indicate that four outdoor kiosks and two indoor stalls are being built on this relatively tiny lot as part of a new market. No word yet on who the other vendors will be, but if you hear anything about this new food court, let us know.

— Dave Chang's white-hot Korean-Italian restaurant Nishi is now accepting reservations. They're available 15 days out. You can make them for free via the Momofuku reservation system.

— Upper West Side kosher butcher shop Fischer Bros & Leslie employs a 95-year-old counter man named Ernie Fleischman. The life-long butcher tells the Post: "I’m here as long as they’ll have me."

Over 900 people are on the waiting list for Pith, the four-seat pop-up that started in a Columbia University dorm's kitchen. Student/chef Jonah Reider tells the Wall Street Journal: "It’s kind of ironic...The reason this got so popular is because it’s a totally chill, unpretentious meal in someone’s dorm. It’s not some three-Michelin-starred meal. It’s hanging out with me." He now operates his supper club out of a University-owned off-campus apartment.

— Avenue C Cuban restaurant Cafecito closed yesterday. It was in business for over 14 years. The restaurant was closed for a month after Hurricane Sandy. Business dropped off in recent years, so the owners decided to close up shop. The same team also operates Royale at 157 Avenue C.

La Chine doesn't knock Adam Platt off his feet, but the New York critic finds some crowd-pleasers on the menu: "The great Sichuan specialties — chicken with cashews, chilled chicken with pepper sauce and peanuts — tasted like toothless imitations of the real thing, although none of the grizzled New Yorkers at my table had any complaints about the sticky Taiwanese-style spare ribs (bone in, with a tangy kumquat glaze) or the stack of crisped Spanish mackerel, which the kitchen scents with puffs of smoke tinged with the kind of flower you usually find in your Chinese tea." Two stars.

— Orchard Street surf shop/cafe Lost Weekend closed for good last week.

Shauna Lyon of Tables for Two is a big fan of Erik Ramirez's food at Williamsburg Peruvian newcomer Llama Inn: "Fluke ceviche, with lime and red onion, was bright and assertive; red-snapper tiradito, sliced into thin pieces and topped with unctuous persimmon and lightly crunchy poppy seeds, was elegant, like fruity silk. Flouting the unspoken rule that quinoa is a bummer, Ramirez mixes it with avocado, thick hunks of bacon, caramelized bananas, and banana mayonnaise, resulting in a sort of improbably irresistible banana-bacon pudding."

Claudette's chef Cedric Tovar was arrested last Tuesday for failing to signal when he changed lanes on his Vespa. The police cuffed him and took him to jail citing a suspended license. As it turns out, there was a clerical mistake and his license was actually valid, so they let him go. After his brief stint behind bars, Tovar went straight to his restaurant to prepare a special $270 per-head truffle dinner.

— The new pizzeria in the old Nonna's space on Avenue A between East 12th and East 13th streets will be called Baker's Pizza.

— First Avenue Filipino restaurant Bago has been closed for a few weeks now:

Nick Solares

The restaurant's social media accounts haven't been updated in several weeks, and the restaurant is listed as closed on Seamless.

— Over the weekend, Louie C.K. released the first episode of a surprise show he's been working on called Horace and Pete. Most of the action takes place in a Brooklyn bar. Louie plays the proprietor, Steve Buscemi plays his brother/business partner, Edie Falco plays his sister, and Paul Simon did the theme song.

Empire Biscuit at 198 Avenue A is closed right now, but a a sign promises that it will return in March.

— And finally, here's everything you need to know about the four most popular types of sushi fish:

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