Rock Stars at John Dory
Tuesday night seems to have been a superfun night in New York City no matter where you were. Me, I got to help Daniel Boulud celebrate his birthday, or at least the first couple hours of it. At Bar Boulud, some wine-world superstars opened very pricey jeroboams (the supersized bottles that you can barely pick up) of 1988 Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Champagne and Grand Cru Mommessin Clos de Tart and sang “Happy Birthday” (the wine was a little better than the singing) while Daniel outlined plans for the DJs at his upcoming downtown beer hall DBGB. Who was there? Legendary Italian winemaker Roberto Conterno; Wells Guthrie of Napa's elite Copain winery; Robert Bohr, wine director of New York City's wine mecca Cru; and Richard Betts, who not only makes the amazing Betts & Scholl wines but also the brand new Sombra mescal.
Downtown at John Dory, there were some non-wine celebrities in the house. Momofuku's David Chang called over to owner Ken Friedman to get his friend, El Bulli's Ferran Adrià, a seat at the counter, saying, “he's a rock star.” (Understatement.) Ken's reply: "I've got my own rock star here"—namely Bono, who had a table at Dory. As Grub Street reports, Adrià and his friend, super chef Jose Andres, sat in the fish tank room and took camera-phone pictures of it. Bono and Adrià did chat, though—Bono’s Spanish is reportedly good. And the Irish musician left so impressed with the über-chef that he called from his car to extend an invitation to the El Bulli crew to come to the launch of U2's world tour. It wasn't an idle offer—U2s 360° tour kicks off in Barcelona, not far from El Bulli, on June 30. Which means there's still time for anyone looking to go to the show to get a job at El Bulli.
When Adrià wasn't talking to Bono, he was apparently congratulating April Bloomfield on her just-received 5-star review from A.A. Gill and the London Times. In fact, Adrià pointed out, the last time Gill gave out that many stars was to... him, at El Bulli. I was hugely excited about the Times review—not, obviously because I had anything to do with the excellent food Gill ate at JD, but because I sat right near him one of the nights he was there. And though Feedbag has raised questions about the four women Gill was with ("based on the review, I have to think that he got them on Craigslist"), I can tell you that one of Gill's dates was British mega-socialite Jemima Khan. Who I presume isn't trolling for dates online, even if it's for the opportunity to eat at John Dory.