IPPUDO: Though its website says the grand opening isn’t until Monday, a call placed to Ippudo, New York City’s first taste of the hit Japanese ramen chain, confirmed that they are welcoming diners for dinner during their “soft opening.” The photo here by Cocktailian depicts “a super porky broth with excellent melt in your mouth roast pork” that the photographer “will be dreaming about for days.” Andrea Strong declares the broth “perversely porky,” and explains it’s made by cooking pork bones for over 15 hours. Ippudo’s thin ramen noodles are made on the premises and cooked almost al dente, and a full bar up front serves 25 sakes, three shochu, beer and spirits. 65 Fourth Avenue, 212-388-0088.
LE CIRQUE WINE LOUNGE: Hot on the heels of its revitalizing New York Times review, which declared the Italian-French restaurant back from the brink of ossification, Le Cirque has opened a chill new wine lounge. Unlike the dining room, casual dress is permitted, and the relaxed design – with low leather couches and comfortable chairs – evokes a rich friend’s den, if that friend had a soaring “wine tower” packed with 20,000 bottles of wine. 30 of them are poured by the glass, and a small plates menu features items like tarte flambée topped with caramelized onions, bacon and Gruyère. 51 E. 58th St., (212) 644-0202.
ANTIK: Marquee Lounge has been swankified into an exclusive,"semi-private" cocktail club with a sensually sinister ambiance. Here the well-connected can high-five each other in a dimly lit room with red-velvet wallpaper, black chandeliers and no discernible bar acting as an eyesore. Waitresses in skimpy black skirts ferry specialty cocktails back and forth to patrons paying through the nose to affect that trendy, speakeasy vibe. 356 Bowery, (212) 388-1655.