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The Eater Wrap: Alice Returns, Midi Opens, RN74 Readies

Welcome to our partnership with Eater. For this weekly Friday column, Eater editor Paolo Lucchesi gives his opinionated report on all the restaurant news that's fit to print, including all kinds of upcoming projects, hot downtown debuts, and Alice Waters' breakfast-making tips (just place a cracked egg in a hot, wood-fired oven and voila!).

1) Lady Alice Waters appeared on 60 Minutes over the weekend, essentially introducing herself to mainstream America. When the Chez Panisse overlord wasn't showing Lesley Stahl how to make breakfast in your typical, mainstream kitchen fireplace, her message rang loud and clear: buy organic grapes instead of shoes. Check out the full video and more fun.

2) The openings keep on coming, despite the recession. This week's biggest debut is probably Midi, the California-inspired brasserie in the old Perry's space on Sutter Street, opening tonight (Friday). Michelle Mah is in the kitchen, it's a Joie de Vivre project, and yes, there's some hot signage involved too.

3) One of the most popular regular features over at Eater is a little production called The Build Out, wherein an upcoming restaurant's evolution is tracked from the bare bones construction phases to the finished product. Michael Mina's RN74 was the subject of one such series, and just yesterday, the AvroKO-designed restaurant/wine bar was toured for one last time before its opening next month. She's a looker.

4) Hey, you know how club violence has been coming under the microscope from city authorities? Not everyone got that memo.

5) While Bar Crudo readies its move to some roomier Divisadero digs, its current neighbor Tunnel Top has decided to take over the soon-to-be-vacant tiny Bush Street locale. However, the Tunneltoppers will try to keep the crudo concept in place; the new name will be just Swell.

6) Sweet, sweet Voda Vodka Lounge served its last jalapeno martini and finally shuttered. Soon to open in its stead will be something that will probably fit in a little better on Belden Place: Trademark American Bar & Grill.

7) And what's another week without still more tales of Yelp extortion?