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Oak Room

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Charlie Trotter Details Emerge; Frank Bruni's Cross-Country Trip

The first details on Charlie Trotter’s still-unnamed restaurant on Madison Square Park emerge: It will have 80 seats as well as a bar and lounge. [NYT] Merkato 55 may be turning New Yorkers on to African cuisine, but there have been plenty of excellent, albeit under-the-radar, restaurants offering the continent’s cuisine for years. [TONY] Related: Merkato 55’s Most Popular Dish: Doro Wat The Modern’s new wine director, Belinda Chang, is the kind of sommelier we want to be someday: “I’m definitely obsessed with magnums. They’re so fun to pour!” [NYS]

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Batali's Celebrity Cookbook; Gisele Offends Football Fans With Cabernet

For the second year in a row, Barilla has released a downloadable cookbook featuring Mario Batali’s recipes for cooking for celebs like Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci. You may have to fill out a stupid survey to access it, but for every download Barilla is donating $1 to America’s Second Harvest. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine] Food Network chef Robert Irvine, whose bulging muscles put together meals on Dinner: Impossible, turns out to be huge liar, having fabricated a past that involves being a knight in England and being a full-fledged White House chef. [St. Petersburg Times via Gawker] Irritable chef Gordon Ramsay likes to relax with a Sunday supper of roast beef, over which he likes to emphasize manners and social skills with his children. [WSJ]

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Oak Room Gets New Operators; Illegal Fish Trade Grows

Night Sky Holdings, which formerly operated Windows on the World at the World Trade Center as well as the Rainbow Room, has signed a contract to run the Oak Room and the Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel. Also, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s former sous-chef Didier Virot will be helming the kitchen at the hotel’s other eatery, the Palm Court. [NYP] Sushi chef Hiroshi Nakahara has left New York’s BondSt to run the kitchen at a new outpost in Beverly Hills. [PR Newswire] Chipotle will be serving 200 million meals using naturally raised meat this year, a 40 percent increase from 2007. [The Grinder/Chow]

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