June 23, 2009

A tablehopper reader was at brunch at Foreign Cinema on Sunday and saw Neil Patrick Harris. He was brunching with his partner, a producer, and another female.

Another reader wrote in: "Gavin Rossdale of Bush and married to Gwen Stefani fame was having dinner at Orson this past Saturday with what I presumed to be his band mates. They enjoyed a bottle of red wine in at the bar and then moved upstairs for dinner." Elizabeth Falkner confirmed that Rossdale and his band mate were dining with Joe Haller and Ian Hannula from Nice Collective.

Jane Wiedlin from the Go-Go's and her family came in to dine at Absinthe. They shared a variety of dishes, including crudo, stuffed chicken, and my fave, the pork confit. It ends up it was a mutual love-fest, because Wiedlin and chef Jamie Lauren are both fans of each other.

Chef Alex Ong of Betelnut had quite the night last week: Sean Penn, and Chuck Williams (of Williams Sonoma) and culinary doyenne Cecilia Chiang were all in the house on the same night. A tablehopper reader spotted Penn at the "chef's bar just at the corner around the back. About an hour into dinner they moved to a booth. He was pretty much left alone by other diners. A bachelorette party in the back requested he stop by (via the waiter). But he declined (can't blame him for that choice)." He ordered spring rolls, minced chicken with lettuce cups, rib eye, Maojitos (Betelnut's version of mojitos), and two shots of Fernet.

As for Chuck and Cecilia, a little fun back story for you: they are really close friends from way back when Chuck opened his first shop on Sutter Street. (They come in to Betelnut quite often and always have the beggar's chicken—what a dish!) Chuck and Herb Caen used to dine at the original The Mandarin Restaurant, which was Cecilia's first restaurant on Polk Street.