• The critics: Sam Sifton of the Times surveys the new Oceana and isn't overwhelmed, giving it two stars; the Post's Steve Cuozzo is pretty pleased with A Voce and hands it three stars out of four; Time Out's Jay Cheshes bestows three out of five stars on Travertine; and Gael Greene heads to Jeffrey Chodorow's Tanuki Tavern and is surprised to find she actually kinda likes it.
• The fanciest McDonald's in America is now open in Midtown. [AP, WPIX]
• Marcus Samuelsson will cook at White House later this month. [Eater]
• Openings/closings: Café Gitane's WV outpost has opened; cream puff spot Beard Papa has closed; and fro-yo chain Red Mango seems to be in trouble.
• In addition to his son, JGV is now employing his daughter, too. [NYT]
• David Waltuck has parted ways with Macao Trading Co. [NYT]
• Zach Braff is a restaurateur on the side, apparently. [GS]
Yesterday New York magazine laid off Gael Greene, a food critic there for the past 40 years. Apparently the recession is hurting New York like everyone else—not as drastically as everyone else, of course, but enough to have to pare down their fat roster of restaurant reviewers. So is this just a longtime employee being pushed out, or a sign of something worse under the surface?
New York is owned by billionaire Bruce Wasserstein, the CEO of investment bank Lazard. Does he have money problems? Well, let's see:
♦ Roger Ailes (left) has renewed his contract with News Corp., which will keep him by Rupert Murdoch's side for at least five more years (and keep him running the show at Fox News for at least one more presidential election). [NYT]
♦ New York has fired longtime restaurant critic Gael Greene. [Feedbag]
♦ The Runway battle continues: Lifetime has sued NBC over claims it is blocking the cable channel from airing future episodes of the reality TV show. [NYP]
♦ New York's Adam Platt hands out four stars to Drew Nieporent's Corton this week, praising chef Paul Liebrandt's cuisine as "technically complex without being exhibitionist." [NYM]
♦ David Chang's Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar opened on Saturday. Grub Street has rounded up the public reception. [GS]
♦ A handful of spots including Marquee and the Tribeca Grand have been denied permits by the State Liquor Authority to stay open late on New Year's Eve. [NYP]
♦ A detailed history of the epic battle between Da Silvano's Silvano Marchetto and Bar Pitti's Giovanni Tognozzi. [Page Six Magazine]
♦ Former Country chef Willis Loughhead has signed on as executive chef of Table 8 inside the Cooper Square Hotel. The restaurant is expected to open in January. [The Feedbag, Eater]
♦ The 10 best places to go on a cheap dinner date in NYC. [NYO]
♦ To celebrate ten years in business, Café Boulud is debuting a new $75 five-course menu. [The Feedbag]
♦ A few impressions from Txikito's opening last night. [Strong Buzz]
♦ Gael Green offers up her take on Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz's 20-course dinner at Per Se the other night. [GS]
♦ Village Pourhouse near Columbia is testing out a novel way to lure customers to 109th Street: Take a cab to the bar, save your receipt, and the bartender will "match your cab fare in the form of a bar tab." [The Feed]
♦ Complain about the economy all you want but Thomas Keller has no plans to lower prices at Per Se. [GS]
♦ The early reviews are mixed for Five Leaves, the Williamsburg restaurant that Heath Ledger was planning to open before his death. [Eater]
♦ Django, the Mediterranean restaurant on 46th and Lex, is closing this Thursday. [Eater]
♦ A list of who's cooking what at the NYC Wine & Food Fest's Grand Tasting event on October 11th. [Metromix]
♦ There's no zebra on the menu at Braai, the South African barbecue restaurant in Hell's Kitchen, but that's only one of many disappointments for Danyelle Freeman. [NYDN]
♦ More complaints about Gael Greene's list of New York's most important restaurants. [Serious Eats]
♦ Tom Colicchio is opening two more 'wichcraft locations in Midtown. [GS]
♦ Despite an appearance on Kitchen Nightmares last week, Black Pearl on West 26th Street has closed its doors. [Eater]
♦ An update on the UWS branch of Shake Shack, which remains under construction. [Eater]
♦ Not only is Daniel Boulud not worried about the recession, he also happens to be opening a new restaurant called Secession. [WSJ]
Last night at Daisy May's BBQ (in our humble opinion, some of the best in the city), we spotted a large and gregarious party in the back room. Upon closer inspection it turned out to include none other than Krazy Karine Bakhoum who reps the constantly embattled Jeffrey Chodorow. Bakhoum was there with Pascal Riffaud, her husband and the constantly embattled founder of pay-to-eat service Primetime Tables; Penny Glazier president of the Glazier Group and restaurant critic Gael Greene. There was also some mustachioed dude cheering for the Red Sox. Note to that guy: In your face. Note to Pascal: Happy birthday. Now to unpack what this gathering means.