Dining with the Stars...

They could come from the world of sports, movies, or the Food Network: What do think of celebrity-run restaurants? Does a celebrity name lure you to a restaurant? Have you experienced any? I have dined at DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill (a sturdy operation for years that we enjoyed); Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain (before theater in Manhattan and it was very good); and Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse at Mohegan Sun, CT. (pricey but had all the steakhouse accoutrements).
Share your insights (and clinkers), please. Thanks…

All good experiences with the Drew Nieporent (De Niro’s industry partner) restaurants such as Nobu. Before he became Emeril, he was seen through the pass at his first restaurant bent over plates about to be served – an insistent local recommendation about a just-opened place was spot on. So far, “nice” places with sports names were cookie cutter exercises (tip-off: “signature” bacon cheeseburger) – unremarkable but suited to a sports occasion – though, we have yet to land at the highly touted Don Shula or Teemu Selanne steakhouses that reportedly stand on their own as restaurants instead of experiments in halo effects.

I’m generally interested in dining at good restaurants. I’d suggest that celeb owned places are generally not good places, relying more on the name of the owner, than the skill of the chef.

Playing to the thread title, I have knowingly only dined with the stars on two occasions. Years back, I was in the same Pizza Express as Brian May. And, last year, we were in the same local Italian place as Marouane Fellaini. I’m not very good at celeb spotting, so assume I particularly noticed both of them because of their distinctive hairstyles.

Astrophysicists tend to keep low profiles . . . at least lower than the Queen.

Never met the Queen. But did meet her sister once - although not in a dining situation.

I’m not sure he’s a “celebrity” in the sense that you mean but I’ve dined at Wolfang Puck’s place at Caesars year ago; I remember it in a positive light. I think the only time I’ve dined near a celebrity is when I was a kid at the Meridien hotel in NYC and Gloria Steinem was there (I couldn’t have cared less).

Celebrities come to Southern Oregon to escape from publicity, not bask in it so we have no celebrity joints.
I have, however, dined at places celebrities immortalized, such as Arthur Bryant’s in KC, many Presidents and celebs. Does that qualify?
My best bud Dana was eating at original Stroud’s one time and Joel Grey was eating fried chicken in a corner booth mid-afternoon before a performance. They had a nice conversation.
And I had a nice piece of pizza with Peter Case, who walked outside before his show at the Grand Emporium and ordered a slice right in line with the rest of us. :slight_smile:

I tend to avoid celebrity places. However, I did dine at Bobby Flay’s Steakhouse in the Borgata in AC and recall it as having been very good. And I was at a conference in Disney World when one of the higher execs (you know, the type with the unlimited expense account) took a group of us to Shula’s Steakhouse. I think it was pretty good, but it followed a few hours of free drinking at Pleasure Island and was accompanied by a few more bottles of wine, so I may be misremembering (hey it was the 90’s and no one was driving).

The only celebrity dining experience I can recall was meeting Joan Baez at the White Dog Cafe in Philly the week of Live Aid. She was very charming and signed a menu for me, though truth be told I would have preferred Jagger, CS&N, Clapton or other musicians had decided to dine there that evening :blush:

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I had dinner at Anita Pallenberg’s Long Island summer house sometimes when I was a kid. Keith and Keith’s dad were always there, and Ron Wood. Anita didn’t know how to cook or use an oven and one time she burnt all her eyebrows off. And her kid Marlon was awful.

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That wins. Today and probably most days.

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I used to frequent a popular celebrity haunt called Elaine’s on the upper east side of Manhattan and encountered celebrities galore from Mick Jagger to Arno. Once had drinks at the bar alongside Robin Williams. He happily joined our conversation while he was waiting for his party…
By the way, Elaine’s was not known for its kitchen, the show was the draw.

I thought this thread originally was about dining at “celebrity”-owned joints, but I’ll play along and share one of our ‘brushes with fame’.

We were in Berlin a few summers ago in a nice little patio restaurant near the canal, when Michael Stipe and a couple of his bandmates sat down at the table next to us. I believe they were recording an album that summer.

Of course, we didn’t say or do anything. Berlin’s a lot like NYC – celebrities are left alone.

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It is supposed to be about celebrity-owned joints, but as you can see it got side-tracked. Fun anyway…

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Encounters with celebs in food related ways has much wider scope. I love everyone’s stories.

Oops! I was responding to the title and only skimmed your intro comment briefly.

We used to go to Schatzi on Main, in Venice, California fairly often, when I was young. Arnold Schwarzenegger opened it, because he wanted to share his favorite Austrian food with people.

The food was a mix of California-casual and Austrian. It shut down after a while because chef turnover problems, or so local gossip says. Too bad, because they had great schnitzel, salads and apple desserts. And wonderful specials, which would include game meat occasionally.

As far as dining at celebrity owned restaurant I’ve only been to a few, Bobby Flay’s Bobby Burger Palace, David Burke’s Fromagerie, Michael Jordon Steakhouse, Shula’s Steakhouse.

As far as dinning / drinking with celebrities;

Joe Piscapo / /Charity Dinner
Big Joe Henry/Charity Dinner
Danny Aiello /Charity Dinner
Various Professional Boxers and
NY Jet’s and Giants Football players over the years at Charity Dinners
Various Politicians including Gov. of NJ Richard Cody Christmas Party

Mickey Rourke /Drinks in Manhattan (random meeting)
Kevin Dillon / Drinks in NJ Shore (random meeting wound up hanging all night)
Lawrence Taylor/ Drinks quasi business meeting, hung out all night
Joe Bravo / Personal Friend

Joe Pesci / Served at my restaurant
Muary Povich / Served at my restaurant
Jimmy Kayne / Served at my restaurant
Guy from MTV Pimp My Ride / Served at my restaurant
Jim McGreevy/ NJ Governor Served at my restaurant

That’s the list I came up with off the top of my head, there are more I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Many run-in’s in New York etc.

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“Guy from MTV pimp my ride” ranks above the Governor of NJ. :smiley:

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Y’all know the world hates a name-dropper. :sunglasses:

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Wow! What was your opinion of those celebrity driven restaurants?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold