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Even Melissa McCarthy Was Denied Entrance to Harlem Icon Rao’s

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Plus, Frenchette garners critical acclaim — and more intel

Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Even Melissa McCarthy can’t get a table at Rao’s

Don’t feel too bad if entrance into Rao’s is still outside of grasp — actress and comedian Melissa McCarthy couldn’t get in to the East Harlem Italian fortress, either. McCarthy finished up filming near the decades-old, membership-only restaurant when she tried to walk in for a table. No such luck, though she did score meatballs and lemon chicken to go.

Brooklyn beer bar embroiled in adjacent scandal

In an unfortunate series of events, Clinton Hill grocery and beer bar Mekelburg’s has had to distance itself from the political beliefs of owner Daniel Mekelburg’s sister Amy Jane Mekelburg, who has been revealed as a prolific and hateful Tweeter. Daniel’s wife Alicia issued a statement saying, in part, that they are “disturbed, revolted, and humiliated” by Amy Jane’s beliefs and that she has never been a part of the business. Still, Mekelburg’s has reportedly been getting hate calls and threats.

Openings, closings, and coming attractions

Chefs Club Counter in Soho’s latest iteration is a summer camp-themed pop-up of , that cookie dough shop in Greenwich Village. Flavors include the Campfire with toasted marshmallow soft serve, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate ganache, and graham cracker crust. After more than five years on the Lower East Side, cupcake shop Sweet Buttons has shuttered. There’s been a spate of activity on the Upper West Side: The chef at Marlow Bistro has opened a rotisserie spot next door at 1012 Amsterdam Ave. called Infamous Chicken, serving chicken, ribs, and brisket alongside various sides. Italian restaurant Pretto, also on the Upper West Side, has closed to make way for another location of coffee shop Bluestone Lane. Recently shuttered longtime pub McAleer’s at 425 Amsterdam Ave. will turn into Frank Mac’s Pub, a pub from the same owners. Finally, New Museum Deli at 370 Columbus Ave. shuttered after 11 years.

Frenchette’s first review is unsurprisingly positive

Hot right out of the gate, Tribeca French bistro Frenchette is now also garnering critical acclaim. New York magazine critic Adam Platt gives the restaurant, run by Minetta Tavern and Balthazar alumni, three out of five stars for its “deeply satisfying” soupe de poisson, “beautifully glazed” veal sweetbreads, “thing of beauty” roasted chicken, and other classic French dishes turned slightly on their heads.


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