The Inquirer reports that Blackbirdgate is officially over:
Alex Capasso, the celebrated chef of Blackbird Eating Establishment, had been charged with simple assault in the Oct. 24 showdown, witnessed by a dining room packed with patrons for South Jersey Restaurant Week.Thomas Zemaitis, a partner at the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, had been charged with harassment, accused of shoving the owner-chef and cursing at the hostess. According to police, Zemaitis became irate because he had a 7:30 reservation and had not been seated by 7:50, when he saw another patron being seated.Yesterday, the combatants met with their attorneys in Collingswood Municipal Court. The municipal prosecutor, Tim Search, recommended dismissing the charges. He ordered each man to pay $33 in court costs - $3 more than the special price of four courses on the night of the dustup at Capasso’s Collings Avenue boite.”I’m pleased with the outcome,” Capasso said as he left the courtroom. “I’m just glad it’s over.”Zemaitis declined to comment.The fight unfolded before a full house of 70 diners, Capasso said. Restaurant Week was otherwise “incredibly successful,” he said, adding that his bistro served about 1,000 diners over six days.Officers were dispatched at 7:47 p.m. to meet two men in the Blackbird parking lot, Collingswood police said. Police said Zemaitis, who appeared to have a small cut over his right eye, told them that Capasso had punched his face.Capasso told police that he had acted in self-defense after Zemaitis shoved him and grabbed him by the shirt.”I’m pretty even-keeled,” said Capasso, who used to work at Brasserie Perrier in Center City. “What happened the other night had nothing to do with me having a short temper at all. I tried to defuse the situation as hospitably as possible.”
And once again, all is right in the world.
Chef and patron drop charges [Inquirer]