Le Bilboquet Accused of Repeated Sexual Harassment in New Lawsuit


A dishwasher at the Upper East Side’s Le Bilboquet is suing the upscale French restaurant — alleging that she endured repeated sexual harassment over the course of three years without help from management. Carmen Fontanez claims she became so stressed out she had to go to the hospital at one point for what felt like a heart attack, DNAinfo reports.

The harassment allegedly started in 2013, when a male coworker started asking her on dates and repeatedly grabbing her butt in front of managers, the suit claims. Fontanez says she told him to stop, but he responded that “he could touch whatever he wanted” because “‘nobody would believe [her] or care, if she reported him,” the suit reportedly says.

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18 Tasty Thai Restaurants in NYC


New York City’s roster of Thai restaurants continues to expand. Where once diners endured what was basically a Bangkok menu of basil stir-fries and curries, with the advent of Sripraphai 20 years ago and its Queens contemporaries like Chao Thai and Ayada, New York has since experienced the cuisines of Isan and Chiang Mai. As the floodgates swung open, other geographic areas became the subject of culinary exploration, and now the five regions of the country are ably represented, plus further fascinating food from the capital itself.

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Who Might Win (And Lose) in Michelin 2018 in NYC


Let’s be honest: This hasn’t been a terribly interesting year for eating out in New York, at least not at new restaurants. The reason for this reality is simple: The city’s most high-profile operators are spending much of their time and money trying to rethink their business models amid skyrocketing rents and labor costs. With certain possible exceptions — I can’t speak too much about sushi spots where dinner for two runs $700 — this has not been the year of the great restaurant; this has been the year of the fast-casual spot, of the all-day restaurant, of making sure people keep eating out as the cost of everything goes up.

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Anti-Boozy Brunch Lawsuit Is Bogus, State Says

boozy.jpgLooks like boozy brunch probably won’t disappear anytime soon. The State Liquor Authority has sided against the Manhattan lawyer suing to stop bottomless boozy brunches in New York City.

Robert Halpern filed a lawsuit in late September that argues the number of liquor licenses in the East Village has gotten out of control. The proliferation of restaurants serving bottomless brunch has led to “more noise, more crowds, and more uncivil behavior,” the complaint says.

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Il Laboratorio del Gelato Is Bringing Its Inventive Treats to Greenwich Village


Il Laboratorio del Gelato, that lab-like gelato shop on the Lower East Side, will add a second NYC location this winter. 56 University Place is the future home for Jon Snyder’s brand, which has over 300 rotating flavors. The new location will have 48 flavors, plus sundaes, cakes, milkshakes, and ice cream sandwiches. When it opens — potentially before December 25 — it will be directly across the street from Amorino, the Italian mini-chain of gelato shops.

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Cocktail Mavens Behind Dear Irving Plot Four More Restaurants and Bars


The team behind perennially busy cocktail bars like Dear Irving and Raines Law Room is pumping out four more restaurant bars in the next year.

Yves Jadot Restaurant Group — known for cocktail bars and speakeasy vibes — will be opening a pizza restaurant, an underground lounge, a Great Gatsby-themed rooftop bar, and a to-be-named rooftop brewery this fall and into 2018.

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Cat Cora Sues Fatbird Partner for Withholding $400K


Looks like there’s bad blood between celebrity chef Cat Cora and the partner in her newer Meatpacking Southern restaurant Fatbird: Cora is reportedly suing Charissa Davidovici for a $400,000 fee she says she was never paid for use of her her name, likeness, and recipes.

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Midtown’s Portuguese Lupulo to Shutter by Year’s End


Aldea chef-owner George Mendes will shutter his more casual Portuguese restaurant Lupulo come December. Mendes tells Eater in an email that “a new lease structure put in place the past year has made operations financially difficult.”

Though the restaurant, a refuge among the middling chains near Penn Station, will close, Mendes has already started searching for a new location. In the meantime, he’ll focus his full attention on Aldea, his Michelin-starred, more upscale Portuguese restaurant in Flatiron. There, one part of Lupulo will live on through the sale of Portuguese egg custard tarts that Mendes implemented earlier this year.

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Ambitious New Sichuan Restaurant Makes Its St. Mark’s Debut


Flushing Sichuan restaurant Szechuan Mountain House has opened its East Village location at 23 Saint Mark’s Place, complete with a koi pond and cast-iron tea post. Bedford and Bowery reports that the restaurant is aiming high — owners want the location to win a Michelin star at some point. Dishes like sliced pork belly with chili garlic sauce, Chinese yam, and fish fillet stew with pickled cabbage and chili are on the menu. A grand opening will come later this month.

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Pastry Chefs Forced to Get Creative as Vanilla Prices Soar


As Hurricane Harvey barreled toward Texas, Rebecca Masson, owner of Houston’s Fluff Bake Bar, thought about what was most important to her; what she had to keep safe. She ran to her pantry, grabbed the last 10 quarts of vanilla she had, and sped to shelter. At a time when top vanilla producers are charging $600 to $750 per kilogram for vanilla beans, Masson’s stash of vanilla was nothing short of liquid gold. “I could not risk it being flooded or stolen,” she says. “To lose all my vanilla? That would be no joke.”

Bakers and ice cream makers across the country have been crushed by the price surge for vanilla, which spiked after a cyclone hit Madagascar, the world’s leading producer of vanilla, on March 7. The current $600 per kilogram price is up from around $100 in 2015, and near $500 per gallon for pure vanilla extract, which sold for $70 a gallon in 2015.

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