The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group is in legal trouble again, this time thanks to a lawsuit filed against Park Avenue Café. The class-action suit filed by two captains and a waiter claims the restaurant — currently known as Park Avenue Winter — violated wage laws by forcing them to pool their tips with non-tipped employees like dishwashers, expediters, and coffee makers. Attorney Maimon Kirschenbaum tells us that the plaintiffs are expected to be joined by others in the next few days and will soon bring a separate complaint accusing assistant manager Santiago Pasentez of discriminating against the restaurant’s Bengali and Bangladeshi employees.
As jaded as we are from combing through gossip columns for our weekly Celebrity Settings feature, there are certain celebs we’d give our middle nut to spot. Case in point: Friday night a friend texted us that she saw Christopher Mintz-Plasse, better known as McLovin from Superbad, leaving Diner in Williamsburg — presumably after eating a “sexy hamburger.” No word as to whether he attempted to purchase a drink with a Hawaiian I.D. (somehow the bartender hadn’t seen Superbad), but it’s good to see McLovin is keeping it low-key despite the mounting Oscar buzz.
Related:Oscar Buzz for McLovin Reaches Fever Pitch [Vulture]
McLovin and Matchbox Twenty in Williamsburg [Gothamist]
Hey, did you hear? Steve Schwarzman was in a fight with Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan and Richard Fuld, the CEO of Lehmann Brothers, after the banks refused to help Blackstone purchase-mortgage lender and vehicle fleet manager PHH, after they'd promised to. What really got Schwarzman's goat was the fact that they did help finance Sam Zell's purchase of the Tribune because, according to the Post, Zell is a "nice guy." So actually it's kind of like that part in Mean Girls, when Gretchen and Karen tell Regina she can't sit with them at lunch because she's wearing sweatpants, but really it's because she's a bitch. Anyway, Schwarzman must have realized that the rest of his high school Wall Street career would be hell if he didn't make up with Dimon and Fuld, so he went to see them and apologized in person, not even just over e-mail. Now everything is okay. "It seems we are friends again," a source told the Post. "It was in nobody's interest to carry on this p***ing contest and Stephen graciously recognized that." Yeah, but wait till the pages of his burn book get leaked.
Steve's Sorry [NYP]
While Barack Obama is waltzing around New Hampshire cracking dirty jokes, Hillary Clinton is up there crying. It happened during a chat with a gathering of women at a coffee shop in Portsmouth. Sixty-four-year old Maryann Pernold told Hillary that as a woman, she knew "it's hard to get up every day and get ready and get out of the house in the morning." She asked Clinton how she did it every day on the campaign trail. The Wall Street Journal was there and caught the moment:
"It's not easy, it's not easy," Clinton said shaking her head. Her eyes began to get watery as she finished answering the question, "I couldn't do it if I didn't passionately believe it was the right thing to do. This is very personal for me. I have so many ideas for this country and I just don't want to see us fall backwards. It's about our country, it's about our kids' future," she said softly crying, her voice breaking. The group of 15 women sitting around a table at the Cafe Espresso nodded understandingly. Clinton continued, her voice still cracking: "We do it each one of us because we care about our country, but some of us are right and some of us are wrong, some of us are ready and some of us are not, some of us know what we'll do on day one and some of us don't," she said.
The Journal wonders whether this may be Clinton's Edmund Muskie moment (Muskie appeared to tear up in 1972 after a New Hampshire newspaper attacked his wife, and the image managed to derail the popular Maine senator's candidacy). But we have to wonder, like Bob Shrum before us, if this isn't exactly what her campaign needs. Finally, proof that Hillary is human. Even though the campaign is ravaging her physically and emotionally, she's still fighting because she cares. What better testament to someone's character as a candidate?
Either that or she faked it, which would also be totally stellar.
Emotional Moment for Clinton in N.H. [WSJ]
Video: Teary Hillary [ABC News]