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The Waverly Inn

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Jay-Z ‘Took Rihanna Aside’ to Talk About Rumors of Their Affair

Rihanna said she used to feel self-conscious about the rumors that she hooked up with Jay-Z, but now just ignores them. Observer prepmaster general David Foxley will now be the person to call to get reservations at the Waverly Inn. Billion-heiress Anna Anisimova slept at her mother's place on Tuesday, which is a good thing because a 400-pound Venetian chandelier collapsed and fell fifteen feet onto the bed at her own place. Rapper 50 Cent has to pay an undisclosed sum to a Post photographer for knocking him down after he tried to take a photo of him. MSNBC accidentally flashed a graphic of Osama bin Laden as host Chris Matthews was discussing Barack Obama. Robert John Burck, a.k.a. the Naked Cowboy, says he has high-profile investments. DJ AM has invited ex-girlfriend Mandy Moore to hear him spin at Room Service on Friday.

Momofuku Ko Hoping to Open in Two Weeks; No Malice Palace Prevails

During last night's CB3 meeting, partner Andrew Salmon would reveal only that Momofuku Ko will hit capacity at fourteen, with no waiters and with fixed menus changing daily. “You sit directly across from the cook,” Salmon told the board. He kept the “vaguely Asian” food quiet, conceding only that it would include “all local ingredients … all sustainable development.” Unfortunately, he didn’t take the time to make sure a petition was including in the application, so no motion could be passed. Projected opening date: two weeks' time!

Padma Wants to Be a Human Fondue Stick, Poses for Padmarazzi

How did we miss this? According to Rush & Molloy, “chef-vixen” Padma Lakshmi has offered to pose on the cover of Men’s Health wearing nothing but chocolate. (Perhaps she was inspired by Lydia Hearst smothered in caviar?) Laddy gossip site F-listed has wasted no time jumping on this news and posted no fewer than a dozen photos of Padma outside of the Waverly Inn a few nights ago. (If you prefer video, TMZ has just that.) Or did you think that because she just bought a place in Alphabet City she’d be spending her nights at Lakeside Lounge? Padma Lakshmi in the Nude [F-listed] "Top Chef" Tap Dance [TMZ] Mmmm ... Padma Lakshmi Buys in East Village for $1.65 M., Replaces Fifth Avenue-Bound Parker Posey [NYO]

Waverly Inn Eclipses Da Silvano in Press, But Blog Still a Snooze

The latest from the Waverly Inn’s blog brings the tale of a Spanish “lifestyle counselor” (hmm, we thought these only existed in the U.S.) being strangely content when only a 9:15 p.m. seating was available for a high-profile client. Yawn, we know Spaniards eat late — give us juicy stories about Lindsay Lohan showing up! Meanwhile innkeeper Graydon Carter, who once told the Guardian he’d be hesitant to seat Simon Cowell prominently (but no qualms about Lindsay?) can take solace in Gawker’s accounting that the Waverly Inn has eclipsed his old haunt, Da Silvano, in press mentions. But has his cachet been depleted at other restaurants? Gawker also brings the tale of someone who says he received shabby treatment at Gramercy Tavern despite the fact that Carter made a reservation for him. But come on, it’s not like this guy was Lindsay Lohan. Ye Waverly Blog: The Spanish Visitor [Ye Waverly Blog/VF] Graydon Carter: Restaurant Promoter [Gawker] Is Graydon Carter’s Cachet Depleted? [Gawker] Vanity Flair [Guardian]

What Happens at the Waverly Inn Stays on the Waverly Inn's New Blog!

When chef John DeLucie sold his memoir, we wondered whether the secrets of the Waverly Inn weren’t all being saved for a book. It turns out they were being saved for a blog — oh yes, Vanity Fair’s site has launched a chronicle of the goings-on at the Waverly, and though there’s a cloying Metropolitan Diary tone to anecdotes about the restaurant’s “manager and moat-minder” Emil Varda returning $100 bribes and “cougar lean maitre d’” Larry Poston fretting over a no-show pregnant diva, the voyeur in us appreciates the story about an impromptu knife juggler getting depantsed in the dining room. (It's better than the musings of, say, the Union Square Hospitality Group newsletter — Danny Meyer likes Meyer lemons!) But a note to the anonymous author: Bragging about having “a cosmetics tycoon, a Nascar champion, and a renowned humorist” on the books ain’t going to cut it. Name some names! Ye Waverly Blog [VF] Related: Waverly Inn Chef John DeLucie to Publish Tell-All

City to Reenact Calorie-Display Rule; Bloodbath Near Spotlight Live

The city’s Board of Health is set to reenact its legally contested rule requiring all restaurants with fifteen or more eateries nationwide to post the caloric value of food items on their menus. [NYDN] Related: Fast-Food Biz Wins Fight Against City Hall Restaurants and nightclubs currently owe the city $14 million in health-code violation fines, which means that high-roller venues like the Rainbow Room can get away with stiffing the city out of $50. [NYP] Times Square’s Spotlight Live became the latest scene of club violence when one man was killed and five others stabbed there yesterday morning. [NYDN]

Zagat Empire for Sale; New Low-Cal Girl Scout Cookies

The Zagat family has put their empire of burgundy books on the market, with Goldman Sachs handling the search for a buyer who will have to drop at least $200 million for the acquisition. [NYT] Stereo, the club outside which a patron was shot last week, closed after a weekend police raid. [NYDN] Howie Mandel’s mention of the Waverly Inn on Live With Regis & Kelly made Graydon Carter’s restaurant a highly searched Google item. [Gawker]

Popeyes Brings Chicken and Biscuits Shrine to Chinatown

We’re not sure whether the Popeyes that opened three days ago right across from the mouth of the Manhattan Bridge (that’s right, the first thing motorists now see when entering the island is a Popeyes) has to do with the Bowery location that closed over the summer. But we do know from this floral arrangement festooned with ribbons and cards reading “Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits” that it's Chinese run, and enthusiastically so. Yesterday found the manager offering patrons free refills and giving away free chicken to everyone in the restaurant at closing time (might want to try your luck tonight around midnight). Says a friend of Grub who lives in the hood, “I’m overjoyed.” No kidding! Now he doesn’t have to trek to the Waverly for biscuits...

Meatpacking Moguls Remm, Birnbaum, and Rabin on How to Be Cool

Our fave waitress Courtney Yates isn’t the only face Belvedere Vodka is using to try to look cool — the company, in association with UrbanDaddy, is running Web interviews with David Rabin, owner of Los Dados and Lotus, and Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum, owners of Tenjune. Remm and Birnbaum don’t exactly steer toward the underexposed when asked for their favorite restaurants: BondSt, Nobu, Bar Pitti, Los Dados, Mr. Chow, the Spotted Pig, Pastis, Buddakan, Dos Caminos Soho, Cipriani, Butter, Rose Bar, and Waverly Inn.

Tom and Gisele Lock Lips at Nobu, ‘Full House’ Cast and the B-52s Hit Bowery Hotel!?

Earlier this week we linked to a Daily News item claiming Padma Lakshmi rudely refused complimentary dishes from Fiamma’s chef. A commenter wrote, “I was at Fiamma the night Padma was dining there and it absolutely did NOT go down that way. When the dishes arrived at the table, she thanked them profusely and apologized for being too full to eat any of them!” Whatever happened, Padma was just one of many celebs to chow down (or at least show up) at local restaurants this week, and here’s our gossip-column compendium of just who went where.

Ben Stiller Crashes a Party at Fiamma, Penélope Cruz Makes Out at Socialista

Claire Danes
Every Friday a notable New Yorker tells us where they’ve been eating, but where are the rest of them chowing down? Starting this week we’ll sort through the gossip columns à la Ils Vont (RIP) to tell you who’s been seen where (casual sightings only — boring galas, vodka launches, and pluggy appearances don’t count). We’ll eventually compile a ranking of restaurants most often visited by celebs. Not that you care about that sort of thing! Oh, but if you do, won’t you please leave your own sightings in the comments?

Graydon Carter: Life Is All About Who You Shun

Graydon Carter
The Guardian did a funny except maybe unintentional thing this week wherein they profiled Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter — in the exact style of a Vanity Fair celebrity profile. "Even early on he was adept at crafting an image," the writer explains, pausing to describe Carter's "impeccably tasteful" office before going on to say that, despite his grand stature, dude is really, like, down-to-earth. "I don't go to parties. I'm social but I'm not a socialite person," says Carter. "I walk down the street and people don't go, 'my God, there he is.' I lead as normal a life as you can lead in New York City." Graydon! He's just like us! Except when it comes to the Waverly seating chart, which Carter apparently does himself, every day, even if, we hear, it means infringing on a few minutes' worth of editorial meetings. For this very important project, he uses skills honed through years of Oscar parties. "I'm a very shy person but I forced myself during the Oscar evenings to go out and be engaging to people and make them feel comfortable," he tells the paper. "And then you learn how to seat people. Life is all about seating and lighting." But of course it's not just about seating and lighting! It's about separating the wheat from the chaff, weeding out the undesirables, not letting any dorks on the volleyball team. In other words: Exclusion!

No Plaza for Graydon; Mr. Rachael Ray Drops $35K for Lunchbox

Graydon Carter won’t be taking over the Plaza’s Oak Room, so you’ll still have to head downtown to the Waverly Inn for that truffled macaroni and cheese. [NYP] Jean-Georges Vongerichten seeks the elusive fifth taste by serving “umami bombs” at his restaurants. [WSJ] Related: Waiter, There’s a Fifth Element in My Soup It’s possible that locally grown products have a comparable or even greater carbon footprint than food that travels long distances, so you can stop patting yourself on the back for being a greenmarket fanatic. [NYT] Related: Local Schmocal [NYM]

Jenna Jameson Does Chinatown; Nobu's Fish Not That Exclusive

Jenna “ex-porn honey-turned-businesswoman” Jameson and Heatherette designer Richie Rich plan to open a nightclub/clothing shop in Chinatown next year called the General Store. [NYP] Part-owner of the Waverly Inn and Maritime Hotel Eric Goode enjoys retreating to small-town Ojai in California. [NYT] Nobu executive chef Mark Edwards reveals not only that the restaurant’s infamous black cod is actually sablefish (which is so not endangered), but also that he can’t stand the dish anymore after tasting it day after day. [Bloomberg]

Catherine Z-J Gets the ‘No Way’ From Rob Marshall

Catherine Zeta-Jones won't star in the movie adaptation of Broadway musical Nine because the director wouldn't beef up her role. Eight staffers have left CBS' The Early Show because they can't stand working with hotheaded senior exec producer Shelley Ross. Paris Hilton thinks the guys in New York are "so much better" than the ones in L.A. Since divorcing his wife, George Soros has been hanging out with young girls in their twenties at his home in Southampton. Sportscaster Ahmad Rashad and ex-socialite (and ex-wife of Jets owner Woody Johnson) Sale Johnson may be getting married today. Anna Wintour controlled the seating arrangements at the $50,000-a-table 7th on Sale event at the Lexington Armory. (Speaking of Anna, Tim Burton says that Johnny Depp based the haircut of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on hers.)

Zoe Kravitz Shows Some Leg

Zoe Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz complained that his 18-year-old daughter's skirt was too short. Nancy Reagan wants Mayor Bloomberg to run for president. New York Ranger Sean Avery may be cheating on Mary-Kate Olsen with ex-flame Lake Bell. Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson may or may not have made out at the Beatrice Inn. A lady clamoring to see Jessica Simpson at the Waverly Inn knocked over a table and tumbled into the fireplace. Leroy Barnes, a drug-dealing competitor of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), says American Gangster, portrayed him inaccurately. An ex-cop made a board game that highlights the incompetence surrounding the rebuilding of ground zero.

Have White Truffles Finally Gone Too Far?

We have some bad news. The bagel, that beloved, affordable symbol of New York cuisine, has gentrified. Chef Frank Tujague of the Westin hotel in Times Square (where else?) has unveiled the $1,000 white-truffle bagel, "topped with white truffle cream cheese and goji berry infused Riesling jelly with golden leaves." Now we love all truffles, far too much to ever be so rash as to declare them to be so over, and there may not be a thing on earth that's not improved by them (we've even considered using truffle oil as conditioner — it probably works wonders for split ends). But now that truffles are toying with the doughy purity of simple bagels, we have to wonder: Is this white-truffle thing not getting just a bit too precious?

Benicio Del Toro Helps Out a Gay Meth Addict

Benicio Del Toro
Former New York Stock Exchange chairman Dick Grasso may or may not have had an affair and fathered a love child. Steven Spielberg ate at the Waverley Inn with his family and a whole lot of other famous folks. Denise Rich sang a Rolling Stones song to an audience that included Donald Trump Jr. and Ivana Trump at new venue Espace. Benicio del Toro appeared at the Gay Men's Health Crisis Center as a sponsor for a meth-addict friend. One of Howard Stern's sidekicks filmed a porno inside Stern's studio with Ron Jeremy. Jay-Z may be "scrambling" because the lead single from his American Gangster album is not doing well.

Waverly Inn Chef John DeLucie to Publish Tell-All

From toque to bard.

Photo: Patrick McMullan

We’ve always thought that what happens at the Waverly Inn stays at the Waverly Inn, but that may change, given this recent deal announcement on Publishers Marketplace:
Chef at New York's The Waverly Inn John DeLucie's THE HUNGER, a la Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, [sold] to Dan Halpern and Emily Takoudes at Ecco, for publication in Spring 2009, by Rebecca Oliver and Richard Abate at Endeavor (NA).