Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Phil Vettel snaps one off

Chicago Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel sounds off on how he really feels about Rick Bayless, Art Smith, Shawn McClain, Arun Sampanthavivat and other local luminaries headlining a press preview of Taste of Chicago (which returns to town on June 27) in Washington D.C.

Post your favorite party crasher

A member of "The Eat & Drink Club" settles in at the opening of ZED451. (Photo: Anonymous)

SOME INTERESTING dialogue came about (via email and phone) as a result of "notorious" party crasher Jerry Berliant, who was escorted out of the Trump Hotel's opening reception last night.

So here's the deal. 312 Dining Diva is going to do a public service for all the restaurants and bars who have to put up with these types whenever they hold special events. Send me your photos of members of "The Eat & Drink Club" and I'll post them, so everyone knows who the party-lovin' people are!

Notes on the inaugural member in the above photo sent in by a tipster: "She came to the ZED opening on Friday (after trying at least 4 names) - finally called a friend who was on list and got her to confirm she was her guest.... but at least we made her wait for a good 20 minutes or so.

THEN... she showed up on Monday at ZED for concierge night!
That's when I snapped the photo."

What are you doing for lunch today?!


HOT-BLOODED master chef Gordon Ramsay makes his way to Macy's on State (111 N. State St., lower level) this afternoon to push his new cookbook, Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food (Key Porter). The event starts at 1pm in Macy's culinary kitchen, but if you miss that you can always catch him at 8pm tonight on his emotionally charged "Hell's Kitchen" on FOX-TV, which also stars local chef Jennifer Gavin.

If you need more chef action, head to the Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark St., 312-642-4600) for a Chef Showcase, featuring some local culinary kings and queens. Gale Gand of Tru, Michael Kornick of MK, Bruce Sherman of North Pond and Carol Wallack of Sola will serve up the 411 on Chicago's impact on food. 7pm. $10.

Can't wait for "Sex and the City: The Movie" to hit the big screen on May 30?! Head to Lincoln Park's Tsuki Lounge (1441-45 W. Fullerton Ave., 773-883-8722) with your girls and do your own Ladies Night. The event includes complimentary manis and massages, plus $5 Skyy cocktail specials. And if you get there early, you get a goody bag stuffed with the good stuff. 7-10pm. RSVP required at info@tsuki.us.

Cellar Notes continues its weekly series at NoMI (Park Hyatt Chicago, 7th Floor, 800 N. Michigan Ave., 312-239-4030) with a tasting of stellar Austrian producers. NoMI Sommelier Fernando Beteta leads this interactive seminar that includes up to 10 selections paired with appetizers. 5:30-7:30pm. $30.

Party crasher finally gets the boot

Notorious "party crasher" Jerry Berliant (Photo: Denver Post)

FROM today's Stella's Column in the Chicago Sun-Times:

"THE NOTORIOUS PARTY-CRASHER Jerry Berliant was thrown out by Donald Trump's bodyguards after The Donald pointed to Berliant and said 'He's a crasher' at the new Trump Tower reception last night. The bodyguards got Berliant's coat and escorted him to the street."

It's about damn time! There should be photos circulating of this loser—and the dozens like him—who think it's cool to crash restaurant and bar openings for free food and drinks.

Honestly, I would've paid big bucks to see those guards kick his ass out!

UPDATE: From the publicist, Wagstaff Worldwide, who hosted the festivities: "We also got a picture of a woman (in a red dress) that frequently crashes our parties and she was escorted out too."

Ha! Their days are numbered!