Two months ago, the popular sushi bar Ichimura at Brushstroke was finally separated form the main dining area of Brushstroke by a glass wall, decreasing the noise level in the room and allowing the diner to appreciate the food better.  A six-seat private dining table was also added to the area, separated from the eight-seat bar by a screen.  The meal, which was recently increased to $180, included a starter course, a sashimi course, and chawanmushi dish, then a baker's dozen of sushi; all dishes were prepared by Mr. Ichimura himself at the counter, and the meal lasted around two hours.

On a quiet corner in the West Village, where Cru once lived and Lotus of Siam met a quick and welcome demise, there is a beautifully appointed restaurant serving French-Mediterraneau food called Claudette.  It is the brainchild of restaurateur Carlos Suarez and partner Mark Barak, owners of the uber-popular Rosemary's, who did everything possible to improve the bad feng shui of the place and lift the heaviness and darkness that seemed to permeate the space.

(To my followers: In honor of the tenth year anniversary of Momofuku Noodle Bar, I have decided to dedicate this week's post to define the lasting impact David Chang and Momofuku have had on my life for the past decade.  Yes, there will be food porn in the end, but for the better part of this post, I will be extoling the virtues of everything Momofuku.  Please indulge me this one time, my followers.

For its second annual Late Night Dinner Series, the folks at Momofuku Ssam Bar invited a restaurant whose love for all things porcine rivals that of Momofuku -- Paul Kahan's Publican in Chicago.  The James Beard award-winning restaurant is notable for its charcuterie and extensive beer selection, and the demand for tickets again required two separate seatings for dinner: one at 10:00 PM and one at 1:00 AM.

The NoMad Bar is the opulent and sensuous extension of the NoMad Restaurant from Daniel Humm and Will Guidara.  Patterned after its sister establishment the Elephant Bar, the NoMad Bar is steeped in mahogany and bathed in an amber luminescene, resembling a cross between a gentleman's club and an English pub.

Nothing says "Fourth of July" quite like lunch at Momofuku Ko.

OK, you can all stop laughing now.  Just think about it: what is more American than the son of immigrants finding his way in the world to become one of the best known chefs and innovators in the country?  Success stories such as David Chang's have been the inspiration for countless generations of  Americans, as well as the motivation of thousands of immigrants to risk life and limb to come to our shores in search of a better life.

With the Torrisi Team's Gallic-influenced restaurant Dirty French still weeks away from opening, and with the bar team already in place and ready to go, cocktail impresario Thomas Waugh elected to do a soft opening of the Lobby Bar at the Ludlow Hotel this evening, partly to attract attention to the bar and partly to start training the staff for the inevitable onslaught of tourists and city folk that will undoubtedly come to enjoy the alcoholic creations of Mr. Waugh.

Last year, Joaquin Baca hosted a dinner featuring members of the Momofuku OG ("Old Guard") at his restaurant The Brooklyn Star.  The event proved to be so successful that Mr. Baca decided to host another dinner last night, this time featuring ex-Momofuku Ko executive chef Peter Serpico.  On paper, the two chefs seem mismatched: Mr. Baca specializes in Southwestern cuisine, while Mr. Serpico is known for his modernist take on American cuisine.

After being somewhat underwhelmed with my dining experiences at Lafayette, I was

wondering whether chef Andrew Carmellini's creative days were already behind him.  This feeling was only strengthened when he and his partners opened Bar Primi in the old Peels space last month: Italian cuisine is in his wheelhouse, and he could probably do it in his sleep.  In a city filled with Italian restaurants of all shapes and sizes, what would Bar Primi offer that would make it stand out, other than Mr.

I first met Curtis Duffy during my very first visit to Chicago four years ago: he was at the helm of Avenues at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago at that time, which had just earned two Michelin stars.  I enjoyed my meal at the restaurant, and I commended Mr. Duffy on his culinary technique, but in a city that was dominated by Grant Achatz, I felt that this was just another knock-off of Alinea.  I felt that in time, he will develop his own identity and really show his true potential as a chef.
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