The New "American Idol" Restaurant

By Grace Parisi Posted April 25, 2007


...And the winner is...amazing french fries! Actually, Kerry Simon's amazing french fries at Spotlight Live, which opened last week. The restaurant is one part diner, one part karaoke bar, one part open mike night (every night...) and one big part tourist attraction—all on steroids.

At the center of it all is a huge stage—guitars, drum kit, microphones AND, yes, backup singers and dancers. Each table is equipped with interactive computer screens and cameras, allowing the diner to sign up for some "stage time," judge other intrepid diner/singers or flirt long-distance with cuties at other tables. Hey, I just went for the fries and the rest of the super-high-end junk food—all sure to be crowd pleasers. Yummy mini burgers (they won Simon a spot on Iron Chef), truffled mac and cheese, big crunchy slabs of onion rings and, of course, the truffled french fries. (Ironically, there was no ham on the menu.)

But what really did me in were the desserts. The owner (we were lucky that day) brought out a sampling of the dessert menu—most based on Hostess snack cakes: an adorable crème-filled chocolate cupcake, Rice Krispie bars, Sno Balls and the pièce de résistance—a huge pink wig of cotton candy. All that sugar gave us the juice to fly back to work, but not enough to get us up on stage.

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