— A new poke restaurant is coming to the Fourth Avenue space that previously housed a Subway sandwich store. It’s called The Poke Spot, and its mascot is an otter holding a bowl of cubed fish (pictured above).
— The Westfield World Trade Center mall now has a big sign announcing the imminent arrival of Eataly, with the market’s hours listed as 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. No word yet on when the second NYC Eataly will make its grand debut, although previous reports indicated that the team was shooting for a July opening. Eater has reached out to the Eataly mothership for more details. Stay tuned.
— Bara, the French-Japanese restaurant on East First Street from chef Ian Alvarez, is now closed for good. A sign in the window reads: "Bara is permanently closed. Bummer, right?" Before Bara opened, this space was home to another shortly-lived, but well-received restaurant: Prima.
— Rene Redzepi, David Chang, and Alex Atala recreated the infamous "Gods of Food" photo in front of the Ace Hotel over the weekend:
— New York critic Adam Platt is a fan of John Fraser’s vegetarian cooking at Nix: "It’s is possible to dine like a healthy vegetarian at this bright, buzzy, almost excessively trendy little restaurant (the certified vegan options include a brown-rice stir-fry and shreds of artichoke and broccoli rabe sautéed with tomatoes), but the sinful dishes are much more fun. I’m thinking of the shiitake ‘cacio e pepe,’ which Fraser and his cooks poach in butter and toss with polenta, and the pile of morels plated with barley and little asparagus spears, which coheres nicely with a large poached farm egg." Platty gives the restaurant two stars. He also awards one star to Cafe Altro Paradiso, where the critic finds a menu that "feels a little run-of-the-mill."
— Legal paperwork in the window of Take Me Home indicates that the Avenue A rotisserie chicken restaurant is dunzo. According to the document, the landlord is still chasing down nearly $30,000 in rent from the team.
— Comedian Jim Gaffigan’s favorite NYC restaurants include Mamoun’s, Ben’s Pizzeria, Tacombi, Katz’s, McSorley’s, and Veselka.
— Fast-casual restaurants Glaze Teriyaki Grill and Untamed Sandwiches both signed 10-year leases on the ground floor of 136 E. 55th St. between Lexington and Third avenues. No word yet on when the lunch spots will open.
— On Friday, a DOB inspector shut down massive East Williamsburg indoor/outdoor club Mirage because the space failed to meet many basic requirements, like having exit signs and properly-installed gas pipes. This is the second time in three weeks that the DOB has shut down the venue. The local community board rejected the club’s liquor license application last week.
— Some advice for the Olive Garden from Andrew Carmellini:
dear Olive Garden.... if your going to make a Calabrian Chicken Sandwich don't put Gorgonzola on it #italy101— Andrew Carmellini (@andrecarmellini) June 20, 2016
— After parting ways with Nello on the Upper East Side, Nello Balan opened a restaurant in Aspen last summer called Nello Alpine. But now, the restaurateur and his partners are facing several liens from contractors and an artist who created signage for the project. Nello Alpine is locked up, and it might not open this summer.
— Forthcoming Fort Greene food hall Gotham Market at The Ashland is going to have a space for pop-up restaurants. Anyone interested in running a kitchen and counter at the market for four months should send a pitch to: PopUp@GothamOrganization.com. A rep for the project explains: "The only costs are to cover monthly operational expenses."
— After facing some opposition from local NIMBYS, Ron Castellano and his partners will go before the CB3 tonight to rally support for a liquor license at their proposed Japanese small plates restaurant in the former Le Baron space.
— And finally, here’s how to prepare duck like Annisa’s Anita Lo: