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A Controversial Restaurant Remains a Politicians’ Go-To, Luksus Closes, and More Intel

The opening of a coffee shop, a Mexican restaurant, and a Wagyu-hot dog and burger place, plus more NYC news

Clams in country ham broth with kale is one of the new dinner offerings at Torst.

— “Despite the brothers' criminal records and bad blood with locals,” Woodland on 242 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn “has been a popular stop for elected officials to court campaign donors,” with nearly 20 political fundraisers held here since 2012. Mayor Bill de Blasio and others have hosted fundraisers here, one of three spots from twins Robert and Zhan Petrosyants, who pleaded guilty in 2014 in Brooklyn Federal Court to a money-laundering scheme, reports DNAinfo. A de Blasio campaign spokesman said the mayor has no relationship with the twins, nor did he know of their criminal past.

Luksus has closed at 615 Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint, the tasting menu spot from former Noma pastry chef, Daniel Burns. With Burns’ departure, Luksus is now the spillover seating for Tørst, the Danish beer destination— which has rolled out a casual menu, with Jesus “Chuy” Cervantes, who worked under Burns at Luksus as executive chef. Look for a technique-driven bar snacks for starters, like beef tartare with salted plum, and pickled green walnut or country ham with seaweed house roll and pimento cheese. There’s also Cervantes’ take on a fast-food burger, topped with yellow cheddar and chipotle mayo, as well as a black bean tortas. Cervantes will roll out a late-night menu and brunch in the future.

The Pony Bar (637 10th Ave.) will close on Sunday and reopen with a new name, Hellcat Annie’s Tap Room. The new name marks the amicable breakup of a partnership between Pat Hughes and Dan McLaughlin. Hughes will repair the space and run the new spot.

FloFab reports that former pop-up, Kings of Kobe opens Thursday at 790 Ninth Ave., serving Wagyu beef hot dogs and burgers, snacks and desserts like heavily adorned chocolate or banana pudding topped with cinnamon crunch.

JaJaJa Plantas Mexicana is opening at 162 East Broadway, a space that was to be called Gracias Mama, reports Bowery Boogie. “JaJaJa co-owners Koorosh Bakhtiar and Nima Garos caused quite a stir from the outset having dispensed with two long-running Chinese businesses in its commercial space.”

Toby’s Estate is opening a fifth location on Thursday, at 26-25 Jackson Ave. in Long Island City. The cafe will offer a selection of single-origin espresso and filter coffee offerings along with a limited savory food menu.

— In collaboration with Gustiamo, Roman’s (243 DeKalb Ave.) will offer penne all'arrabbiata for the month of February for $24. The proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood. Restaurateur Andrew Tarlow’s group has becomea collection of sanctuary restaurants. “To be a sustainable business,” he says “means committing to employment practices that sustain our community."

— Open since 2010, Eolo Seasonal Sicilian Kitchen (190 Seventh Ave.) from Melissa Muller has closed.

Lure Fishbar (142 Mercer St.) features a newly-launched dim sum brunch every Sunday starting at 11:30am, with a menu of steamed pork shumai, steamed lobster and pea shoots, and spring roll with shrimp and vegetables for $10 to $15 for four pieces.

— And last, our intrepid Patty Diez discusses the food on Broome Street:

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