Meatpacking Moguls Remm, Birnbaum, and Rabin on How to Be CoolOur fave waitress Courtney Yates isn’t the only face Belvedere Vodka is using to try to look cool — the company, in association with UrbanDaddy, is running Web interviews with David Rabin, owner of Los Dados and Lotus, and Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum, owners of Tenjune. Remm and Birnbaum don’t exactly steer toward the underexposed when asked for their favorite restaurants: BondSt, Nobu, Bar Pitti, Los Dados, Mr. Chow, the Spotted Pig, Pastis, Buddakan, Dos Caminos Soho, Cipriani, Butter, Rose Bar, and Waverly Inn.
Tom and Gisele Lock Lips at Nobu, ‘Full House’ Cast and the B-52sEarlier this week we linked to a Daily News item claiming Padma Lakshmi rudely refused complimentary dishes from Fiamma’s chef. A commenter wrote, “I was at Fiamma the night Padma was dining there and it absolutely did NOT go down that way. When the dishes arrived at the table, she thanked them profusely and apologized for being too full to eat any of them!” Whatever happened, Padma was just one of many celebs to chow down (or at least show up) at local restaurants this week, and here’s our gossip-column compendium of just who went where.
City Gears Up to Better Police Labor Violations; Beef Threatens Fish at LeCity Council to introduce a bill giving authorities more power to crack down on restaurant labor violations like the alleged ones at Saigon Grill. [MetroNY]
Related: 100 Students to Protest Saigon Grill [Grub Street]
Kobe beef, having once appeared on Le Bernardin’s menu, is taking over and chasing the fish away – a fact chef Eric Ripert is less than thrilled about. [NYP]
Bizarre details of Mr. Chow’s abuse emerge from the lawsuit, including information about one employee who was forced to lie on the floor and be menaced and even kicked by the diminutive restaurateur. [Gawker]
Mr. Chow Sued for $5 Million; Loans Crush Wannabe ChefsMichael Chow of Mr. Chow is hit with a $5 million lawsuit for skimming tips, demanding “cult-like attention” from staff, and utilizing “degradation as a management technique.” [NYP]
Cooking-school graduates are being crushed by their student-loan debts: “The story is always the same. The school convinces the student they are going to be the next Julia Child or Wolfgang Puck, and the student will sign anything.” [NYT]
The Smith and Wollensky Restaurant Group finally agrees to be bought out by Patina Restaurant Group [NYT]
Related: The Secrets of Steakhouse Riches [Grub Street]
Mr. Chow, Dojo, and Other Biggies So Flunked Their Health Inspections
Taking an active interest as we do in hygiene, we keep an eye on the New York Health Department’s restaurant-inspection site. Usually, it’s outer-borough taco joints and the like that flunk their tests. We were surprised today, however, to find a few big names cited for everything from suspect shellfish to — something worse than supect — rats.
The New York Diet
D.J. and Waverly Diner Regular Mark Ronson Craves Skips and Walkers
Mark Ronson, the A-list set’s most in-demand D.J.— he’s spun parties like the Met gala and is a favorite of everyone from Tommy Hilfiger to Jay-Z — isn’t one for home cooking. “The only thing I really waste expendable income on is food. When I go to my accountant, he’s like, ‘Do you have to eat out all the time?’ He’s half happy I don’t have a heroin addiction instead.” We asked him how he allotted his dining dollars during the past week.