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EaterWire: Ubuntu on Hiatus, Waters Plays Coy

WINE COUNTRY—We knew that Ubuntu would be taking a winter break from now until early February, but a Napa blogger churns the unsubstantiated rumor mill: "We were also told part of the reason for the closure was that things had been slow in terms of business. Not a good sign." Of course, January is traditionally slow for most restaurants, and in terms of national press, Ubuntu had as hot a year as anyone, so maybe/hopefully it's not as bad as it sounds. Update: Team Ubuntu assures us that it's not as bad as it sounds, noting that "winter break is standard procedure post holidays in Napa." As you were. [Corkboard]

ALICE WATERS' ALTERNATE UNIVERSE—How's Alice Waters handling the news that Obama won't be implementing her "Kitchen Cabinet" idea yet? Not great: "Obama politely declined, said Waters, who added demurely, 'I don't want to go where I'm not wanted.'" You know, a locavore finally votes for the first time in 42 years and this is the thanks she gets... [Chron]

SAN FRANCISCO—Everyone, please welcome to the new Menupages to the dance floor. She's cleaned up, polished off, reorganized—and in theory, a great deal faster. Sources tell us this is an interim design for the site, with an even better one to follow. Credit Menupages' new owners New York Magazine (they took over in July) for lending their new property some of their sophisticated but playful sensibility. Practically speaking, the new site has much of the same functionality as the old, though with an improved user interface. Unfortunately, the site's Menu View is still hideous. [Menupages via ELA]