• Let's hope there are no punches or orange clogs thrown in New York on Nov. 7, when a roster of comedians, actors, chefs and a foul-mouthed dog puppet get together to sling insults during "Mario Batali--Roasted, Battered and Fried," an event whose proceeds will benefit the Food Bank for New York. Among those slated to gather on the dais at Capitale to "honor" the Babbo chef and TV celebrity are Emeril Lagasse, James Gandolfini (a.k.a. Tony Soprano), actor Stanley Tucci, Queer Eye guys Ted Allen and Thom Filicia, comedienne Sarah Silverman and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. But we're most looking forward to the ribbing from Anthony Bourdain, who offered Unfiltered an idea of what Mario has coming. "Every chef in New York has been waiting for an occasion where someone exposes the cloven hooves under those plastic clogs," he said before running down a litany of roast topics: lechery, drunkenness, fat jokes, "you know ... what he deserves." Asked if he has any fears of retaliation, Bourdain responded, "One thing about Mario: He ain't moving anywhere too fast. I can outrun him."
• Two of France's most renowned winemakers, Bordeaux-based Michel Rolland, who consults for wineries all over the world, and Michel Chapoutier, owner of the Rhône Valley's historic Chapoutier winery, are jointly producing a limited-edition red wine from their estates. Called M2 (a.k.a. "Michel to the power of two"), their blend revives the 19th-century practice of giving a boost to what were, at the time, the lighter wines of Bordeaux by adding rich, dark Syrah from the Rhône's top appellation, Hermitage. The wine, which will have to be bottled as a generic vin de table, comes from the exceptional 2005 vintage and is a 50-50 blend of Merlot from Rolland's Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol and Syrah from Chapoutier's L'Ermite vineyard. M2 is currently aging in barrel, and the partners will sell around 240 numbered magnums and 26 double magnums as futures via an online auction in late November. The proceeds will go to Chapoutier's charitable foundation, M. Chapoutier Vins et Santé, set up in 1994 to help children with leukemia. (Visit www.mchapoutier-vinetsante.fr for auction details.) In a non-blind barrel tasting this past spring, Wine Spectator senior editor James Suckling called M2 potentially outstanding, and described it as "wild and exotic, yet refined and pretty."
|If you get in a fight with a tub of Zin, you will lose.|
• New York restaurateur Danny Meyer, co-owner of Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Café, among others, is the original practitioner of what he calls "enlightened hospitality." For example, if you leave your wallet and cell phone in a cab on the way to one of his restaurants, Meyer will send a staff member to retrieve it. If, however, you tie your necktie around your head and drunkenly berate the waiter because there are no baked potatoes on the menu, Meyer will personally kick you out--and knee you in the groin for good measure. Meyer has written about just such an incident in his new book, Setting the Table: The power of Hospitality in Restaurants, Business and Life. While scuffling with guests in the dining room is hardly his MO, Meyer told Unfiltered about another incident that had sorely tempted him to throw the first punch. "For two consecutive weeks, guests at Union Square Café had had their purses and pocketbooks stolen mysteriously while they were dining," said Meyer, who hired an undercover detective to try and catch the thief. "One very busy night he caught a 5'2" woman in the act of stealing a purse. He proceeded to lift her up by her ears before calling the police. It's a good thing I had hired someone else to get between me and her …."
|Willie rocks B.R. Cohn.|
|Kind of like Picasso after a bad night of drinking.|
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