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Make Sandwich Opens, Anisette Closes, Updates at Il Buco Alimentari, and More Intel

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Anisette closes, a looming truffle shortage, drama at Whit’s End, plus additional NYC news

Make Sandwich opens today.
Nick Solares

Make Sandwich opens today at 135 4th Ave. in Union Square, the first of the brand from Aurify, the group behind The Little Beet and Melt Shop. Look for sandwiches like tri-tip and salsa verde with Tunisian olive oil on baguette or a chile-mustard pork belly number with Asian pickles, koji mayo, and cilantro on ciabatta. There’s an all-day sausage, egg, and cheese on brioche as well as meatless options and design-your-own sandwiches from $8 to $12.

— Open less than a year, Anisette has closed. From the group behind Follia and Carroll Place, Anisette debuted in the former La Follia space on Third Avenue in late June. Co-owner Mario Riva dropped “La” from the name when it moved to 179 Third Ave.

Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria will roll out new menus this week from chef Garrison Price —who came onboard in October. The five year-old restaurant introduces a few updates to the space with the installation of a marble chef’s counter and a separate all-day, tapas-style menu at the front of the restaurant, with dishes like charred avocado with grapefruit, shiso and peperoncino and bottarga Siciliana with celery, lemon and olive oil. Cheeses and house-cured salumi are served with baker Sheena Otto’s breads like buckwheat rye and bourbon raisin fennel loaf.

— Candles and tablecloths cost $200,000 at Le Coucou, reports Philly critic Craig LaBan in his profile on the restaurant. "Financially [Le Coucou] will never be a big success," restaurateur Stephen Starr tells him. "It's too expensive to run, the rent is crazy, and the amount we spent [on construction] was extreme - around $5 million. But I didn't do it to make a lot of money. I wanted to do something that was . . . important, and from the heart."

— More drama at Whit’s End, when weed-farming Rockaway pizza owner, Whitney Aycock took the pizza oven at the now-closed restaurant by cutting a hole in the wall of the building, using a forklift to steal the Stefano Ferrara oven, and drive it away on a flatbed truck. DNAinfo reports it was taken in November, but he was arrested in December. No word yet on where he put the Neapolitan pizza oven.

— Following his split with de Blasio spokesperson, Lis Smith, ex-governor, Eliot Spitzer was spotted on a date at Avra on East 60th.

— Zelmy Mochkin, the guy who started the micro-roaster Crown Heights Roasting Company has opened Dean Street Cafe in Crown Heights, a 25-seat coffee shop at 87 Utica Ave. A food menu is in the works.

— “This year has been difficult,” Edwin Fernandez, maitre d’ at Ristorante Armani told the New York Post. “Everyone wants white truffles, and they are simply unavailable.”

— The Lower East Side’s Lucky Bee will open a second location on the North Fork.

— And finally, today is the kind of day for a secret momo shop hidden in the back of a cell-phone store:

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