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Eater Tastings: Solving the Mandatory Service Charge Riddle

This week's top dish from Eater, Curbed's restaurant, bar, and nightlife blog...

1) NYC: There has been lots of talk recently of mandatory "service charges" sneaking onto the bills of restaurants, and whether those charges are illegal. Eater puts on its investigative journalism hat: "It's not technically against the law for restaurants to add service charges. Since what we're dealing with is a rule and an interpretation (not a law passed by the City Council), restaurants are simply asked to voluntarily comply with the above suggestions." What are those suggestions? You'll have to read to find out.

2) Carroll Gardens: They denied the rumors for a while, but the Franks have finally come clean about their latest Court Street project, set to open March 11. It's the strudel-slinging Cafe Peddlar at 210 Court Street. Now, if only they'd talk about the beer garden.

3) Upper West Side: Zak Pelaccio's Fatty Crab in the West Village has spawned a second location on Broadway near 77th Street. Now, if only his Williamsburg BBQ joint showed as much progress.

· Eater [eater.com]