— Soon there will be more than one Gray’s Papaya, with a brand-new location poised to open this month at 612 Sixth Ave. An employee tells Gothamist that they’ll be serving, “the same shebang” as the Upper West Side spot.
— Tomorrow is the full-service opening for Maison Pickle at 2309-2315 Broadway, sibling restaurant to Jacob’s Pickles from Jacob Hadjigeorgis. The restaurant in the former Ouest space offers crudites, dumplings, chicken liver toast, and French dip sandwiches (pork, lamb, and three variations of beef). Duos take note of the entrees for two (flounder Rockefeller, tomahawk steak). Among drinks, there’s no shortage of whisky-based cocktails.
— A gastropub from Rob McCue of Hell’s Kitchen Season Eight, The Fat Monk is getting ready to open at 949 Columbus Ave. between 106th and 107th Streets. According to Instagram, look for a menu of gussied-up bone marrow, skillet mac ‘n cheese, and burgers stacked with add-ons.
— Signs are up at what had been Tara Hill Pub for a Chinese dry pot restaurant at 2794 Broadway opening soon.
— Marcus Samuelsson offers an MLK menu today through Jan. 22 at Red Rooster in Harlem, with three snacks and three courses for $55. Look for pickled shrimp and crowder peas, fried chicken with roasted yams and biscuits, and a chocolate pecan pie for dessert.
— Chef shuffles at N’eat — short for Nordic Eatery— at 58 Second Ave., with the departure of Gabriel Hedlund. Yelena Del Mundo takes over the position: Born and raised in the Philippines, she had most recently been sous chef at Atera and has worked at Oceana and Jean-Georges.
— Ligaya Mishan goes to Very Fresh Noodles in Chelsea Market, a stand that opened a year ago from Peter Tondreau and Victor Huang. “The noodles may be familiar,” she writes, “but it’s still a thrill to stumble on a chef pulling them in the old style, like some ancient tailor unfurling bolts of cloth, among sleek kiosks selling artisanal mini-doughnuts and blueberry-cayenne smoothies.” The crowds remind her that “Hell is other customers.”
— Open since 2008, Antibes has closed on the Lower East Side.
— A knife-wielding, masked-man tried to rob this Chinese restaurant.
— Wolfgang Puck’s Cut in the Financial District now offers a Monday through Saturday three-course, prix-fixe lunch for $39, as well as Sunday brunch, with a menu that includes pumpkin doughnuts with quince jam, as well as a fried egg sandwich with harissa aioli, bacon, and cheddar on brioche.
— From Eater critic, Robert Sietsema: Things have lately been looking up for vegetarians who relish ramen. Japanese chain Ippudo introduced a meatless version, still using its firm house-made noodles, at its East Village branch (65 4th Ave, 212-388-0088). Sesame seeds have been used to create an opaque broth that looks and largely tastes like its vaunted tonkotsu version, which is made from boiled pig bones. Goodbye, oinker! The bowl is finished off with planks of chewy tofu, black garlic oil, mushrooms, and scallions. A heap of chunky and spicy red miso paste rides on top.
— Speaking of ramen, consider the noodles at the Ichiran factory: