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♦ In this week's issue of New York, Adam Platt gives two stars to Brooklyn's Char No. 4. David Bouley's Secession isn't quite as lucky, coming up star-less for its "jumble of tired brasserie conceits." [NYM]
Josh DeChellis has signed on to become executive chef at La Fonda del Sol, the Spanish restaurant inside the Met Life building that is slated to open in January. [NYT]
David Burke's Fishtail opens this week; the soft launch is tonight. [Eater]
♦ Page Six mag takes a look at the city's "smoking speakeasies," spots where the city's smoking ban is almost never enforced. [Page Six Mag]

♦ Grayz owner Stephen Distler says the restaurant will be closing at the end of the year and reopening as Gneissin (pronounced "nice") in early 2009, now that chef Gray Kunz has moved on to other projects. [Crain's]
♦ It looks like Shang, the long-delayed restaurant inside Jason Pomeranc's Thompson LES, may finally be opening this weekend. [NYM]
♦ M. Rohrs' House of Fine Teas & Coffees on the Upper East Side is now charging customers to use its electrical outlets for their laptops. [NYP]
♦ Mark you calendars: HBO plans to air a documentary about Sirio Maccioni's Le Cirque on December 29th. [GS]