According to Mediabistro’s FishbowlNY, Marco Pierre White is coming to NBC as star of the latest food reality show, The Chopping Block, an Apprentice-like elimination series about eight couples running two competing restaurants in New York. This show might actually be good: White is a true mentor, rather than a self-aggrandizing ogre after the mode of his former protégé, Gordon Ramsay, and NBC's track record in food reality TV is short but stellar, with both The Restaurant and Top Chef to its credit. Not only will we be able to write about the show, but also to dine in! The restaurants the contestants create will be open for business, just like Rocco's unlucky venture a few years ago but there weren't nearly as many food blogs back then.
Marco Pierre White Tapped for NBC's New 'Top Chef'/Hell's Kitchen Killer [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]
Related: Batali, Bourdain, and Ramsay Mentor to Finally Take on America?
East Village: Nomad on Second Avenue at 4th Street will spotlight Algerian wines and meze pairings for a month starting March 20, in honor of the restaurants third anniversary. [Grub Street]
Flatiron: Lunetta will serve a prix fixe Easter supper that offers roasted-beet salad with fennel and orange, and braised rabbit with Robiola agnolotti. [Grub Street]
Hell’s Kitchen: If the prices of your Broadway tickets get you down, a delicious, cheap meal at the new wine bar Gallo Nero is a good follow-up to a show. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Upper East Side: A new Persian restaurant called Shalizar is opening at 1420 Third Avenue between 80th and 81st streets. [Upper East Side Informer]
Upper West Side: The Empire Hotel plans to unveil a China Grill Management–renovated rooftop bar by this May. [Zagat Buzz]
Last October, our columnists the Fug Girls asked: "Can New York help save Lindsay Lohan?" Rumor had it at the time that she was going to be spending more time here, living out of her apartment at the tony Atelier building in Hell's Kitchen. (Nick Lachey lives there, too!) But it turns out we had to wait longer than expected to find the answer to the Fugs' question. Well, the wait is over! According to Ben Widdicombe's "Gatecrasher" column, LiLo has moved into her apartment — and, appropriately, she threw a chem-free party with her younger sister, Ali, in the building's rooftop party space to celebrate. How do we know this? Because Lindsay's friends over at the Shadow PR agency were there and they took photos to send to the press. In the staged pics, she really looks swell! (And not in the nasty, "YOU'RE A HOG" way "Page Six" said she looked "swell" in a photo today.) Anyway, we know she's not only staying at home and going to bed early: We've already spotted her out on the town. But we still think there's hope that the Big Apple will help her and her tagalong sister keep their heads on straight. After all, it's done wonders for the Olsen twins.
Lohan's Sibling Revelry [NYDN]
Gordon Ramsay is a cruel, profane, rampaging jerk — which is why the world loves him. (It can’t be his food, which most critics consider by-the-book classic French.) So how can you replace a guy like that? That’s the problem the producers of Hell’s Kitchen faced, and they solved it by bringing in Marco Pierre White, Ramsay’s former mentor, then enemy. The problem is that, by all reports, White is a changed man, calm and peaceful in his middle age. Even in his prime, he was never as outrageously abusive as Ramsay. We don’t think he’ll be nearly as entertaining.
Hell’s Kitchen (Review) [Sydney Morning Herald]