Will no one let Goldman Sachs enjoy their moment? After news of their record earnings (and hefty compensation packages) broke yesterday, today the Goldman backlash begins in earnest, proving you can be too successful, too rich, and too pretty. "How long can Goldman keep it up?" Andrew Ross Sorkin asks on the TimesDealBook blog. Meanwhile in the business section, Jenny Anderson uses Goldman CFO David Viniar's remark yesterday about being "cautious" in the short term to go all negative Nancy. "For now, Goldman and its employees have much to celebrate," she writes, going on to quote an analyst saying the bank can't possibly do another "Houdini hedge escape" next year. That's riiight. It's never to early to worry about your future! Thanks, mom!
Time Out New York’s blog reports that Nicolas Cantrel, the chef at Bobo, is leaving — a seemingly strange move for a brand-new restaurant, but maybe not that surprising. The word on the street has been that while the décor is aces, the food was strictly junior varsity (we haven’t eaten there so we can’t say). Anyway, no word yet on who Bobo’s new chef will be. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear.
Exclusive: Bobo chef go-gos out the door [The Feed/TONY]
Unless you've somehow heroically managed to avoid PerezHilton.com for the past twelve hours, you probably already know about the just-announced surprise pregnancies of Lily Allen and Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney's 16-year-old sister.
Grub Street’s with-it brother Vulture introduces us to new comics every week, but it’s taken almost a year to discover a manga that has to do with mangia. Vulture describes Wonton Soup as “a manga–meets–Gahan Wilson–meets–Iron Chef space-trucker opera,” which sounds pretty fantastic to us. Plus, this comic speaks truth! “My cooking is all about passion and fun,” laments the chef who trained at a ten-star restaurant. “Once all that gets taken away, it’s just food.” Click over to Vulture to read an excerpt.
• Robert Morgenthau called a press conference in response to a "Page Six" item about him stepping down after 33 years: "I'm too old to retire." The man is 88! [NYT]
• Big-time Mayer Brown partner Joseph Collins, who maintains offices in both New York and Chicago, has been indicted for fraud in the Refco case. [Above the Law]
• Which court is the worst "judicial hellhole" in the country? [Law Blog/WSJ]
If you've walked up Sixth Avenue recently, you've probably noticed that there is what seems to be an odd boutique specializing in Sex and the City merchandise. What it turns out to be is the HBO store, which has tarted up its window display in honor of the upcoming SATC movie. It is "striking, innovative and fashion-forward" boasts a press release we just received in our in-box. It's also continually playing the movie trailer, which was recently released. But in the still image above, without the flashy preview clip, we can't help but be distracted by this question: How many of the objects in that window are sex toys?
Earlier:The 'Sex and the City' Trailer Arriveth
There are a few things we can't wrap our heads around with this whole story about Blackwater shooting one of the New York Times' dogs in Baghdad. One of them is, why does the Times bureau have dogs? It wasn't someone's personal pet, according to the stories. It was a pet shared by the residents of the Times compound. Even a Huffington Post blogger who was bitten by one of them doesn't explain why they are there. Another question is this: On a day when Britney Spears's 16-year-old sister gets knocked up, who at the Post thought it would be a good idea to split the cover between the pregnancy story and a drawing of a doghouse with "Pooch Sulzberger" written on it? The Spears family is like the mother lode (ha, they're all mothers now) for the Post. Over the years, the paper's probably devoted more ink to hating them than to hating Al Gore. But somehow a cheap joke comparing Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger to a dead dog elbowed Jamie Lynn halfway off the cover. And finally, how come everybody who has written about it gets to use a "this time the deadly shooting in Baghdad was of a dog" joke? How is that, in any way, appropriate? Ha-ha! Murders are so common here, it's funny when something dies that isn't an American! That's a real home run.
New York Times in Iraq: Blackwater Shot Our Dog [Reuters]
Lindsay Lohan has been hanging out a lot with Courtenay Semel, the daughter of Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel and a "power lesbian." Also her dad, Michael Lohan, played Joseph in a Times Square Nativity scene. Dennis Miller and Jon Voight are among the Rudy Giuliani supporters in Hollywood. The Spears line continues: Britney's 16-year-old sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, is pregnant. Is Damon Dash's junk mind-blowing? A woman is claiming that he made her bipolar when he exposed his genitals to her.
The best steaks at Primehouse NY are good enough to earn a single star from Frank Bruni — which is saying something, given that he had problems with service, didn't like the other entrées, and even found the rib eyes to be less than they ought to be. But the Creekstone strips carried the day, as they always do. [NYT]
The small, porky tapas at Jason Neroni's Cantina seem to impress Robert Sietsema, but his review leaves you with the sense that, croquettes aside, the place is still a work-in-progress. [VV]
Paul Adams dines at Smith's and praises the rich, possibly too rich, appetizers, while frowning over some of the mains. But on the whole he likes the place: “Some dishes are excessive by design, others poorly executed in the heat of the dinner rush, and a few, like the pasta, remarkably good and worthy of a return visit — perhaps after the first wave of crowds has moved on.” [NYS]
When I asked Bill Clinton about this issue, during an informal meeting in South Carolina, he readily agreed to sit down for a longer interview on his legacy’s role in the campaign. A few weeks later, however, and at the last minute, Hillary’s aides canceled the interview. Famously controlling, they would not even allow the former president to talk about his record.
Hillary's advisers were probably trying to stop the onslaught of Bubba coverage, which they knew would inevitably become the main story if it got too big. Unfortunately for them, it looks like this week, they failed in that effort.
Christmas is a time for giving, and lest we forget, it is also a time for sacrifice. This year, James Cayne and the other top executives at Bear Stearns are making the ultimate sacrifice: They've decided to forgo their year-end bonuses. Because they have enough money? Because they decided to donate it to the children of Darfur? Because J.C. hit it big at bridge? Eh, no. Ostensibly this decision has come about because they're gearing up to announce some pretty shameful fourth-quarter results tomorrow, and after losing $1.6 billion in investor money this year, pocketing what little is left would look kind of bad. So instead they're divvying up the small pool left over from what they didn't blow on subprime mortgages and giving it to players in the firm in hopes that they don't jump over to, say, Goldman Sachs.
Bear Stearns Chiefs to Skip Bonuses [WSJ]
Update: It's a trend! After announcing a $9.4 billion writedown, Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack is foregoing his bonus, too. Somewhere, Zoe Cruz is snickering.
Jean Georges isn’t a restaurant known for its attachment to experimental cuisine; if anything, J-G Vongerichten’s highly formal flagship is considered a bastion of old-school tablecloth dining. But Vongerichten has always been in the gastronomic vanguard, and he and chef de cuisine Mark Lapico are among the city’s most ardent admirers of the CVap oven, a controlled-humidity technology they use so much that there's three of them in the kitchen.
Steven Rinella’s op-ed piece in today’s Times, in which the Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine author makes the case that hunters are not really hobbyists who enjoy killing animals, but rather proto-locavores, struck us as disingenuous on so many levels that we had to respond to it. First, Rinella wraps himself in green language as if it were a Thinsulate camo parka. “Hunters are the original locavores,” Rinella writes, bragging that his family used to eat three or four deer a year, along with various other unlucky birds and squirrels, and that he “carried that subsistence aesthetic into adulthood.” Subsistence aesthetic! Rinella’s from Twin Lake, Michigan! We would bet the closest he got to subsistence culture was running out of Pop-Tarts.