Keith McNally isn't selling out—not yet, at least. The restaurateur behind Balthazar, Pastis, and Morandi tells Vanity Fair he's "resisting" a $100 million offer from British dining tycoon Richard Caring to take his New York-based restaurant empire global, mainly because he's worried duplicating his eateries would be like "ripping the soul out of the original." [Page Six]
Keith McNally, the restaurateur behind Balthazar, Pastis, Morandi, and Schiller's, turns 57 today. Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank celebrates her 34th. Famed director (and Sopranos bit player) Peter Bogdanovich turns 69. Park Avenue boob-job pro Dr. David Hidalgo turns 56. Comedian Tom Green is 37. Ad exec Chuck Brymer is 49. Vivica A. Fox turns 44. And Jaime Pressly of My Name is Earl is 31.
Keith McNally's new (and battered) baby Morandi recently started serving breakfast. We just got a copy of the menu. All the food looks pretty good but, come on, who wants to fucking try to pronounce "Uova mollette con 'scarpette'" before their $6 doppia espresso? Not me, and not without practice. Click through for the full menu. Also, Keith, if you're going to insist on calling things by their obscure Italian names, at least spell them correctly. Caffè corretto isn't spelled correctto. Still, if you're serving grappa at 8 in the morning, I'm not going to complain.
Balthazar and Pastis owner and possible presidential candidate Keith McNally added further flame to his feud with New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni when the Dining section printed McNally's passive-aggressive letter to the paper today. We've already posted the draft, but the published version emphasizes the point that even William Grimes, "the last male restaurant reviewer for The New York Times," gave more stars to chick chefs. But in his femiladyist comparison, McNally neglects to mention any of the Times's female restaurant critics (Mimi Sheraton, Ruth Reichl, Marian Burros). Does McNally think only men can be sexist? There's a complicated word for that, isn't there? —Josh
A whorl of unanswerable questions have been encircling the hardbody of New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni. Keith McNally accused him of lady-hating. Phallic restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow accused him of pettiness. Now The Observer's Chris Shott accuses him of influence. Shott claims restaurants live or die by the Bruni review, a charge which Bruni accurately denies.
Keith McNally and his new restaurant Morandi were recently on the business end of Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni's bitch stick. So McNally did what all powerhouse restaurateurs seem to be doing recently in the wake of a harsh negging by Bruni—go totally postal. Jeffrey Chodorow, when his ghastly Kobe Club was flayed, claimed personal persecution; but McNally is of a savvier cloth. In what can only be termed a manifesto, published today on Eater, McNally claims that Bruni doesn't just hate Morandi, but hates all women.
New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni one-stars Keith McNally's new Morandi with a review notable for its level and venomous prolixity. If this is how he describes something as good, it's a super thing that he doesn't have children, unless you believe that article about the inverse power of praising kids, in which case it's a "desperate inconveniently hokey insane uncomfortable odd hackneyed" thing that he doesn't have children. Let's break it all down by word choice!
The latest salvo in the McNally Gansevoort wars have a distinctly Imperious look. A tipster sends in this photograph from the door of McNally's Meatpacking mecca Pastis. Yes, some irony: McNally is the Englishman who could be said to have colonized the Meatpacking district from its backwoods butcher days to the assfest it is today. But that doesn't stop him from step up his campaign against the Hotel Gansevoort and its sail-sized billboard. It also doesn't make him wrong.
It's only natural that a chef would take along her specialties when she alights for more lucrative footing and a new kitchen, so it's no surprise that Jody William's menu at Keith McNally's new Morandi bears some familiar items to that of her previous lieu d'emploi, Gusto. But, as many have noticed, the birthmarks line up a little too closely, and the distinguishing characteristics are freakily similar. Did Waverly Place's Morandi steal more than Gusto's chef? Is McNally a menu plagiarist?
A peace conference is planned for Tuesday between restaurateur Keith McNally and Gansevoort Hotel owner Michael Achenbaum, to settle the dispute over the Gansevoort's giant Meatpacking billboard, according to Page Six. Achenbaum's condition for the meeting is that none of the local restaurant folk yell at him. We say, good fucking luck with that.
More news on that whole Meatpacking District vs. Hotel Gansevoort billboard story! Someone on the inside says a number of local businesses will join Keith McNally in the boycott of reservations coming from the Hotel Gansevoort because of the hotel's hideous billboard. Last week, a meeting of local business owners convened, hosted by McNally, that included David Rabin of Lotus, folks from The Waverly Inn and 5 Ninth, and most likely The Spotted Pig's Ken Friedman, to compare notes and mock the owner of the Gansevoort.