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Scott Conant and Chris Cannon used to be partners in a pair of highly-rated Italian restaurants, Alto and L'Impero. The two decided to go their separate ways in early 2007 (Conant now oversees the meatpacking district restaurant Scarpetta), and while their split may have appeared amicable at first, things devolved over the summer when Conant directed some tough words at Cannon in the pages of New York Restaurant Insider and even suggested his former partner was incompetent. "Something tells us this won't be the last time hard words come out," New York's Grub Street surmised at the time. You can say that again. Last week Conant filed a suit against Cannon in New York Supreme Court, alleging that Cannon has failed to pay him $104,440.67 in deferred compensation. Cannon, for his part, is now countersuing, arguing that Conant violated the terms of his contract as well as defamed him in the New York Restaurant Insider interview, a violation, he says, of the "non-disparaging remarks" provision in the separation agreement they signed in 2007. After the jump, all the salacious details contained in the suit.