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Saks Restaurant Employees File Discrimination Suit, Hamptons Food Fest Battle, and More Intel

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Má Pêche introduces a new large format feast, plus more news and gossip from around New York City

[The dining room at Allswell in Williamsburg]
[The dining room at Allswell in Williamsburg]
Daniel Krieger

Five former employees of the restaurants inside Saks Fifth Avenue are suing the store over allegations that they were fired because they were "getting old" and were "not attractive enough" to work there. In fall 2012, the store switched to a new company, Centerplate, to operate its restaurants. The suit claims that once the new management moved in, it "became clear to plaintiffs that only young, male servers fit within Centerplate’s image of fine-dining at Saks." The Daily News notes that Centerplate cut 20 servers over the next year. Now five of the female servers who were let go are suing the store for discrimination.

— Two of the biggest Hamptons food festivals of the summer — Chefs & Champagne and Dan’s Taste of Two Forks were accidentally scheduled for the same day this upcoming weekend.  Now, for the first time, East End foodies have to choose sides. Steve Cuozzo notes: "The outdoor pig-outs, under fancy tents and replete with bold-faced names, are being held within a 10-minute drive of each other....At stake: hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable proceeds, precious exposure for eateries and chefs — and culinary bragging rights in the star-struck Hamptons."

Má Pêche has a new large format feast that’s basically a big version of char siu pork buns. The centerpiece of the meal is a Heritage Farm rib rack that’s brined for 72 hours then roasted. It comes with steamed buns, rice, slaw, mustard greens, and sauces . A half rack, for three to six people, is $195, and a full rack, for seven to twelve people, is $390. Dinner-only reservations are available on the Momofuku reservations site.

Brad Pitt dined at Stephen Starr’s Lafayette Street hot spot Le Coucou on Wednesday.

— The Four Seasons placard was removed from the Seagram Building this week. An auction of the legendary restaurant’s furnishings, dishes, and silverware will be held on Tuesday.

— A 78-year-old helado vendor who’d been peddling his icy treats in East Harlem for over 40 years was busted by the DOH and the Bureau of Food Safety and Community Sanitation this week for vending without a permit. The vendor, Juan Santos, tells the Post that it will cost him around $2,000 to get his cart back in action.

Rumor has it that Entourage star Adrien Grenier is one of the investors in The VNYL, a record store/bar/restaurant that’s coming to the former Nevada Smith’s space on Third Avenue later this year.

— The City Winery team is organizing a two-day food and music event at Forest Hills Stadium on September 17 and 18. The event will feature stands from Daniel Boulud, David Waltuck, Marcus Samuelsson, and Drew Nieporent, as well as wine from 75 wineries. The festival — dubbed CW Open — will have performances by Aretha Franklin, The Wallflowers, and Sheryl Crow.

East Village dive Lucy’s is going on its annual summer break. According to a sign in the window, the bar will reopen on August 5.

— Meanwhile, down on Hester Street, 40-year-old standby Classic Luncheonette is closed for renovations.

— Mile Ends Poutine Week starts today. Both the Noho and Boerum Hill restaurants will be offering special poutines for $20 all day, including Greek poutine, barbecue brisket poutine, chilaquiles poutine, and cheeseburger poutine.

— The city put out a request for proposals for the 80-year-old bathhouse structure at the intersection of Allen and Delancey. The Parks Department is looking for someone to operate a "food service facility" out of the little brick building. DNAinfo notes that the Parks Department will host a meeting about the building and a tour of the space on August 5 for prospective vendors.

— The father and son owners of Cucino a Modo Mio pizzeria in Corona, Queens, are currently on trial for allegedly running a cocaine smuggling operation out of the restaurant. During closing remarks, Angelo Gigliotti tried to pin the dirty work on his dad, reputed Genovese associate Gregorio Gigliotti. Angelo’s lawyer explained: "I think it’s fair to say...that he [Gregorio] manipulated people around him." The Post notes that this was likely "a bid to stay out of jail" on behalf of Angelo.

— And finally, here's how Josh Capon makes the lamb burger at B & B:

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