The Other Critics

Cuozzo Says Hell No to Nello

Photo: Patrick McMullan

While an old critics’ whipping horse, Michael’s, is getting flack this week for tweeting the names of its power lunchers, Steve Cuozzo is unleashing all of his surliness on another easy target: Nello. He’s upset that Nets buyer Mikhail Prokhorov decided to blow almost $19,000 on lunch there rather than dine at a better, cheaper spot, and he’s going to great pains to make sure his takedown goes down in the history books, via lines like “Nello’s theoretically Italian, seasoning-shy Oligarch Cuisine attracts the kind of vagabonding clowns too eager to flaunt their ill-gotten gains — hedge-fund scoundrels, tainted politicians, dope-snorting movie stars.” And: “They can’t all be going there for the food, even if the joint’s organic guinea hen has more meat on it than some of the broads who hog the front tables.” And, continuing: “Without Nello — and a handful of like-minded clip joints like Cipriani and Mr. Chow — there’d be no way for guys like Prokhorov to publicly throw dough around like it was disco dust.”

We feel for Cuozzo — truth is, we can’t walk past the yellow Lambos parked outside of Downtown Cipriani without shivering. But he’s really reaching when he tells Prokhorov to park his limo outside of Di Fara.’s listing for Nello probably put it best: “What counts at Nello is being seen at Nello: seen in your Chanel, your St. John’s knits, your tailored Italian suit; seen canoodling on the banquette with your co-star; seen escorting your grandson to a lunch he’ll ignore in favor of watching Spy Kids on his personal DVD player.”

Just say nyet to Nello [NYP]

Cuozzo Says Hell No to Nello