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Nello Balan

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Nello is open again after sorting out $1.8 million in unpaid taxes with the IRS.

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One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

Nello Balan
This morning, "Page Six" ran the below item. Look closely, and see if you can figure out what boldfaced name doesn't quite belong!
Robert Kennedy Jr. has reportedly become an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin on cleaning up the environment. Kennedy, now in Aspen with his family, is said to have offered Putin his expertise in cleaning up the terrible pollution in Russia during a trip to Moscow last year. The founder of Riverkeeper also told restaurateur Nello Balan he's interested in running for Sen. Hillary Clinton's seat when it becomes vacant. Kennedy is convinced that if Clinton doesn't win the presidency, she'll quit the Senate when her term expires and join the private sector.
Well, we guess we have to give them credit for being really upfront about the stuff they are getting from Le Nello. So long as it's not fistfuls of cash!

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Model Le Call Washes Her Cereal Down With Dewar's

Le Call
Name: Le Call Job: Model, keeper of Nello Balan's umbrella, Daily Intelligencer obsession Age: 25 Neighborhood: Lower East Side Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Any cab driver that doesn't sigh when I ask to go to the airport. What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? The ones I prepare myself. (See question 8.) In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? We mostly try to design the perfect exit strategy for Iraq, and if we can't come up with an answer, we take a bunch of pictures.

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Is Le Call New York's Most Best Model?

Le Call
So, we looked up the MySpace profile of Le Call, the model who was in "Page Six" yesterday when Nello Balan threatened to sue her for breaking his precious leather umbrella, and in the Post and People today when it came out that she's the one who's been seen all over the city riding bikes (possibly the one given to her by Rocco DiSpirito?) with Owen Wilson. Heh, heh we said to ourselves, expecting to find a total moron. But it turns out that despite her ridiculous name ("In her line of work, it helps to have a kind of catchy name — she's a model," her ex-boyfriend, restaurateur Chris Dexter, explained to the Chicago Sun Times), Le Call might actually be kind of cool, and maybe even a little bit funny and … smart? For a model, we mean. Here is how she describes herself:
"i guess first and foremost the outside does not match the inside. since i am not from california or texas, have no idea how my hair gets so big since i have done it myself about twice in my adult life, hate pictures, and wear my watch on my right hand even though i am not left handed. i also pick up tennis balls with the inside of my feet and not the outside like everyone else. which brings us back to the top sentence."
Also, she is 25, likes Electrelane and Miss Piggy ("cause she's a feminist but also a pig"), and one of the pictures on her page is of that anti-anorexia poster with the way-freaky-looking model, which is awesome, plus there are some fun drunk pics. Le Call is our new favorite model, we said to ourselves. We so give Owen Wilson our blessing. In fact, we can't wait till she destroys her body by bearing his children and they displace us from our Brooklyn neighborhood by driving up the rents with their famousness. Mwah! See you at the farmer's market! Then we noticed something that made our whole fantasy come crashing down. She likes Ayn Rand. Sigh. Le Call [MySpace] Owen Wilson's Model Friend ID'ed [People] Earlier: A Model Break's Nello's Heart, Umbrella

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Nello Pissed at Model for Taking His Umbrella; Winner of ‘Next Iron Chef’

Oh, Nello! Fiesty Mr. Balan is in his latest rage because he lent a model his $1,000 leather umbrella “because it was raining because I am a gentleman … Stop behaving like a boulevardier [street person] and a petite voleuse [petty thief]. You don’t give me the umbrella, I sue you,” which he is now doing because she returned it broken in two. [NYP] Related: A Model Breaks Nello's Heart, Umbrella The newest Iron Chef is … Cleveland’s Michael Symon. [Serious Eats] Laurent Tourondel tells Bruni he enjoys dining most in Vietnam, but the influence in the recipes for his Thanksgiving spread is all French. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

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A Model Breaks Nello's Heart, Umbrella

Nello Balan
Oh, Nello Balan. It's almost as if you want to be in "Page Six" once a week. This time, the Upper East Side restaurateur/columnist briber is caught in a dramatic war of words and lawsuits with an unknown model named Le Call over an umbrella. That's right, an umbrella. Granted, it's a $1,000 limited-edition Jean Paul Gaultier leather number, but an umbrella nonetheless. "Stop behaving like a boulevardier [street person] and a petite voleuse [petty thief]," Balan (awesomely) told Le Call. "You don't give me the umbrella, I sue you." Balan indeed eventually hired a lawyer, at which point Le Call then returned the umbrella in question, but it was BROKEN. All hell then broke loose, "Page Six" was called, and Balan's lawyer heads to court today to sue for "an act of disinterested malevolence, intentional infliction of mental distress, willful destruction of property, and whatever else [he] can think of." All of which leads us to the obvious question: a leather umbrella? Really? MODEL RAINS ON NELLO UMBRELLA [NYP] Related: Le Call and Ciara Christensen, Models [NYM]

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Nello Balan's Delicious Scandal Continues

The war between plutocratic food pimp Nello Balan and not-so-starving artist Jerome Lucani continues to get better and better. We read some weeks ago of their tiff, based on Lucani’s claim that Balan was shaking him down, and Balan’s claim that Lucani, who looks like he couldn’t beat up Peter Braunstein, had threatened to kill him. Now the two have taken to the courts, with Nello filing criminal charges and both men taking out mutual orders of protection. Our question is, who’s going to protect us … against all this distracting entertainment? We’d sure rather read about Nello than write about him, or his preposterous restaurants. Fortunately, Daily Intel is doing all the hard work. French Artist: “I Fear Le Nello” [Daily Intel] Earlier: Nello Said to Teach Artist a Thing or Two About Overcharging

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