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‘Daily Show’ Writer Sues Batali; Ex-Babbo Sommelier Cooks for You

• A former Daily Show writer who was hired to work on a book to accompany PBS’ forthcoming Spain…on the Road Again butted heads with Mario Batali over the project and is now suing the series producer’s company. [NYS]

• Jeffrey Chodorow’s lounge atop the Empire Hotel opens this week, but the pool is open to hotel guests only. [TONY]
Related: Poolside Bar Set to Open Atop Empire Hotel

Le Cirque’s former chef de cuisine, Jason Kallert, has thrown Friars Club regulars for a loop with his highbrow creations, even if some courses are “vaguely dated.” [Feed/TONY]
Related: Le Cirque Loses Its Young Chef De Cuisine to the Friars Club

• No matter how small your kitchen, a former Babbo sommelier is now cooking in homes around the city for $200 to $600 a person. [NYP]

Gotham Bar & Grill’s Alfred Portale didn’t know much about wine twenty years ago, but now he personally consults diners on wine pairings. [Wine Spectator]

• When it comes to saving money on ingredients, professional chefs know best which substitutions to make without sacrificing quality and flavor. [TONY]

Top Chef judge Gail Simmons will eat anything if she has to, but she’d really rather not have to face veal, black beans, or root beer. [Serious Eats]

• Is Third Avenue really worthy of being designated Hamburger Row? [Hamburger Today]

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