When All Fails, What Else? A Country SongFINANCE
• The nation’s largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, almost out of credit. Oh. No. [NYP]
• Recent hedge-fund woes look far from contained — they’ve even inspired a country song. [DealBook/NYT]
• Chuck Schumer’s bright new plan for taxing private equity: raise taxes on all partnerships, not just big firms like Blackstone. How Democratic. [Reuters via DealBook/NYT]
Diddy-Diddling DenialKim Porter is in denial that Diddy is diddling Sienna Miller. (Also, his famous White Party is slated for September 2). Britney Spears was in a fender bender, after which she announced, “I’m a braniac!” On-again, off-again couple Marc Jacobs and Jason Preston are back on. Jeffrey Chodorow is keeping China Grill closed for a few extra days to get a new fridge and get rid of some insects. Phoenix Sun point guard Steve Nash got into a pickup soccer game at Central Park and scored two goals. The Freakanomics guys are moving their blog to the New York Times. Mort Zuckerman gets Harry Evan to help him write his weekly column in U.S. News. Chevy Chase found a $20 bill at a Hillary Clinton fund-raiser in the Hamptons. George Pataki is being considered for an ambassadorship.
Born to Be Wild Salmon
Over-the-top restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow — the man behind the near-universally reviled Kobe Club, which has caused him to revile, in turn, critics like our Adam Platt and the Times’ Frank Bruni — opens his latest offering, Wild Salmon, today. Grub Street got a look inside the place yesterday, and a look at the menu, and based on that — and not, mind you, on actually eating anything there — pronounces it “the best hand he’s dealt himself in a while.” Why? Find out at Grub Street.
Wild Salmon Swims Into View. Yes, ‘Pun Intended’ [Grub Street]
Also, There Were Parties After the OscarsLeonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, and Vince Vaughn cruised the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton’s solo. (Everyone who is anyone was there.) Except Brad Pitt, who was a no-show at the Oscars despite having starred in Babel and been a producer on The Departed. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard are leaving the West Village for Brooklyn because of the paparazzi. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams are fighting. Oprah says that Barack Obama didn’t start the Clinton-Geffen feud. Zero-star Kobe Club owner Jeffrey Chodorow has banned Frank Bruni from all 29 of his restaurants. At $70,000, a private soccer lesson with David Beckham was the lowest winning bid at Elton John’s Oscar-night AIDS benefit. Natalie Portman left an Oscars party with Gael García Bernal.
Apparently We’re Calling This ChodogateYesterday morning, as you likely saw and no doubt heard, Kobe Club proprietor Jeffrey Chodorow took out a full-page ad in the Times dining section to lambaste Frank Bruni’s previous pan of his establishment. In the seven-paragraph (and, we must note, poorly punctuated) screed, Chodorow claimed Bruni’s attack on him was personal and bashed the critic for having no real “food background.” (Remind us, by the way, not to eat in Chodorow’s restaurants, as, lacking a food background of our own, we’ll clearly be unqualified to know whether we enjoyed our experience.) He also named three critics who, unlike Bruni, liked the Kobe Club: New York’s beloved Gael Greene (who indeed fawned over the restaurant in her 240-word squib), and Bob Lape of Crain’s and John Mariani of Esquire (who are both known to be on the take). He didn’t mention that lots of critics hated it, including New York’s chief food critic, Adam Platt, who gave the Kobe Club no stars and called it “a bizarre agglomeration of restaurant fashions and trends, most of them bad.” But Platt earned a glancing dig, when Chodorow announced an “After Adam” feature on his new blog. Platt responded yesterday afternoon on Grub Street, and last night, Grub’s Josh Ozersky checked in with the ranting restaurateur to find out if there was more to say on the topic. Apparently there was.
The Gobbler Responds to Mr. Chodorow’s Broadside [Grub Street]
We Ask Jeffrey Chodorow If He’s Been Feeling Well Lately [Grub Street]
The Berry Gordy Character in ‘Dreamgirls’ Is Not Berry GordyDreamWorks and Paramount took out a full-page ad in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter to say that Jamie Foxx’s character in Dreamgirls isn’t based on Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. Lindsay Lohan skipped out on “father figure” Robert Altman’s memorial service. Jeffrey Chodorow thinks Frank Bruni’s smackdown of his Kobe Club is personal, and he took out a full-page ad in the Times to say so. Rapper Common bad-mouthed the Duke lacrosse team; now he’s performing at the university. Vogue’s André Leon Tally went on a shopping spree with